Alan Turing draws a firm line between the mental and the physical, between the cognitive and physicalsciences. For Turing, following a tradition that went back to D=Arcy Thompson, if not Geoffroy and Lucretius, throws talk of function, intentionality, and final causes from biology as a physical science. He likens Amother nature@ to the earnest A. I. scientist, who may send to school disparate versions of the Achild machine,@ eventually hoping for a test-passer but knowing that (...) the vagaries of his experimental course are history and accident. (shrink)
This accessible and engaging text explores the relationship between philosophy, science and physical geography. It addresses an imbalance that exists in opinion, teaching and to a lesser extent research, between a philosophically enriched human geography and a perceived philosophically ignorant physical geography. Science, Philosophy and Physical Geography , challenges the myth that there is a single self-evident scientific method, that can and is applied in a straightforward manner by physical geographers. It demonstrates the variety (...) of alternative philosophical perspectives. Furthermore it emphasizes the difference that the real world geographical context and the geographer make to the study of environmental phenomenon. This includes a consideration of the dynamic relationship between human and physical geography. Finally, it demonstrates the relevance of philosophy for both an understanding of published material and for the design and implementation of studies in physical geography. Key themes such as global warming, species and evolution and fluvial geomorphology are used to provide illustrations of key concepts in each chapter. Further reading is provided at the end of each chapter. (shrink)
The lectures have afforded me an opportunity of developing more fully than in my earlier books the principles of philosophic thought associated with the modern advances of physical science. It is often said that there is no "philosophy of ...
Hasok Chang (Science & Education 20:317–341, 2011) shows how the recovery of past experimental knowledge, the physical replication of historical experiments, and the extension of recovered knowledge can increase scientific understanding. These activities can also play an important role in both science and history and philosophy of science education. In this paper I describe the implementation of an integrated learning project that I initiated, organized, and structured to complement a course in history and philosophy of the life (...)sciences (HPLS). The project focuses on the study and use of descriptions, observations, experiments, and recording techniques used by early microscopists to classify various species of water flea. The first published illustrations and descriptions of the water flea were included in the Dutch naturalist Jan Swammerdam’s, Historia Insectorum Generalis (1669) (Algemeene verhandeling van de bloedeloose dierkens. t’Utrrecht, Meinardus van Dreunen, ordinaris Drucker van d’Academie). After studying these, we first used the descriptions, techniques, and nomenclature recovered to observe, record, and classify the specimens collected from our university ponds. We then used updated recording techniques and image-based keys to observe and identify the specimens. The implementation of these newer techniques was guided in part by the observations and records that resulted from our use of the recovered historical methods of investigation. The series of HPLS labs constructed as part of this interdisciplinary project provided a space for students to consider and wrestle with the many philosophical issues that arise in the process of identifying an unknown organism and offered unique learning opportunities that engaged students’ curiosity and critical thinking skills. (shrink)
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and (...) original arguments for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
Realism in Action is a selection of essays written by leading representatives in the fields of action theory and philosophy of mind, philosophy of the social sciences and especially the nature of social action, and of epistemology and philosophy of science. Practical reason, reasons and causes in action theory, intending and trying, and folk-psychological explanation are some of the topics discussed by these leading participants. A particular emphasis is laid on trust, commitments and social institutions, on (...) the possibility of grounding social notions in individual social attitudes, on the nature of social groups, institutions and collective intentionality, and on common belief and common knowledge. Applications to the social sciences include, e.g., a look at the Erklären-Verstehen controversy in economics, and at constructivist and realist views on archeological reconstructions of the past. (shrink)
This volume is a unique contribution to the philosophy of the social sciences, presenting the results of cutting-edge philosophers' research alongside critical discussions by practicing social scientists. The book is motivated by the view that the philosophy of the social sciences cannot ignore the specific scientific practices according to which social scientific work is being conducted, and that it will be valuable only if it evolves in constant interaction with theoretical developments in the social sciences. (...) With its unique format guaranteeing a genuine discussion between philosophers and social scientists, this thought-provoking volume extends the frontiers of the field. It will appeal to all scholars and students interested in the interplay between philosophy and the social sciences. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive and authoritative reference collection in the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. The source materials selected are drawn from debates within the natural sciences as well as social scientific practice. This four volume set covers the traditional literature on the philosophy of the social sciences, and the contemporary philosophical and methodological debates developing at the heart of the disciplinary and interdisciplinary groups in the social sciences. It addresses the needs (...) of researchers and academics who are grappling with the relationship between questions of knowledge construction and the problems of social scientific method. (shrink)
