The aim of this book is to show how supramolecular complexity of cell organization can dramatically alter the functions of individual macromolecules within a cell. The emergence of new functions which appear as a consequence of supramolecular complexity, is explained in terms of physical chemistry. The book is interdisciplinary, at the border between cell biochemistry, physics and physical chemistry. This interdisciplinarity does not result in the use of physical techniques but from the use of physical concepts to study biological problems. (...) In the domain of complexity studies, most works are purely theoretical or based on computer simulation. The present book is partly theoretical, partly experimental and theory is always based on experimental results. Moreover, the book encompasses in a unified manner the dynamic aspects of many different biological fields ranging from dynamics to pattern emergence in a young embryo. The volume puts emphasis on dynamic physical studies of biological events. It also develops, in a unified perspective, this new interdisciplinary approach of various important problems of cell biology and chemistry, ranging from enzyme dynamics to pattern formation during embryo development, thus paving the way to what may become a central issue of future biology. (shrink)
Understanding consciousness is a truly multidisciplinary project, attracting intense interest from researchers and theorists from diverse backgrounds. Thus, we now have computational scientists, neuroscientists, and philosophers all engaged in the same effort. This book draws together the work of leading researchers around the world, providing insights from these three general perspectives. The work is highlighted by a rare look at work being conducted by Japanese researchers.
Includes established theories and cutting-edge developments. Presents the work of an international group of experts. Presents the nature, origin, implications, and future course of major unresolved issues in the area.
Introduction A brief look at the competing present-day interpretations of Hume's philosophy will leave the uninitiated reader completely baffled. On the one hand , Hume is seen as a philosopher who attempted to analyse concepts with ...
As historians of science increasingly turn to work on recent (post 1945) science, the historiographical and methodological problems associated with the history of contemporary science are debated with growing frequency and urgency. This book brings together authorities on the history, historiography and methodology of recent and contemporary science to review the problems facing historians of contemporary science, technology and medicine and to explore new ways forward. The chapters explore topics which will be of ever increasing interest to historians of postwar (...) science, including the difficulties of accessing and using secret archival material, the interactions between archivists, historians and scientists and the politics of evidence and historical accounts. (shrink)
In this book, Edward Stein offers a clear critical account of the debate about rationality in philosophy and cognitive science. He discusses concepts of rationality--the pictures of rationality on which the debate centers--and assesses the empirical evidence used to argue that humans are irrational. He concludes that the question of human rationality must be answered not conceptually but empirically, using the full resources of an advanced cognitive science. Furthermore, he extends this conclusion to argue that empirical considerations are also relevant (...) to the theory of knowledge--in other words, that epistemology should be naturalized. (shrink)
In this work Henry Kyburg presents his views on a wide range of philosophical problems associated with the study and practice of science and mathematics. The main structure of the book consists of a presentation of Kyburg's notions of epistemic probability and its use in the scientific enterprise i.e., the effort to modify previously adopted beliefs in the light of experience. Intended for cognitive scientists and people in artificial intelligence as well as for technically oriented philosophers, the book also provides (...) a general overview of the philosophy of science for the non-philosopher by one of the leading authorities in the field. (shrink)
In this volume, the authors discuss what practical contributions ecology can and can't make in applied science and environmental problem solving. In the first section, they discuss conceptual problems that have often prevented the formulation and evaluation of powerful, precise, general theories, explain why island biogeography is still beset with controversy and examine the ways that science is value laden. In the second section, they describe how ecology can give us specific answers to practical environmental questions posed in individual case (...) studies, and argue for a new way to look at scientific error. A case study using the Florida panther is examined in the light of these findings. (shrink)
Environmental pragmatism is a new strategy in environmental thought: it argues that theoretical debates are hindering the ability of the environmental movement to forge agreement on basic policy imperatives. This new direction in environmental philosophy moves beyond theory, advocating a serious inquiry into the practical merits of moral pluralism. Environmental pragmatism, as a coherent philosophical position, connects the methodology of classical American pragmatist thought to the explanation, solution and discussion of real issues.
