more from Karl Popper

Single Idea 12179

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism]

Full Idea

The essentialist view of Newton (due to Roger Cotes) ...prevented fruitful questions from being raised, such as, 'What is the cause of gravity?' or 'Can we deduce Newton's theory from a more general independent theory?'

Gist of Idea

Essentialist views of science prevent further questions from being raised


Karl Popper (Conjectures and Refutations [1963], 3.3)

Book Reference

Popper,Karl: 'Conjectures and Refutations' [RKP 1965], p.106

A Reaction

This is Popper's main (and only) objection to essentialism - that it is committed to ultimate explanations, and smugly terminates science when it thinks it has found them. This does not strike me as a problem with scientific essentialism.

Related Idea

Idea 15705 Essentialism encourages us to think about the world scientifically [Gelman]