Science as It Could Have Been: Discussing the Contingency/Inevitability Problem

Science as It Could Have Been: Discussing the Contingency/Inevitability Problem

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Overview

Could all or part of our taken-as-established scientific conclusions, theories, experimental data, ontological commitments, and so forth have been significantly different? Science as It Could Have Been focuses on a crucial issue that contemporary science studies have often neglected: the issue of contingency within science. It considers a number of case studies, past and present, from a wide range of scientific disciplines—physics, biology, geology, mathematics, and psychology—to explore whether components of human science are inevitable, or if we could have developed an alternative successful science based on essentially different notions, conceptions, and results. Bringing together a group of distinguished contributors in philosophy, sociology, and history of science, this edited volume offers a comprehensive analysis of the contingency/inevitability problem and a lively and up-to-date portrait of current debates in science studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822981152
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 01/15/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 680
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Léna Soler is associate professor of philosophy of science at the University of Lorraine. She is the author of Introduction à l’épistémologie and editor of Science after the Practice Turn in the Philosophy, History, and Social Studies of Science.
Emiliano Trizio is an instructor of philosophy at Seattle University.
Andrew Pickering is professor of sociology and philosophy at the University of Exeter. He is the author of Constructing Quarks, The Mangle of Practice, and The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future.

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments Introduction. The Contingentist/Inevitabilist Debate: Current State of Play, Paradigmatic Forms of Problems and Arguments, Connections to More Familiar Philosophical Themes - Léna Soler Part I. Global Survey of the Problem Situation 1. Why Contingentists Should Not Care about the Inevitabilist Demand to “Put-Up-or-Shut-Up”: A Dialogic Reconstruction of the Argumentative Network - Léna Soler 2. Some Remarks about the Definitions of Contingentism and Inevitabilism - Catherine Allamel-Raffin and Jean-Luc Gangloff Part II. Contingency, Ontology and Realism 3. Science, Contingency, and Ontology - Andrew Pickering 4. Scientific Realism and the Contingency of the History of Science - Emiliano Trizio 5. Contingency and Inevitability in Science: Instruments, Interfaces, and the Independent World - Mieke Boon Part III. In Search of a Concrete and Empirically Tractable Way of Framing the Contingentist/Inevitabilist Issue 6. Contingency and “The Art of the Soluble” - Harry Collins 7. Contingency, Conditional Realism, and the Evolution of the Sciences - Ronald N. Giere 8. Necessity and Contingency in the Discovery of Electron Diffraction - Yves Gingras Part IV. Contingency and Mathematics 9. Contingency in Mathematics: Two Case Studies - Jean Paul Van Bendegem 10. Freedom of Framework - Jean-Michel Salanskis 11. On the Contingency of What Counts as “Mathematics” - Ian Hacking Part V. Widening the Scope of Contingentist/Inevitabilist Targets: Scientific Practices and the Methodological, Material, Tacit, and Social Dimensions of Science 12. The Science of Mind as It Could Have Been: About the Contingency of the (Quasi-) Disappearance of Introspection in Psychology - Michel Bitbol and Claire Petitmengin 13. Laws, Scientific Practice, and the Contingency/Inevitability Question - Joseph Rouse Part VI. Contingency and Scientific Pluralism 14. On the Plurality of (Theoretical) Worlds - Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond 15. Cultivating Contingency: A Case for Scientific Pluralism - Hasok Chang Notes Bibliography Contributors Index

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