This book presents a novel theory of probability applicable to general reasoning, science, and the courts. Based on a strongly subjective starting-point, with probabilities viewed simply as the guarded beliefs one can reasonably hold, the theory shows how such beliefs are legitimately "projected" outwards as if they existed in the world independent of our judgements.
`This is an exceptionally good textbook. It covers an unusually wide range of issues in an up-to-date and balanced fashion, and is clearly written. It would be invaluable for all students, both undergraduates and postgraduates, who take a genuine interest in the nature of psychology and the theoretical issues it faces' - Professor Graham Richards, Director, British Psychological Society History of Psychology Centre Psychology is understood by many as the `science of the mind', but what is `mind' and what have (...) modern psychology and philosophy to say about its nature? What is `science' and what is a scientific approach to mind? This thoroughly revised edition o the classic textbook explores a wide range of problems in psychology, philosophy, cognitive and brains sciences identifying the major topics, debates and controversies and presenting them in a balanced and accessible manner for students. Key features of this Second Edition include: } A new, ten chapter structure making it ideal for a lecture course; } Contains new content on advances in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, including neural networks, dynamics systems and situated cognition; } Final chapter focuses on `hot issues' at the interface of psychology and philosophy - making attempts to look forward. } Pedagogical features including chapter summaries and further readings. Brought fully up-to-date with advances in computational, cognitive and neuroscience work on the one hand, and links with philosophy on the other, this book is essential reading for all students needing an understanding of these issues. (shrink)
Described by the philosopher A.J. Ayer as a work of 'great originality and power', this book revolutionized contemporary thinking on science and knowledge. Ideas such as the now legendary doctrine of 'falsificationism' electrified the scientific community, influencing even working scientists, as well as post-war philosophy. This astonishing work ranks alongside The Open Society and Its Enemies as one of Popper's most enduring books and contains insights and arguments that demand to be read to this day.
This book defends the prospects for a science of society. It argues that behind the diverse methods of the natural sciences lies a common core of scientific rationality that the social sciences can and sometimes do achieve. It also argues that good social science must be in part about large-scale social structures and processes and thus that methodological individualism is misguided. These theses are supported by a detailed discussion of actual social research, including theories of agrarian revolution, organizational ecology, social (...) theories of depression, and supply-demand explanations in economics. Professor Kincaid provides a general picture of explanation and confirmation in the social sciences and discusses the nature of scientific rationality, functional explanation, optimality arguments, meaning and interpretation, the place of microfoundations in social explanation, the status of neo-classical economics, the role of idealizations and non-experimental evidence, and other specific controversies. (shrink)
The belief that science shows an accumulation of a body of objective knowledge has been widely challenged by philosophers and historians in the latter half of this century. In this treatise, Dr. Jardine defends this belief with a careful appreciation of the complexities involved, drawing on many controversial issues concerning truth in science, interpretation of past theories, and grounds of scientific method.
This is an introductory survey to the philosophy of science suitable for beginners and nonspecialists. Its point of departure is the question: why should we believe what science tells us about the world? In this attempt to justify the claims of science the book treats such topics as observation data, confirmation of theories, and the explanation of phenomena. The writing is clear and concrete with detailed examples drawn from contemporary science: solar neutrinos, the gravitational bending of light, and the creation/evolution (...) debate, for example. What emerges is a view of science in which observation relies on theory to give it meaning and credibility, while theory relies on observation for its motivation and validation. It is shown that this reciprocal support is not circular since the theory used to support a particular observation is independent of the theory for which the observation serves as evidence. (shrink)
The classic results obtained by Gödel, Tarski, Kleene, and Church in the early thirties are the finest flowers of symbolic logic. They are of fundamental importance to those investigations of the foundations of mathematics via the concept of a formal system that were inaugurated by Frege, and of obvious significance to the mathematical disciplines, such as computability theory, that developed from them. Derived from courses taught by the author over several years, this new exposition presents all of the results with (...) their original proofs and central concepts in a manner that is unified by a systematic grounding of the notion of effectiveness in the semantics of the existential quantifier. Logicians and non-mathematicians, repelled by detail which is not obviously relevant in the standard textbooks, will be able to reach the heart of the matter with a minimum of fuss. (shrink)