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Encyclopedia > David Stove
The neutrality of this article is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.
Western Philosophy
20th-century philosophy
Name: David Stove
Birth: 1927
Death: 1994
School/tradition: Australian Realism
Main interests: Philosophy of Science, metaphysics
Notable ideas: "The Gem"
Influences: John Anderson

David Charles Stove (19271994), was an Australian philosopher of science, and essayist in the popular press. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... The 20th century brought with it upheavals that produced a series of conflicting developments within philosophy over the basis of knowledge and the validity of various absolutes. ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... Philosophy of science is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, including the formal sciences, natural sciences, and social sciences. ... Plato and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome). ... In philosophy, idealism is any theory positing the primacy of spirit, mind, or language over matter. ... John Anderson (1893-1962) was a Scottish born philosopher who occupied the post of Challis Professor of Philosophy at Sydney University in the years 1927-1958. ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... Philosophy of science is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, including the formal sciences, natural sciences, and social sciences. ... Mass media is a term used to denote, as a class, that section of the media specifically conceived and designed to reach a very large audience (typically at least as large as the whole population of a nation state). ...


His work in philosophy of science included detailed criticisms of David Hume's inductive skepticism, as well as the alleged irrationalism of his disciplinary contemporaries Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, and Paul Feyerabend. He also marshalled a positive response to the problem of induction in his 1986 work, The Rationality of Induction. David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH, MA, Ph. ... Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ... Lakatos – book by Brendan Larvor. ... Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 - February 11, 1994) was an Austrian-born philosopher of science, who later lived in England, the United States, New Zealand, Italy, and finally Switzerland. ... The problem of induction is the philosophical issue involved in deciding the place of induction in determining empirical truth. ...


Stove was also a staunch critic of sociobiology, going as far as describing the field as a new religion in which genes play the role of gods [1] Sociobiology is a synthesis of scientific disciplines that explains behaviour in all species by considering the evolutionary advantages of social behaviours. ...

Contents

Life

David Stove was born on 15 September 1927, at Moree, New South Wales, a small Australian country town. He later lived in Newcastle, New South Wales before studying philosophy at the University of Sydney in the mid-to-late 1940's. Here, like many Australian philosophers of his generation, he came under the influence of Professor John Anderson. He absorbed Anderson's realism but was later to shake off other elements of Anderson's influence. Moree is a large town in northern New South Wales, Australia. ... Newcastle CBD Newcastle is the sixth largest and the second oldest city in Australia and the second largest in the state of New South Wales. ... The University of Sydney, established in Sydney in 1850, is the oldest university in Australia. ... John Anderson (1893-1962) was a Scottish born philosopher who occupied the post of Challis Professor of Philosophy at Sydney University in the years 1927-1958. ...


Early on in his undergraduate career Stove was part of the considerable political/bohemian set at Sydney University (some of whom later became part of the "Sydney Push"). Stove flirted with Marxism at this stage but soon abandoned it when he discovered "what real intellectual work was". He eventually became a conservative and was later to clash with some of his former comrades. The Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing intellectual sub-culture in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early 70s. ... Marxism refers to the philosophy and social theory based on Karl Marxs work on one hand, and to the political practice based on Marxist theory on the other hand (namely, parts of the First International during Marxs time, communist parties and later states). ...


He obtained a lectureship at the University of New South Wales (in Sydney) in 1952, and in 1960 became lecturer at the University of Sydney where he eventually became Associate Professor. In the early 1970's his department became infamous for its internal battles between Marxists and conservatives, these struggles receiving national press coverage. Stove and David Armstrong both strongly resisted what they perceived as attempts by Marxists to take over the department and the result was that the department had to be split into two new departments. Stove continued to speak out about what he felt were abuses by Marxists and feminists in the University, whereupon he was warned that disciplinary proceedings against him would be taken by the University if he did not keep quiet. Disenchanted with what was happening in University life, he took early retirement in 1987. The University of New South Wales or UNSW is a university in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. ... David Malet Armstrong, often D. M. Armstrong, (1926 - ) is an Australian philosopher of mind, and scientific metaphysician. ...


