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This book traces the development during the 20th century of four central themes in the philosophy of science. The themes, chosen for their importance are expounded in a way which does not presuppose any previous knowledge of philosophy or science. The book thus constitutes an excellent introduction to the philosophy of science.
Part I: Inductivism and its Critics:.
1. Some Historical Background: Inductivism, Russell and the Cambridge School, the Vienna Circle and Popper.
2. Popper's Critique of Inductivism.
3. Duhem's Critique of Inductivism.
Part II: Conventionalism and the Duhem-Quine Thesis:.
4. Poincare's Conventionalism of 1902.
5. The Duhem Thesis and the Quine Thesis.
Part III: The Nature of Observation:.
6. Observation Statements: (a) the Views of Carnap, Neurath, Popper and Duhem.
7. Observation Statements: (b) Some Psychological Findings.
Part IV: The Demarcation between Science and Metaphysics:.
8. Is Metaphysics Meaningless? Wittgenstein, the Vienna Circle and Popper's Critique.
9. Metaphysics in relation to Science: the Views of Popper, Duhem and Quine.
10. Falsification in the light of the Duhem-Quine Thesis.