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Representing and Intervening

Representing and Intervening
Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science

$57.00 (P)

  • Date Published: November 1983
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521282468

$ 57.00 (P)
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About the Authors
  • This 1983 book is a lively and clearly written introduction to the philosophy of natural science, organized around the central theme of scientific realism. It has two parts. 'Representing' deals with the different philosophical accounts of scientific objectivity and the reality of scientific entities. The views of Kuhn, Feyerabend, Lakatos, Putnam, van Fraassen, and others, are all considered. 'Intervening' presents the first sustained treatment of experimental science for many years and uses it to give a new direction to debates about realism. Hacking illustrates how experimentation often has a life independent of theory. He argues that although the philosophical problems of scientific realism can not be resolved when put in terms of theory alone, a sound philosophy of experiment provides compelling grounds for a realistic attitude. A great many scientific examples are described in both parts of the book, which also includes lucid expositions of recent high energy physics and a remarkable chapter on the microscope in cell biology.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'In summary, Hacking's book is an extremely valuable contribution … I urge you all to read it and to use it in your courses on the philosophy of science.' British Journal of the Philosophy of Science

    ' … its refreshingly provocative style and broad sweep will excite readers much more than the usual woodenly written introductions.' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1983
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521282468
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Analytical table of contents
    Preface
    Introduction: rationality
    Part I. Representing:
    1. What is scientific realism?
    2. Building and causing
    3. Positivism
    4. Pragmatism
    5. Incommensurability
    6. Reference
    7. Internal realism
    8. A surrogate for truth
    Part II. Intervening:
    9. Experiment
    10. Observation
    11. Microscopes
    12. Speculation, calculation, models, approximations
    13. The creation of phenomena
    14. Measurement
    15. Baconian topics
    16. Experimentation and scientific realism
    Further reading
    Index.

  • Author

    Ian Hacking

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