Craig Dilworth, Reader in Theoretical Philosophy, Uppsala University, Sweden

The basis of my work rests in an intellectual revelation I had back in 1971. That revelation concerned the idea of simplicity, to which Craig Dilworthmy latest book is devoted. Over the years, I have applied the simplicity way of thinking to the philosophy of science − in Scientific Progress and The Metaphysics of Science. More recently, in Too Smart for Our Own Good, I have taken up the question of the sustainability of the human population.

Simplicity, my philosophically most important work, consists in the presentation of the entirely novel simplicity way of thinking, intended as a replacement for the formal-logical mode of thought that has dominated in Western philosophy since the time of Aristotle. In the philosophy of science my contributions include the Perspectivist conception of science and the Gestalt Model. In The Metaphysics of Science they consist in the laying out of what the metaphysics of science is, which includes a presentation of the Principle-Theory-Law Model of scientific explanation. The central contribution of my book in human ecology, Too Smart for Our Own Good, is the vicious circle principle, which affords the first and only scientific theory of humankind’s development.

In Simplicity I have linked my thinking to that of major philosophers, East and West, over the past 2400 years. While my intention in my writing has been to contribute something new, I have nevertheless always been concerned to ground what I’m saying in the intellectual past. Thus, for example, in the philosophy of science I have carried out an exhaustive critique of the logical empiricist and Popperian views in Scientific Progress, and in The Metaphysics of Science my views are clearly related back to the work of William Whewell and Immanuel Kant. In Too Smart for Our Own Good, I trace the issue of humankind’s place in nature intellectually back to Malthus and Darwin, and temporally back to the beginnings of our species, some seven million years ago.


Short general interview

SimplicityScientific ProgressThe methaphysics of scienceToo smart for our own good