Understanding Scientific Reasoning / Edition 5

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UNDERSTANDING SCIENTIFIC REASONING develops critical reasoning skills and guides students in the improvement of their scientific and technological literacy. The authors teach students how to understand and critically evaluate the scientific information they encounter in both textbooks and the popular media. With its focus on scientific pedagogy, UNDERSTANDING SCIENTIFIC REASONING helps students learn how to examine scientific reports with a reasonable degree of sophistication. The book also explains how to reason through case studies using the same informal logic skills employed by scientists and to analyze a complex series of propositions and hypotheses using sound scientific reasoning.

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Editorial Reviews

Directed towards first and second year college students, this volume introduces aspects of the philosophy of science and aims to help readers acquire the cognitive skills useful for understanding and evaluating scientific material as found in textbooks and other sources. While the bulk of the ten chapters explore techniques for the evaluation of theoretical, statistical, and causal hypotheses, the final two discuss how to use scientific hypotheses to reach personal or public policy decisions. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780155063266
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 7/13/2005
  • Edition description: 5TH
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 587,153
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald N. Giere (Ph.D., Cornell University) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota and a former Director of the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Minnesota. In addition to many papers in the philosophy of science, he is the author of UNDERSTANDING SCIENTIFIC REASONING (4th ed 1997); EXPLAINING SCIENCE: A COGNITIVE APPROACH (1988); and SCIENCE WITHOUT LAWS (1999). He has also edited several volumes of papers in the philosophy of science, including, most recently, 'Cognitive Models of Science' (1992) and 'Origins of Logical Empiricism' (1996). Professor Giere is a Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science, a long-time member of the editorial board of the journal 'Philosophy of Science,' and a past president of the Philosophy of Science Association. His current research focuses on scientific cognition as a form of distributed cognition and on the perspectival nature of scientific knowledge.

John Bickle (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine) works in philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of science, and cellular mechanisms of cognition and consciousness. He is noted for his "new wave reductionism" presented in his 1998 MIT Press book, PSYCHONEURAL REDUCTION: THE NEW WAVE. His most recent book, PHILOSOPHY AND NEUROSCIENCE: A RUTHLESSLY REDUCTIVE ACCOUNT, published in June 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers, brings recent research from molecular and cellular cognition to the attention of cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind and science. Bickle is Professor and Head of the Department of Philosophy and Professor in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Cincinnati. He is the founding editor of BRAIN AND MIND: A TRANSCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROPHILOSOPHY and founding editor of the STUDIES IN BRAIN AND MIND BOOK SERIES.

Robert Mauldin (Ph.D., University of Tennessee), serves as Professor of Chemistry and Director of General Education at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. Professor Mauldin has a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry with an emphasis on the study of atmospheric chemistry using supercritical fluid extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In addition to undergraduate work in chemistry at the University of Tennessee at Martin, his educational background includes a minor in philosophy. He has a record of scholarly activity in the research areas of environmental chemistry, scientific reasoning, and general education. He currently serves as president of the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS), a national organization that is dedicated to promoting the centrality of general and liberal education in the undergraduate experience. As a co-author for this edition, Mauldin is able to draw on nine years of experience with using this textbook in a general education science course focused on scientific reasoning.

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Table of Contents

Why Understand Scientific Reasoning? Part I: THEORETICAL HYPOTHESES. 1. Understanding and Evaluating Theoretical Hypotheses. 2. Historical Episodes. 3. Marginal Science. Part II: STATISTICAL AND CAUSAL HYPOTHESES. 4. Statistical Models and Probability. 5. Evaluating Statistical Hypotheses. 6. Causal Models. 7. Evaluating Causal Hypotheses. Part III: KNOWLEDGE, VALUES, AND DECISIONS. 8. Models of Decision Making. 9. Evaluating Decisions.

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