Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy

How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and Reality covers logical positivism; the problems of induction and confirmation; Karl Popper's theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and "scientific revolutions"; the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in more detail at some specific problems and theories, including scientific realism, the theory-ladeness of observation, scientific explanation, and Bayesianism. Finally, Godfrey-Smith defends a form of philosophical naturalism as the best way to solve the main problems in the field. Throughout the text he points out connections between philosophical debates and wider discussions about science in recent decades, such as the infamous "science wars." Examples and asides engage the ...

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  • ASIN: 0226300633

The History of the Calculus and Its Conceptual Development (Dover Books on Mathematics)

The History of the Calculus and Its Conceptual

This book, for the first time, provides laymen and mathematicians alike with a detailed picture of the historical development of one of the most momentous achievements of the human intellect ― the calculus. It describes with accuracy and perspective the long development of both the integral and the differential calculus from their early beginnings in antiquity to their final emancipation in the 19th century from both physical and metaphysical ideas alike and their final elaboration as mathematical abstractions, as we know them today, defined in terms of formal logic by means of the idea of a limit of an infinite sequence.But while the importance of the calculus and mathematical analysis ― the core of modern mathematics ― cannot be overemphasized, the value of this first comprehensive critical history of the calculus goes far beyond the subject matter. This book will fully counteract the impression of laymen, and of many mathematicians, that the great achievements of mathematics were formulated from the beginning in final form. It will give readers a sense of mathematics not as a technique, but as a habit of mind, and serve to bridge the gap between the sciences and the humanities. It will also make abundantly clear the modern understanding of mathematics by showing in detai...

  • ASIN: 0486605094
  • UPC: 800759605095

A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science

How do we come to trust our knowledge of the world? What are the means by which we distinguish true from false accounts? Why do we credit one observational statement over another? In A Social History of Truth, Shapin engages these universal questions through an elegant recreation of a crucial period in the history of early modern science: the social world of gentlemen-philosophers in seventeenth-century England. Steven Shapin paints a vivid picture of the relations between gentlemanly culture and scientific practice. He argues that problems of credibility in science were practically solved through the codes and conventions of genteel conduct: trust, civility, honor, and integrity. These codes formed, and arguably still form, an important basis for securing reliable knowledge about the natural world. Shapin uses detailed historical narrative to argue about the establishment of factual knowledge both in science and in everyday practice. Accounts of the mores and manners of gentlemen-philosophers are used to illustrate Shapin's broad claim that trust is imperative for constituting every kind of knowledge. Knowledge-making is always a collective enterprise: people have to know whom to trust in order to know something about the natural world.

  • Brand: University of Chicago Press
  • ASIN: 0226750191

Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge (Science

We may learn from our mistakes, but Deborah Mayo argues that, where experimental knowledge is concerned, we haven't begun to learn enough. Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge launches a vigorous critique of the subjective Bayesian view of statistical inference, and proposes Mayo's own error-statistical approach as a more robust framework for the epistemology of experiment. Mayo genuinely addresses the needs of researchers who work with statistical analysis, and simultaneously engages the basic philosophical problems of objectivity and rationality. Mayo has long argued for an account of learning from error that goes far beyond detecting logical inconsistencies. In this book, she presents her complete program for how we learn about the world by being "shrewd inquisitors of error, white gloves off." Her tough, practical approach will be important to philosophers, historians, and sociologists of science, and will be welcomed by researchers in the physical, biological, and social sciences whose work depends upon statistical analysis.

