Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction

Oxford University Press (2002)
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Abstract

What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism. He also looks at philosophical issues in particular sciences, including the problem of classification in biology, and the nature of space and time in physics. The final chapter touches on the conflicts between science and religion, and explores whether science is ultimately a good thing.

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Chapters

What is science?

‘What is science?’ asks what it is that makes something a science and shows that one of the key problems in philosophy of science is to understand how techniques such as experimentation, observation, and theory-construction have enabled scientists to unravel so many of nature's secrets. Th... see more

Realism and anti‐realism

‘Realism and anti-realism’ is concerned with the debate between scientific realism and its converse, anti-realism or instrumentalism. Realists hold that the aim of science is to provide a true description of the world. Anti-realists hold that it is to provide a true description of the ‘obs... see more

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Samir Okasha
University of Bristol

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