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Stephen Pepper, World Hypotheses and the Structure of Metapsychology

Pepper’s world hypotheses (1998)

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Who or what determines whether a new theory is "scientific"?

N2 - The challenge of creating one medicine will require the integration of a wealth of data and theories. In 1942, Stephen C. Pepper published a seminal book, World Hypotheses, that sought to explain how people create hypotheses about the world. Pepper proposed that there were four basic world hypotheses: (1) formistic (the hypothesis that nature exists as categories), (2) mechanistic (the hypothesis that nature obeys cause-effect relationships), (3) contextual (the hypothesis that processes in nature are relative and context dependent), and (4) organismic (the hypothesis that processes in nature reflect interactive relationships in systems). Most Western theories of health implicitly adopt one or more of these foundational hypotheses. The authors propose that there are four additional world hypotheses: (5) implicit process (the hypothesis that nature consists of invisible forces and information, such as energy and consciousness), (6) circular causality (the hypothesis that nature consists of circulating interactions that inherently change over time), (7) creative unfolding (the hypothesis that processes in nature reflect flexible designs or plans that have adaptive function), and (8) integrative diversity (the hypothesis that phenomena in nature reflect complex integrations of diverse processes). Many theories in mind-body medicine and complementary and alternative medicine implicitly adopt hypotheses 5 through 8. The task of developing a comprehensive theory of mind-body medicine in particular, and integrative medicine in general, may require the creative integration of all eight world hypotheses.

World hypotheses: A study in evidence

In thehistory of science, the world views of the investigators determine to agreat extent the questions they ask, the hypotheses they take into account,the experiments they carry out and the weight they attribute to the verificationor falsification of these hypotheses.

World Hypotheses: A Study in Evidence [Stephen C

Pepper's World Hypothesis work - The Journal of Mind and Behavior Volume 3, Number 4, Autumn 1982, Special Issue Part 2.

Popper’s critique of both historicism and holism is balanced, on thepositive side, by his affirmation of the ideals of individualism andmarket economics and his strong defence of the open society—theview, again, that a society is equivalent to the sum of its members,that the actions of the members of society serve to fashion and toshape it, and that the social consequences of intentional actions arevery often, and very largely, unintentional. This part of his socialphilosophy was influenced by the economist Friedrich Hayek, who workedwith him at the London School of Economics and who was a life-longfriend. Popper advocated what he (rather unfortunately) terms‘piecemeal social engineering’ as the central mechanismfor social planning—for in utilising this mechanism intentionalactions are directed to the achievement of one specific goal at atime, which makes it possible to monitor the situation to determinewhether adverse unintended effects of intentional actions occur, inorder to correct and readjust when this proves necessary. This, ofcourse, parallels precisely the critical testing of theories inscientific investigation. This approach to social planning (which isexplicitly based upon the premise that we do not, because we cannot,know what the future will be like) encourages attempts to put rightwhat is problematic in society—generally-acknowledged socialills—rather than attempts to impose some preconceived idea ofthe ‘good’ upon society as a whole. For this reason, in agenuinely open society piecemeal social engineering goes hand-in-handfor Popper with negative utilitarianism (the attempt tominimise the amount of misery, rather than, as with positiveutilitarianism, the attempt to maximise the amount of happiness). Thestate, he holds, should concern itself with the task of progressivelyformulating and implementing policies designed to deal with the socialproblems which actually confront it, with the goal of eliminatinghuman misery and suffering to the highest possible degree. Thepositive task of increasing social and personal happiness, bycontrast, can and should be left to individual citizens (whomay, of course, act collectively to this end), who, unlike the state,have at least a chance of achieving this goal, but who in a freesociety are rarely in a position to systematically subvert the rightsof others in the pursuit of idealised objectives. Thus in the finalanalysis for Popper the activity of problem-solving is as definitiveof our humanity at the level of social and political organisation asit is at the level of science, and it is this key insight whichunifies and integrates the broad spectrum of his thought.

Popper’s arguments against holism, and in particular his argumentsagainst the propriety of large-scale planning of social structures,are interconnected with his demonstration of the logical shortcomingsof the presuppositions of historicism. Popper points out that suchplanning (which actually took place, of course, in the USSR, in China,and in Cambodia, for example, under totalitarian regimes whichaccepted forms of historicism and holism) is necessarily structured inthe light of the predictions which have been made about future historyon the basis of the so-called ‘laws’ which historicistssuch as Marx and Mao claimed to have discovered in relation to humanhistory. Accordingly, recognition that there are no such laws, andthat unconditional predictions about future history are based, atbest, upon nothing more substantial than the observation of contingenttrends, shows that, from a purely theoretical as well as a practicalpoint of view, large-scale social planning is indeed a recipe fordisaster. In summary, unconditional large-scale planning for thefuture is theoretically as well as practically misguided, because,again, part of what we are planning for is our future knowledge, andour future knowledge is not something which we can in principle nowpossess—we cannot adequately plan for unexpected advances in ourfuture knowledge, or for the effects which such advances will haveupon society as a whole. The acceptance of historical indeterminism,then, as the only philosophy of history which is commensurate with aproper understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge, fatallyundermines both historicism and holism.

