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The Cognitive Science of Science: Explanation, Discovery, and Conceptual Change [NOOK Book]

Overview


Many disciplines, including philosophy, history, and sociology, have attempted to make sense of how science works. In this book, Paul Thagard examines scientific development from the interdisciplinary perspective of cognitive science. Cognitive science combines insights from researchers in many fields: philosophers analyze historical cases, psychologists carry out behavioral experiments, neuroscientists perform brain scans, and computer modelers write programs that simulate thought processes. Thagard develops ...
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The Cognitive Science of Science: Explanation, Discovery, and Conceptual Change

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Overview


Many disciplines, including philosophy, history, and sociology, have attempted to make sense of how science works. In this book, Paul Thagard examines scientific development from the interdisciplinary perspective of cognitive science. Cognitive science combines insights from researchers in many fields: philosophers analyze historical cases, psychologists carry out behavioral experiments, neuroscientists perform brain scans, and computer modelers write programs that simulate thought processes. Thagard develops cognitive perspectives on the nature of explanation, mental models, theory choice, and resistance to scientific change, considering disbelief in climate change as a case study. He presents a series of studies that describe the psychological and neural processes that have led to breakthroughs in science, medicine, and technology. He shows how discoveries of new theories and explanations lead to conceptual change, with examples from biology, psychology, and medicine. Finally, he shows how the cognitive science of science can integrate descriptive and normative concerns; and he considers the neural underpinnings of certain scientific concepts.
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Editorial Reviews

Metascience
The problem of scientific cognition is very complex, and cognitive science of science is in its early infancy. This book make a significant contribution to clarifying the issues involved in studying scientific cognition, and outlining proof-of-concept models of possible neural processes involved in discovery, explanation, and conceptual change...I look forward to Cognitive Science of Science 2.0.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262300971
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/6/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Paul Thagard is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He is the author of The Cognitive Science of Science (MIT Press,2012) and many other books.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

I Introduction 1

1 What Is the Cognitive Science of Science? 3

II Explanation and Justification 19

2 Why Explanation Matters 21

3 Models of Scientific Explanation Abninder Litt 25

4 How Brains Make Mental Models 47

5 Changing Minds about Climate Change: Belief Revision, Coherence, and Emotion Scott Findlay 61

6 Coherence, Truth, and the Development of Scientific Knowledge 81

III Discovery and Creativity 101

7 Why Discovery Matters 103

8 The Aha! Experience: Creativity through Emergent Binding in Neural Networks Terrence C. Stewart 107

9 Creative Combination of Representations: Scientific Discovery and Technological Invention 141

10 Creativity in Computer Science Daniel Saunders 159

11 Patterns of Medical Discovery 175

IV Conceptual Change 193

12 Why Conceptual Change Matters 195

13 Conceptual Change in the History of Science: Life, Mind, and Disease 199

14 Getting to Darwin: Obstacles to Accepting Evolution by Natural Selection Scott Findlay 219

15 Acupuncture, Incommensurability, and Conceptual Change Jing Zhu 235

16 Conceptual Change in Medicine: Explanations of Mental Illness from Demons to Epigenetics Scott Findlay 261

V New Directions 281

17 Values in Science: Cognitive-Affective Maps 283

18 Scientific Concepts as Semantic Pointers 303

References 323

Index 355

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