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Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

by Peter Godfrey-Smith University of Chicago Press
Pub Date:
07/2003
ISBN:
9780226300634
Format:
Pbk 288 pages
Price:
AU$66.00 NZ$68.70
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
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Instructors
& Academics:
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.

CONTENTS
Preface
A Note for Those Teaching with the Book
. Introduction
. Setting Out
. The Scope of the Theory
. What Kind of Theory?
. Three Answers, or Pieces of an Answer
. Historical Interlude: A Sketch of the Scientific Revolution
Further Reading
. Logic Plus Empiricism
. The Empiricist Tradition
. The Vienna Circle
. Central Ideas of Logical Positivism
. Problems and Changes
. Logical Empiricism
. On the Fall of Logical Empiricism
Further Reading
. Induction and Confirmation
. The Mother of All Problems
. Induction, Deduction, Confirmation, and Explanatory Inference
. The Ravens Problem
. Goodman's ''New Riddle of Induction''
Further Reading
. Popper: Conjecture and Refutation
. Popper's Unique Place in the Philosophy of Science
. Popper's Theory of Science
. Popper on Scientific Change
. Objections to Popper on Falsification
. Objections to Popper on Confirmation
. Further Comments on the Demarcation Problem
Further Reading
. Kuhn and Normal Science
. ''The Paradigm Has Shifted''
. Paradigms: A Closer Look
. Normal Science
. Anomaly and Crisis
. Wrap-up of Normal Science
Further Reading
. Kuhn and Revolutions
. Considerable Upset
. Revolutions and Their Aftermath
. Incommensurability, Relativism, and Progress
. The X-Rated ''Chapter X''
. Final Thoughts on Kuhn
Further Reading
. Lakatos, Laudan, Feyerabend, and Frameworks
. After Structure
. Lakatos and Research Programs
. Laudan and Research Traditions
. Anything Goes
. An Argument from History That Haunts Philosophy
. Pluralism and the Ramblings of Madmen
. Taking Stock: Frameworks and Two-Process Theories of Science
Further Reading
. The Challenge from Sociology of Science
. Beyond Philosophy?
. Robert Merton and the ''Old'' Sociology of Science
. The Rise of the Strong Program
. Leviathan and Latour
Further Reading
. Feminism and Science Studies
. ''Science Is Political''
. The Man of Reason
. The Case of Primatology
. Feminist Epistemology
. Science Studies, the Science Wars, and the Sokal Hoax
Further Reading
. Naturalistic Philosophy in Theory and Practice
. What Is Naturalism?
. Quine, Dewey, and Others
. The Theory-Ladenness of Observation
Further Reading
. Naturalism and the Social Structure of Science
. Science as a Process
. Kitcher and the Division of Scientific Labor
. Social Structure and Empiricism
Further Reading
. Scientific Realism
. Strange Debates
. Approaching Scientific Realism
. A Statement of Scientific Realism
. Challenges from Traditional Empiricism
. Metaphysical Constructivism
. Van Fraassen's View
. Representation, Models, and Truth (Optional Section)
Further Reading
. Explanation
. Knowing Why
. The Rise and Fall of the Covering Law Theory of Explanation
. Causation, Unification, and More
. Laws and Causes (Optional Section)
Further Reading
. Bayesianism and Modern Theories of Evidence
. New Hope
. Understanding Evidence with Probability
. The Subjectivist Interpretation of Probability
. Assessing Bayesianism
. Scientific Realism and Theories of Evidence
. Procedural Naturalism (Optional Section)
Further Reading
. Empiricism, Naturalism, and Scientific Realism?
. A Muddy Paste?
. The Apparent Tensions
. Empiricism Reformed
. A Last Challenge
. The Future
Glossary
References
Index

PrefaceA Note for Those Teaching with the Book1. Introduction1.1 Setting Out1.2 The Scope of the Theory1.3 What Kind of Theory?1.4 Three Answers, or Pieces of an Answer1.5 Historical Interlude: A Sketch of the Scientific RevolutionFurther Reading2. Logic Plus Empiricism2.1 The Empiricist Tradition2.2 The Vienna Circle2.3 Central Ideas of Logical Positivism2.4 Problems and Changes2.5 Logical Empiricism2.6 On the Fall of Logical EmpiricismFurther Reading3. Induction and Confirmation3.1 The Mother of All Problems3.2 Induction, Deduction, Confirmation, and Explanatory Inference3.3 The Ravens Problem3.4 Goodman's "New Riddle of Induction"Further Reading4. Popper: Conjecture and Refutation4.1 Popper's Unique Place in the Philosophy of Science4.2 Popper's Theory of Science4.3 Popper on Scientific Change4.4 Objections to Popper on Falsification4.5 Objections to Popper on Confirmation4.6 Further Comments on the Demarcation ProblemFurther Reading5. Kuhn and Normal Science5.1 "The Paradigm Has Shifted"5.2 Paradigms: A Closer Look5.3 Normal Science5.4 Anomaly and Crisis5.5 Wrap-up of Normal ScienceFurther Reading6. Kuhn and Revolutions6.1 Considerable Upset6.2 Revolutions and Their Aftermath6.3 Incommensurability, Relativism, and Progress6.4 The X-Rated "Chapter X"6.5 Final Thoughts on KuhnFurther Reading7. Lakatos, Laudan, Feyerabend, and Frameworks7.1 After Structure7.2 Lakatos and Research Programs7.3 Laudan and Research Traditions7.4 Anything Goes7.5 An Argument from History That Haunts Philosophy7.6 Pluralism and the Ramblings of Madmen7.7 Taking Stock: Frameworks and Two-Process Theories of ScienceFurther Reading8. The Challenge from Sociology of Science8.1 Beyond Philosophy?8.2 Robert Merton and the "Old" Sociology of Science8.3 The Rise of the Strong Program8.4 Leviathan and LatourFurther Reading9. Feminism and Science Studies9.1 "Science Is Political"9.2 The Man of Reason9.3 The Case of Primatology9.4 Feminist Epistemology9.5 Science Studies, the Science Wars, and the Sokal HoaxFurther Reading10. Naturalistic Philosophy in Theory and Practice10.1 What Is Naturalism?10.2 Quine, Dewey, and Others10.3 The Theory-Ladenness of ObservationFurther Reading11. Naturalism and the Social Structure of Science11.1 Science as a Process11.2 Kitcher and the Division of Scientific Labor11.3 Social Structure and EmpiricismFurther Reading12. Scientific Realism12.1 Strange Debates12.2 Approaching Scientific Realism12.3 A Statement of Scientific Realism12.4 Challenges from Traditional Empiricism12.5 Metaphysical Constructivism12.6 Van Fraassen's View12.7 Representation, Models, and Truth (Optional Section)Further Reading13. Explanation13.1 Knowing Why13.2 The Rise and Fall of the Covering Law Theory of Explanation13.3 Causation, Unification, and More13.4 Laws and Causes (Optional Section)Further Reading14. Bayesianism and Modern Theories of Evidence14.1 New Hope14.2 Understanding Evidence with Probability14.3 The Subjectivist Interpretation of Probability14.4 Assessing Bayesianism14.5 Scientific Realism and Theories of Evidence14.6 Procedural Naturalism (Optional Section)Further Reading15. Empiricism, Naturalism, and Scientific Realism?15.1 A Muddy Paste?15.2 The Apparent Tensions15.3 Empiricism Reformed15.4 A Last Challenge15.5 The FutureGlossaryReferencesIndex

Peter Godfrey-Smith is associate professor of philosophy and of history and philosophy of science at Stanford University.