Reading Guide #21

This was dawins theory of inheritance that he

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Unformatted text preview: ilosopher of science, and historian of science. He was not a Newtonian empiricist. In a style of thinking that owed some of its features to the 18th century German philosopher Immauel Kant, Whewell believed that human cognition played such a pivotal role in determining what we observe that the notion of a pure, objective observation was meaningless. For Whewell, human minds navigate the world by routinely and constantly forming hypotheses, which they then subject to the test of experience by using these hypotheses in explanations and predictions. Moreover, like Kant, Whewell believed there were certain features of the world that were known not through observation but a priori (prior to experience) because of the ways in which the mind had to structure observation in order for our observations to be meaningful at all, e.g. there are features of space that are concepts that humans much have prior to experiencing any object as being “in space.” Whewell and John Stuart Mill (the contemporary heir of the long line of British empiricists – Bacon, Locke, Newton, Herschell) had heated...
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