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Conversations about Science and Society: Interrogating the Rules of Science

A public online symposium
May 12, 2021 - 7:00pm

on line Zoom meeting

Join us for a one-hour participatory discussion on The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science by Michael Strevens (Philosophy, NYU), which provocatively questions our understanding of how scientific reasoning works. Why are the sciences so powerful in dissecting nature’s properties? Is there a reason it took such a long time in human history to realize this power? Rather than falsification or paradigms, Strevens claims—using historical examples and contemporary observations—that scientific success is anchored in ignoring everything but “the iron rule of explanation.” The unreasonably close-minded nature of the rule turns out to be the secret to its success, channeling all scientific efforts into empirical observation and experimentation. However, there are questions about whether all of scientific inquiry can be boiled down to a single maxim. Could Strevens be wrong? The stakes are high because politicians, commercial interests, and even scientists themselves often see things very differently.

Hosted and moderated by Professor Alan C. Love, John Dolan Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Minnesota. 

Free to attend, registration required. 

May 12, 7pm Central Time

Attendance will be limited to fifteen participants to allow for engaging conversation. 

Register to Attend

Participants are encouraged to read some or all of the book in advance. Short on time? Review this summary of the main thesis!