Some Reflections on Whewell’s Scientific Methodology

Golam Azam


In this essay the focus will be given on the most important philosophical aspect
of Whewell's works: his scientific methodology, including his views of
induction, confirmation, and necessary truth; his view of the relation between
scientific practice, history of science, and philosophy of science. Whewell’s
scientific methodology deserves equal importance and significance like that of
Newton, Mill, Brodie, Eamst Mach, Pierre Duhem and so on of the
contemporary methodologists. His philosophy of science was attacked by John
Stuart Mill in his A System o f Logic, causing an interesting and fruitful debate
between them over the nature of inductive reasoning in science, moral
philosophy, and political economy. This essay will also try to analyse the
intellectual debate that happened between Whewell and Mill specifically on the
concept of methodology. Moreover the significance o f Whewell’s view
regarding the nature of methodology, nature of necessaey truth, confirmity of
scientific hypothesis will be examined and commented upon.

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