Understanding Philosophy of Science

Author: James Ladyman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134597908

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 1038

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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.

Understanding Philosophy of Science

Author: James Ladyman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134597916

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 8414

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A comprehensive introduction to the philosophy of science. Introduces the key topics, such as the scientific method, rationalism and empiricism, as well as more advanced topics such as realism and antirealism.

Understanding Philosophy of Science

Author: James Ladyman

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780415221566

Category: Science

Page: 290

View: 7688

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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.

Scientific Understanding

Philosophical Perspectives

Author: Henk W. de Regt,Sabina Leonelli,Kai Eigner

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre

ISBN: 0822971240

Category: Science

Page: 365

View: 6205

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To most scientists, and to those interested in the sciences, understanding is the ultimate aim of scientific endeavor. In spite of this, understanding, and how it is achieved, has received little attention in recent philosophy of science. Scientific Understanding seeks to reverse this trend by providing original and in-depth accounts of the concept of understanding and its essential role in the scientific process. To this end, the chapters in this volume explore and develop three key topics: understanding and explanation, understanding and models, and understanding in scientific practice. Earlier philosophers, such as Carl Hempel, dismissed understanding as subjective and pragmatic. They believed that the essence of science was to be found in scientific theories and explanations. In Scientific Understanding, the contributors maintain that we must also consider the relation between explanations and the scientists who construct and use them. They focus on understanding as the cognitive state that is a goal of explanation and on the understanding of theories and models as a means to this end. The chapters in this book highlight the multifaceted nature of the process of scientific research. The contributors examine current uses of theory, models, simulations, and experiments to evaluate the degree to which these elements contribute to understanding. Their analyses pay due attention to the roles of intelligibility, tacit knowledge, and feelings of understanding. Furthermore, they investigate how understanding is obtained within diverse scientific disciplines and examine how the acquisition of understanding depends on specific contexts, the objects of study, and the stated aims of research.

Philosophy of Science

Author: Mel Thompson

Publisher: Teach Yourself

ISBN: 9781444157659

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 5136

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A modern understanding of the world is unthinkable without science, but what exactly is it? What does it mean to say that something is 'scientific' How are its results justified? From the genetic basis of life, to the structures of the universe and the atom, Teach Yourself Philosophy of Science explores how the key ideas that shape our world have been developed. - Investigate the history of science. - Examine scientific method. - Discover key philosophers and scientists. - Explore the impact of science on Western thought.

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: 4095

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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.

Cosmic Understanding

Philosophy and Science of the Universe

Author: Milton K. Munitz

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691020594

Category: Philosophy

Page: 287

View: 7470

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In this work the distinguished philosopher Milton Munitz provides a lucid account of the chief empirical findings and theories of recent cosmology and a systematic assessment of their broader philosophical implications.

Explaining Understanding

New Perspectives from Epistemology and Philosophy of Science

Author: Stephen R. Grimm,Christoph Baumberger,Sabine Ammon

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317414160

Category: Philosophy

Page: 354

View: 481

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What does it mean to understand something? What types of understanding can be distinguished? Is understanding always provided by explanations? And how is it related to knowledge? Such questions have attracted considerable interest in epistemology recently. These discussions, however, have not yet engaged insights about explanations and theories developed in philosophy of science. Conversely, philosophers of science have debated the nature of explanations and theories, while dismissing understanding as a psychological by-product. In this book, epistemologists and philosophers of science together address basic questions about the nature of understanding, providing a new overview of the field.? False theories, cognitive bias, transparency, coherency, and other important issues are discussed. Its 15 original chapters are essential reading for researchers and graduate students interested in the current debates about understanding.

