Representing and Intervening

Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521282468

Category: Philosophy

Page: 287

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This 1983 book is a lively and clearly written introduction to the philosophy of natural science, organized around the central theme of scientific realism. It has two parts. 'Representing' deals with the different philosophical accounts of scientific objectivity and the reality of scientific entities. The views of Kuhn, Feyerabend, Lakatos, Putnam, van Fraassen, and others, are all considered. 'Intervening' presents the first sustained treatment of experimental science for many years and uses it to give a new direction to debates about realism. Hacking illustrates how experimentation often has a life independent of theory. He argues that although the philosophical problems of scientific realism can not be resolved when put in terms of theory alone, a sound philosophy of experiment provides compelling grounds for a realistic attitude. A great many scientific examples are described in both parts of the book, which also includes lucid expositions of recent high energy physics and a remarkable chapter on the microscope in cell biology.

Representing and Intervening

Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110726815X

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 5627

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This 1983 book is a lively and clearly written introduction to the philosophy of natural science, organized around the central theme of scientific realism. It has two parts. 'Representing' deals with the different philosophical accounts of scientific objectivity and the reality of scientific entities. The views of Kuhn, Feyerabend, Lakatos, Putnam, van Fraassen, and others, are all considered. 'Intervening' presents the first sustained treatment of experimental science for many years and uses it to give a new direction to debates about realism. Hacking illustrates how experimentation often has a life independent of theory. He argues that although the philosophical problems of scientific realism can not be resolved when put in terms of theory alone, a sound philosophy of experiment provides compelling grounds for a realistic attitude. A great many scientific examples are described in both parts of the book, which also includes lucid expositions of recent high energy physics and a remarkable chapter on the microscope in cell biology.

Why Does Language Matter to Philosophy?

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316582175

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 1013

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Many people find themselves dissatisfied with recent linguistic philosophy, and yet know that language has always mattered deeply to philosophy and must in some sense continue to do so. Ian Hacking considers here some dozen case studies in the history of philosophy to show the different ways in which language has been important, and the consequences for the development of the subject. There are chapters on, among others, Hobbes, Berkeley, Russell, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Feyerabend and Davidson. Dr Hacking ends by speculating about the directions in which philosophy and the study of language seem likely to go. The book will provide students with a stimulating, broad survey of problems in the theory of meaning and the development of philosophy, particularly in this century. The topics treated in the philosophy of language are among the central, current concerns of philosophers, and the historical framework makes it possible to introduce concretely and intelligibly all the main theoretical issues.

Rewriting the Soul

Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400821686

Category: Psychology

Page: 352

View: 8729

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Twenty-five years ago one could list by name the tiny number of multiple personalities recorded in the history of Western medicine, but today hundreds of people receive treatment for dissociative disorders in every sizable town in North America. Clinicians, backed by a grassroots movement of patients and therapists, find child sexual abuse to be the primary cause of the illness, while critics accuse the "MPD" community of fostering false memories of childhood trauma. Here the distinguished philosopher Ian Hacking uses the MPD epidemic and its links with the contemporary concept of child abuse to scrutinize today's moral and political climate, especially our power struggles about memory and our efforts to cope with psychological injuries. What is it like to suffer from multiple personality? Most diagnosed patients are women: why does gender matter? How does defining an illness affect the behavior of those who suffer from it? And, more generally, how do systems of knowledge about kinds of people interact with the people who are known about? Answering these and similar questions, Hacking explores the development of the modern multiple personality movement. He then turns to a fascinating series of historical vignettes about an earlier wave of multiples, people who were diagnosed as new ways of thinking about memory emerged, particularly in France, toward the end of the nineteenth century. Fervently occupied with the study of hypnotism, hysteria, sleepwalking, and fugue, scientists of this period aimed to take the soul away from the religious sphere. What better way to do this than to make memory a surrogate for the soul and then subject it to empirical investigation? Made possible by these nineteenth-century developments, the current outbreak of dissociative disorders is embedded in new political settings. Rewriting the Soul concludes with a powerful analysis linking historical and contemporary material in a fresh contribution to the archaeology of knowledge. As Foucault once identified a politics that centers on the body and another that classifies and organizes the human population, Hacking has now provided a masterful description of the politics of memory : the scientizing of the soul and the wounds it can receive.

