Creatively Undecided: Toward A History And Philosophy Of Scientific Agency by Menachem FischCreatively Undecided: Toward A History And Philosophy Of Scientific Agency by Menachem Fisch

Creatively Undecided: Toward A History And Philosophy Of Scientific Agency

byMenachem Fisch

Paperback | November 27, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 251 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper are believed by many who study science to be the two key thinkers of the twentieth century. Each addressed the question of how scientific theories change, but they came to different conclusions.
By turning our attention to ambiguity and indecision in science, Menachem Fisch, in Creatively Undecided, offers a new way to look at how scientific understandings change. Following Kuhn, Fisch argues that scientific practice depends on the framework in which it is conducted, but he also shows that those frameworks can be understood as the possible outcomes of the rational deliberation that Popper viewed as central to theory change. How can a scientist subject her standards to rational appraisal if that very act requires the use of those standards? The way out, Fisch argues, is by looking at the incentives scientists have to create alternative frameworks in the first place. Fisch argues that while science can only be transformed from within, by people who have standing in the field, criticism from the outside is essential. We may not be able to be sufficiently self-critical on our own, but trusted criticism from outside, even if resisted, can begin to change our perspective—at which point transformative self-criticism becomes a real option. 
Menachem Fisch is the Joseph and Ceil Mazer Professor of History and Philosophy of Science and director of the Center for Religious and Interreligious Studies Project at Tel Aviv University.
Title:Creatively Undecided: Toward A History And Philosophy Of Scientific AgencyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:November 27, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022651451X

ISBN - 13:9780226514512

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


Part One: I (Orientations)
1.                     Two Beginnings: An Overture in the First Person

Part Two: We (Philosophers)
2.                     The Philosophical Framework
3.                     The Problem for Science
4.                     Toward a Narratology of Scientific Framework Transitions

Interlude         The Story So Far and That to Come

Part Three: They (a History)
5.                     Peacock, Babbage, and the “Heresy of the Dots”
6.                     Creatively Undecided: The Making of Peacock’s Two Algebras
7.                     Peacock’s Impact


Editorial Reviews

"According to Fisch’s argument in this book, scientists are critical and as such require a detached attitude towards their intellectual productions; however, scientists are also attached to their intellectual productions as integral to their self-identity, and hence suspend criticism for commitment. Fisch’s own approach to the historiography and philosophy of science is binocular – seeing the world of science through both poles of the detached-attached spectrum; or bi-cognitive – interpreting the world of science with the two dimensions of detached/attached axes for Fisch’s intellectual coordinate system for the intellectual biographies of scientists in their specific scientific communities."