Unit 1 Notes:
In terms of two scientific theories clashing with each other to explain phenomena, an
example of reduction is Mendelian genetics to molecular genetics.
Popper’s demarcation criterion of falsifiability runs into two difficulties. One of which is
the fact that scientific theories actually compete with each other as well as with nature.
A somewhat controversial aspect of Thomas Kuhn’s picture of science is the idea that
science can undergo radical change in short periods of time resulting in “revolutions” of
According to Thomas Kuhn, most eras in science are dominated by a single
Weltanschauung called a paradigm.
According to Karl Popper, a discipline that claims to be a science is really a
pseudoscience like astrology if it offers no refutable predictions.
When in the development of science an old theory's laws are found to be explainable in
terms of the laws of a more basic theory, then the latter theory has reduced the former.
The View From Nowhere argues that, “Science describes the natural world with soul-
consciousness, and subjectivity subtracted. Science describes the natural world as it is
from no perspective, as if there were no people in it at all”.
If a scientist believes that his or her theory may actually be true, then he or she is a
While the conceptual foundations of psychology came from philosophy, the inspiration
for the creation of an independent science of psychology came from biology.
Whig histories of science are typically internalist, seeing science as self-contained
disciplines solving well-defined problems by the rational use of the scientific method and
unaffected by social/historical events.
Isaac Newton’s critics argued that he never explained how gravity actually worked.
Newton’s response was “Hypotheses non fingo”, which essentially means, “I do not feign
One innovative aspect of T. S. Kuhn’s analysis of science was that it stressed the social
nature of science.
The New History of Psychology utilizes more primary sources and attempts to
understand issues at they appeared in the context of the time, the history from above &
below, and is more critical, contextual and inclusive than it is ceremonial.