Science as Practice and Culture

Author: Andrew Pickering

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226668010

Category: Philosophy

Page: 474

View: 7541

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Science as Practice and Culture explores one of the newest and most controversial developments within the rapidly changing field of science studies: the move toward studying scientific practice—the work of doing science—and the associated move toward studying scientific culture, understood as the field of resources that practice operates in and on. Andrew Pickering has invited leading historians, philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists of science to prepare original essays for this volume. The essays range over the physical and biological sciences and mathematics, and are divided into two parts. In part I, the contributors map out a coherent set of perspectives on scientific practice and culture, and relate their analyses to central topics in the philosophy of science such as realism, relativism, and incommensurability. The essays in part II seek to delineate the study of science as practice in arguments across its borders with the sociology of scientific knowledge, social epistemology, and reflexive ethnography.

The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory

Author: Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691025247

Category: Science

Page: 344

View: 3960

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This classic work in the philosophy of physical science is an incisive and readable account of the scientific method. Pierre Duhem was one of the great figures in French science, a devoted teacher, and a distinguished scholar of the history and philosophy of science. This book represents his most mature thought on a wide range of topics.

Scientific Perspectivism

Author: Ronald N. Giere

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226292142

Category: Science

Page: 160

View: 5239

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Many people assume that the claims of scientists are objective truths. But historians, sociologists, and philosophers of science have long argued that scientific claims reflect the particular historical, cultural, and social context in which those claims were made. The nature of scientific knowledge is not absolute because it is influenced by the practice and perspective of human agents. Scientific Perspectivism argues that the acts of observing and theorizing are both perspectival, and this nature makes scientific knowledge contingent, as Thomas Kuhn theorized forty years ago. Using the example of color vision in humans to illustrate how his theory of “perspectivism” works, Ronald N. Giere argues that colors do not actually exist in objects; rather, color is the result of an interaction between aspects of the world and the human visual system. Giere extends this argument into a general interpretation of human perception and, more controversially, to scientific observation, conjecturing that the output of scientific instruments is perspectival. Furthermore, complex scientific principles—such as Maxwell’s equations describing the behavior of both the electric and magnetic fields—make no claims about the world, but models based on those principles can be used to make claims about specific aspects of the world. Offering a solution to the most contentious debate in the philosophy of science over the past thirty years, Scientific Perspectivism will be of interest to anyone involved in the study of science.

The Taming of Chance

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521388849

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 5974

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This book combines detailed scientific historical research with characteristic philosophic breadth and verve.

Historical Ontology

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674016071

Category: Philosophy

Page: 279

View: 1715

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With the unusual clarity, distinctive and engaging style, and penetrating insight that have drawn such a wide range of readers to his work, Ian Hacking here offers his reflections on the philosophical uses of history. The focus of this volume, which collects both recent and now-classic essays, is the historical emergence of concepts and objects, through new uses of words and sentences in specific settings, and new patterns or styles of reasoning within those sentences. In its lucid and thoroughgoing look at the historical dimension of concepts, the book is at once a systematic formulation of Hacking's approach and its relation to other types of intellectual history, and a valuable contribution to philosophical understanding. Hacking opens the volume with an extended meditation on the philosophical significance of history. The importance of Michel Foucault--for the development of this theme, and for Hacking's own work in intellectual history--emerges in the following chapters, which place Hacking's classic essays on Foucault within the wider context of general reflections on historical methodology. Against this background, Hacking then develops ideas about how language, styles of reasoning, and "psychological" phenomena figure in the articulation of concepts--and in the very prospect of doing philosophy as historical ontology.

Why Is There Philosophy of Mathematics At All?

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107729823

Category: Science

Page: 212

View: 8191

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This truly philosophical book takes us back to fundamentals - the sheer experience of proof, and the enigmatic relation of mathematics to nature. It asks unexpected questions, such as 'what makes mathematics mathematics?', 'where did proof come from and how did it evolve?', and 'how did the distinction between pure and applied mathematics come into being?' In a wide-ranging discussion that is both immersed in the past and unusually attuned to the competing philosophical ideas of contemporary mathematicians, it shows that proof and other forms of mathematical exploration continue to be living, evolving practices - responsive to new technologies, yet embedded in permanent (and astonishing) facts about human beings. It distinguishes several distinct types of application of mathematics, and shows how each leads to a different philosophical conundrum. Here is a remarkable body of new philosophical thinking about proofs, applications, and other mathematical activities.

Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement

Author: Nancy Cartwright

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198235070

Category: Social Science

Page: 268

View: 1470

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This book argues for the place of capacities within an grounds of meaning, not method. Yet it is questions of method that should concern the modern empiricist: can capacities be measured? Cartwright argues that they are measured if anything is. Stanford University's Gravity-Probe-B will measure capacities in a cryogenic dewar deep in space. More mundanely, we use probabilities to measure capacities, and the assumptions required to ensure that probabilities are a reliable instrument are investigated in the opening chapters of this book, where the early methods of econometrics set a model. The last chapter applies lessons about probabilities and capacities to quantum mechanics and the Bell inequalities. The central thesis throughout is that capacities not only can be admitted by empiricists, but indeed must be - otherwise the empirical methods of modern science will make no sense.

Hawking Incorporated

Stephen Hawking and the Anthropology of the Knowing Subject

Author: Hélène Mialet

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226522261

Category: Science

Page: 266

View: 3192

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These days, the idea of the cyborg is less the stuff of science fiction and more a reality, as we are all, in one way or another, constantly connected, extended, wired, and dispersed in and through technology. One wonders where the individual, the person, the human, and the body are—or, alternatively, where they stop. These are the kinds of questions Hélène Mialet explores in this fascinating volume, as she focuses on a man who is permanently attached to assemblages of machines, devices, and collectivities of people: Stephen Hawking. Drawing on an extensive and in-depth series of interviews with Hawking, his assistants and colleagues, physicists, engineers, writers, journalists, archivists, and artists, Mialet reconstructs the human, material, and machine-based networks that enable Hawking to live and work. She reveals how Hawking—who is often portrayed as the most singular, individual, rational, and bodiless of all—is in fact not only incorporated, materialized, and distributed in a complex nexus of machines and human beings like everyone else, but even more so. Each chapter focuses on a description of the functioning and coordination of different elements or media that create his presence, agency, identity, and competencies. Attentive to Hawking’s daily activities, including his lecturing and scientific writing, Mialet’s ethnographic analysis powerfully reassesses the notion of scientific genius and its associations with human singularity. This book will fascinate anyone interested in Stephen Hawking or an extraordinary life in science.

The Humanities and Public Life

Author: Peter Brooks,Hilary Jewett

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0823257045

Category: Education

Page: 172

View: 2063

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This volume tests the proposition that the humanities can, and at their best do, represent a commitment to ethical reading. And that this commitment, and the training and discipline of close reading that underlie it, represent something that the humanities need to bring to other fields: to professional training, and to public life. What leverage does reading, of the attentive sort practiced in the interpretive humanities, give you on life? Does such reading represent or produce an ethics? The question was posed for many of us in the humanities by the "Torture Memos" released by the Justice Department a few years ago, presenting arguments that justified the use of torture by our government with the most twisted, ingenious, perverse, and unethical interpretation of legal texts. No one trained in the rigorous analysis of poetry, we want to claim, could possibly engage in such bad-faith interpretation without professional conscience intervening to say: this is not possible. Teaching the humanities, appears to many a disempowered profession--and status--within American culture. Yet the ability to read critically the messages that society, politics, and culture bombard us with may be more than ever needed training in a world in which the manipulation of minds and hearts is more and more what running the world is all about. This volume brings together a group of distinguished scholars and intellectuals in debate on the public role and importance of the humanities. Their exchange may suggest that Shelley was not wrong to insist that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of mankind: cultural change carries everything in its wake. The attentive interpretive reading practiced in the humanities ought to be an export commodity to other fields, and to take its place in the public sphere.

Logic of Statistical Inference

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107144957

Category: Mathematics

Page: 229

View: 1940

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This book showcases Ian Hacking's early ideas on the central issues surrounding statistical reasoning. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and with a specially commissioned new preface, this influential work is now available for a new generation of readers in statistics, philosophy of science and philosophy of maths.

The War Between Mentalism and Behaviorism

On the Accessibility of Mental Processes

Author: William R. Uttal

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 1135666008

Category: Psychology

Page: 218

View: 1057

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This book considers one of the most fundamental, but only infrequently considered, issues in psychology--Are mental processes accessible by means of verbal reports and/or experimental assays? It is argues that this is the main characteristic distinguishing between behaviorism and mentalistic cognitivism. The answer posed by the author is that, with few exceptions and for the most fundamental reasons, mental processes are not accessible and that any psychology, such as contemporary cognitivism, based on a putative analysis of mind into its mental components must be fallacious. Classic and modern arguments against both mentalism and behaviorism are reviewed. In general, it is concluded that most antibehaviorist arguments are based on second order humanistic considerations rather than those underlying the usual scientific standards. Behaviorism represents the best that can be done in a situation of fundamental immeasurability and uncertainty. A modern version is offered in the final chapter of this book.

