Dictionary of Concepts in the Philosophy of Science

Greenwood Press (1988)


Durbin, history and philosophy of science scholar and writer, has created a volume that includes about 100 terms from the natural and social sciences. For each term there is an extended definition and discussion of related philosophic issues. Each entry, about three and one-half pages, also provides a bibliography of some six to a dozen sources. A thorough index includes all terms and people discussed in the entries. This is an excellent source for an entree to the scholarly literature on basic topics such as chance, gender, history, indeterminism, instrumentalism, paradigm, scientific method, and vitalism. Choice This new reference, designed for both students and general readers, provides concise essays on more than one hundred basic core ideas or concepts in the natural and social sciences, supplemented by carefully selected bibliographic listings. Written with a minimum of technical jargon, the essays explore such issues as what it means to be scientific, how theories related to facts in science, and how science compares with other intellectual disciplines. After presenting a clear explanation of the concept, each entry discusses the historical and intellectual context that gave rise to theoretical controversy and assesses the significance of the idea for both the particular discipline and science as a whole. The individual bibliographies will guide the student in tracing the historical development of each subject and investigating its scientific and philosophical aspects in greater detail. Cross referencing and subject indexing are supplied.

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