Design research has been positioned as an important methodological contribution of the learning sciences. Despite the publication of a handbook on the subject, the practice of design research in education remains an eclectic collection of specific approaches implemented by different researchers and research groups. In this paper, I examine the learning sciences as a design science to identify its fundamental goals, methods, affiliations, and assumptions. I argue that inherent tensions arise when attempting to practice design research as an (...) analytic science. Drawing inspiration and insight from Chinese philosophy and the practice of Chinese medicine, I propose that the learning sciences may better attain its claims to science through greater reliance on inductive synthesis rather than linear causal analysis. In so doing, I reposition the endeavor of science making within the metaphysics of process philosophy instead of classical Western philosophy. I suggest that theory building will be strengthened empirically and pragmatically by more careful observation and systematic generalization of the stability patterns of design related phenomena. It also needs to be more situated in its orientation. (shrink)
This introduction to the philosophy of social science provides an original conception of the task and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the role of causality seen in the physicalsciences and offers a reassessment of the problem of explanation from a realist perspective. He argues that the fundamental goal of theory in both the natural and social sciences is not, contrary to widespread opinion, prediction and control, or the explanation of events (including behaviour). Instead, (...) theory aims to provide an understanding of the processes which, together, produce the contingent outcomes of experience. Offering a host of concrete illustrations and examples of critical ideas and issues, this accessible book will be of interest to students of the philosophy of social science, and social scientists from a range of disciplines. (shrink)
The contributors to this volume examine the motivations for anti-reductionist views, and assess their coherence and success, in a number of different fields, including moral and mental philosophy, psychology, organic biology, and the social sciences.
This engaging and informative text will hold the attention of students and scholars as they take a journey through time to understand the role that history and philosophy have played in shaping the course of sport and physical education in Western and selected non-Western civilizations. Using appropriate theoretical and interpretive frameworks, students will investigate topics such as the historical relationship between mind and body; what philosophers and intellectuals have said about the body as a source of knowledge; educational (...)philosophy and the value of physical education and/or sport; philosophical positions that have impacted the historical development of sport and physical education; the history of women in sport and physical education; the role and scope of sport and physical education in Ancient Greece and Rome; the Ancient Olympic Games; the relationship between sport and religion in ancient and modern times; the theoretical and professional development of physical education; the rise of sport in modern America; the history and politics of the modern Olympic Games; and the contributions of men, women, and social movements to the development of sport and physical education from ancient times to the modern era. (shrink)
Charles Taylor has been one of the most original and influential figures in contemporary philosophy: his 'philosophical anthropology' spans an unusually wide range of theoretical interests and draws creatively on both Anglo-American and Continental traditions in philosophy. A selection of his published papers is presented here in two volumes, structured to indicate the direction and essential unity of the work. He starts from a polemical concern with behaviourism and other reductionist theories (particularly in psychology and the philosophy (...) of language) which aim to model the study of man on the natural sciences. This leads to a general critique of naturalism, its historical development and its importance for modern culture and consciousness; and that in turn points, forward to a positive account of human agency and the self, the constitutive role of language and value, and the scope of practical reason. The volumes jointly present some two decades of work on these fundamental themes, and convey strongly the tenacity, verve and versatility of the author in grappling with them. They will interest a very wide range of philosophers and students of the human sciences. (shrink)
Lakatos, I. History of science and its rational reconstructions.--Clark, P. Atomism vs. thermodynamics.--Worrall, J. Thomas Young and the "rufutation" of Newtonian optics.--Musgrave, A. Why did oxygen supplant phlogiston?--Zahar, E. Why did Einstein's programme supersede Lorentz's?--Frické, M. The rejection of Avogadro's hypotheses.--Feyerabend, P. On the critique of scientific reason.