  • ASIN: 0226511987

Squaring the Circle: The War between Hobbes and Wallis (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Squaring the Circle: The War between Hobbes and

In 1655, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes claimed he had solved the centuries-old problem of "squaring of the circle" (constructing a square equal in area to a given circle). With a scathing rebuttal to Hobbes's claims, the mathematician John Wallis began one of the longest and most intense intellectual disputes of all time. Squaring the Circle is a detailed account of this controversy, from the core mathematics to the broader philosophical, political, and religious issues at stake. Hobbes believed that by recasting geometry in a materialist mold, he could solve any geometric problem and thereby demonstrate the power of his materialist metaphysics. Wallis, a prominent Presbyterian divine as well as an eminent mathematician, refuted Hobbes's geometry as a means of discrediting his philosophy, which Wallis saw as a dangerous mix of atheism and pernicious political theory. Hobbes and Wallis's "battle of the books" illuminates the intimate relationship between science and crucial seventeenth-century debates over the limits of sovereign power and the existence of God.

  • ASIN: 0226399001

Descartes' Metaphysical Physics (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Descartes' Metaphysical Physics (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations

In this first book-length treatment of Descartes' important and influential natural philosophy, Daniel Garber is principally concerned with Descartes' accounts of matter and motion—the joint between Descartes' philosophical and scientific interests. These accounts constitute the point at which the metaphysical doctrines on God, the soul, and body, developed in writings like the Meditations, give rise to physical conclusions regarding atoms, vacua, and the laws that matter in motion must obey. Garber achieves a philosophically rigorous reading of Descartes that is sensitive to the historical and intellectual context in which he wrote. What emerges is a novel view of this familiar figure, at once unexpected and truer to the historical Descartes. The book begins with a discussion of Descartes' intellectual development and the larger project that frames his natural philosophy, the complete reform of all the sciences. After this introduction Garber thoroughly examines various aspects of Descartes' physics: the notion of body and its identification with extension; Descartes' rejection of the substantial forms of the scholastics; his relation to the atomistic tradition of atoms and the void; the concept of motion and the laws of motion, including Descartes' conservation principle, h...

  • ASIN: 0226282198

Quantum Mechanics: Historical Contingency and the Copenhagen Hegemony (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Quantum Mechanics: Historical Contingency and the Copenhagen Hegemony

Why does one theory "succeed" while another, possibly clearer interpretation, fails? By exploring two observationally equivalent yet conceptually incompatible views of quantum mechanics, James T. Cushing shows how historical contingency can be crucial to determining a theory's construction and its position among competing views. Since the late 1920s, the theory formulated by Niels Bohr and his colleagues at Copenhagen has been the dominant interpretation of quantum mechanics. Yet an alternative interpretation, rooted in the work of Louis de Broglie in the early 1920s and reformulated and extended by David Bohm in the 1950s, equally well explains the observational data. Through a detailed historical and sociological study of the physicists who developed different theories of quantum mechanics, the debates within and between opposing camps, and the receptions given to each theory, Cushing shows that despite the preeminence of the Copenhagen view, the Bohm interpretation cannot be ignored. Cushing contends that the Copenhagen interpretation became widely accepted not because it is a better explanation of subatomic phenomena than is Bohm's, but because it happened to appear first. Focusing on the philosophical, social, and cultural forces that shaped one of the most important devel...

  • ASIN: 0226132048

The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy

"All art should become science and all science art; poetry and philosophy should be made one." Friedrich Schlegel's words perfectly capture the project of the German Romantics, who believed that the aesthetic approaches of art and literature could reveal patterns and meaning in nature that couldn't be uncovered through rationalistic philosophy and science alone. In this wide-ranging work, Robert J. Richards shows how the Romantic conception of the world influenced (and was influenced by) both the lives of the people who held it and the development of nineteenth-century science.Integrating Romantic literature, science, and philosophy with an intimate knowledge of the individuals involved—from Goethe and the brothers Schlegel to Humboldt and Friedrich and Caroline Schelling—Richards demonstrates how their tempestuous lives shaped their ideas as profoundly as their intellectual and cultural heritage. He focuses especially on how Romantic concepts of the self, as well as aesthetic and moral considerations—all tempered by personal relationships—altered scientific representations of nature. Although historians have long considered Romanticism at best a minor tributary to scientific thought, Richards moves it to the center of the main currents of nineteenth-century biology, culm...

