•  116
    Popper and his commentators on the discovery of Neptune: A close shave for the law of gravitation?
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (2): 207-232. 1996.
    Knowledge of residual perturbations in the orbit of Uranus in the early 1840s did not lead to the refutation of Newton's law of gravitation but instead to the discovery of Neptune in 1846. Karl Popper asserts that this case is atypical of science and that the law of gravitation was at least prima facie falsified by these perturbations. I argue that these assertions are the product of a false, a priori methodological position I call, 'Weak Popperian Falsificationism'. Further, on the evidence the…Read more
  •  873
    Philosophers expend considerable effort on the analysis of concepts, but the value of such work is not widely appreciated. This paper principally analyses some arguments, beliefs, and presuppositions about the nature of design and the relations between design and science common in the literature to illustrate this point, and to contribute to the foundations of design theory.
  •  171
    The discussion about relations between research and design has a number of strands, and presumably motivations. Putting aside the question whether or not design or “creative endeavour” should be counted as research, for reasons to do with institutional recognition or reward, the question remains how, if at all, is design research? This question is unlikely to have attracted much interest but for matters external to Architecture within the modern university. But Architecture as a discipline now n…Read more
  •  952
    The two principal models of design in methodological circles in architecture—analysis/synthesis and conjecture/analysis—have their roots in philosophy of science, in different conceptions of scientific method. This paper explores the philosophical origins of these models and the reasons for rejecting analysis/synthesis in favour of conjecture/analysis, the latter being derived from Karl Popper’s view of scientific method. I discuss a fundamental problem with Popper’s view, however, and indicate …Read more
  •  204
    What is the Problem of Ad Hoc Hypotheses?
    Science & Education 8 (4). 1999.
    The received view of an ad hochypothesis is that it accounts for only the observation(s) it was designed to account for, and so non-ad hocness is generally held to be necessary or important for an introduced hypothesis or modification to a theory. Attempts by Popper and several others to convincingly explicate this view, however, prove to be unsuccessful or of doubtful value, and familiar and firmer criteria for evaluating the hypotheses or modified theories so classified are characteristically …Read more
  •  1258
    Popper, Refutation and 'Avoidance' of Refutation
    Dissertation, The University of Queensland. 1989.
    Popper's account of refutation is the linchpin of his famous view that the method of science is the method of conjecture and refutation. This thesis critically examines his account of refutation, and in particular the practice he deprecates as avoiding a refutation. I try to explain how he comes to hold the views that he does about these matters; how he seeks to make them plausible; how he has influenced others to accept his mistakes, and how some of the ideas or responses to Popper of such peop…Read more
  •  82
    Popper's explications of ad hocness: Circularity, empirical content, and scientific practice
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (2): 335-355. 1993.
    Karl Popper defines an ad hoc hypothesis as one that is introduced to immunize a theory from some (or all) refutation but which cannot be tested independently. He has also attempted to explicate ad hocness in terms of certain other allegedly undesirable properties of hypotheses or of the explanations they would provide, but his account is confused and mistaken. The first such property is circularity, which is undesirable; the second such property is reduction in empirical content, which need not…Read more