Stove had long ago moved out of the city centre to the edge of the Sydney basin at Mulgoa. He was devoted to gardening and preserving the wilderness around him, although he was sometimes critical of environmentalists. His other great loves in life were his family, Handel, old books, and cricket. He was a smoker, and he developed debilitating esophageal cancer in the early 1990s. His wife had recently suffered a massive stroke (although she outlived him by seven years). After a painful struggle with the disease he committed suicide by hanging on 2 June 1994, aged 66. Strangely, he had asked many of his close companions "what the best way to kill himself was"; numerous suggestions were given to him. HANDEL was the code-name for the UKs National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. ... For the insect, see Cricket (insect). ... The cigarette is the most common method of smoking tobacco. ... Esophageal cancer is malignancy of the esophagus. ... Germans dancing on the Berlin Wall in late 1989, the symbol of the cold war divide falls down as the world unites in the 1990s. ... Suicide (from Latin sui caedere, to kill oneself) is the act of willfully ending ones own life. ... June 2 is the 153rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (154th in leap years), with 212 days remaining. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ...


Reputation

Stove is best known for scathing attacks on a variety of concepts, especially Popperian falsificationism, Marxism, feminism, and postmodernism. Stove remains controversial. Some regard him as one of the great and witty defenders of common sense, who managed to defeat inductive skepticism. However others are skeptical of his arguments for induction and his criticisms of the philosophies of contemporaries Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, and Paul Feyerabend, while his extreme language has led others to regard Stove as a mere reactionary and a controversialist. Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH, MA, Ph. ... Marxism refers to the philosophy and social theory based on Karl Marxs work on one hand, and to the political practice based on Marxist theory on the other hand (namely, parts of the First International during Marxs time, communist parties and later states). ... Feminism is a collection of social theories, political movements and moral philosophies, largely motivated or concerned with the liberation of women. ... Andy Warhols iconic Marilyn Monroe Postmodernism is an idea that has been extremely controversial and difficult to define among scholars, intellectuals, and historians, because the term implies to many that the modern historical period has passed. ... Look up induction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH, MA, Ph. ... Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ... Lakatos – book by Brendan Larvor. ... Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 - February 11, 1994) was an Austrian-born philosopher of science, who later lived in England, the United States, New Zealand, Italy, and finally Switzerland. ...


Stove also wrote articles on a variety of topics for non-philosophical magazines. As he got older many of his articles and books became increasingly irreverent. Stove achieved increased prominence in North America in the early 2000's when Roger Kimball published a collection of his essays and since his death in 1994 four collections of his writings have been published. Roger Kimball is a conservative U.S art critic, essayist, and social commentator. ...


Philosophy of Science, Induction and Probability

Stove's starting point in philosophy of science was the Humean argument for inductive skepticism. Stove was a great admirer of David Hume but thought that this argument (which some contemporary Hume scholars would hesitate to attribute to Hume) was not only fallacious but harmful in its effects, and that in fact it was one of the causes (though not the only one) of the "modern nervousness". Consequently, Stove took it as his main task to refute Hume's inductive skepticism. There were two aspects to this task. The first was negative - to show that Hume's argument failed. The second was positive - to provide a justification of induction. David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... Induction or inductive reasoning, sometimes called inductive logic, is the process of reasoning in which the premises of an argument support the conclusion, but do not ensure it. ...