  • ASIN: 0226712117

Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the

In the court of the Medicis and the Vatican, Galileo fashioned both his career and his science to the demands of patronage and its complex systems of wealth, power, and prestige. In this fascinating cultural and social history of science, Biagioli argues that Galileo's courtly role was integral to his science - the questions he chose to examine, his methods, even his conclusions.

  • ASIN: 0226045609

Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology (Science and Its

"Provine's thorough and thoroughly admirable examination of Wright's life and influence, which is accompanied by a very useful collection of Wright's papers on evolution, is the best we have for any recent figure in evolutionary biology."—Joe Felsenstein, Nature "In Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology . . . Provine has produced an intellectual biography which serves to chart in considerable detail both the life and work of one man and the history of evolutionary theory in the middle half of this century. Provine is admirably suited to his task. . . . The resulting book is clearly a labour of love which will be of great interest to those who have a mature interest in the history of evolutionary theory."-John Durant, ;ITimes Higher Education Supplement;X

  • ASIN: 0226684733

Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific Revolution (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations)

Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the

Although the Scientific Revolution has long been regarded as the beginning of modern science, there has been little consensus about its true character. While the application of mathematics to the study of the natural world has always been recognized as an important factor, the role of experiment has been less clearly understood. Peter Dear investigates the nature of the change that occurred during this period, focusing particular attention on evolving notions of experience and how these developed into the experimental work that is at the center of modern science. He examines seventeenth-century mathematical sciences—astronomy, optics, and mechanics—not as abstract ideas, but as vital enterprises that involved practices related to both experience and experiment. Dear illuminates how mathematicians and natural philosophers of the period—Mersenne, Descartes, Pascal, Barrow, Newton, Boyle, and the Jesuits—used experience in their argumentation, and how and why these approaches changed over the course of a century. Drawing on mathematical texts and works of natural philosophy from all over Europe, he describes a process of change that was gradual, halting, sometimes contradictory—far from the sharp break with intellectual tradition implied by the term "revolution."

  • ASIN: 0226139441

Science without Laws (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations)

Science without Laws (Science and Its Conceptual

Debate over the nature of science has recently moved from the halls of academia into the public sphere, where it has taken shape as the "science wars." At issue is the question of whether scientific knowledge is objective and universal or socially mediated, whether scientific truths are independent of human values and beliefs. Ronald Giere is a philosopher of science who has been at the forefront of this debate from its inception, and Science without Laws offers a much-needed mediating perspective on an increasingly volatile line of inquiry.Giere does not question the major findings of modern science: for example, that the universe is expanding or that inheritance is carried by DNA molecules with a double helical structure. But like many critics of modern science, he rejects the widespread notion of science—deriving ultimately from the Enlightenment—as a uniquely rational activity leading to the discovery of universal truths underlying all natural phenomena. In these highly readable essays, Giere argues that it is better to understand scientists as merely constructing more or less abstract models of limited aspects of the world. Such an understanding makes possible a resolution of the issues at stake in the science wars. The critics of science are seen to be correct in reject...

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  • ASIN: 0226292088

Modeling Nature (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Modeling Nature (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations

The first history of population ecology traces two generations of science and scientists from the opening of the twentieth century through 1970. Kingsland chronicles the careers of key figures and the field's theoretical, empirical, and institutional development, with special attention to tensions between the descriptive studies of field biologists and later mathematical models. This second edition includes a new afterword that brings the book up to date, with special attention to the rise of "the new natural history" and debates about ecology's future as a large-scale scientific enterprise.

