Neelam Kumar

Neelam Kumar is currently a Professor, AcSIR and senior scientist at CSIR- National Institute of Science, Technology and Developmental Studies, new Delhi, India. Kumar has recently edited two books, Women and Science in India, Oxford University Press, 2009, New Delhi, and Gender and Science: Studies across Cultures, Cambridge University Press, 2012, India. 

Dates of Visit: 9/05/2014 - 24/06/2014

Email: N. Kumar6@lse.ac.uk

Project Title

Psychology of Science and Karl Popper:  Revisiting the Connection

Project Description:

This project aims to explore the possible connection between Karl Popper and psychology of science. Popper, who is often considered as one of the most important philosophers of science, had associations with the discipline of psychology in his early years. In 1928, Popper received his Ph.D. for a dissertation titled ‘On the Problem of Method in the Psychology of Thinking’. Popper was associated with Würzburg school of psychology, especially the psychologies of Külpe, Selz and Bühler. However, there was a change in Popper’s interest from the psychology of discovery to an objectivist epistemology — that is, to the logic of discovery, which he himself acknowledged. Popper turned away from psychology as early as 1930 and moved towards philosophy. In what wayspsychology influenced Popper’s philosophy of science? Often it is considered that he later became one of the most outspoken opponents of a psychological approach to science.  Could he ever return to psychology again during his professional career? Popper's philosophy of knowledge is taken as a critique of psychologism. Can Popper’s philosophy of science be of any relevance to psychology of science as a sub-discipline of social science? Does Popper get adequate citations in the works of psychologists? It appears that only a few psychological studies have been devoted to Karl Popper. Are there some writings in psychology by Karl Popper which remains neglected, but could be of important relevance to the psychology of science?

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