Kant was centrally concerned with issues in the philosophy of natural science throughout his career. The Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science presents his most mature reflections on these themes in the context of both his 'critical' philosophy, presented in the Critique of Pure Reason, and the natural science of his time. This volume presents a new translation, by Michael Friedman, which is especially clear and accurate. There are explanatory notes indicating some of the main connections between the argument (...) of the Metaphysical Foundations and the first Critique - as well as parallel connections to Newton's Principia. The volume is completed by an historical and philosophical introduction and a guide to further reading. (shrink)
An overview is provided of how the concept of the thought experiment has developed and changed for the natural sciences in the course of the 20th century. First, we discuss the existing definitions of the term 'thought experiment' and the origin of the thought experimentation method, identifying it in Greek Presocratics epoch. Second, only in the end of the 19th century showed up the first systematic enquiry on thought experiments by Ernst Mach's work. After the Mach's work, a negative (...) attitude towards thought experiments came in the beginning of the 20th century, which went on until the Thomas Kuhn's and Karl Popper's work on thought experiments. Only from the mid-1980s did thought experiments begin to be considered relevant to scientific enterprise. Finally, we show the existing empirical and 'functional' theories which have developed about the nature and purpose of thought experiments. (shrink)
About the Series Contemporary philosophy of science combines a general study from a philosophical perspective of the methods of science, with an inquiry, again from the philosophical point of view, into foundational issues that arise in the various special sciences. Methodological philosophy of science has deep connections with issues at the center of pure philosophy. It makes use of important results, for example, in traditional epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of language. It also connects in (...) various ways with other disciplines such as the history and sociology of the sciences, with pure logic, and with such branches of mathematics as probability theory. These volumes are, for the most part, devoted to readings in the methodological aspects of the philosophy of science. One volume, however, takes up the philosophical issues in the foundations of a particularly important special science, that is the issues in the foundations of theories of contemporary physics. The methodological volumes cover a number of crucial general problem areas. The first volume takes up issues in the nature of scientific explanation, and the related issues of the nature of scientific law and of the casual relation among events. The second volume explores issues in the nature and structure of scientific theories. The third volume collects inquiries into the nature of scientific change, as one theory is replaced by another. Volume four is devoted to readings concerning the nature of probability and the nature and justification of inductive reasoning in science. The following volume continues the exploration of the issue of confirming and rejecting theories with a series of readings devoted to Bayesian methodologies in science and to the exploration of non-inductive strategies for rationalizing belief. Finally, volume six explores three major problem areas in the foundation of physics: the nature and rationale for physical theories of space and time; the interpretive problems arising out of the quantum theory; and some puzzles arising out of statistical mechanical theories of physics. The readings are selected and arranged to provide the user with systematic access to the most important contemporary themes in methodological philosophy of science and in philosophy of physics. The selections include many recent contributions to the field, as well as papers and extracts from books and journals otherwise not easily available. (shrink)
Michael Friedman's book develops a new and complete reading of this work and reconstructs Kant's main argument clearly and in great detail, explaining its relationship to both Newton's Principia and eighteenth-century scientific thinkers ...
Computer simulation is shown to be philosophically interesting because it introduces a qualitatively new methodology for theory construction in science different from the conventional two components of "theory" and "experiment and/or observation". This component is "experimentation with theoretical models." Two examples from the physicalsciences are presented for the purpose of demonstration but it is claimed that the biological and social sciences permit similar theoretical model experiments. Furthermore, computer simulation permits theoretical models for the evolution (...) of physical systems which use cellular automata rather than differential equations as their syntax. The great advantages of the former are indicated. (shrink)