Understanding Philosophy of Science

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2001-12-29
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Without scientific theory, the technology developments of recent years would not have been possible. In this exceptionally clear and engaging introduction to philosophy of science, James Ladyman explores the scope of natural science and its implications for human life. With the focus firmly upon realism, he discusses how fundamental philosophical questions can be answered by science and how scientific theory can confirm and inform our basic and intrinsic knowledge.

Author Biography

James Ladyman is lecturer in philosophy at the University of Bristol.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Philosophy of science as epistemology and metaphysicsp. 5
The Scientific Method
Induction and Inductivismp. 11
The sceptic's challengep. 11
The scientific revolutionp. 14
The 'new tool' of inductionp. 18
(Naive) inductivismp. 27
Further readingp. 30
The Problem of Induction and Other Problems with Inductivismp. 31
The problem of inductionp. 32
Solutions and dissolutions of the problem of inductionp. 40
Inductivism and the history of sciencep. 52
Theory and observationp. 56
Conclusionsp. 58
Further readingp. 61
Falsificationismp. 62
Popper and the critique of Marxism and psychoanalysisp. 64
Popper's solution to the problem of inductionp. 69
The context of discovery and the context of justificationp. 74
The Duhem problemp. 77
Problems with falsificationismp. 81
Conclusionsp. 89
Further readingp. 91
Revolutions and Rationalityp. 93
The received view of sciencep. 94
Kuhn's revolutionary history of sciencep. 96
Paradigms and normal sciencep. 98
The Copernican revolutionp. 105
Theory and observationp. 109
Incommensurabilityp. 115
Relativism and the role of reason in sciencep. 118
Further readingp. 123
Realism and Antirealism About Science
Scientific Realismp. 129
Appearance and realityp. 131
The metaphysics of the external worldp. 138
Semanticsp. 146
Standard scientific realismp. 158
Antirealismp. 159
Further readingp. 160
Underdeterminationp. 162
Underdeterminationp. 162
Constructive empiricismp. 185
Further readingp. 194
Explanation and Inferencep. 196
Explanationp. 198
Inference to the best explanationp. 209
Common sense, realism and constructive empiricismp. 225
Further readingp. 228
Realism About What?p. 230
Theory changep. 230
Multiple modelsp. 252
Idealisationp. 257
Structural realismp. 260
Further readingp. 262
Glossaryp. 264
Bibliographyp. 270
Indexp. 276
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