Arguing about Science

Author: Alexander Bird,James Ladyman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0415492297

Category: Science

Page: 795

View: 9784

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Arguing About Science is an outstanding, engaging introduction to the essential topics in philosophy of science, edited by two leading experts in the field. This exciting and innovative anthology contains a selection of classic and contemporary readings that examine a broad range of issues, from classic problems such as scientific reasoning; causation; and scientific realism, to more recent topics such as science and race; forensic science; and the scientific status of medicine. The editors bring together some of the most influential contributions of famous philosophers in the field, including John Stuart Mill and Karl Popper, as well as more recent extracts from philosophers and scientists such as Ian Hacking, Stephen Jay Gould, Bas van Fraassen, Nancy Cartwright, and John Worrall. The anthology is organised into nine clear sections: science, non science and pseudo-science race, gender and science scientific reasoning scientific explanation laws and causation science and medicine probability and forensic science risk, uncertainty and science policy scientific realism and anti-realism. The articles chosen are clear, interesting, and free from unnecessary jargon. The editors provide lucid introductions to each section in which they provide an overview of the debate, as well as suggestions for further reading.

General Philosophy of Science: Focal Issues

Author: N.A

Publisher: Elsevier

ISBN: 9780080548548

Category: Philosophy

Page: 708

View: 2153

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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

Every Thing Must Go

Metaphysics Naturalized

Author: James Ladyman,Don Ross,David Spurrett,John Gordon Collier

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0199276196

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 346

View: 4880

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Every Thing Must Go argues that the only kind of metaphysics that can contribute to objective knowledge is one based specifically on contemporary science as it really is, and not on philosophers' a priori intuitions, common sense, or simplifications of science. In addition to showing how recent metaphysics has drifted away from connection with all other serious scholarly inquiry as a result of not heeding this restriction, they demonstrate how to build a metaphysicscompatible with current fundamental physics ('ontic structural realism'), which, when combined with their metaphysics of the special sciences ('rainforest realism'), can be used to unify physics with the other sciences without reducing these sciences to physics itself. Taking science metaphysically seriously,Ladyman and Ross argue, means that metaphysicians must abandon the picture of the world as composed of self-subsistent individual objects, and the paradigm of causation as the collision of such objects.Everything Must Go also assesses the role of information theory and complex systems theory in attempts to explain the relationship between the special sciences and physics, treading a middle road between the grand synthesis of thermodynamics and information, and eliminativism about information. The consequences of the author's metaphysical theory for central issues in the philosophy of science are explored, including the implications for the realism vs. empiricism debate, the role ofcausation in scientific explanations, the nature of causation and laws, the status of abstract and virtual objects, and the objective reality of natural kinds.

Philosophy of Science: Teach Yourself

Author: Mel Thompson

Publisher: Teach Yourself

ISBN: 1444157671

Category: Philosophy

Page: 208

View: 6108

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A modern understanding of the world is unthinkable without science, but what exactly is it? What does it mean to say that something is 'scientific'? How are its results justified? From the genetic basis of life, to the structures of the universe and the atom, TEACH YOURSELF PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE explores how the key ideas that shape our world have been developed. - Investigate the history of science. - Examine scientific method. - Discover key philosophers and scientists. - Explore the impact of science on Western thought.

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: 9843

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

A Realist Philosophy of Social Science

Explanation and Understanding

Author: Peter T. Manicas

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139457063

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 5516

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This introduction to the philosophy of social science provides an original conception of the task and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the role of causality seen in the physical sciences and offers a reassessment of the problem of explanation from a realist perspective. He argues that the fundamental goal of theory in both the natural and social sciences is not, contrary to widespread opinion, prediction and control, or the explanation of events (including behaviour). Instead, theory aims to provide an understanding of the processes which, together, produce the contingent outcomes of experience. Offering a host of concrete illustrations and examples of critical ideas and issues, this accessible book will be of interest to students of the philosophy of social science, and social scientists from a range of disciplines.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

50th Anniversary Edition

Author: Thomas S. Kuhn

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226458148

Category: Science

Page: 264

View: 8902

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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.

