Science and Hypothesis

Science and Hypothesis : Historical Essays on Scientific Methodology

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This book consists of a collection of essays written between 1965 and 1981. Some have been published elsewhere; others appear here for the first time. Although dealing with different figures and different periods, they have a common theme: all are concerned with examining how the method of hy pothesis came to be the ruling orthodoxy in the philosophy of science and the quasi-official methodology of the scientific community. It might have been otherwise. Barely three centuries ago, hypothetico deduction was in both disfavor and disarray. Numerous rival methods for scientific inquiry - including eliminative and enumerative induction, analogy and derivation from first principles - were widely touted. The method of hypothesis, known since antiquity, found few proponents between 1700 and 1850. During the last century, of course, that ordering has been inverted and - despite an almost universal acknowledgement of its weaknesses - the method of hypothesis (usually under such descriptions as 'hypothetico deduction' or 'conjectures and refutations') has become the orthodoxy of the 20th century. Behind the waxing and waning of the method of hypothesis, embedded within the vicissitudes of its fortunes, there is a fascinating story to be told. It is a story that forms an integral part of modern science and its philosophy.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 260 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 14.73mm | 408g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1981 ed.
  • 1 Illustrations, black and white; XI, 260 p. 1 illus.
  • 9401572909
  • 9789401572903

Table of contents

1. Introduction.- 2. The Sources of Modern Methodology: Two Models of Change.- 3. A Revisionist Note on the Methodological Significance of Galilean Mechanics.- 4. The Clock Metaphor and Hypotheses: The Impact of Descartes on English Methodological Thought, 1650-1670.- 5. John Locke on Hypotheses: Placing The Essay in the 'Scientific Tradition'.- 6. Hume (and Hacking) on Induction.- 7. Thomas Reid and the Newtonian Turn of British Methodological Thought.- 8. The Epistemology of Light: Some Methodological Issues in the Subtle Fluids Debate.- 9. Towards a Reassessment of Comte's 'Methode Positive'.- 10. William Whewell on the Consilience of Inductions.- 11. Why was the Logic of Discovery Abandoned?.- 12. A Note on Induction and Probability in the 19th Century.- 13. Ernst Mach's Opposition to Atomism.- 14. Peirce and the Trivialization of the Self-Corrective Thesis.- Bibliographic Note.- Index of Names.
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