World Hypotheses: A Study in Evidence by Stephen C. Pepper

01/08/1972 · World Hypotheses has 30 ratings and 2 reviews

One cannotbe a specialist in all domains, and what penetrates into the popular culturefrom the sciences and the arts is often completely alienated from the specialists'practice.

(d) The fourth and final step is the testing of a theory by theempirical application of the conclusions derived from it. If suchconclusions are shown to be true, the theory is corroborated (butnever verified). If the conclusion is shown to be false, then this istaken as a signal that the theory cannot be completely correct(logically the theory is falsified), and the scientist begins hisquest for a better theory. He does not, however, abandon thepresent theory until such time as he has a better one to substitutefor it. More precisely, the method of theory-testing is as follows:certain singular propositions are deduced from the newtheory—these are predictions, and of special interest are thosepredictions which are ‘risky’ (in the sense of beingintuitively implausible or of being startlingly novel) andexperimentally testable. From amongst the latter the scientist nextselects those which are not derivable from the current or existingtheory—of particular importance are those which contradict thecurrent or existing theory. He then seeks a decision as regards theseand other derived statements by comparing them with the results ofpractical applications and experimentation. If the new predictions areborne out, then the new theory is corroborated (and the oldone falsified), and is adopted as a working hypothesis. If thepredictions are not borne out, then they falsify the theory from whichthey are derived. Thus Popper retains an element of empiricism: forhim scientific method does involve making an appeal to experience. Butunlike traditional empiricists, Popper holds that experience cannotdetermine theory (i.e., we do not argue or infer fromobservation to theory), it rather delimits it: it shows whichtheories are false, not which theories are true. Moreover, Popper alsorejects the empiricist doctrine that empirical observations are, orcan be, infallible, in view of the fact that they are themselvestheory-laden.

could be viewed through the distinctive perspective of the root metaphor of a world hypothesis
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A world hypothesis is a way to explain ..

In 1942, Stephen C. Pepper published a seminal book, World Hypothesis, that sought to explain how people create hypotheses about the world. Pepper proposed that there were four basic world hypotheses: (1) formistic (the hypothesis that nature exists as categories); (2) mechanistic (the hypothesis that nature obeys cause-effect relationships); (3) contextual (the hypothesis that processes in nature are relative and context dependent); and (4) organismic (the hypothesis that processes in nature reflect interactive relationships in systems). Most classical and modern theories of science and medicine implicitly adopt one or more of these foundational hypotheses. In 1997, Schwartz and Russek proposed that there were four additional world hypotheses: (5) implicit process (the hypothesis that nature consists of invisible forces and information, such as energy and consciousness); (6) circular causality (the hypothesis that nature consists of circulating interactions that inherently change over time); (7) creative unfolding (the hypothesis that processes in nature reflect flexible designs or plans that have adaptive function); and (8) integrative diversity (the hypothesis that phenomena in nature reflect complex integrations of diverse processes). Theories in postmodern and integrative science implicitly adopt hypotheses 5 through 8. However, underlying the creation of the eight world hypotheses is an implicit meta-world hypothesis which we term loving openness (the hypothesis that phenomena in nature reflect levels of openness and caring). This paper briefly explains the origin and implications of the loving openness meta-world hypothesis for understanding mind-body healing in medicine, the reordering of values in integrative medicine (with a primary focus on caring with humility), and the fostering of a new vision for twenty-first century frontier science, spirituality, and medicine.

Concept And Quality A World Hypothesis PDF Download

AB - The challenge of creating one medicine will require the integration of a wealth of data and theories. In 1942, Stephen C. Pepper published a seminal book, World Hypotheses, that sought to explain how people create hypotheses about the world. Pepper proposed that there were four basic world hypotheses: (1) formistic (the hypothesis that nature exists as categories), (2) mechanistic (the hypothesis that nature obeys cause-effect relationships), (3) contextual (the hypothesis that processes in nature are relative and context dependent), and (4) organismic (the hypothesis that processes in nature reflect interactive relationships in systems). Most Western theories of health implicitly adopt one or more of these foundational hypotheses. The authors propose that there are four additional world hypotheses: (5) implicit process (the hypothesis that nature consists of invisible forces and information, such as energy and consciousness), (6) circular causality (the hypothesis that nature consists of circulating interactions that inherently change over time), (7) creative unfolding (the hypothesis that processes in nature reflect flexible designs or plans that have adaptive function), and (8) integrative diversity (the hypothesis that phenomena in nature reflect complex integrations of diverse processes). Many theories in mind-body medicine and complementary and alternative medicine implicitly adopt hypotheses 5 through 8. The task of developing a comprehensive theory of mind-body medicine in particular, and integrative medicine in general, may require the creative integration of all eight world hypotheses.

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