Stove's argument for the negative task was this. Consider a claim such as "All ravens are black". Hume argued that we don't know this a priori and that it cannot be entailed from necessary truths. Nor can it be deduced from our observations of ravens. We can only derive it from these observations if we add a premise to the effect that the unobserved is like the observed. But we have no a priori justification of this premise, and any attempt to derive it by empirical means would be circular. So Hume concluded that induction is unjustified. The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy to distinguish between two different types of propositional knowledge. ... Look up induction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Stove argued that Hume was presuming "deductivism" (Stove's best-known expression of this point was in a paper titled 'Hume, Probability and Induction'). This is the view, explicitly or implicitly accepted by many modern philosophers, that the only valid and sound arguments are ones that entail their conclusions. But if we accept that premises can support a conclusion to a greater (or lesser) degree without entailing it, then we have no need to add a premise to the effect that the observed will be like the unobserved - the observational premises themselves can provide strong support for the conclusion, and make it likely to be true. Stove argued that nothing in Hume's argument shows that this cannot be the case and so Hume's argument does not go through, unless one can defend deductivism. This argument wasn't entirely original with Stove but it had never been articulated so well before. Since Stove put it forward some philosophers have come to accept that it defeats Hume's argument.


The positive task was attempted by Stove in Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism (1973) and later in The Rationality of Induction (1986). Stove's principal positive argument for induction was presented in the latter book and was developed from an argument put forward by one of Stove's heroes, the late Donald Cary Williams (formerly Professor at Harvard) in his book The Ground of Induction. Stove argued that it is a statistical truth that the great majority of the possible subsets of specified size (as long as this size is not too small) are similar to the larger population to which they belong. For example, the majority of the subsets which contain 3000 ravens which you can form from the raven population are similar to the population itself (and this applies no matter how large the raven population is, as long as it is not infinite). Consequenlty, Stove argued that if you find yourself with such a subset then the chances are that this subset is one of the ones that are similar to the population, and so you are justified in concluding that it is likely that this subset 'matches' the population reasonably closely. The situation would be analogous to drawing a ball out of a barrel of balls, 99% of which are red. In such a case you have a 99% chance of drawing a red ball. Similarly, when getting a sample of ravens the probability is very high that the sample is one of the matching or 'representative' ones. So as long as you have no reason to think that your sample is one unrepresentative you are justified in thinking that probably (although not certainly) that it is. Look up induction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ...


Stove also worked on falsificationism, the raven paradox, grue (color) and inductive logic. This page discusses how a theory or assertion is falsifiable (disprovable opp: verifiable), rather than the non-philosophical use of falsification, meaning counterfeiting. ... A black raven The Raven paradox is a paradox proposed by the German logician Carl Gustav Hempel in the 1940s to illustrate a problem where inductive logic violates intuition. ... Grue is an artificial adjective, coined from green and blue by philosopher Nelson Goodman in one of the seminal works in the philosophy of science, Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. ... This article is about induction in philosophy and logic. ...


Polemics against Popper and other 'irrationalists'

Stove became best known to the wider intellectual community for his attacks on Karl Popper and his falsificationist philosophy of science, as well as the influential philosophies of Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend. His book Popper and After: Four Modern Irrationalists (1982) has been reprinted in two new editions in recent years (under the titles Scientific Irrationalism: Origins of a Postmodern Cult and Anything Goes: Origins of the Cult of Scientific Irrationalism). In it Stove claimed to expose the methods by which Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend managed to make their purportedly untenable philosophies seem respectable. Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH, MA, Ph. ... Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ... Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 - February 11, 1994) was an Austrian-born philosopher of science, who later lived in England, the United States, New Zealand, Italy, and finally Switzerland. ... Imre Lakatos (1922-1974) was a philosopher of mathematics and of science. ...


One such method, Stove claimed, was the "neutralizing of success words". Stove argued that in the philosophies of these authors such things as progress, discovery, evidence and knowledge do not exist and that if this position were stated openly and consistently maintained then few would ever have taken these philosophies seriously. Stove contended that these authors got around this problem by using these success words, but in scare quotes, eg. "knowledge". The fact that these words were used regularly, even if in scare quotes, gave the impression that the view being put forward was somehow not rejecting these concepts.


