Foresight and Understanding : An enquiry into the Aims of Science

Toulmin, Stephen

This book originated in the thirty-fourth series of Mahlon Powell lectures, delivered at Indiana University in March 1960. To know what science is, what it does, and how it affects other manifestations of mind is a task for the man who is at once critic, historian, and philosopher, and who has also been trained in one of the sciences as well as mathematics. Professor Toulmin, who is qualified in these ways, has the added merit of being a lucid and lively writer. Whether one agrees or not with his strongly reasoned conclusions, one feels on reading him that he is advancing the cause of understanding. His book in fact is open to only one objection, which is that it is too short. The present enquiry attempts something very hard -- to focus on science something of the insider's judgment and the outsider's breadth of vision alike.

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