Saturday, June 30, 2012


Skepticule Record episode 012 20120412

The Impossibility of Scientific Truth

A talk by Ian Bryant
at Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub

Thursday 12 April 2012, at The Fat Fox, 11-13 Victoria Road, Southsea PO5 2SP

Introductions by Trish Hann

What do philosophers and scientists understand by the concept of “truth”? This talk will argue that however ‘truth’ is to be understood, it will never be attained by science, and that therefore an ultimate ‘theory of everything’ is a disappointing and misconceived  promise. It will range from Aristotle, via Kant, to the critical/sceptical  ideas of Putnam and Nagel (with a pause to take in refreshments from Popper and Kuhn). There will be plenty of time for questions, and maybe some disturbing, but enlightening answers.

Ian Bryant has spent most of his academic career training and supervising educational research students, and teaching in Canada, the USA, Scotland and England (including the Open University and Workers Educational Association). He has researched and published books and academic articles on the social philosophy of learning, education for professional development, and the history of scientific ideas. His current interests are in the phenomenology of mind, and the concepts of learning, agency and selfhood. Recently retired, he is now Visiting Fellow, University of Southampton School of Education.
Ian Bryant's slide presentation is available here:

His list of references is here:

Direct download of audio: