Science’s irrational origins

01 January 2021 Vol 371, Issue 6524


Books et al.
Science’s irrational origins
By Itai Yanai, Martin J. Lercher
Science01 Jan 2021 : 37 Restricted Access
Disputes in modern science are settled with empiricism alone, an approach early scholars would have questioned
What is the scientific method, and what makes it the most efficient approach for generating insight? In The Knowledge Machine, Michael Strevens argues that to answer this question, we must acknowledge the role played by the undisciplined and emotional nature of the humans who carry it out. The book takes readers on a whirlwind tour through the history of science, rendering Arthur Eddington, Louis Pasteur, G. G. Simpson, Lord Kelvin, and many others as “warm-blooded organisms, whose enthusiasms, hopes, and fears mold their thinking far below the threshold of awareness.”