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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 11, 1985

Harold H. Kuester
Pages 521-530

The Dependence of Stephen Toulmin’s Epistemology on a Description/Prescription Dichotomy

Toulmin is one of the three or four best-known philosophers of science who, beginning in the late 1950’s, attempted a thoroughgoing criticism of logical positivism (the philosophy of science which predominated at that time). The paper argues that Toulmin depends upon the same sort of theory-observation dichotomy which resulted in many of the difficulties which bedeviled logical positivism. Thus Toulmin’s criticism is neither as radical nor as trouble-free as many suppose.

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