Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach / Edition 2

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"This volume presents an attempt to construct a unified cognitive theory of science in relatively short compass. It confronts the strong program in sociology of science and the positions of various postpositivist philosophers of science, developing significant alternatives to each in a reeadily comprehensible sytle. It draws loosely on recent developments in cognitive science, without burdening the argument with detailed results from that source. . . . The book is thus a provocative one. Perhaps that is a measure of its value: it will lead scholars and serious student from a number of science studies disciplines into continued and sharpened debate over fundamental questions."—Richard Burian, Isis

"The writing is delightfully clear and accessible. On balance, few books advance our subject as well."—Paul Teller, Philosophy of Science

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226292069
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Series: Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald N. Giere is professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Understanding Scientific Reasoning.

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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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