Ideas from 'Conjectures and Refutations' by Karl Popper [1963], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Conjectures and Refutations' by Popper,Karl [RKP 1965,-]].

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9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 11. Essence of Artefacts
Human artefacts may have essences, in their purposes
                        Full Idea: One might adopt the view that certain things of our own making, such as clocks, may well be said to have 'essences', viz. their 'purposes', and what makes them serve these purposes.
                        From: Karl Popper (Conjectures and Refutations [1963], 3.3 n17)
                        A reaction: This is from one of the arch-opponents of essentialism. Could we take him on a slippery slope into essences for evolved creatures, or their organs? His argument says admitting an essence for a clock prevents using it for another purpose.
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / b. Ultimate explanation
Science does not aim at ultimate explanations
                        Full Idea: I contest the essentialist doctrine that science aims at ultimate explanations, one which cannot be further explained, and which is in no need of any further explanation.
                        From: Karl Popper (Conjectures and Refutations [1963], 3.3)
                        A reaction: If explanations are causal, this seems to a plea for an infinite regress of causes, which is an odd thing to espouse. Are the explanations verbal descriptions or things in the world. There can be no perfect descriptions, but there may be ultimate things.
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism
Galilean science aimed at true essences, as the ultimate explanations
                        Full Idea: The third of the Galilean doctrines of science is that the best, the truly scientific theories, describe the 'essences' or the 'essential natures' of things - the realities which lie behind the appearances. They are ultimate explanations.
                        From: Karl Popper (Conjectures and Refutations [1963], 3.3)
                        A reaction: This seems to be the seventeenth century doctrine which was undermined by Humeanism, and hence despised by Popper, but is now making a comeback, with a new account of essence and necessity.
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
Essentialist views of science prevent further questions from being raised
                        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?'
                        From: Karl Popper (Conjectures and Refutations [1963], 3.3)
                        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.