Conclusion The Debate's Legacy

in Reforming Philosophy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780226767338
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226767352 | DOI:
Conclusion The Debate's Legacy

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This chapter shows that understanding the Mill–Whewell debate, and the particular positions expressed by each within it, has a value that goes beyond the historical. Those interested in reforming science and society today can learn much from their controversy. In particular, Mill's conception of liberty, far from being an exemplar of the “negative liberty” position, indicates many of the problems with this stance. And Whewell's notion of inductive reasoning, which is richer than that presented by Mill and his modern followers, can provide a starting point for developing a view of the kind of reasoning used in discovering scientific theories.

Keywords: Mill–Whewell debate; reforming science; social reform; negative liberty; inductive reasoning; scientific theories

Chapter.  4595 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy

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