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The Comprehensibility of the Universe
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The Comprehensibility of the Universe: A New Conception of Science

Nicholas Maxwell


This book puts forward a radically new conception of science. According to the orthodox conception, scientific theories are accepted and rejected impartially with respect to evidence, no permanent assumption being made about the world independently of the evidence. The book argues that this orthodox view is untenable. It urges that in its place a new orthodoxy is needed, which sees science as making a hierarchy of metaphysical assumptions about the comprehensibility and knowability of the universe, these assumptions asserting less and less as one ascends the hierarchy. This view has significan ... More

Keywords: science, metaphysical assumptions, universe, scientific knowledge, knowability

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199261550
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261550.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nicholas Maxwell, author
Emeritus Reader in Philosophy of Science, University of London