Taking the Naturalistic Turn or How Real Philosophy of Science Is Done

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Philosophers of science traditionally have ignored the details of scientific research, and the result has often been theories that lack relevance either to science or to philosophy in general. In this volume, leading philosophers of biology discuss the limitations of this tradition and the advantages of the "naturalistic turn"—the idea that the study of science is itself a scientific enterprise and should be conducted accordingly.

This innovative book presents candid, informal debates among scholars who examine the benefits and problems of studying science in the same way that scientists study the natural world. Callebaut achieves the effect of face-to-face engagement through separate interviews with participants.

Contributors include William Bechtel, Robert Brandon, Richard M. Burian, Donald T. Campbell, Patricia Churchland, Jon Elster, Ronald N. Giere, David L. Hull, Philip Kitcher, Karin Knorr Cetina, Bruno Latour, Richard Levins, Richard C. Lewontin, Elisabeth Lloyd, Helen Longino, Thomas Nickles, Henry C. Plotkin, Robert J. Richards, Alexander Rosenberg, Michael Ruse, Dudley Shapere, Elliott Sober, Ryan Tweney, and William Wimsatt.

"Why can't we have both theoretical ecology and natural histories, lovingly done?"—Philip Kitcher

"Don't underestimate the arrogance of philosophers!"—Elisabeth Lloyd

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Werner Callebaut is associate professor of philosophy in the Department of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Communication of Limburgs Universitair Centrum, Belgium, and assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy of the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg, The Netherlands.
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Table of Contents

Analytical Table of Contents
List of Participants
1. Turning Naturalistic: An Introduction
Part One - Talking About It
2. Beyond Positivism and Historicism
2.1. Three Philosophical Generations
2.2. In Praise of the Received View (Yes)
2.3. Alienation of Philosophy from Science: A 1990s Recap
2.4. Who Killed Logical Positivism?
2.5. A Decisive Transformation of Our Image of Science
2.6. A Decisive Transformation of Our Image of Science
2.7. Positivism and Historicism Back to Back
2.8. Three Waves of Empirical Information: A Sneak Preview
3. Toward a New Theory of Science: New Dimensions, Features, and Approaches
3.1. Philosophy of What?
3.2. First Voyager: From Engineering to Biology
3.3. Second Voyager: From Economics to Biology, Back and Forth
3.4. Third Voyager: From Mathematics to Biology
3.5. Major Features of a Naturalized Philosophy of Science
3.6. A Trojan Horse: Steps toward an Anthropology of Science
4. Philosophy of Science Revisited
4.1. Explanation: The Hempel Heritage
4.2. Reduction: Who Has the Last Word?
4.3. The Realism-Constructivism Debate
5. New Roles and Tools for Philosophers of Science
5.1. Who Needs Philosophers Anyway?
5.2. Underlaborers
5.3. Discovery is Everywhere
5.4. A General Picture of the Scientific Enterprise: Pros and Cons
5.5. The Semantic View of Theories: A New Tool for the Trade
5.6. A Role for Methodology after All?
Part Two - Doing It
6. Philosophy of Biology
6.1. The View from Within
6.2. Getting a Grip on Evolutionary Theory
6.3. The Missing Half Pancake: The Elusive Environment
6.4. The Social Construction of Genes and Ecosystems
6.5. The Units-of-Selection Controversy
6.6. What Evolves? Reconsidering the Metaphysics of Evolution
7. Evolutionary Epistemology
7.1. Is It Epistemology?
7.2. The Evolutionary Approach to Science
7.3. A Tool for the Historiographer
7.4. In the Real Third World, People Die
8. Cognitive Approaches to Science and Philosophy
8.1. Steps Toward a Cognitive Science
8.2. Varieties of Cognitivism
8.3. Gibsonian Attractions
8.4. Reconsidering the Mind/Brain Issue
8.5. Neurophilosophy
9. Development, Learning, and Culture
9.1. Why Genetics Is Not Enough, I: The Return of Ontogeny
9.2. Why Genetics is not Enough, II: The Biology of Behavior and Learning
9.3. The Missing Link: Evolutionary Psychology?
9.4. Fitness, The Bugbear of Evolutionary Biology
9.5. Getting a Grip on Cultural Transmission
9.6. Is Cultural Evolution Lamarckian?
10. Philosophy Moves Along
10.1. Evolutionary Ethics
10.2. The Explosion of Philosophy of Science
10.3. Philosophy Education
10.4. Let Us Not Forget German History
10.5. Gender Studies
10.6. The Future of Science Studies
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