Understanding Imagination

The Reason of Images

Author: Dennis L Sepper

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 940076507X

Category: Science

Page: 533

View: 6226

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This book discusses that imagination is as important to thinking and reasoning as it is to making and acting. By reexamining our philosophical and psychological heritage, it traces a framework, a conceptual topology, that underlies the most disparate theories: a framework that presents imagination as founded in the placement of appearances. It shows how this framework was progressively developed by thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant, and how it is reflected in more recent developments in theorists as different as Peirce, Saussure, Wittgenstein, Benjamin, and Bachelard. The conceptual topology of imagination incorporates logic, mathematics, and science as well as production, play, and art. Recognizing this topology can move us past the confusions to a unifying view of imagination for the future. ​

Philosophy of Social Science

Author: Alexander Rosenberg

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429974477

Category: Social Science

Page: 360

View: 6951

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Philosophy of Social Science provides a tightly argued yet accessible introduction to the philosophical foundations of the human sciences, including economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, psychology, history, and the disciplines emerging at the intersections of these subjects with biology. Philosophy is unavoidable for social scientists because the choices they make in answering questions in their disciplines force them to take sides on philosophical matters. Conversely, the philosophy of social science is equally necessary for philosophers since the social and behavior sciences must inform their understanding of human action, norms, and social institutions. The fifth edition retains from previous editions an illuminating interpretation of the enduring relations between the social sciences and philosophy, and reflects on developments in social research over the past two decades that have informed and renewed debate in the philosophy of social science. An expanded discussion of philosophical anthropology and modern and postmodern critical theory is new for this edition.

Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science

Author: Christopher Hitchcock

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

ISBN: 9781405101523

Category: Science

Page: 368

View: 6469

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Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science contains sixteen original essays by leading authors in the philosophy of science, each one defending the affirmative or negative answer to one of eight specific questions, including: Are there laws of social science? Are causes physically connected to their effects? Is the mind a system of modules shaped by natural selection? Brings together fresh debates on eight of the most controversial issues in the philosophy of science. Questions addressed include: “Are there laws of social science?”; “Are causes physically connected to their effects?”; “Is the mind a system of modules shaped by natural selection?” Each question is treated by a pair of opposing essays written by eminent scholars, and especially commissioned for the volume. Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion. Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in contemporary philosophy of science, whilst also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers.

The Metaphysics of Science

An Account of Modern Science in Terms of Principles, Laws and Theories

Author: Craig Dilworth

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1402038380

Category: Science

Page: 333

View: 738

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This book provides a clear, well-founded conception of modern science. The views advanced are not only novel, but they constitute an alternative that is superior to both the empiric-analytic and the sociology of knowledge approaches that are prevalent today. Furthermore, the book provides a resolution of the long-standing debate between empiricism and realism, and it gives a coherent view that transcends the boundaries of the professional philosophy of science.

Philosophy of Science for Scientists

Author: Lars-Göran Johansson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319265512

Category: Science

Page: 257

View: 4310

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This textbook offers an introduction to the philosophy of science. It helps undergraduate students from the natural, the human and social sciences to gain an understanding of what science is, how it has developed, what its core traits are, how to distinguish between science and pseudo-science and to discover what a scientific attitude is. It argues against the common assumption that there is fundamental difference between natural and human science, with natural science being concerned with testing hypotheses and discovering natural laws, and the aim of human and some social sciences being to understand the meanings of individual and social group actions. Instead examines the similarities between the sciences and shows how the testing of hypotheses and doing interpretation/hermeneutics are similar activities. The book makes clear that lessons from natural scientists are relevant to students and scholars within the social and human sciences, and vice versa. It teaches its readers how to effectively demarcate between science and pseudo-science and sets criteria for true scientific thinking. Divided into three parts, the book first examines the question What is Science? It describes the evolution of science, defines knowledge, and explains the use of and need for hypotheses and hypothesis testing. The second half of part I deals with scientific data and observation, qualitative data and methods, and ends with a discussion of theories on the development of science. Part II offers philosophical reflections on four of the most important con cepts in science: causes, explanations, laws and models. Part III presents discussions on philosophy of mind, the relation between mind and body, value-free and value-related science, and reflections on actual trends in science.