David Stove

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David Stove
Born(1927-09-15)15 September 1927
Died2 June 1994(1994-06-02) (aged 66)
Alma materUniversity of Sydney
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic philosophy
Australian realism
Main interests
Philosophy of science, metaphysics
Notable ideas
Subjective idealism rests on the worst argument

David Charles Stove (15 September 1927 – 2 June 1994), was an Australian philosopher. His work in philosophy of science included criticisms of David Hume's Inductive scepticism, as well as what he regarded as the irrationalism of Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, and Paul Feyerabend. He offered a positive response to the problem of induction in his 1986 work, The Rationality of Induction. Stove was also a critic of Idealism and sociobiology, describing the latter as a new religion in which genes play the role of gods.[2]


  • Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism. Oxford: Clarendon, 1973.
  • Popper and After: Four Modern Irrationalists, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1982 (Reprinted as Anything Goes: Origins of the Cult of Scientific Irrationalism, Macleay Press, Sydney, 1998; and as Scientific Irrationalism, New Brunswick: Transaction, 2001.)
  • The Rationality of Induction. Oxford: Clarendon, 1986.
  • The Plato Cult and Other Philosophical Follies. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991.
  • Cricket versus Republicanism, (ed.) James Franklin & R. J. Stove. Sydney: Quakers Hill Press, 1995.
  • Darwinian Fairytales. Aldershot: Avebury Press, 1995 (Repr. New York: Encounter Books, 2006).
  • Against the Idols of the Age, ed. Roger Kimball. New Brunswick and London: Transaction, 1999.
  • On Enlightenment, (ed.) Andrew Irvine. New Brunswick and London: Transaction, 2002.
  • What's Wrong with Benevolence: Happiness, Private Property, and the Limits of Enlightenment, (ed.) Andrew Irvine. New York: Encounter Books, 2011.


  • "Hume, Probability, and induction". In: V.C. Chappell (ed.), Hume: A Collection of Critical Essays. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1966, pp. 187–212.
  • "Dr. Johnson, British Moralist." In: Peter Coleman, L. Shrubb & V. Smith (ed.), Quadrant: Twenty Five Years. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1982, pp. 308–7.
  • "Why Should Probability be the Guide of Life?" In: D.W. Livingston & D.T. King (ed.), Hume: A Re-Evaluation. New York: Fordham University Press, 1976, pp. 50–68.
  • "Hume’s Argument about the Unobserved". In: J. Hardy & J. Eade (ed.), Studies in the Eighteenth Century. Oxford: The Voltaire Foundation/Taylor Institution, 1983, pp. 189–206.
  • "The Nature of Hume's Skepticism." In: Stanley Tweyman, (ed.), David Hume: Critical Assessments. London: Routledge, 1995, Vol. II, pp. 274–94.

Selected publications

  • "On Logical Definitions of Confirmation", British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 16, 1966, pp. 265–272.
  • "Deductivism", Australasian Journal of Philosophy 48, 1970, pp. 76–98.
  • "Laws and Singular Propositions", Australasian Journal of Philosophy 51, 1973, pp. 139–143.
  • "How Popper’s Philosophy Began", Philosophy 57, 1982, pp. 381–387.
  • "The Subjection of John Stuart Mill", Philosophy 68, No. 263, 1993, pp. 5–13.


  1. ^ David Stove – Obituaries Australia – Australian National University
  2. ^ Stove, David (1992). ""A New Religion,"". Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2014. Philosophy 67, pp. 233–240.

Further reading[edit]

  • Coman, B.J. (2008). "The New Relevance of David Stove's Critique of Darwinism", Quadrant 52 (3), pp. 58–62.
  • Franklin, James (2002). "Stove's Discovery of the Worst Argument in the World", Philosophy 77, pp. 615–24.
  • Levin, Michael (1993). "Stove on Gene Worship," Philosophy 68, No. 264, pp. 240–243.
  • Rowan, Michael (1993). "Stove on the Rationality of Induction and the Uniformity Thesis," The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3), pp. 561–566.
  • Teichman, Jenny (2001). "On the intellectual capacity of David Stove", Philosophy, 76, pp. 149-157.
  • Thiel, Inari (1994). "On Stove on Mill on Women," Philosophy 69, No. 267, pp. 100–101.

External links[edit]