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An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

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Part of Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy

  • Date Published: November 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521129992

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About the Authors
  • This book guides readers by gradual steps through the central concepts and debates in the philosophy of science. Using concrete examples from the history of science, Kent W. Staley shows how seemingly abstract philosophical issues are relevant to important aspects of scientific practice. Structured in two parts, the book first tackles the central concepts of the philosophy of science, such as the problem of induction, falsificationism, and underdetermination, and important figures and movements, such as the logical empiricists, Thomas Kuhn, and Paul Feyerabend. The second part turns to contemporary debates in the philosophy of science, such as scientific realism, explanation, the role of values in science, the different views of scientific inference, and probability. This broad yet detailed overview will give readers a strong grounding whilst also providing opportunities for further exploration. It will be of particular interest to students of philosophy, the philosophy of science, and science.

    • Staley relates the treatment of philosophical problems to common, daily practices of science, allowing science students to recognise the relevance of philosophical problems to their own work
    • Historical examples illustrate philosophical issues, giving students a deeper understanding of the philosophical concepts involved
    • Staley explores the mathematics of probability in an accessible way, providing students with the tools to understand the philosophical issues surrounding probability in the philosophy of science
    • Addresses both historical and current debates, providing students with a full overview
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is a fine introductory text. It incorporates recent advances in philosophical research on scientific methodology, and Staley's engaging and easy-to-read style makes it an excellent work for beginning philosophy of science students."
    Joseph Pitt, Virginia College of Technology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521129992
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 174 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface: philosophy of science for philosophers, scientists, and everyone else
    Part I. Background and Basic Concepts:
    1. Some problems of induction
    2. Falsificationism: science without induction?
    3. Underdetermination
    4. Logical empiricism and scientific theories
    5. Kuhn: scientific revolutions as paradigm changes
    6. Lakatos: scientific research programmes
    7. Feyerabend: epistemological anarchism
    Part II. Ongoing Investigations:
    8. Reasoning with probability: Bayesianism
    9. Reasoning with probability: frequentism
    10. Realism and anti-realism
    11. Explanation
    12. Values in science

  • Author

    Kent W. Staley, St Louis University, Missouri
    Kent W. Staley is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, Missouri. His publications include The Evidence for the Top Quark: Objectivity and Bias in Collaborative Experimentation (Cambridge, 2004).

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