Reality and Rationality

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Overview


This volume of articles (most published, some new) is a follow-up to the late Wesley C. Salmon's widely read collection Causality And Explanation (OUP 1998). It contains both published and unpublished articles, and focuses on two related areas of inquiry: First, is science a rational enterprise? Secondly, does science yield objective information about our world, even the aspects that we cannot observe directly? Salmon's own take is that objective knowledge of the world is possible, and his work in these articles centers around proving that this can be so. Salmon's influential standing in the field ensures that this volume will be of interest to both undergraduates and professional philosophers, primarily in the philosophy of science.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Salmon was an important contributor to various debates in the area and the lucidity of his prose makes the great majority of the essays accessible to the full spectrum of readers, from undergraduates to professional philosophers. This collection of essays will provide a fitting tribute to one of the best philosophers of science in the twentieth century. It contains arguments of permanent value and each is written in the limpid style that makes Salmon such a delight to read."--Paul Humphreys, University of Virginia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195177848
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Wesley C. Salmon was University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He devoted his main research efforts to causality and explanation and to probability, induction, and confirmation. Among his major works are Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World (1984) and Causality and Explanation (1998).

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Table of Contents

I Reality : introduction 3
1 Realism and empiricism : the key question 7
2 Scientific realism in the empiricist tradition 19
3 An empiricist argument for realism 31
II Rationality : introduction 61
4 Plausibility arguments in science 65
5 Discovery and justification 83
6 Rationality and objectivity in science 93
7 Revisions of scientific convictions 117
8 Dynamic rationality 126
9 Hume's arguments on cosmology and design 152
10 The "almost-deduction" theory 178
11 The "partial-entailment" theory 184
12 Confirmation and relevance 210
Bibliography of works by Wesley C. Salmon
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