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Offering an engaging and accessible portrait of the current state of the field, Philosophy of Science: A New Introduction shows students how to think philosophically about science and why it is both essential and fascinating to do so. Gillian Barker and Philip Kitcher reconsider the core questions in philosophy of science in light of the multitude of changes that have taken place in the decades since the publication of C.G. Hempel's classic work, Philosophy of Natural Science (1966)--both in the field and also in history and sociology of science and the sciences themselves. They explore how philosophical questions are connected to vigorous current debates--including climate change, science and religion, race, intellectual property rights, and medical research priorities--showing how these questions, and philosophers' attempts to answer them, matter in the real world.
Featuring numerous illustrative examples and extensive further reading lists, Philosophy of Science: A New Introduction is ideal for courses in philosophy of science, history and philosophy of science, and epistemology/theory of knowledge. It is also compelling and illuminating reading for scientists, science students, and anyone interested in the natural sciences and in their place in global society today.
Gillian Barker is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Western University and a founding member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, an interdisciplinary research center fostering academic inquiry and public discussion concerning issues at the intersection between philosophy and the sciences.
Philip Kitcher is John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia. He is the author of books and articles on issues in the philosophy of science. He has been President of the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division) and Editor-in-Chief of Philosophy of Science. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he also received the Prometheus Prize, awarded by the American Philosophical Association for work in expanding the frontiers of science and philosophy.
Table of Contents
Each chapter ends with Suggestions for Further Reading. CHAPTER 1: SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY 1.0 Scientific disputes and philosophical questions 1.1 Modern science: A brief history 1.2 Images of Science CHAPTER 2: THE ANALYTIC PROJECT 2.0 Demarcating Science 2.1 Confirmation 2.1.1 The Hypothetico-Deductive Method 2.1.2 Confirmation and Probabilities 2.2 Theories 2.3 Explanation 2.4 Failures--and Successes CHAPTER 3: THE VIEW FROM THE SCIENCES 3.0 The sciences on their own terms 3.1 The ideal of unified science 3.2 The ineradicability of causation 3.3 Against the supernatural 3.4 Making sense of ourselves 3.5 Naturalizing knowledge CHAPTER 4: SCIENCE, HISTORY, AND SOCIETY 4.0 More than anecdote 4.1 Frameworks and revolutions 4.2 The bogey of relativism 4.3 Success, truth, and progress 4.4 Progress without truth? CHAPTER 5: CRITICAL VOICES 5.0 A mixture of challenges 5.1 Diversity and the feminist critique 5.2 The cultural critique 5.3 The ecological critique 5.4 Anti-science 5.5 Science as a social endeavor 5.6 Knowledge and power CHAPTER 6: SCIENCE, VALUES, AND POLITICS 6.0 The aims of the sciences 6.1 Values and choices 6.2 The autonomy of the sciences 6.3 Powers behind the lab 6.4 What do "we" want to know? 6.5 Deciding what we know 6.6 Conclusion Suggestions for Further Reading