The history of science is articulated by moments of discovery. Yet, these 'moments' are not simple or isolated events in science. Just as a scientific discovery illuminates our understanding of nature or of society, and reveals new connections among phenomena, so too does the history of scientific activity and the analysis of scientific reasoning illuminate the processes which give rise to moments of discovery and the complex network of consequences which follow upon such moments. Understanding discovery has not been, until (...) recently, a major concern of modem philosophy of science. Whether the act of discoyery was regarded as mysterious and inexplicable, or obvious and in no need of explanation, modem philosophy of science in effect bracketed the question. It concentrated instead on the logic of scientific explanation or on the issues of validation or justification of scientific theories or laws. The recent revival of interest in the context of discovery, indeed in the acts of discovery, on the part of philosophers and historians of science, represents no one particular method'ological or philosophical orientation. It proceeds as much from an empiricist and analytical approach as from a sociological or historical one; from considerations of the logic of science as much as from the alogical or extralogical contexts of scientific tho'¢tt and practice. But, in general, this new interest focuses sharply on the actual historical and contem porary cases of scientific discovery, and on an examination of the act or moment of discovery in situ. (shrink)
This textbook is intended for ethics courses in engineering and science. It can be used either in a one-credit-hour semester course or as a set of drop-in modules in a core engineering or science course. The text avoids a detailed treatment of the ins and outs of philsophical ethics - a complex subject not needed for most ethical judgements. The approach to ethical problem solving used is one that focuses on analysing the consequences rather than rules to be obey in (...) making decisions. An Instructor's Manual will be available; it will offer a set of "cookbook" lectures to greatly reduce preparation time. (shrink)
Leplin attempts to reinstate the common sense idea that theoretical knowledge is achievable, indeed that its achievement is part of the means to progress in empirical knowledge. He sketches the genesis of the skeptical position, then introduces his argument for Minimalist Scientific Realism -- the requirement that novel predicitons be explained, and the claim that only realism about scientific theories can explain the importance of novel prediction.
(Series copy) The new Oxford Readings in Feminism series maps the dramatic influence of feminist theory on every branch of academic knowledge. Offering feminist perspectives on disciplines from history to science, each book assembles the most important articles written on its field in the last ten to fifteen years. Old stereotypes are challenged and traditional attitudes upset in these lively-- and sometimes controversial--volumes, all of which are edited by feminists prominent in their particular field. Comprehensive, accessible, and intellectually daring, the (...) Oxford Readings in Feminism series is vital reading for anyone interested in the effects of feminist ideas within the academy. Can science be gender-neutral? In recent years, feminist critics have raised troubling questions about the practice and goals of traditional science, demonstrating the existence of a pervasive bias in the ways in which scientists conduct and discuss their work. This exciting volume gathers seventeen essays--by sociologists, scientists, historians, and philosophers--of seminal significance in the emerging field of feminist science studies. Analyzing topics from the stereotype of the "Man of Reason" to the "romantic" language of reproductive biology, these fascinating essays challenge readers to take a fresh look at the limitations--and possibilities--of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
This collection of ten papers celebrates the diversity and richness of post-positivist philosophy of science. The contributors believe that new perspectives can be developed and that philosophical criticism can make a useful contribution to the search for new and fruitful scientific paradigms.