Another method Stove attributed to Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend was what he called the "sabotaging of logical expressions". This was the practise of robbing logical statements of their logical force by placing them in epistemic contexts; for example, instead of saying "P is a proof for Q" one would say "It is generally believed by scientists that P is a proof for Q". This produces what Stove calls a "ghost logical statement": it gives the impression that serious statements of logic are being made when they are not - all that is really being made are sociological or historical claims which are immune to criticism on logical grounds.


Stove charged Popper with enfant terriblisme, claiming that his work was motivated by levity - the failure to take the truth about the topics under discussion seriously. That Feyerabend is guilty of this sin is obvious even to his supporters (nor does he deny it) - but the accusation against the apparently ultra-serious Popper seems at first glance surprising. Stove nevertheless argued that Popper was a product of the "jazz age", where, in the words of Cole Porter, "day's night today" and vice versa - only that Popper's "jazz age" was played out in the intellectual world rather than at bohemian parties. Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter from Indiana. ...


Kuhn's writings on the other hand are free of levity. Stove said that this is because Kuhn

"is in earnest with irrationalist philosophy of science, while the others are not. He actually believes, what the others only imply and pretend to believe... and he even bids fair, by the immense influence of his writings on 'the rabble without doors', to make irrationalism the majority opinion."

Stove contended that this was the real reason why Popper disliked Kuhn

"the cruellest fate which can overtake enfants-terribles is to awake and find that their avowed opinions have swept the suburbs."

The Plato Cult

The Plato Cult and Other Philosophical Follies (1991) proved to be even more controversial than Popper and After, not least for the fact that its analyses were often as sociological or satirical as they were philosophical. Among the topics that Stove attacked were Nelson Goodman's "worldmaking", external world skepticism and solipsism, Popper again, and Robert Nozick's idea that explanation should replace argument (Stove argued that the distinction was vacuous, and a product of the desire to appear non-coercive). Nelson Goodman (7 August 1906, Somerville, Maryland – 25 November 1998) was an American philosopher, known for his work on counterfactuals, mereology, the problem of induction, and aesthetics. ... In ordinary usage, skepticism or scepticism (Greek: skeptomai, to look about, to consider; see also spelling differences) refers to an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object, the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain, or... The word solipsism (Latin: solus, alone + ipse, self) is used for two related yet distinct concepts: An epistemological position that ones own perceptions are the only things that can be known with certainty. ... Robert Nozick (November 16, 1938 – January 23, 2002) was an American philosopher and Pellegrino University Professor at Harvard University. ...


Stove also harshly criticised philosophical idealism. Stove claimed that what George Berkeley did was to try to derive a non-tautological conclusion from tautological reasoning. He argued that in Berkeley's case the fallacy is not obvious and this is because one premise is ambiguous between one meaning which is tautological and one which is not (but which is logically equivalent to the conclusion). Stove concluded that it was hard to avoid the view that idealism is just a religious substitute. In philosophy, idealism is any theory positing the primacy of spirit, mind, or language over matter. ... Bishop George Berkeley George Berkeley (British English://; Irish English: //) (12 March 1685 – 14 January 1753), also known as Bishop Berkeley, was an influential Irish philosopher whose primary philosophical achievement is the advancement of what has come to be called subjective idealism, summed up in his dictum, Esse est percipi (To... It has been suggested that Logical fallacy be merged into this article or section. ... Within the study of logic, a tautology is a statement containing more than one sub-statement, that is true regardless of the truth values of its parts. ...


About Kant he had this to say: Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ...

"Kant's questions are so strange and arresting that no one who has once heard them ever forgets them. It is just the reverse with his answers to them: no one can ever remember what these are! And there is a simple reason for this: the questions never get answered at all. Once they have served as an excuse for the darkening of sufficient acreage of wood-pulp, they just get lost."