  • ASIN: 0226437280

The Great Devonian Controversy: The Shaping of Scientific Knowledge among Gentlemanly Specialists (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

The Great Devonian Controversy: The Shaping of Scientific

"Arguably the best work to date in the history of geology."—David R. Oldroyd, Science "After a superficial first glance, most readers of good will and broad knowledge might dismiss [this book] as being too much about too little. They would be making one of the biggest mistakes in their intellectual lives. . . . [It] could become one of our century's key documents in understanding science and its history."—Stephen Jay Gould, New York Review of Books "Surely one of the most important studies in the history of science of recent years, and arguably the best work to date in the history of geology."—David R. Oldroyd, Science

  • ASIN: 0226731022

Quantum Dialogue: The Making of a Revolution (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Quantum Dialogue: The Making of a Revolution (Science

"Science is rooted in conversations," wrote Werner Heisenberg, one of the twentieth century's great physicists. In Quantum Dialogue, Mara Beller shows that science is rooted not just in conversation but in disagreement, doubt, and uncertainty. She argues that it is precisely this culture of dialogue and controversy within the scientific community that fuels creativity.Beller draws her argument from her radical new reading of the history of the quantum revolution, especially the development of the Copenhagen interpretation. One of several competing approaches, this version succeeded largely due to the rhetorical skills of Niels Bohr and his colleagues. Using extensive archival research, Beller shows how Bohr and others marketed their views, misrepresenting and dismissing their opponents as "unreasonable" and championing their own not always coherent or well-supported position as "inevitable."Quantum Dialogue, winner of the 1999 Morris D. Forkosch Prize of the Journal of the History of Ideas, will fascinate everyone interested in how stories of "scientific revolutions" are constructed and "scientific consensus" achieved.

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  • ASIN: 0226041824

Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach (Science and Its

"This volume presents an attempt to construct a unified cognitive theory of science in relatively short compass. It confronts the strong program in sociology of science and the positions of various postpositivist philosophers of science, developing significant alternatives to each in a reeadily comprehensible sytle. It draws loosely on recent developments in cognitive science, without burdening the argument with detailed results from that source. . . . The book is thus a provocative one. Perhaps that is a measure of its value: it will lead scholars and serious student from a number of science studies disciplines into continued and sharpened debate over fundamental questions."—Richard Burian, Isis "The writing is delightfully clear and accessible. On balance, few books advance our subject as well."—Paul Teller, Philosophy of Science

  • ASIN: 0226292061

From Mineralogy to Geology: The Foundations of a Science, 1650-1830 (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

From Mineralogy to Geology: The Foundations of a

"A fine treatment of this critical time in geology's history. Although it goes against our standard histories of the field, Laudan defends her views convincingly. Her style is direct, with carefully reasoned personal opinions and interpretations clearly defined."—Jere H. Lipps, The Scientist

  • ASIN: 0226469506
  • UPC: 000226469506

In the Wake of Chaos: Unpredictable Order in Dynamical Systems (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

In the Wake of Chaos: Unpredictable Order in

Chaos theory has captured scientific and popular attention. What began as the discovery of randomness in simple physical systems has become a widespread fascination with "chaotic" models of everything from business cycles to brainwaves to heart attacks. But what exactly does this explosion of new research into chaotic phenomena mean for our understanding of the world? In this timely book, Stephen Kellert takes the first sustained look at the broad intellectual and philosophical questions raised by recent advances in chaos theory—its implications for science as a source of knowledge and for the very meaning of that knowledge itself.

  • ASIN: 0226429741

Science and Relativism: Some Key Controversies in the Philosophy of Science (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Science and Relativism: Some Key Controversies in the

In recent years, many members of the intellectual community have embraced a radical relativism regarding knowledge in general and scientific knowledge in particular, holding that Kuhn, Quine, and Feyerabend have knocked the traditional picture of scientific knowledge into a cocked hat. Is philosophy of science, or mistaken impressions of it, responsible for the rise of relativism? In this book, Laudan offers a trenchant, wide-ranging critique of cognitive relativism and a thorough introduction to major issues in the philosophy of knowledge.

  • ASIN: 0226469492

Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series) by Peter Godfrey-Smith (2003-08-01)

Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy

Will be shipped from US. Used books may not include companion materials, may have some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include CDs or access codes. 100% money back guarantee.

