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)
Current environmental problems and technological risks are a challenge for a new institutional arrangement of the value spheres of Science, Politics and Morality. Distinguished authors from different European countries and America provide a cross-disciplinary perspective on the problems of political decision making under the conditions of scientific uncertainty. cases from biotechnology and the environmental sciences are discussed. The papers collected for this volume address the following themes: (i) controversies about risks and political decision making; (ii) concepts of science for policy; (...) (iii) the use of social science in the policy making process; (iv) ethical problems with developments in science and technology; (v) public and state interests in the development and control of technology. (shrink)
The nature and aim of science, by E. Nagel.--Truth and provability, by L. Henkin.--Completeness, by L. Henkin.--Computability, by S. C. Kleene.--Necessary truth, by W. V. Quine.--What is a scientific theory? By P. Suppes.--Science and simplicity, by N. Goodman.--Scientific explanation, by C. G. Hempel.--Observation and interpretation, by N. R. Hanson.--Probability and confirmation, by H. Putnam.--Utility and acceptance of hypotheses, by I. Levi.--Space and time, by A. Grünbaum.--Problems of microphysics, by P. Feyerabend.--Aspects of explanation in biological theory, by M. Beckner.--Psychologism and methodological (...) individualism, by S. Morgenbesser.--Science, fact, and value, by M. Scriven.--The justification of induction, by M. Black. (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.
Bringing together important writings not easily available elsewhere, this volume provides a convenient and stimulating overview of recent work in the philosophy of science. The contributors include Paul Feyerabend, Ian Hacking, T.S. Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Laurens Laudan, Karl Popper, Hilary Putnam, and Dudley Shapere. In addition, Hacking provides an introductory essay and a selective bibliography.
Since the publication of Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim's ground-breaking work "Studies in the Logic of Explanation," the theory of explanation has remained a major topic in the philosophy of science. This valuable collection provides readers with the opportunity to study some of the classic essays on the theory of explanation along with the best examples of the most recent work being done on the topic. In addition to the original Hempel and Oppenheim paper, the volume includes Scriven's critical reaction (...) to it, Wilfrid Sellars's discussion of the problem of theoretical explanation, and pieces by Salmon, Railton, van Fraassen, Friedman, Kitcher, and Achinstein in which they demonstrate the vitality of the subject by extending the scope of the inquiry. (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 volume brings together eleven essays by the distinguished philosopher of science, Peter Achinstein. The unifying theme is the nature of the philosophical problems surrounding the postulation of unobservable entities such as light waves, molecules, and electrons. How, if at all, is it possible to confirm scientific hypotheses about "unobservables"? Achinstein examines this question as it arose in actual scientific practice in three nineteenth-century episodes: the debate between particle and wave theorists of light, Maxwell's kinetic theory of gases, and J.J. (...) Thomson's discovery of the electron. The book contains three parts, each devoted to one of these topics, beginning with an essay presenting the historical background of the episode and an introduction to the philosophical issues. There is an illuminating evaluation of various scientific methodologies, including hypothetico-deductivism, inductivism, and the method of independent warrant which combines features of the first two. Achinstein assesses the philosophical validity of both nineteenth-century and modern answers to questions about unobservables, and presents and defends his own solutions. (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.
This book puts forth a radically new conception of science. Maxwell argues that the prevailing view of the relation between scientific theory and evidence is untenable; he calls for a new orthodoxy that sees science as making a hierarchy of assumptions about the comprehensibility of the universe. This new conception has significant implications for both philosophy and science, promises to heal the rift between the two, and will be essential reading for people working in both fields.
In this wide-ranging book, Brian Davies discusses the basis for scientists' claims to knowledge about the world. He looks at science historically, emphasizing not only the achievements of scientists from Galileo onwards, but also their mistakes. He rejects the claim that all scientific knowledge is provisional, by citing examples from chemistry, biology and geology. A major feature of the book is its defense of the view that mathematics was invented rather than discovered. A large number of examples are used to (...) illustrate these points, and many of the deep issues in today's world discussed-from psychology and evolution to quantum theory, consciousness and even religious belief. Disentangling knowledge from opinion and aspiration is a hard task, but this book provided a clear guide to the difficulties. (shrink)
This book is concerned with those aspects of the theory of meaning for scientific terms that are relevant to questions about the evaluation of scientific theories. The contemporary debate about theory choice in science is normally presented as a conflict between two sets of ideas. On the one hand are notions of objectivity, realism, rationality, and progress in science. On the other is the view that meanings depend on theory, with associated claims about the theory dependence of observation, the theoretical (...) context account of meaning, incommensurability, and so on. The book shows that there is no real contest here; that the two sets of ideas are in fact quite compatible. More specifically, it argues that the meanings of all scientific terms, including those used to report observations, are inseparable from the total context of surrounding theory and so will inevitably vary with theoretical change, but that this is quite consistent with a broadly objectivist account of science. The first half of the book shows how ideas about the theory dependence of observation and meaning have led to the breakdown of the traditional empiricist account of science, and how some of the more obvious responses to these ideas are inadequate. The second half shows how these ideas can satisfactorily be accommodated within a non-relativist account of science. (shrink)
Introduction : societal values and environmental research -- The Hormesis case -- An argument for societal values in policy-relevant research -- Lesson #1 : safeguarding science -- Lesson #2 : diagnosing deliberation -- Lesson #3 : ethics for experts -- The MCS and ED cases.
Misunderstanding Science? offers a challenging new perspective on the public understanding of science. In so doing, it also challenges existing ideas of the nature of science and its relationships with society. Its analysis and case presentation are highly relevant to current concerns over the uptake, authority, and effectiveness of science as expressed, for example, in areas such as education, medical/health practice, risk and the environment, technological innovation. Based on several in-depth case-studies, and informed theoretically by the sociology of scientific knowledge, (...) the book shows how the public understanding of science questions raises issues of the epistemic commitments and institutional structures which constitute modern science. It suggests that many of the inadequacies in the social integration and uptake of science might be overcome if modern scientific institutions were more reflexive and open about the implicit normative commitments embedded in scientific cultures. (shrink)
This book focuses on experimentation that is carried out on human beings, including medical research, drug research and research undertaken in the social sciences. It discusses the ethics of such experimentation and asks the question: who defends the interests of these human subjects and ensures that they are not harmed? The author finds that ethical research depends on the adequacy of review by committee. Indeed most countries now rely on research ethics committees for the protection of the interests of the (...) human participants in research. Dr McNeill analyses how successful these committees are in balancing the interests of science with the interests of human subjects. (shrink)