The book ends with Stove claiming to show (in "What Is Wrong With Our Thoughts?") just how easily abstract thought can go wrong, the seemingly endless ways in which it can, and how little we know about these ways. To this end he gave a list of forty propositions about the number 3, all of which he argued demonstrate thought going wrong, and yet we can only say of a few of these what particular "disease of thought" is occurring.


For example:

- Three lies between two and four only by a convention which mathematicians have adopted.
- There is an integer between two and four, but it is not three, and its true name and nature are not to be revealed.
- Three is an incomplete object, only now coming into existence.
- The tie which unites the number three to its properties (such as primeness) is inexplicable.

In the book Stove also coined the phrase Horror Victorianorum ("a horror of the Victorian") to satirise what he perceived as an irrational modernist distaste for Victorian culture. This concept has been taken up within design and art history in order to characterise unthinkingly visceral dislike of Victorian architecture, art and design. Horror Victorianorum (terror of the Victorian) is a term devised by the philosopher David Stove to refer to irrational distaste for, or condemnation of, Victorian culture, art and design. ... This article focuses on the cultural movement labeled modernism or the modern movement. See also: Modernism (Roman Catholicism) or Modernist Christianity; Modernismo for specific art movement(s) in Spain and Catalonia. ... This article is about the academic discipline of art history. ...


Political Philosophy

After youthful flirtation with Marxism Stove abandoned the left. His views were summed-up well in his paper "Why You Should be A Conservative" (reprinted in part as "The Columbus Argument"). His main argument in this paper was that just as there are many more ways to make a television set worse than those which will make it better, so there are many more ways to make society worse than to make it better. If we think otherwise that is only because we have been fed "a one-sided diet of examples", such as Christopher Columbus, Copernicus and Abraham Lincoln rather than Pol Pot, Robespierre, Hitler, and Stalin. So the odds are that a change will make things worse, not better. Hence it is rational to be cautious and conservative about proposed changes. Stove concluded that there is more reason to discourage innovation than encourage it. Christopher Columbus (1451?-1506) was a navigator and maritime explorer credited as the discoverer of the Americas. ... Nicolaus Copernicus (in Latin; Polish Mikołaj Kopernik, German Nikolaus Kopernikus - February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was a Polish astronomer, mathematician and economist who developed a heliocentric (Sun-centered) theory of the solar system in a form detailed enough to make it scientifically useful. ... Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), sometimes called Abe Lincoln and nicknamed Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and the Great Emancipator, was an American politician who served as the 16th President of the United States (1861 to 1865), and the first president from the Republican Party. ... Saloth Sar (May 19, 1925 – April 16, 1998), better known as Pol Pot, was the ruler of the Khmer Rouge and the Prime Minister of Cambodia (officially Democratic Kampuchea during his rule) from 1976 to 1979, having been de facto leader since mid-1975. ... Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, (May 6, 1758–July 28, 1794), known also to his contemporaries as the Incorruptible, is one of the best known of the leaders of the French Revolution. ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვი&#4314...


Stove did not believe that we should never make changes but that proposed changes should not be radical, that they should be very carefully considered, and should have very good supporting evidence on their side before they are implemented. However, according to Stove, current opinion believed the opposite: the very fact that an idea is an innovation is an argument in its favour, and that we even have an obligation to take innovations seriously simply because they are innovations. It was this view, Stove thought, that had predictably led to the chaos of modern life.


Stove also regularly derided the Enlightenment view of progress. This is the view which Keynes attributed to Bertrand Russell: that ... John Maynard Keynes John Maynard Keynes [ˈkeɪns], 1st Baron Keynes of Tilton (June 5, 1883 - April 21, 1946) was an English economist, whose radical ideas had a major impact on modern economic and political thought. ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell OM FRS (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, and mathematician, working mostly in the 20th century. ...

"human affairs were carried on after a most irrational fashion, but that the remedy was quite simple and easy, since all we had to do was to carry them on rationally."

