The Function of the Doctrine of Prejudice

Joseph Agassi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The function of the doctrine of prejudice is to explain any failure of devoted scientific research by blaming its operatives, or rather the prejudices that pollute their minds, since observers who endorse some theories before they observe see things wrongly. This is also the explanation of why all the labors of centuries of past research bore less fruit than what Bacon intended to achieve within a few years, or at least within a few generations (Novum Organum, 1, Aph. 178). Indeed, any optimist must have an answer to the obvious question, why was the past so bad when the prospects for the future are so bright? What is the cause of the expected radical change?.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBoston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameBoston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
ISSN (Print)0068-0346
ISSN (Electronic)2214-7942


  • Hasty Induction
  • Inductive Machine
  • Past Failure
  • Phlogiston Theory
  • Tremendous Effect


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