Drawing upon Marxist, French structuralist and American pragmatist traditions, this lively and accessible introduction to the sociology of knowledge gives to its classic texts a fresh reading, arguing that various bodies of knowledge operate within culture to create powerful cultural dispositions, meanings, and categories. It looks at the cultural impact of the forms and images of mass media, the authority of science, medicine, and law as bodies of contemporary knowledge and practice. Finally, it considers the concept of "engendered knowledge" through (...) a consideration of the complex and often troubled relationship between women and science. The sociology of knowledge has sometimes been marginalized as a narrow academic specialization. This lucid study reclaims it as an essential tool for all serious students of culture in all its forms. (shrink)
Body/Politics demonstrates how many of the controversies in modern science involve or invoke the feminine body as their battleground. This groundbreaking collection addresses such scientific issues as artificial fertilization, the "crisis" in childbirth management,and the medical invention of "female" maladies and the debates surrounding them. In the process it makes an important attempt to remedy the traditional division between science and non-science by focusing on the interconnection of literary, social, and scientific discourses concerning the female body. The editors have brought (...) together noted feminist scholars and critics from various fields. Contributers include Susan Bordo, Mary Ann Doane, Donna Haraway, Emily Martin, Mary Poovey and Paula A. Treichler. (shrink)
Scientific Inquiry: Readings in the Philosophy of Science features an impressive collection of classical and contemporary readings on a wide range of issues in the philosophy of science. The volume is organized into six sections, each with its own introduction, and includes a general introduction that situates the philosophy of science in relation to other areas of intellectual inquiry. The selections focus on the main issues in the field, including the structure of scientific theories, models of scientific explanation, reductionism, historicist (...) challenges to the objectivity of science, and the dispute over the ontological interpretation of mature scientific theories. Both the positivist model of science and its competitors, including contemporary social constructivist models, are included. Ideal for introductory philosophy of science courses, Scientific Inquiry strives to provide students and other readers with a thorough knowledge of the philosophical complexity of modern science and an appreciation of its authoritative intellectual standing in contemporary life. (shrink)
The combative metaphor of Oscience warsO has taken on a predominant position within the collective conscious, from being featured on the programs of scientific meetings to being splashed across the pages of leading national magazines and newspapers. Some in the scientific community perceive their profession to be under siege by members of the academic left, radical environmentalists, religious fundamentalists, eco-feminists, and others. This book, based on in-depth interviews with sixty members of groups with alleged Oanti-scienceO attitudes, examines how pervasive and (...) uniform these critiques are. The research is designed to examine two conflicting hypotheses: 1) that anti-science attitudes reflect a general cynicism about all major social institutions, and 2) that anti-science views are not broadly based but are reflective, instead , of the particular interests of a given social grouping. In the final analysis, Perrucci and Trachtman dig at the root of the so-called Oscience warsO by presenting evidence that the wars are not the product of an overarching suspicion of the institutions at the core of our society, but are instead the product of organized interest groups, which shape the attitudes and beliefs of their respective members. (shrink)
This book offers a distinctive treatment of Hayek's ideas as a "research program". It presents a detailed account of aspects of Hayek's intellectual development and of problems that arise within his work, and then offers some broad suggestions as to ways in which the program initiated in his work might be developed further. The book discusses how Popper and Lakatos' ideas about "research programs" might be applied within political theory. There then follows a distinctive presentation of Hayek's intellectual development up (...) to The Road to Serfdom, together with critical engagement with his later ideas. The discussion draws on a full range of his writings, makes use of some neglected earlier work on social theory and law, and also draws on archival material. This book should appeal to anyone with an interest in Hayek's work, as well as to those with a concern for twentieth century intellectual history. (shrink)
Scientists are rapidly mapping the chemical and physical pathways that constitute biological systems, making the complexity of processes such as inheritance, development, evolution, and even the origin of life increasingly tractable. Through genetics and neuroscience, biological understanding is now being extended deeply into the human sciences and has begun to transform our understanding of behavior, mind, culture, and values. The idea of a science-driven unity of knowledge has reemerged in several forms in both reductionist and nonreductionist frameworks. This volume examines (...) some of the extraordinary empirical discoveries that have caused a revival of this idea and presents theories from thinkers in a variety of disciplines, including E. O. Wilson, Eric Kandel, and Elaine Scarry. (shrink)
This balanced and up-to-date introduction to the philosophy of science covers all the main topics in the area, and initiates the student into the moral and social reality of science. O'Hear discusses the growth of knowledge of science, the status of scientific theories and their relationship to observational data, the extent to which scientific theories rest on unprovable paradigms, and the nature of scientific explanations. In later chapters he considers probability, scientific reductionism, the relationship between science and technology, and the (...) relationship between scientific and other values. (shrink)
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.
