Philosophy of Science: Very Short Introduction

Author: Samir Okasha

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191062790

Category: Science

Page: 160

View: 3531

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How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully 'objective'? What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

Author: Kent W. Staley

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521112494

Category: Science

Page: 300

View: 1614

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This book explores central philosophical concepts, issues, and debates in the philosophy of science, both historical and contemporary.

Understanding Philosophy of Science

Author: James Ladyman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134597908

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 5901

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Few can imagine a world without telephones or televisions; many depend on computers and the Internet as part of daily life. Without scientific theory, these developments would not have been possible. In this exceptionally clear and engaging introduction to philosophy of science, James Ladyman explores the philosophical questions that arise when we reflect on the nature of the scientific method and the knowledge it produces. He discusses whether fundamental philosophical questions about knowledge and reality might be answered by science, and considers in detail the debate between realists and antirealists about the extent of scientific knowledge. Along the way, central topics in philosophy of science, such as the demarcation of science from non-science, induction, confirmation and falsification, the relationship between theory and observation and relativism are all addressed. Important and complex current debates over underdetermination, inference to the best explaination and the implications of radical theory change are clarified and clearly explained for those new to the subject.

Philosophy of Science

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Samir Okasha

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198745583

Category: Philosophy

Page: 140

View: 9020

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How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully "objective?" What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

General Philosophy of Science: Focal Issues

Author: N.A

Publisher: Elsevier

ISBN: 9780080548548

Category: Philosophy

Page: 708

View: 1177

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Scientists use concepts and principles that are partly specific for their subject matter, but they also share part of them with colleagues working in different fields. Compare the biological notion of a 'natural kind' with the general notion of 'confirmation' of a hypothesis by certain evidence. Or compare the physical principle of the 'conservation of energy' and the general principle of 'the unity of science'. Scientists agree that all such notions and principles aren't as crystal clear as one might wish. An important task of the philosophy of the special sciences, such as philosophy of physics, of biology and of economics, to mention only a few of the many flourishing examples, is the clarification of such subject specific concepts and principles. Similarly, an important task of 'general' philosophy of science is the clarification of concepts like 'confirmation' and principles like 'the unity of science'. It is evident that clarfication of concepts and principles only makes sense if one tries to do justice, as much as possible, to the actual use of these notions by scientists, without however following this use slavishly. That is, occasionally a philosopher may have good reasons for suggesting to scientists that they should deviate from a standard use. Frequently, this amounts to a plea for differentiation in order to stop debates at cross-purposes due to the conflation of different meanings. While the special volumes of the series of Handbooks of the Philosophy of Science address topics relative to a specific discipline, this general volume deals with focal issues of a general nature. After an editorial introduction about the dominant method of clarifying concepts and principles in philosophy of science, called explication, the first five chapters deal with the following subjects. Laws, theories, and research programs as units of empirical knowledge (Theo Kuipers), various past and contemporary perspectives on explanation (Stathis Psillos), the evaluation of theories in terms of their virtues (Ilkka Niiniluto), and the role of experiments in the natural sciences, notably physics and biology (Allan Franklin), and their role in the social sciences, notably economics (Wenceslao Gonzalez). In the subsequent three chapters there is even more attention to various positions and methods that philosophers of science and scientists may favor: ontological, epistemological, and methodological positions (James Ladyman), reduction, integration, and the unity of science as aims in the sciences and the humanities (William Bechtel and Andrew Hamilton), and logical, historical and computational approaches to the philosophy of science (Atocha Aliseda and Donald Gillies). The volume concludes with the much debated question of demarcating science from nonscience (Martin Mahner) and the rich European-American history of the philosophy of science in the 20th century (Friedrich Stadler). Comprehensive coverage of the philosophy of science written by leading philosophers in this field Clear style of writing for an interdisciplinary audience No specific pre-knowledge required

Philosophy of Science

Text with Readings

Author: David Boersema

Publisher: Prentice Hall

ISBN: N.A

Category: Philosophy

Page: 568

View: 2031

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This new anthology, which integrates explanatory text, primary source readings, and case studies, provides students of any major (philosophy, science, or other) with an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the philosophy of science. The anthology is organized around a unique “three-pronged” approach: the metaphysical (what), the epistemological (how), and the axiological (why). The coverage of issues builds coherently and logically: from issues of scientific method to ethical issues, to the most current social and political implications of science — demonstrating how philosophy of science is relevant in a modern day context. The anthology carefully examines the theoretical apparatus of the philosophy of science and applies it to rich case studies from the history of science.

