Scientific Method: A Historical and Philosophical Introduction / Edition 1

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The results, conclusions and claims of natural science are often taken to be reliable because they arise from the use of a distinctive method. Yet today, there is widespread scepticism as to whether we can validly talk of method in modern science. This outstanding new survey explains how this controversy has developed since the seventeenth century and explores its philosophical basis. Questions of scientific method are discussed through key figures such as Galileo, Bacon, Newton, Bayes, Mill, Poincare, Duhem, Popper, and Carnap. The concluding chapters contain stimulating discussions of attacks on the idea of scientific method by key figures such as Kuhn, Lakatos, and Feyerabend. Essential reading for students of the history and philosophy of science. Scientific Method will also appeal to anyone with an interest in what philosophers say about science.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415122825
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/10/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Galileo Galilei: New methods for a new science 21
3 Francis Bacon: Why experiments matter 40
4 Isaac Newton: Rules for reasoning scientifically 63
5 The Bernoullis and Thomas Bayes: Probability and scientific method 83
6 John Herschel, John Stuart Mill and William Whewell: The uses of hypotheses 109
7 Henri Poincare and Pierre Duhem: Conventions and scientific reasoning 130
8 John Venn and Charles Peirce: Probabilities as frequencies 152
9 John Maynard Keynes and Frank Ramsey: Probability logic 170
10 Hans Reichenbach and Karl Popper: The indispensability of induction 189
11 Rudolf Carnap: Scientific method as Bayesian reasoning 212
12 Conclusion: Experimental interventions and social constructions 236
Bibliography 262
Index 272
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