This classic work in the philosophy of physical science is an incisive and readable account of the scientific method. Pierre Duhem was one of the great figures in French science, a devoted teacher, and a distinguished scholar of the history and philosophy of science. This book represents his most mature thought on a wide range of topics.
Duhem's 1908 essay questions the relation between physical theory and metaphysics and, more specifically, between astronomy and physics–an issue still of importance today. He critiques the answers given by Greek thought, Arabic science, medieval Christian scholasticism, and, finally, the astronomers of the Renaissance.
"This volume assembles twelve texts published between 1892 and 1915.... The editors allow one to see the genesis of the ideas of Duhem, philosopher and historian, of the variety of his styles, and sometimes also the limits of his work.... A useful index, probably unique in the field of Duhemian studies, completes the book.... The English-language public may be assured an exemplary translation and a reliable critical apparatus." --Jean Gayon, _Revue d'Histoire des Sciences_.