Scientific Evidence: Philosophical Theories and Applications

Overview

Physicists think they have discovered the top quark. Biologists believe in evolution. But what precisely constitutes evidence for such claims, and why? Scientists often disagree with one another over whether or to what extent some evidence counts in favor of a theory because they are operating with different concepts of scientific evidence. These concepts need to be critically explored. Peter Achinstein has gathered some prominent philosophers and historians of science for critical and lively discussions of both ...

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Overview

Physicists think they have discovered the top quark. Biologists believe in evolution. But what precisely constitutes evidence for such claims, and why? Scientists often disagree with one another over whether or to what extent some evidence counts in favor of a theory because they are operating with different concepts of scientific evidence. These concepts need to be critically explored. Peter Achinstein has gathered some prominent philosophers and historians of science for critical and lively discussions of both general questions about the meaning of evidence and specific ones about evidence for particular scientific theories.

Contributors: Peter Achinstein, The Johns Hopkins University; Steven Gimbel, Gettysburg College; Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania; Frederick M. Kronz, University of Texas–Austin; Helen Longino, University of Minnesota; Deborah G. Mayo, Virginia Tech; Amy L. McLaughlin, Florida Atlantic University; John Norton, University of Pittsburgh; Lawrence M. Principe, The Johns Hopkins University; Richard Richards, University of Alabama; Alex Rosenberg, Duke University; Sherrilyn Roush, Rice University; Laura J. Snyder, St. Johns University; Kent Staley, St. Louis University.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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What People Are Saying

Michael Ruse

Leading philosopher of science Peter Achinstein has put together a first-rate collection on the problem of scientific evidence.

— Michael Ruse, Florida State University

Michael Ruse
Leading philosopher of science Peter Achinstein has put together a first-rate collection on the problem of scientific evidence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801881183
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Achinstein is a professor of philosophy at the Johns Hopkins University. His previous books include Science Rules and Concepts of Science, also available from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 A little survey of induction 9
2 Four mistaken theses about evidence, and how to correct them 35
3 Restoring ambiguity to Achinstein's account of evidence 51
4 The fast track to confirmation : Achinstein and Peirce on evidence 69
5 Positive relevance : a defense and a challenge 85
6 Evidence as passing severe tests : highly probable versus highly probed hypotheses 95
7 Consilience, confirmation, and realism 129
8 Evidence for transmutation in seventeenth-century alchemy 151
9 Agency and objectivity in the search for the top quark 165
10 Will genomics do more for metaphysics than Locke? 185
11 Is domestic breeding evidence for (or against) Darwinian evolution? 207
12 Evidence in the sciences of behavior 237
13 Introspective evidence in psychology 259
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