Philosophy of Science in the Twentieth Century: Four Central Themes / Edition 1

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Philosophy of Science in the Twentieth Century is one of the best introductions to the philosophy of science now available." Peter Lipton, Times Higher Education Supplement
An introduction to the philosophy of science, tracing the development during the 20th century of four central themes: inductivism, conventionalism, the nature of observation, and the demarcation between science and metaphysics. The movement of ideas is placed against the background of the lives of the philosophers and of contemporary developments in science. Doesn't presuppose any previous knowledge of philosophy or science. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631183587
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/16/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

As an undergraduate, Donald Gillies studied Mathematics and Philosophy at Cambridge. In 1966 he began graduate studies in Professor Sir Karl Popper's department at the London School of Economics, and he completed his PhD on the Foundations of Probability in 1970 with Professor Imre Lakatos as supervisor. From 1968 to 1971, he was a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. In 1971 he joined the staff of the University of London, and is at present Reader in History and Philosophy of Science at King's College London. In 1982, he was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, and from 1982 to 1985 edited the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

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Table of Contents

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.

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