Professor Adolf Grünbaum Chairman October 30, 1985 Center for Philosophy of Science, 2510 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pa. 15260/USA Dear Adolf:
Many thanks for your having sent me the Fall 1985 Free Inquiry issue with four reviews of your book. I am particularly grateful as I would not have come across it otherwise. And I will not conceal the fact that the mounting force of evidence tends to sway me to concede: I had hoped that the standard of scholarship reflected in your book is not representative of the best that individuals concerned with the issue can exhibit; and I confess that my faith is severely tested and I am now willing to admit that you fare no worse than some of the other best known writers in the field. For example, I had thought Frank Solloway a competent and candid writer until I met his boast "I have actually read the book several times" coupled with his statement that "all of Grünbaum's sentences ...make... perfect sense in context". If I were to cross examine him under oath and ask him for the perfect sense of your sentences concerning neo-Baconianism, I do not think he would stick to his guns. In other words, I am pained to find him so pompously sloppy.
Since Michael Ruse confesses Popper constitutes a grave moral danger, and does not say why, I cannot but treat him as a clown - especially since he is the one who used Popper in court to defend Darwinist dogmatic indoctrination against creationist obscurantist mind-bending. Also, his claim that Whewellian consilience of induction is the same as what you, Adolf, consider inductive consilience in Freud, is pushing an already tenuous, but still commonsensically permissible, analogy beyond its breaking point. I despair, anyway.
I am sympathetic to Eysenck, since he finds in your book the belated vindication of his 1952 work. If this does not "convince" you that this somewhat tallies with Popper's censure, I do not know what will. I am touched by the gentleness of Eysenck's wording of his criticism of your views. Since he himself is no stranger to the sledgehammer, there is an obvious irony in his comments on your alleged over-use of this proverbial instrument; except that in my opinion you flex your muscle to lift but a rubber sledgehammer, need I say. Until you spell out your neo-Baconianism, your performance is, and will remain, a mere sleight of hand. Do you really need it?
As to Nisbeth, he declares his hand when he writes in pseudo-logical shorthand a redundant formula which I, for one, could not read (on lines 5 and 4 from bottom in his first column). He also misrepresents you in the paragraph covering the bottom of his first column and the top of the second. He does so while praising you. Do you like misrepresentation coupled with praise better than a presentation coupled with dissent? Nisbeth says that post-Darwin research proves that organisms which cannot adapt die. Even in my undergraduate courses students are not allowed to talk on this low intellectual level.
Dear Adolf, I do not know if I can reach you. Our profession needs an exemplary conduct, and preferably from an acknowledged leader - like you. I appeal to you. Concede publicly the fault of your book: admit that you have yet to explain what neo-Baconianism is, that you have not as yet adequately expounded this doctrine, and that since the label of neo-Baconianism is yours, you have to do so as soon as you can. You also have to admit that your counter-examples to Popper are not valid repeatable observations which contradict Freudian theories - that a change of mind is not the same as the admission of refuting repeatable experience. This will really do a tremendous good to the commonwealth of learning (and to your reputation too, but you really do not need it - your reputation is high and secure enough and I hope you and yours enjoy it to the full).
Yours sincerely, Joe