There were many people in modern times, Stove thought, who hold such beliefs - that in the past the world was a dark place run according to foolish principles, but that from now on things will be run properly and the world will be vastly improved as a result. But, he asked, what reason do we have to think that darkness is about to suddenly give way to light? Why is it that we will be so much better at running things than past generations? "Education" is the answer that is often given in reply to this question, but Stove was deeply skeptical about the effectiveness of education in making the world a better place. Stove felt that learning has great value in itself, but unlike Plato did not think that the more educated a ruler is the better he will be at ruling. Plato (ancient Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn, wide, broad-shouldered) (c. ...


Darwinism

In his final years Stove began to examine and criticize Darwinism. This surprised and dismayed many of his supporters who were Darwinists and thought Stove was as well, judging from the way he sometimes spoke. However, Stove's attack on Darwinism was not as radical as it appeared - he accepted evolution was true of all living things, and said he had no objection to natural selection being true of more primitive organisms. What he wanted to attack was the allegedly distorted view of human beings proposed by some "Ultra-Darwinists. For example, W. D. Hamilton, the Oxford biologist and (Richard Dawkins' mentor) famously said that no-one is prepared to sacrifice his life for any single person, but that everyone will sacrifice it for more than two brothers, a claim for which Stove thought was false, or at the very least, unverified. Stove argued that these sorts of strong claims are often made by hard-line sociobiologists, yet they are seldom pointed out even by many of their opponents. (In fairness, Hamilton's comment was made in a pub and is normally seen as being an attempt at a joke, rather than a serious scientific theory about human psychology). Charles Darwin Darwinism is a term for the underlying theory in those ideas of Charles Darwin concerning evolution and natural selection. ... W. D. Hamilton William Donald Bill Hamilton, F.R.S. (1 August 1936 — 7 March 2000) was a British evolutionary biologist, considered one of the greatest evolutionary theorists of the 20th century. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. ...


Stove also argued that leading Darwinists were confused about altruism, often talking as though altruism didn't really exist and was some sort of sham. What they should have said, Stove contended, was that they had explained the origins of altruism. But the damage has been done, according to Stove: many people now share this suspicion about altruism and this has, at least to some degree contributed to the growth of cynicism and selfishness. This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ...


Futhermore, Stove argued that Darwinists have always had difficulties in trying to reconcile their theory with the fact that there appears to be no Darwinian fight for survival in modern times, and Stove harshly criticized what he saw as attempts to patch these perceived holes up. What he calls the 'Cave Men' theory - a view that T. H. Huxley often resorted to - says that while the "Darwinian struggle" no longer occurs in extant human populations it did so amongst cave-men. The 'Hard Man', though, says that there is still a Darwinist struggle for survival going on all around us, only we are blind to it (Stove claimed that Herbert Spencer was a Hard Man). The 'Soft Man' on the other hand never notices the inconsistency. Thomas Huxley Thomas Henry Huxley F.R.S. (May 4, 1825 - June 29, 1895) was a British biologist, known as Darwins Bulldog for his defence of Charles Darwins theory of evolution. ... Extant means still existing. It is the opposite of extinct, and can be applied to species, cultures and works of culture (e. ... Herbert Spencer. ...


Stove also claimed that the simple Malthusian view of population that many Darwinists accept is not true of humans - humans do not continue expanding in population until they have eaten up all of their food supplies which then results in massive deaths from starvation. In fact, the population growth of richer nations is typically slower than that of poorer nations. (This sort of view has been defended in more recent years by population economists such as Julian Lincoln Simon.) The Rev. ... This article is about the economist Julian Simon. ...


His essays on Darwinism were collected in the book Darwinian Fairytales.


