David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):289 – 317 (2005)
The present paper presents a philosophical analysis of earth science, a discipline that has received relatively little attention from philosophers of science. We focus on the question of whether earth science can be reduced to allegedly more fundamental sciences, such as chemistry or physics. In order to answer this question, we investigate the aims and methods of earth science, the laws and theories used by earth scientists, and the nature of earth-scientific explanation. Our analysis leads to the tentative conclusion that there are emergent phenomena in earth science but that these may be reducible to physics. However, earth science does not have irreducible laws, and the theories of earth science are typically hypotheses about unobservable (past) events or generalised - but not universally valid - descriptions of contingent processes. Unlike more fundamental sciences, earth science is characterised by explanatory pluralism: earth scientists employ various forms of narrative explanations in combination with causal explanations. The main reason is that earth-scientific explanations are typically hampered by local underdetermination by the data to such an extent that complete causal explanations are impossible in practice, if not in principle.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Václav Černík & Jozef Viceník (2009). Historical Narrative: A Dispute Between Constructionism and Scientific Realism. Human Affairs 19 (2).
Derek D. Turner (2009). How Much Can We Know About the Causes of Evolutionary Trends? Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):341-357.
Similar books and articles
Resianne Fontaine (2000). Between Scorching Heat and Freezing Cold: Medieval Jewish Authors on the Inhabited and Uninhabited Parts of the Earth. Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 10 (1):101-137.
Mohan Matthen (2009). Why Does Earth Move to the Center? An Examination of Some Explanatory Strategies in Aristotle's Cosmology. In Alan C. Bowen & Christian Wildberg (eds.), New Perspectives on Aristotle's De Caelo. Brill. 1--119.
Katalin Farkas (2003). Does Twin Earth Rest on a Mistake? Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (8):155-169.
Cormac Cullinan (2011). Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice. Chelsea Green Pub..
G. Kelinhans Maarten, J. J. Buskes Chris & W. De Regt Henk (2010). Philosophy of the Natural Sciences: Philosophy of Physics / Richard DeWitt. Philosophy of Chemistry / Joachim Schummer. Philosophy of Biology / Matthew H. Haber ... [Et Al.]. Philosophy of Earth Science. [REVIEW] In Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Philosophies of the Sciences. Wiley-Blackwell.
Andrea Scarantino & Gualtiero Piccinini (2010). Information Without Truth. Metaphilosophy 41 (3):313-330.
Vincent Vycinas (1961). Earth and Gods. The Hague, M. Nijhoff.
Robert Frodeman & Victor R. Baker (eds.) (2000). Earth Matters: The Earth Sciences, Philosophy, and the Claims of Community. Prentice Hall.
Peter Kosso (2010). And Yet It Moves: The Observability of the Rotation of the Earth. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 15 (3):213-225.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads38 ( #63,664 of 1,696,563 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #94,197 of 1,696,563 )
How can I increase my downloads?