William Whewell is considered one of the most important nineteenth-century British philosophers of science and a contributor to modern philosophical thought, particularly regarding the problem of induction and the logic of discovery. In this volume, Robert E. Butts offers selections from Whewell's most important writings, and analysis of counter-claims to his philosophy.
Central to Paul K. Feyerabend's philosophy of science are two theses: (1) there is no standard observation language available to science; instead, observability is to be viewed as a pragmatic matter; and (2) when considering questions of empirical significance and experimental test, the methodological unit of science is a set of inconsistent theories. I argue that the pragmatic theory of observation by itself decides neither for nor against any particular specification of meaning for an observation language; and that Feyerabend's position (...) provides no decision procedure when two contending theories share no terms having the same meaning, and thus cannot be said to be logically incompatible. Also, Feyerabend's insistence upon falsification will force him to admit that there are relatively permanent facts available to all theories, or to abandon the idea of test as falsification and to conclude that scientific theories can only be accepted or rejected on the basis of non-evidential considerations. (shrink)
The principles of Kant's pure physics (conservation of quantity of matter, inertia, equality of action and reaction) are a priori in the same sense as are the principles of the understanding. We account for the empirical content of physics by showing that the pure principles operate as rules for generating wellformed empirical descriptions, and as rules for analysis of motion. The relationship between the metaphysics of matter and empirical descriptions is neither deductive, nor as loose as Buchdahl alleges. Belief that (...) a priori principles will apply to empirical cases requires acceptance of methodological presuppositions, chief among which is the principle of affinity. (shrink)
A report on work in philosophy of science in Canada, especially surveying recent and on-going work in philosophy of physics, philosophy of biology, philosophy of the social sciences, philosophical logic , general problems in the methodology of science, and ancillary professional activities of Canadian philosophers of science.