A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

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How do theories of science "progress'? What standards must be met by a scientific explanation? How can one evaluate competing theories? Since the time of Plato and Aristotle, scientists and philosophers have raised questions about the proper evaluation of scientific interpretations. This guide is an introduction to the philosophy of science, suitable for readers who may not have the extensive knowledge of formal logic or the history of the several sciences. This new edition includes an extended discussion of such recent developments and controversies as new approaches to evaluative standards and cognitive aims, scientific realism, causal theories of explanation, Bayesian theories of confirmation and the search for a non-prescriptive philosophy of science. John Losee is the author of "Philosophy of Science and Historical Enquiry".show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 331 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 25.4mm | 249.47g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • line diagrams, bibliography
  • 0192892479
  • 9780192892478

Review quote

"An excellent text. Utterly unique in its depth of historical material."--Michael Goodman, Humboldt State University"[A] well-known and widely used text.....As in the earlier editions the same writing style and format for organizing the material are preserved. As a result the book rigidly stays at the level of presenting only carefully condensed factual presentations in serial order of the individual authors involved, and scrupulously avoids any critical evaluations or comparisons of the philosophies of science sketched out for the reader."--Physis"This is a concise and authorative summary of ideas about the scientific methods from antiquity to the present day, hence an invaluable source to students and teachers of philosophy and the history of science."--Kenneth A.R. Kennedy, Cornell Universityshow more

Table of contents

Aristotle's philosophy of science; the Pythagorean orientation; the ideal of deductive systematization; atomism and the concept of underlying mechanism; affirmation and development of Aristotle's method in the medieval period; the debate over saving the appearances; the 17th-century attack on Aristotelian philosophy - Galileo, Francis Bacon, Descartes; Newton's axiomatic method; analyses of the implications of the new science for a theory of scientific method - the cognitive status of scientific laws, theories of scientific procedure, structure of scientific theories; inductivism versus positivism and conventionalism; logical reconstructionist philosophy of science; logical reconstructionist philosophy of science; orthodoxy under attack; theories of scientific procedure; explanation, causation and unification; confirmation and evidential support; the justification of evaluative standards; the debate over scientific realism; descriptive philosphies of science.show more

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52 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 12% (6)
4 48% (25)
3 29% (15)
2 12% (6)
1 0% (0)
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