Review of: James T. Cushing, Philosophical Concepts in Physics: The Historical Relation Between Philosophy and Scientific Theories
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Erkenntnis 52 (1):133-137 (2000)
This book successfully achieves to serve two different purposes. On the one hand, it is a readable physics-based introduction into the philosophy of science, written in an informal and accessible style. The author, himself a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame and active in the philosophy of science for almost twenty years, carefully develops his metatheoretical arguments on a solid basis provided by an extensive survey along the lines of the historical development of physics. On the other hand, this book supplies one long argument for Cushing´s own attitude in the philosophy of science. While former studies of the author, from which this book draws in part, focused each on one special episode in the history of science, this book gathers case material from many different parts of physics and epochs. The main goal of this book is ”to impress upon the reader the essential and ineliminable role that philosophical considerations have played in the actual practice of science” (p. xv). The book is beautifully edited and produced; it contains a wealth of illustrative figures, well-chosen short quotations from original sources and contemporary commentators (some longer quotations are relegated in an appendix at the end of a chapter) and does not dispense with insightful mathematical arguments in the main text (some advanced deductions are, however, relegated in the appendices). It contains nine parts, whereas only the first and the last one are exclusively devoted to philosophical issues. The seven remaining parts, each subdivided into three chapters, centre around one major episode (a theory, a world view, etc.) in the history of physics. The author presents this material in a clear and philosophically unbiased way so that also readers who do not share Cushing’s subsequent philosophical conclusions will find this inspiring book extremely useful. Part 1 (”The scientific enterprise”) discusses some traditional (”objectivist”) views concerning the status of scientific knowledge, ”the” scientific method, and the relation....
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Ethics Logic Ontology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
W. H. (2001). Spacetime Visualisation and the Intelligibility of Physical Theories. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (2):243-265.
James T. Cushing (1986). Causality as an Overarching Principle in Physics. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:3 - 11.
James T. Cushing (1992). Historical Contingency and Theory Selection in Science. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:446 - 457.
Brigitte Falkenburg (2011). What Are the Phenomena of Physics? Synthese 182 (1):149-163.
James T. Cushing (1990/2005). Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics: The S Matrix. Cambridge University Press.
James T. Cushing (1984). The Convergence and Content of Scientific Opinion. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:211 - 223.
R. DiSalle (1999). Review. Philosophical Concepts in Physics: The Historical Relation Between Philosophy and Scientific Theories. JT Cushing. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (4):747-759.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads114 ( #25,380 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #48,707 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?