  • ASIN: B017PN5XPG

What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological

In this provocative contribution to the philosophy of science and mind, Paul E. Griffiths criticizes contemporary philosophy and psychology of emotion for failing to take in an evolutionary perspective and address current work in neurobiology and cognitive science. Reviewing the three current models of emotion, Griffiths points out their deficiencies and constructs a basis for future models that pay equal attention to biological fact and conceptual rigor. "Griffiths has written a work of depth and clarity in an area of murky ambiguity, producing a much-needed standard at the border of science, philosophy, and psychology. . . . As he presents his case, offering a forthright critique of past and present theories, Griffiths touches on such issues as evolution, social construction, natural kinds (categories corresponding with real distinctions in nature), cognition, and moods. While addressing specialists, the book will reward general readers who apply themselves to its remarkably accessible style."—Library Journal "What Emotions Really Are makes a strong claim to be one of the best books to have emerged on the subject of human emotion."—Ray Dolan, Nature

  • ASIN: 0226308723

Biology Takes Form: Animal Morphology and the German Universities, 1800-1900 (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Biology Takes Form: Animal Morphology and the German

Morphology—the study of form—is often regarded as a failed science that made only limited contributions to our understanding of the living world. Challenging this view, Lynn Nyhart argues that morphology was integral to the life sciences of the nineteenth century. Biology Takes Form traces the development of morphological research in German universities and illuminates significant institutional and intellectual changes in nineteenth-century German biology. Although there were neither professors of morphology nor a morphologists' society, morphologists achieved influence by "colonizing" niches in a variety of disciplines. Scientists in anatomy, zoology, natural history, and physiology considered their work morphological, and the term encompassed research that today might be classified as embryology, systematics, functional morphology, comparative physiology, ecology, behavior, evolutionary theory, or histology. Nyhart draws on research notes, correspondence, and other archival material to examine how these scientists responded to new ideas and to the work of colleagues. She examines the intertwined histories of morphology and the broader biological enterprise, demonstrating that the study of form was central to investigations of such issues as the relationships between an ani...

  • ASIN: 0226610888

Economics--Mathematical Politics or Science of Diminishing Returns? (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Economics--Mathematical Politics or Science of Diminishing Returns? (Science

Economics today cannot predict the likely outcome of specific events any better than it could in the time of Adam Smith. This is Alexander Rosenberg's controversial challenge to the scientific status of economics. Rosenberg explains that the defining characteristic of any science is predictive improvability—the capacity to create more precise forecasts by evaluating the success of earlier predictions—and he forcefully argues that because economics has not been able to increase its predictive power for over two centuries, it is not a science.

  • ASIN: 0226727246

Durkheim's Philosophy of Science and the Sociology of Knowledge: Creating an Intellectual Niche (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Durkheim's Philosophy of Science and the Sociology of

In this demonstration of the link between philosophy of science and scientific practice, Warren Schmaus argues that Durkheim's philosophy is crucial to his sociology. Through a reinterpretation of the relation between Durkheim's major philosophical and sociological works, Schmaus argues that Durkheim's sociology is more than a collection of general observations about society—it reflects a richly constructed theory of the meanings and causes of social life.Schmaus shows how Durkheim sought to make sociology more rigorous by introducing scientific methods of analysis and explanation into the study of society. Durkheim tried to reveal how implicit, commonly held beliefs actually govern people's lives. Through an original interpretation of Durkheim's landmark writings, Schmaus argues that Durkheim, in his empirical studies, refined both the methods of sociology and a theory about society's shared knowledge and practices.This book opens a new window on the development of Durkheim's thought and demonstrates how a philosophy of science can inspire the rise of a new science.

  • ASIN: 0226742520
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The Shaky Game Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series

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Science without Laws Science & Its Conceptual Foundations Hardcover

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Brad Cornell - Conceptual Foundations of Investing

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Brad Cornell, professor emeritus of financial economics at UCLA's Graduate School of Management, examines three conceptual foundations of investing developed by three Nobel prize winners: Eugene Fama, Joseph Stiglitz and William Sharpe.

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Chapter One: Historical and Conceptual Foundations

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