Stove's contrariness

Stove held many views contrary to what the majority of society finds acceptable. Two particularly inflamatory examples are "The Intellectual Capacity of Women" and "Racial and Other Antagonisms" (both appear in Cricket versus Republicanism and Against the Idols of the Age). In the former he argued inductively that women are "on the whole" intellectually inferior to men. Stove claimed that historically there have been very few women of high intellectual achievement and that there is no good argument to suggest that this does not reflect the innate capacity of females. In "Racial and Other Antagonisms" Stove asserted that racism is not a form of prejudice but common-knowledge: To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... This article may contain original research or unverified claims. ...

"Almost everyone unites in declaring "racism" false and detestable. Yet absolutely everyone knows it is true."

References

[2] Longer entry mostly by Scott Campbell


A selected bibliography

Books


Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism, Oxford: Clarendon, 1973.


Popper and After: Four Modern Irrationalists, Oxford: Pergamon, 1982. (Reprinted as Scientific Irrationalism, New Brunswick: Transaction, 2001; and as Anything Goes: Origins of the Cult of Scientific Irrationalism, Macleay Press, Sydney, 1998.)


The Rationality of Induction, Oxford: Clarendon, 1986.


The Plato Cult and Other Philosophical Follies, Oxford: Blackwell, 1991.


Cricket versus Republicanism, ed. James Franklin & R. J. Stove, Sydney: Quakers Hill Press, 1995.


Darwinian Fairytales, Aldershot: Avebury Press, 1995, repr. New York: Encounter Books, 2006. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Against the Idols of the Age, ed. Roger Kimball, New Brunswick (US) and London (UK): Transaction, 1999.


On Enlightenment, ed. Andrew Irvine, New Brunswick (US) and London (UK): Transaction, 2002.


Articles (some of these appear in the collections above):


'Hume, probability, and induction', Philosophical Review 74, 1965, 160-177.


'Hempel's paradox', Dialogue 4, 1966, 444-455.


'Relevance and the ravens'(with C. A. Hooker), British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 18, 1968, 305-315.


'Deductivism', Australasian Journal of Philosophy 48, 1970, 76-98.


'Misconditionalisation', Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50, 1972, 173-183.


'Why should probability be the guide of life?', in D. W. Livingston & D. T. King, Hume: A Re-Evaluation, New York, 1976, pp. 50-68.


'Popper on scientific statements', Philosophy 53, 1978, 81-88.


'How Popper's philosophy began', Philosophy 57, 1982, 381-387.


'Paralytic epistemology, or the soundless scream', New Ideas in Psychology 2, 1984, 21-24.


'Karl Popper and the Jazz Age', Encounter 65 (1), June 1985, 65-74.


'A farewell to arts: Marxism, semiotics and feminism', Quadrant 30 (5), May, 1986, 8-11.


'The Columbus argument', Commentary 84 (6), 1987, 57-58.


'Righting wrongs' Commentary 85(1), January 1988, 57-59.


'D'Holbach's dream: the central claim of the Enlightenment', Quadrant 33 (12) December 1989, 28-31.


`The intellectual capacity of women', Proceedings of The Russellian Society 15, 1990, (reprinted after his death in Cricket versus Republicanism).


'A new religion', Philosophy 67, 1992, 233-240.


'So you think you are a Darwinian?', Philosophy 69, 1994, 267-77.


External links

Stove's literary executor, James Franklin, has published a large amount of Stove's work online (here), including links to two complete books: A literary executor is a person with decision-making power in respect of the literary estate of an author who has died. ...


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David Stove - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3493 words)
Stove and David Armstrong both strongly resisted what they perceived as attempts by Marxists to take over the department and the result was that the department had to be split into two new departments.
Stove was a great admirer of David Hume but thought that this argument (which many contemporary Hume scholars would hesitate to attribute to Hume) was not only fallacious but harmful in its effects, and that in fact it was one of the causes (though not the only one) of the 'modern nervousness'.
Stove also claimed that the simple Malthusian view of population that many Darwinists accept is not true of humans - humans do not continue expanding in population until they have eaten up all of their food supplies which then results in massive deaths from starvation.
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