Deflating Information

From Science Studies to Documentation

Author: Bernd Frohmann

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 9780802088390

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 311

View: 2902

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In Deflating Information, Bernd Frohmann draws on recent work in the social studies of science, finding the most significant material in the coordination of research work, the stabilization of matters of fact, and the manufacture of objectivity.

For Creative Geographies

Geography, Visual Arts and the Making of Worlds

Author: Harriet Hawkins

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113513975X

Category: Social Science

Page: 322

View: 937

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This book provides the first sustained critical exploration, and celebration, of the relationship between Geography and the contemporary Visual Arts. With the growth of research in the Geohumanities and the Spatial Humanities, there is an imperative to extend and deepen considerations of the form and import of geography-art relations. Such reflections are increasingly important as geography-art intersections come to encompass not only relationships built through interpretation, but also those built through shared practices, wherein geographers work as and with artists, curators and other creative practitioners. For Creative Geographies features seven diverse case studies of artists’ works and exhibitions made towards the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twentieth-first century. Organized into three analytic sections, the volume explores the role of art in the making of geographical knowledge; the growth of geographical perspectives as art world analytics; and shared explorations of the territory of the body, In doing so, Hawkins proposes an analytic framework for exploring questions of the geographical “work” art does, the value of geographical analytics in exploring the production and consumption of art, and the different forms of encounter that artworks develop, whether this be with their audiences, or their makers.

Barbed Wire

An Ecology of Modernity

Author: Reviel Netz

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press

ISBN: 0819570761

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 8229

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In this original and controversial book, historian and philosopher Reviel Netz explores the development of a controlling and pain-inducing technology—barbed wire. Surveying its development from 1874 to 1954, Netz describes its use to control cattle during the colonization of the American West and to control people in Nazi concentration camps and the Russian Gulag. Physical control over space was no longer symbolic after 1874. This is a history told from the perspective of its victims. With vivid examples of the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and the environment, this dramatic account of barbed wire presents modern history through the lens of motion being prevented. Drawing together the history of humans and animals, Netz delivers a compelling new perspective on the issues of colonialism, capitalism, warfare, globalization, violence, and suffering. Theoretically sophisticated but written with a broad readership in mind, Barbed Wire calls for nothing less than a reconsideration of modernity.

Molecular Biology of the Cell

Author: Bruce Alberts

Publisher: Garland Science

ISBN: 1317563743

Category: Science

Page: 1464

View: 6387

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As the amount of information in biology expands dramatically, it becomes increasingly important for textbooks to distill the vast amount of scientific knowledge into concise principles and enduring concepts.As with previous editions, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Sixth Edition accomplishes this goal with clear writing and beautiful illustrations. The Sixth Edition has been extensively revised and updated with the latest research in the field of cell biology, and it provides an exceptional framework for teaching and learning. The entire illustration program has been greatly enhanced.Protein structures better illustrate structure–function relationships, icons are simpler and more consistent within and between chapters, and micrographs have been refreshed and updated with newer, clearer, or better images. As a new feature, each chapter now contains intriguing openended questions highlighting “What We Don’t Know,” introducing students to challenging areas of future research. Updated end-of-chapter problems reflect new research discussed in the text, and these problems have been expanded to all chapters by adding questions on developmental biology, tissues and stem cells, pathogens, and the immune system.

Science in a Free Society

Author: Paul Feyerabend

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 9780860917533

Category: Philosophy

Page: 221

View: 8377

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No study in the philosophy of science created such controversy in the seventies as Paul Feyerabend's Against Method. In this work, Feyerabend reviews that controversy, and extends his critique beyond the problem of scientific rules and methods, to the social function and direction of science today. In the first part of the book, he launches a sustained and irreverent attack on the prestige of science in the West. The lofty authority of the "expert" claimed by scientists is, he argues, incompatible with any genuine democracy, and often merely serves to conceal entrenched prejudices and divided opinions with the scientific community itself. Feyerabend insists that these can and should be subjected to the arbitration of the lay population, whose closes interests they constantly affect—as struggles over atomic energy programs so powerfully attest. Calling for far greater diversity in the content of education to facilitate democratic decisions over such issues, Feyerabend recounts the origin and development of his own ideas—successively engaged by Brecht, Ehrenhaft, Popper, Mill and Lakatos—in a spirited intellectual self-portrait. Science in a Free Society is a striking intervention into one of the most topical debates in contemporary culture and politics.