Tag: Kuhn

A world in which nothing ever went wrong

Stapel released a written statement (in Dutch) today to the press, which he also delivered in a 2-minute video recorded by Dutch public television. He does not address the report directly, but says:

I feel deep, deep remorse for the pain I have caused others. I feel a great deal of sadness, shame and self-blame. The truth would have been better off without me.

I have created a world in which almost nothing ever went wrong, and everything was an understandable success. The world was perfect: exactly as expected, predicted, dreamed. In a strange, naive way I thought I was doing everybody a favor with this. That I was helping people.

Intellectual honesty

Intellectual honesty does not consist in trying to entrench, or establish one’s position by proving (or ‘probabilifying’) it — intellectual honesty consists rather in specifying precisely the conditions under which one is willing to give up one’s position. [92]

Objective growth of knowledge

So the growth of objective scientific knowledge cannot be explained in the Kuhnian picture. It is no good trying to pre­tend that successive explanations are better only in terms of their own paradigm. There are objective differences. We can fly, whereas for most of human history people could only dream of this. The ancients would not have been blind to the efficacy of our flying machines just because, within their paradigm, they could not conceive of how they work. The reason why we can fly is that we understand ‘what is really out there’ well enough to build flying machines. The reason why the ancients could not is that their understanding was objectively inferior to ours. [324]