A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science / Edition 3

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Overview


This new edition brings up to date this accessible study of the philosophy of science. Since the time of Plato and Aristotle, scientists and philosophers have raised questions about the proper evaluation of scientific interpretations. A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science is an exposition of differing viewpoints on issues such as the distinction between scientific inquiry and other types of interpretation, the relationship between theories and observation reports; the evaluation of competing theories; and the nature of progress in science. The author makes accessible the philosophy of science to readers who may not have extensive knowledge of formal logic or the history of the several sciences. The third edition incorporates an extended discussion of recent developments. Historicist critics of Logical Empiricism have established that evaluative standards and cognitive aims have changed within the history of science. This edition examines these changes, the recent controversies over scientific realism, casual theories of explanation, Bayesian theories of confirmation, and the search for a non-prescriptive philosophy of science. philosophers have raised questions about the proper evaluation of scientific interpretations. This is a lucid and accessible introduction to the philosophy of science, ideal for readers who may not have the extensive knowledge of formal logic or the history of the several sciences. This new edition includes an extended discussion of such recent developments and controversies as new approaches to evaluative standards and cognitive aims, scientific realism, causal theories of explanation, Bayesian theories of confirmation, and the search for a non-prescriptive philosophy of science.

"This excellent book will appeal to those interested in the philosophical thinking of great scientific minds."--Science Book and Films.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An excellent text. Utterly unique in its depth of historical material."--Michael Goodman, Humboldt State University

"[A] well-known and widely used text.....As in the earlier editions the same writing style and format for organizing the material are preserved. As a result the book rigidly stays at the level of presenting only carefully condensed factual presentations in serial order of the individual authors involved, and scrupulously avoids any critical evaluations or comparisons of the philosophies of science sketched out for the reader."--Physis

"This is a concise and authorative summary of ideas about the scientific methods from antiquity to the present day, hence an invaluable source to students and teachers of philosophy and the history of science."--Kenneth A.R. Kennedy, Cornell University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192892478
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Series: Opus Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.69 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

John Losee is Professor of Philosophy at Lafayette College, USA.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Aristotle's Philosophy of Science 4
2 The Pythagorean Orientation 14
3 The Ideal of Deductive Systematization 20
4 Atomism and the Concept of Underlying Mechanism 24
5 Affirmation and Development of Aristotle's Method in the Medieval Period 26
6 The Debate over Saving the Appearances 39
7 The Seventeenth-Century Attack on Aristotelian Philosophy 46
I Galileo 46
II Francis Bacon 54
III Descartes 63
8 Newton's Axiomatic Method 72
9 Analyses of the Implications of the New Science for a Theory of Scientific Method 86
I The Cognitive Status of Scientific Laws 86
II Theories of Scientific Procedure 103
III Structure of Scientific Theories 117
10 Inductivism v. the Hypothetico-Deductive View of Science 132
11 Mathematical Positivism and Conventionalism 143
12 Logical Reconstructionist Philosophy of Science 158
13 Orthodoxy under Attack 177
14 Theories of Scientific Progress 197
15 Explanation, Causation, and Unification 210
16 Confirmation, Evidential Support, and Theory Appraisal 220
17 The Justification of Evaluative Standards 236
18 The Debate over Scientific Realism 252
19 Descriptive Philosophies of Science 264
Select Bibliography 279
Index of Proper Names 305
Index of Subjects 309
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