Show Less
Restricted access

Studies in the Methodology of Science

Igor Hanzel

The book discusses methodological issues relating to the philosophy of science and the natural and social sciences. It reconstructs the methods of measurement and scientific explanation, the relation of data, phenomena and mechanisms, the problem of theory-ladenness of explanation and the problem of historic explanation. From the sciences chosen for methodological analysis are those of early classical mechanics, early thermodynamics, Bohr’s theory of atom, early quantum mechanics, research into great apes and political economy.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 3: Observability and Theory-Ladenness of Observation: Myths and Facts


This chapter analyzes issues which can be regarded as central for both philosophy and methodology of science, as well as for epistemology, namely, observability and theory-ladenness of observation.

I will start with an overview of the approach taken by the logical positivists of the early 1930’s to the issue of observability and indicate how this approach changed in the framework of logical empiricism from the mid-1930’s until its final demise in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Then, I shall deal briefly with the issues of observability and theory-ladenness of observation as understood by P. K. Feyerabend in the 1960’s.

Instead of dealing with the more recent philosophical analyses,34 my intra-philosophical approach to these two issues will stop here (i.e., with Feyerabend’s analysis), because I want to take another approach to them, by dealing with a specific period in the history of science. Here I mean the formulation of Bohr’s theory of the hydrogen atom dealt with in Chapter 2, which I employ here as a case study upon which, then, will be based my proposal of an epistemological generalization and, finally, a resolution of problems surrounding the issues of observability, theory-ladenness of observability, as well the place of practical operations in science.

3.1 Logical Positivism/Empiricism and the Post-positivistic Backlash: The Myths

3.1.1 From Logical Positivism to Logical Empiricism

Logical positivism from the late 1920’s to the mid 1930’s can be viewed as an attempt to blend...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.