Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction

Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction

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What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism. He also looks at philosophical issues in particular sciences, including the problem of classification in biology, and the nature of space and time in physics. The final chapter touches on the conflicts between science and religion, and explores whether science is ultimately a good thing. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 110 x 172 x 12mm | 117.93g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 10 halftones and numerous line drawings
  • 0192802836
  • 9780192802835
  • 29,128

Review quote

the book is extremely readable and, I was delighted to discover, extremely sensible...I wouldn't have missed the trip for all the tea in Harrods John Ewing, Nurturing Potential This book gives an excellent sense of what keeps philosophers of science awake at night. The issues and the arguments are presented with stunning clarity. For those who want a first taste of our subject, Samir Okasha's Introduction is ideal. Peter Lipton, University of Cambridgeshow more

About Samir Okasha

Samir Okasha is currently Lecturer in Philosophy, University of York. He has published numerous articles in philosophy journals, in the areas of philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and epistemology. He has previously held a Jacobean Fellowship in Philosophy at University of London and has taught at the University of Mexico.show more

Table of contents

1. What is science? ; A very short history of science ; Does science have an essential nature? ; Science and pseudo-science ; 2. Scientific reasoning ; Induction and deduction ; Hume's problem ; Two types of inductive reasoning ; Probability and induction ; 3. Explanation in science ; The 'covering-law' model of explanation ; Alternative models of explanation ; Can science explain everything? ; 4. Realism and anti-realism about science ; Scientific realism ; Objections to scientific realism ; Varieties of anti-realism ; 5. Scientific change and scientific revolutions ; Explaining scientific change ; Thomas Kuhn on 'normal' and 'revolutionary' science ; Sociological accounts of scientific change ; 6. Philosophical problems in physics, biology and linguistics ; Leibniz versus Newton on absolute space ; The problem of biological classification ; Is knowledge of language innate ; 7. Science and its critics ; Is science a good thing? ; Science and religion ; The science warsshow more

Review Text

the book is extremely readable and, I was delighted to discover, extremely sensible...I wouldn't have missed the trip for all the tea in Harrods John Ewing, Nurturing Potentialshow more

Rating details

1,311 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 26% (340)
4 45% (594)
3 23% (300)
2 5% (61)
1 1% (16)
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