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Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach / Edition 2
     

Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach / Edition 2

by Ronald N. Giere
 

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ISBN-10: 0226292061

ISBN-13: 2900226292068

Pub. Date: 05/28/1990

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Explaining Science challenges fundamental presuppositions of both the philosophy and the sociology of science. Finding a naturalistic middle ground between positivism and relativism, Ronald N. Giere suggests that scientific theories are families of models (similar to the 'cognitive maps' or 'mental models' of cognitive science) that reflect scientists' cognitive

Overview

Explaining Science challenges fundamental presuppositions of both the philosophy and the sociology of science. Finding a naturalistic middle ground between positivism and relativism, Ronald N. Giere suggests that scientific theories are families of models (similar to the 'cognitive maps' or 'mental models' of cognitive science) that reflect scientists' cognitive interactions with the world they observe.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900226292068
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
05/28/1990
Series:
Science and Its Conceptual Foundations Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
344

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Toward a Unified Cognitive Theory of Science
What Might a Cognitive Theory of Science Be?
Rationality, Relativism, and Cognition
Representation and Judgment
Naturalistic Realism
Can the Philosophy of Science Be Naturalized?
Must the Naturalistic Study of Science Be Viciously Circular?
Evolutionary Naturalism
What Might a Cognitive Theory of Science Be Like?
A Role for History?
Overview of This Book
2. Theories of Science
Logical Empiricism
The Social Structure of Science
Paradigms and Revolutions
Programs and Traditions
Constructive Empiricism
The Strong Program
Laboratory Studies
The Sociological Analysis of Scientists' Discourse
3. Models and Theories
The Science Textbook
The Organization of a Mechanics Text
The Linear Oscillator
Interpretation and Identification
The Laws of Motion
Models and Hypotheses
What Is a Scientific Theory?
What about Axiomatic Presentations of Mechanics?
Beyond Classical Mechanics
4. Constructive Realism
Respects of Similarity
Varieties of Empiricism
Unrestricted Realism
Metaphysical Realism
Modal Realism
Laws as Universal Generalizations
Causal Models and Causal Explanations
Realistic Rejoinders
5. Realism in the Laboratory
Contingency and Negotiation
Producing Protons
Using Protons
Experimentation and Realism
The Limitations of Empiricism
The Limitations of Constructivism
Geometrical Cognition in Nuclear Research
The Role of Technology in Scientific Research
6. Scientific Judgment
Scientists as Decision Makers
Basic Decision Models
Bayesian Decision Models
Are Scientists Bayesian Agents?
Satisficing Models
Scientists as Satisficers
Experimental Tests
Philosophical Objections
The Role of Probability in Science
7. Models and Experiments
Models of the Nuclear Potential
Background to the Pursuit of Relativistic Dirac Models
Response to the New Data
Why Successful Predictions Matter
Further Evidence
The Design and Execution of an Experimental Test
Cognitive Resources and Scientific Interests
An Evolutionary Picture
The Future of Dirac Models in Nuclear Physics
8. Explaining the Revolution in Geology
Contractionist Models
Wegener and Continental Drift
Wegener's Critics
Oceanography and Paleomagnetism
Seafloor Spreading
The Vine-Matthews Hypothesis
The Juan de Fuca Ridge
The Vindication of Seafloor Spreading
Mobilism Becomes a Satisfactory Option
Revolution or Evolution?
Epilogue: Reflexive Reflections
Notes
References
Index

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