Mary Hesse

Mary B. Hesse ( * October 15, 1924 in Reigate, England) is a British Wissenschaftstheoretikerin that emphasizes the relevance of analogies and models. Her book Models and Analogies in Science (1963 /66) on the question of analogical models in scientific practice is one of the most influential works of the Antinominalismus in the 20th century.

She studied at Imperial College in London and received his doctorate there in 1948. Moreover, it acquired in 1949, a Master of Science at University College London.

Her academic career has begun at the University of Leeds as a lecturer of Mathematics, 1955 to 1959 she taught at the University of London philosophy of science and history. From 1960, she was appointed to the University of Cambridge.

Hesse worked on philosophical interpretation of logic and scientific methods as well as to the fundamentals of the natural and social sciences. She suggested to the question of scientific practice before one based on analogical models approach. Hesse distinguishes these models according to formal and material as well as positive, negative and neutral analog properties. She was a member of the British Academy and in 1979 President of the Association of Theoretical Science (Philosophy of Science Association).


  • Models and Analogies in Science, 1963/66
  • Theories and the Transitivity of Confirmation, Philosophy of Science, 37 (1970), 50-63. - In Defense of Objectivity, 1972 [ Annual Philosophical Lecture. Henriette Hertz Trust. British Academy ].
  • The Structure of Scientific Inference, 1974.
  • Bayesian Methods and the Initial Probabilities of Theories, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science; vol. VI: Induction, Probability, and Confirmation, 1975, ed Grover Maxwell, Robert M. Anderson, Jr., pags. 50-105.
  • Theory and Value in the Social Sciences, in C. Hookway, P. Pettit, Action and Interpretation: Studies in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 1978, pags. 1-16.
  • Revolutions and Reconstructions in the Philosophy of Science, 1980.
  • Epistemology without Foundations, in AJ Holland, ed, Philosophy, its History and Historiography, 1985, pags. 49-68, 87-90.
  • The Construction of Reality, 1987 ( with MA Arbib ) [ Gilford Lectures at Edinburgh University ].
  • The Cognitive Claims of Metaphor, Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 2 (1988), 1-16.
  • Theories, Family resemblances and Analogy, in D. Helman, ed, Analogical Reasoning, 1988. 317-340.
  • Socializing Epistemology, in Ernan McMullin, ed, Construction and Constraint: The Shaping of Scientific Rationality, 1988, páginas 97-122.
  • Science beyond Realism and Relativism, in D. Raven, L. van V. Tijssen, J. de Wolf, eds., Cognitive Relativism and Social Science, 1992, 91-106.