Science education literature explicitly and implicitly advocates basic tenets (criteria) for “the nature of science.” The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the science education tenets are also held by philosophers of science (those who study purported tenets of science), and furthermore, to reveal possible related philosophical positions underpinning differences in responses among the philosophers. The philosophers of science expressed significant disagreements with the tenets, and different philosophers of science varied on their views about the tenets. In addition, relationships were found among the philosophers' views of the nature of science, their views of philosophy of space, and with their philosophy of science in general. Therefore, the tenets that are advocated as basic criteria for science education's “the nature of science” must be reconsidered so that more accurate criteria may be developed for future nature of science research. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 34: 39–55, 1997.