more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 17508

[catalogued under 14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 2. Aim of Science]

Full Idea

Scientists are not trying to maximise some formal property of 'simplicity'; they are trying to maximise truth.

Gist of Idea

Science aims at truth, not at 'simplicity'


Hilary Putnam (Explanation and Reference [1973], III B)

Book Reference

Putnam,Hilary: 'Mind Language and Reality: Papers vol 2' [CUP 1975], p.212

A Reaction

This seems to be aimed at the Mill-Ramsey-Lewis account of laws of nature, as the simplest axioms of experience. I'm with Putnam (as he was at this date).