In the 20th century, more than ever before, the world is being shaped by science. Science has an intrinsic value in trying to find out how the world ticks, and it has an enormous and increasingly social value too. The scientific enterprise of today provides the information for the society of tomorrow. Scientists have become leading actors in world history. The discipline of curiosity, as science may be called, is not just a discipline of form, it is also a discipline (...) of ends: political, moral, cultural and commercial ends. Science and technology have become features of daily life. In this book of interviews, fifteen opinion leaders (prominent figures from international politics, business, communication and science) give their vision on the changing role of science in society. They all agree that scientific information is essential, not just for the scientist. For with the recognition of its crucial importance comes the understanding that the scientific enterprise is, or should be, a concern to everybody. The scientist is a central figure and has to communicate with politicians, entrepreneurs and the public at large. (shrink)
This Timely volume represents an attempt by leading practitioners in the field to think reflexively about the present state of social theory and its historical analogues, and to consider new directions opposed to the "classical" social theorists, as well as new uses of the classics. Social Theory and Sociology begins to address a problem that is salient for students as well as academics, namely, why and how does the legacy of social theory matter? What is the value of what we (...) are learning? -/- No attempt is made to dodge these tough questions and some very different answers are provided. Ranging from classic figures such ad Marx top the new theoritical approaches deriving from science and tehnology studies, this book represernts a multivoiced, radically diverse consideration of what "theroy" is all about now, at the end of the century. (shrink)
The natural history museum is a place where the line between "high" and "low" culture effectively vanishes--where our awe of nature, our taste for the bizarre, and our thirst for knowledge all blend happily together. But as Stephen Asma shows in Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, there is more going on in these great institutions than just smart fun. Asma takes us on a wide-ranging tour of natural history museums in New York and Chicago, London and Paris, interviewing curators, scientists, (...) and exhibit designers, and providing a wealth of fascinating observations. We learn how the first museums were little more than high-toned side shows, with such garish exhibits as the pickled head of Peter the Great's lover. In contrast, today's museums are hot-beds of serious science, funding major research in such fields as anthropology and archaeology. "Rich in detail, lucid explanation, telling anecdotes, and fascinating characters.... Asma has rendered a fascinating and credible account of how natural history museums are conceived and presented. It's the kind of book that will not only engage a wide and diverse readership, but it should, best of all, send them flocking to see how we look at nature and ourselves in those fabulous legacies of the curiosity cabinet."--The Boston Herald. (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)
Holmes Rolston challenges the sociobiological orthodoxy that would naturalize science, ethics, and religion. The book argues that genetic processes are not blind, selfish, and contingent, and that nature is therefore not value-free. The author examines the emergence of complex biodiversity through evolutionary history. Especially remarkable in this narrative is the genesis of human beings with their capacities for science, ethics, and religion. A major conceptual task of the book is to relate cultural genesis to natural genesis. There is also a (...) general account of how values are created and transmitted in both natural and human cultural history. The book is thoroughly up-to-date on current biological thought and is written by one of the most well-respected figures in the philosophy of biology and religion. (shrink)
Danchin argues that if scientists can reach a level of understanding of genomes, they will be able to resolve the major biological puzzle of the 21st century: the enigma of the living machine that creates the living machine.
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)
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)
"The classic and recent essays gathered here will challenge scholars in the natural sciences, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and women’s studies to examine the role of racism in the construction and application of the sciences. Harding... has also created a useful text for diverse classroom settings." —Library Journal "A rich lode of readily accessible thought on the nature and practice of science in society. Highly recommended." —Choice "This is an excellent collection of essays that should prove useful in a wide range (...) of STS courses." —Science, Technology, and Society "... important and provocative... "—The Women’s Review of Books "The timeliness and utility of this large interdisciplinary reader on the relation of Western science to other cultures and to world history can hardly be overemphasized. It provides a tremendous resource for teaching and for research... "—Ethics "Excellent." —The Reader’s Review "Sandra Harding is an intellectually fearless scholar. She has assembled a bold, impressive collection of essays to make a volume of illuminating power. This brilliantly edited book is essential reading for all who seek understanding of the multicultural debates of our age. Never has a book been more timely." —Darlene Clark Hine These authors dispute science’s legitimation of culturally approved definitions of race difference—including craniology and the measurement of IQ, the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiments, and the dependence of Third World research on First World agendas. (shrink)
Can we know anything for certain? There are those who think we can (traditionally labeled the "dogmatists") and those who think we cannot (traditionally labeled the "skeptics"). The theory of knowledge, or epistemology, is the great debate between the two. This book is an introductory and historically-based survey of the debate. It sides for the most part with the skeptics. It also develops out of skepticism a third view, fallibilism or critical rationalism, which incorporates an uncompromising realism about perception, science, (...) and the nature of truth. (shrink)
Why believe in the findings of science? John Ziman argues that scientific knowledge is not uniformly reliable, but rather like a map representing a country we cannot visit. He shows how science has many elements, including alongside its experiments and formulae the language and logic, patterns and preconceptions, facts and fantasies used to illustrate and express its findings. These elements are variously combined by scientists in their explanations of the material world as it lies outside our everyday experience. John Ziman’s (...) book offers at once a valuably clear account and a radically challenging investigation of the credibility of scientific knowledge, searching widely across a range of disciplines for evidence about the perceptions, paradigms and analogies on which all our understanding depends. (shrink)
As more and more historians acknowledge the central signifcance of science and technology with that of modern society, the need for a good, general history of the achievements of the Scientific Revolution has grown. Scientific Culture and The Making of the Industrial West seeks to explain this historical process by looking at how and why scientific knowledge became such an integral part of the culture of Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and how this in turn lead to the (...) Industrial Revolution. This comparative study not only looks at England, and its success, but follows through with the history of France, the Netherlands, and Germany. (shrink)
This user-friendly text covers key issues in the philosophy of science in an accessible and philosophically serious way. It will prove valuable to students studying philosophy of science as well as science students. Prize-winning author Alex Rosenberg explores the philosophical problems that science raises by its very nature and method. He skilfully demonstrates that scientific explanation, laws, causation, theory, models, evidence, reductionism, probability, teleology, realism and instrumentalism actually pose the same questions that Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant and their successors (...) have grappled with for centuries. (shrink)
"-Barbara Ehrenreich, Mother Jones "This book represents the expression of a particular feminist perspective made all the more compelling by Keller's evident commitment to and understanding of science.