The History and Philosophy of Science

Author: Daniel McKaughan,Holly VandeWall

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1474232744

Category: Philosophy

Page: 1104

View: 874

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The History and Philosophy of Science: A Reader brings together seminal texts from antiquity to the end of the nineteenth century and makes them accessible in one volume for the first time. With readings from Aristotle, Aquinas, Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Lavoisier, Linnaeus, Darwin, Faraday, and Maxwell, it analyses and discusses major classical, medieval and modern texts and figures from the natural sciences. Grouped by topic to clarify the development of methods and disciplines and the unification of theories, each section includes an introduction, suggestions for further reading and end-of-section discussion questions, allowing students to develop the skills needed to: § read, interpret, and critically engage with central problems and ideas from the history and philosophy of science § understand and evaluate scientific material found in a wide variety of professional and popular settings § appreciate the social and cultural context in which scientific ideas emerge § identify the roles that mathematics plays in scientific inquiry Featuring primary sources in all the core scientific fields - astronomy, physics, chemistry, and the life sciences - The History and Philosophy of Science: A Reader is ideal for students looking to better understand the origins of natural science and the questions asked throughout its history. By taking a thematic approach to introduce influential assumptions, methods and answers, this reader illustrates the implications of an impressive range of values and ideas across the history and philosophy of Western science.

Worldviews

An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science

Author: Richard DeWitt

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 144439276X

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 8829

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Updated throughout and with three entirely new chapters, Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, Second Edition furthers its reputation as the definitive introductory text on the historical developments and philosophical issues that inform our scientific view of the world around us. Represents an innovative introduction to the history and philosophy of science, designed especially for those coming to the subject for the first time Updated new edition features the addition of chapters focusing on scientific laws, evolutionary theory, and implications of evolution Covers the key historical developments and philosophical themes that have impacted our scientific view of the world around us Analyzes the transitions from the Aristotelian worldview to the Newtonian worldview to a new and currently developing worldview Explores challenges to the Western scientific worldview brought on by recent discoveries

Heidegger's Philosophy of Science

Author: Trish Glazebrook

Publisher: Fordham Univ Press

ISBN: 9780823220380

Category: Philosophy

Page: 278

View: 7757

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This book concerns itself with an issue that is not sufficiently addressed in the literature: Heidegger's philosophy of science. Although a great deal of attention is paid to Heidegger's later critique of technology, no one has systematically studied how he understood science.Many readers will be surprised to learn, through this book, that Heidegger developed the essentials of a fairly sophisticated philosophy of science, one that in many ways invites comparison with that of Thomas Kuhn. Glazebrook demonstrates that Heidegger's philosophy of science is not neatly divided into earlyand late(or Heidegger Iand Heidegger II) but is, rather, an ongoing development over at least three periods, bound together as an analysis of modern science and an uncovering of other possibilities for understanding nature. Glazebrook states in her introduction, This reading of Heidegger is radical. It cuts to the root of his thinking, for I argue that what are taken to be Heidegger's many and significant contributions to philosophy-that is, his overcoming of metaphysics, his rereading of the ancients, his critique of technology and representational thinking, his vision and revision of language, truth, and thinking-have at their core an inquiry into science that drove his thinking for sixty years. I am not arguing for a new reading of a few texts, or for adjustments and refinements of existing readings of Heideggger. Rather, I am bringing to light a new basis on which to interpret his work as a whole.

The Meaning of Science

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

Author: Tim Lewens

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465097499

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 5215

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Science has produced explanations for everything from the mechanisms of insect navigation to the formation of black holes and the workings of black markets. But how much can we trust science, and can we actually know the world through it? How does science work and how does it fail? And how can the work of scientists helpÑor hurtÑeveryday people? These are not questions that science can answer on its own. This is where philosophy of science comes in. Studying science without philosophy is, to quote Einstein, to be Òlike somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest.Ó Cambridge philosopher Tim Lewens shows us the forest. He walks us through the theories of seminal philosophers of science Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn and considers what science is, how far it can and should reach, and how we can determine the nature of its truths and myths. These philosophical issues have consequences that stretch far beyond the laboratory. For instance: What role should scientists have in policy discussions on environmental issues such as fracking? What are the biases at play in the search for a biological function of the female orgasm? If brain scans can be used to demonstrate that a decision was made several seconds before a person actually makes a conscious choice, what does that tell us about the possibility of free will? By examining science through this philosophical lens, Lewens reveals what physics can teach us about reality, what biology teaches us about human nature, and what cognitive science teaches us about human freedom. A masterful analysis of the biggest scientific and ethical issues of our age, The Meaning of Science forces us to confront the practical, personal, and political purposes of scienceÑand why it matters to all of us.

Science: Key Concepts in Philosophy

Author: Steven French

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0826486541

Category: Science

Page: 164

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A great text for students wishing to examine the questions raised in the philosophy of science. An ideal first guide to this challenging subject.

Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science

Alternative Interpretations of the A Priori

Author: David J. Stump

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317495381

Category: Philosophy

Page: 176

View: 5028

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In this book, David Stump traces alternative conceptions of the a priori in the philosophy of science and defends a unique position in the current debates over conceptual change and the constitutive elements in science. Stump emphasizes the unique epistemological status of the constitutive elements of scientific theories, constitutive elements being the necessary preconditions that must be assumed in order to conduct a particular scientific inquiry. These constitutive elements, such as logic, mathematics, and even some fundamental laws of nature, were once taken to be a priori knowledge but can change, thus leading to a dynamic or relative a priori. Stump critically examines developments in thinking about constitutive elements in science as a priori knowledge, from Kant’s fixed and absolute a priori to Quine’s holistic empiricism. By examining the relationship between conceptual change and the epistemological status of constitutive elements in science, Stump puts forward an argument that scientific revolutions can be explained and relativism can be avoided without resorting to universals or absolutes.

Philosophy of Science and the Occult

Author: Patrick Grim

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9781438404981

Category: Philosophy

Page: 395

View: 8729

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This book both introduces the philosophy of science through examination of the occult and examines the occult rigorously enough to raise central issues in the philosophy of science. Placed in the context of the occult, philosophy of science issues become immediately understandable and forcefully compelling. Divergent views on astrology, parapsychology, and quantum mechanics mysticism emphasize topics standard to the philosophy of science. Such issues as confirmation and selection for testing, causality and time, explanation and the nature of scientific laws, the status of theoretical entities, the problem of demarcation, theory and observation, and science and values are discussed. Significantly revised, this second edition presents an entirely new section of quantum mechanics and mysticism including instructions from N. David Mermin for constructing a device which dramatically illustrates the genuinely puzzling phenomena of quantum mechanics. A more complete and current review of research on astrology has been included in this new edition, and the section on the problem of demarcation has been broadened.

Theory and Reality

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226300610

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 3110

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How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and Reality covers logical positivism; the problems of induction and confirmation; Karl Popper's theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and "scientific revolutions"; the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in more detail at some specific problems and theories, including scientific realism, the theory-ladeness of observation, scientific explanation, and Bayesianism. Finally, Godfrey-Smith defends a form of philosophical naturalism as the best way to solve the main problems in the field. Throughout the text he points out connections between philosophical debates and wider discussions about science in recent decades, such as the infamous "science wars." Examples and asides engage the beginning student; a glossary of terms explains key concepts; and suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter. However, this is a textbook that doesn't feel like a textbook because it captures the historical drama of changes in how science has been conceived over the last one hundred years. Like no other text in this field, Theory and Reality combines a survey of recent history of the philosophy of science with current key debates in language that any beginning scholar or critical reader can follow.

Philosophy of Science

A Contemporary Introduction

Author: Alex Rosenberg

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136662626

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

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Any serious student attempting to better understand the nature, methods and justification of science will value Alex Rosenberg’s updated and substantially revised Third Edition of Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction. Weaving together lucid explanations and clear analyses, the volume is a much-used, thematically oriented introduction to the field. New features of the Third Edition include more coverage of the history of the philosophy of science, more fully developed material on the metaphysics of causal and physical necessity, more background on the contrast between empiricism and rationalism in science, and new material on the structure of theoretical science (with expanded coverage of Newtonian and Darwinian theories and models) and the realism/antirealism controversy. Rosenberg also divides the Third Edition into fifteen chapters, aligning each chapter with a week in a standard semester-long course. Updated Discussion Questions, Glossary, Bibliography and Suggested Readings lists at the end of each chapter will make the Third Edition indispensable, either as a comprehensive stand-alone text or alongside the many wide-ranging collections of articles and book excerpts currently available. Read our interview with Alex Rosenberg, What exactly is philosophy of science – and why does it matter? here: www.routledge.com/u/alexrosenberg

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

50th Anniversary Edition

Author: Thomas S. Kuhn

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226458148

Category: Science

Page: 264

View: 5727

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A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

Philosophy of Science

The Central Issues

Author: Martin Curd,Jan A. Cover,Christopher Pincock,Chris Pincock

Publisher: W. W. Norton

ISBN: 9780393919035

Category: Philosophy

Page: 1393

View: 8739

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A flexible and comprehensive introduction to the main currents in philosophy of science.

Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone

Author: Michela Massimi

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317664450

Category: Philosophy

Page: 154

View: 6742

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What is the origin of our universe? What are dark matter and dark energy? What is our role in the universe as human beings capable of knowledge? What makes us intelligent cognitive agents seemingly endowed with consciousness? Scientific research across both the physical and cognitive sciences raises fascinating philosophical questions. Philosophy and the Sciences For Everyone introduces these questions and more. It begins by asking what good is philosophy for the sciences before examining the following questions: The origin of our universe Dark matter and dark energy Anthropic reasoning in philosophy and cosmology Evolutionary theory and the human mind What is consciousness? Intelligent machines and the human brain Embodied Cognition. Each chapter includes an introduction, summary and study questions and there is a glossary of technical terms. Designed to be used on the corresponding Philosophy and the Sciences online course offered by the University of Edinburgh this book is also a superb introduction to central topics in philosophy of science and popular science.