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Re: orion-list Kuhn and Popper
Dear Stephen Goranson,
> That the two deceased scholars had disagreed quite deeply about the
> juxtaposition of Kuhn type paradigm shifts and Popper type falsifiability
> is documented fact.
Your statements are very imprecise as to the nature and scope of their
disagreement. Kuhn's discussion of falsification as pp. 77-79, 146-47
appears quite clear in his acceptance of the notion of falsifiability as
central to science. His main disagreements with Popper, as far as I can
tell, are that (1) Kuhn's research as a historian of science raises doubts
"that scientists reject paradigms because confronted with anomalies or
counterinstances" [i.e. falsification], and (2) falsification must be
accompanied by what amounts to substantial verification of a new paradigm
before an old paradigm is abandoned (Popper does not believe in scientific
verification). See Kuhn, 146-47, 186, 205.
> So is the unhappiness, even perhaps disdain, sometimes
> expressed by Kuhn about various uses of his paradigm shift analysis
> of hard science. Do I need to document this or are you already aware?
Your assertion is not reflected in his official statement on this subject
at pp. 208-10. Documentation would be helpful and welcome. I have only read
the two authors' major books.
> ...Have you checked that with Vermes, Milik, Puech,
> Stegemann, et al. who insist Jonathan Maccabee was the wicked priest?
My subjective impression is that these views have quietly died in the
face of the widely accepted date for the foundation of Qumran to c. 100-80
BCE, following J. Magness.
> ...J. Magness and others have revised de Vaux's chronology. Is
> that not progress, without revolution?
This is indeed progress, and not yet revolution. Yet this progress, by
undermining the evidentiary basis for the current paradigm (certainly as
originally argued by Vermes, Cross et al), portends a growing (though largely
unacknowledged) crisis in the field. The basic paradigm alleges an
anti-Hasmonean content in the scrolls, one which was originally posited to be
a reaction to the appointment of a Hasmonean high priest (i.e., Jonathan).
R. de Vaux's high chronology of Qumran stood as support for this theory. But
one can no longer claim that Qumran was established in response to the high
priesthood of Jonathan (or Simon). Yet the anti-Hasmonean stance of the
scrolls is still argued despite the shrinking evidentiary base. One might
also point to the much-debated Hymn to Jonathan as another anomaly (among
several) which has prompted various ad hoc explanations in order to harmonize
with the current paradigm. Such erosion of evidence and patch-work
explanation of anomalies are characteristic of the early stages of
paradigmatic crisis as described by Kuhn.
> ...if the Teacher is Judah the Essene, then he is mentioned
> in Josephus, teaching. Yet such a Teacher might hypothetically not be
> mentioned by Josephus, and still have existed.
There is of course zero correlation, and in fact a negative correlation,
between Judah the Essene, safely teaching in the Hasmonean temple, with the
Teacher, allegedly outspoken opponent and exile of the Hasmonean regime.
Obviously, teachers could be found at all times among Essenes, Pharisees,
Sadducees, Dositheans, Elkasites, etc.
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