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)
In Science and Ethics, Bernard Rollin examines the ideology that denies the relevance of ethics to science. Providing an introduction to basic ethical concepts, he discusses a variety of ethical issues that are relevant to science and how they are ignored, to the detriment of both science and society. These include research on human subjects, animal research, genetic engineering, biotechnology, cloning, xenotransplantation, and stem cell research. Rollin also explores the ideological agnosticism that scientists have displayed regarding subjective experience in humans (...) and animals, and its pernicious effect on pain management. Finally, he articulates the implications of the ideological denial of ethics for the practice of science itself in terms of fraud, plagiarism, and data falsification. In engaging prose and with philosophical sophistication, Rollin cogently argues in favor of making education in ethics part and parcel of scientific training. (shrink)
Read any newspaper or watch your television and as often as not you will be confronted by the worries, hopes, challenges, and mistakes of science and technology. Sociology has been trying to make sense of science for many years, while government and industry have promoted and exploited it for even longer. But what are science and technology? How have they been shaped by society? What new directions are they taking? Andrew Webster provides a lively and accessible introduction to the sociological (...) analysis of science and technology, exploring contemporary debates in a comprehensive and balanced fashion, and showing how the findings of sociologists of science relate to important issues of science policy and politics. Biotechnology and genetic engineering, technology transfer, feminist and radical critiques of science, "big science" projects, science parks and research within private industry are some of the topics that provide the focus for a wide-ranging, critical yet constructive sociological discussion. Science, Technology, and Society will be of particular value to students, academics, and practitioners involved in studying and helping to shape these two very powerful institutions of society. (shrink)
The author, seeing science as a social activity, directs our attention to the problems of the social control of science. He discusses the sense in which science as a social activity is planned and unplanned.
Cultural critics say that 'science is politics by other means,' arguing that the results of scientific inquiry are profoundly shaped by the ideological agendas of powerful elites. Physicist Alan Sokal recently poked fun at these claims, touching off a still-unabated torrent of heated discussion. This hard-hitting collection picks up where Sokal left off, offering crisp, detailed critiques of case studies presented by cultural critics as evidence that scientific results tell us more about social context than they do about the natural (...) world. Comprising new essays by distinguished scholars of history, philosophy, and science, this book raises a lively debate to a new level of seriousness. (shrink)
We are all concerned by the environmental threats facing us today. Environmental issues are a major area of concern for policy makers, industrialists and public groups of many different kinds. While science seems central to our understanding of such threats, the statements of scientists are increasingly open to challenge in this area. Meanwhile, citizens may find themselves labelled as "ignorant" in environmental matters. In Citizen Science Alan Irwin provides a much needed route through the fraught relationship between science, the public (...) and the environmental threat. (shrink)
In this book, Carl Cranor utilizes material from ethics, philosophy of law, epidemiology, tort law, regulatory law, and risk assessment to argue that the evidentiary standards for science used in the law to control toxics ought to be ...
Philosophy of Science Today offers a state-of-the-art guide to this fast-developing area. An eminent international team of authors covers a wide range of topics at the intersection of philosophy and the sciences, including causation, realism, methodology, epistemology, and the philosophical foundations of physics, biology, and psychology.