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Theory and Reality : An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

by
ISBN13:

9780226300634

ISBN10:
0226300633
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
8/1/2003
Publisher(s):
Univ of Chicago Pr
List Price: $30.93

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Summary

How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and Reality covers logical positivism; the problems of induction and confirmation; Karl Popper's theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and "scientific revolutions"; the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in more detail at some specific problems and theories, including scientific realism, the theory-ladeness of observation, scientific explanation, and Bayesianism. Finally, Godfrey-Smith defends a form of philosophical naturalism as the best way to solve the main problems in the field. Throughout the text he points out connections between philosophical debates and wider discussions about science in recent decades, such as the infamous "science wars." Examples and asides engage the beginning student; a glossary of terms explains key concepts; and suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter. However, this is a textbook that doesn't feel like a textbook because it captures the historical drama of changes in how science has been conceived over the last one hundred years. Like no other text in this field, Theory and Reality combines a survey of recent history of the philosophy of science with current key debates in language that any beginning scholar or critical reader can follow.

Author Biography

Peter Godfrey-Smith is an associate professor of philosophy and of history and philosophy of science at Stanford University. He is the author of Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
A Note for Those Teaching with the Book xiii
Introduction
1(18)
Setting Out
1(1)
The Scope of the Theory
2(3)
What Kind of Theory?
5(3)
Three Answers, or Pieces of an Answer
8(5)
Historical Interlude: A Sketch of the Scientific Revolution
13(6)
Further Reading
18(1)
Logic Plus Empiricism
19(20)
The Empiricist Tradition
19(3)
The Vienna Circle
22(3)
Central Ideas of Logical Positivism
25(5)
Problems and Changes
30(4)
Logical Empiricism
34(3)
On the Fall of Logical Empiricism
37(2)
Further Reading
37(2)
Induction and Confirmation
39(18)
The Mother of All Problems
39(1)
Induction, Deduction, Confirmation, and Explanatory Inference
40(6)
The Ravens Problem
46(4)
Goodman's ``New Riddle of Induction''
50(7)
Further Reading
56(1)
Popper: Conjecture and Refutation
57(18)
Popper's Unique Place in the Philosophy of Science
57(1)
Popper's Theory of Science
57(4)
Popper on Scientific Change
61(2)
Objections to Popper on Falsification
63(4)
Objections to Popper on Confirmation
67(4)
Further Comments on the Demarcation Problem
71(4)
Further Reading
74(1)
Kuhn and Normal Science
75(12)
``The Paradigm Has Shifted''
75(2)
Paradigms: A Closer Look
77(2)
Normal Science
79(3)
Anomaly and Crisis
82(2)
Wrap-up of Normal Science
84(3)
Further Reading
86(1)
Kuhn and Revolutions
87(15)
Considerable Upset
87(1)
Revolutions and Their Aftermath
88(3)
Incommensurability, Relativism, and Progress
91(5)
The X-Rated ``Chapter X''
96(2)
Final Thoughts on Kuhn
98(4)
Further Reading
101(1)
Lakatos, Laudan, Feyerabend, and Frameworks
102(20)
After Structure
102(1)
Lakatos and Research Programs
103(5)
Laudan and Research Traditions
108(2)
Anything Goes
110(3)
An Argument from History That Haunts Philosophy
113(2)
Pluralism and the Ramblings of Madmen
115(2)
Taking Stock: Frameworks and Two-Process Theories of Science
117(5)
Further Reading
121(1)
The Challenge from Sociology of Science
122(14)
Beyond Philosophy?
122(1)
Robert Merton and the ``Old'' Sociology of Science
122(3)
The Rise of the Strong Program
125(3)
Leviathan and Latour
128(8)
Further Reading
135(1)
Feminism and Science Studies
136(13)
``Science Is Political''
136(1)
The Man of Reason
137(2)
The Case of Primatology
139(2)
Feminist Epistemology
141(3)
Science Studies, the Science Wars, and the Sokal Hoax
144(5)
Further Reading
148(1)
Naturalistic Philosophy in Theory and Practice
149(14)
What Is Naturalism?
149(1)
Quine, Dewey, and Others
150(5)
The Theory-Ladenness of Observation
155(8)
Further Reading
162(1)
Naturalism and the Social Structure of Science
163(10)
Science as a Process
163(4)
Kitcher and the Division of Scientific Labor
167(2)
Social Structure and Empiricism
169(4)
Further Reading
172(1)
Scientific Realism
173(17)
Strange Debates
173(1)
Approaching Scientific Realism
174(1)
A Statement of Scientific Realism
174(6)
Challenges from Traditional Empiricism
180(1)
Metaphysical Constructivism
181(2)
Van Fraassen's View
183(3)
Representation, Models, and Truth (Optional Section)
186(4)
Further Reading
189(1)
Explanation
190(12)
Knowing Why
190(1)
The Rise and Fall of the Covering Law Theory of Explanation
191(3)
Causation, Unification, and More
194(6)
Laws and Causes (Optional Section)
200(2)
Further Reading
201(1)
Bayesianism and Modern Theories of Evidence
202(17)
New Hope
202(1)
Understanding Evidence with Probability
203(2)
The Subjectivist Interpretation of Probability
205(3)
Assessing Bayesianism
208(2)
Scientific Realism and Theories of Evidence
210(4)
Procedural Naturalism (Optional Section)
214(5)
Further Reading
217(2)
Empiricism, Naturalism, and Scientific Realism?
219(14)
A Muddy Paste?
219(1)
The Apparent Tensions
220(1)
Empiricism Reformed
221(6)
A Last Challenge
227(3)
The Future
230(3)
Glossary 233(10)
References 243(12)
Index 255


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