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It started with copernicus : vital questions about science

Author: Keith Parsons
Publisher: Amherst, NY : Prometheus Books, 2014.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A unique approach to the philosophy of science that focuses on the liveliest and most important controversies surrounding science Is science more rational or objective than any other intellectual endeavor' Are scientific theories accurate depictions of reality or just useful devices for manipulating the environment' These core questions are the focus of this unique approach to the philosophy of science. Unlike  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Parsons, Keith.
It started with copernicus.
Amherst, NY : Prometheus Books, 2014
(DLC) 2014006791
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Keith Parsons
ISBN: 9781616149307 1616149302
OCLC Number: 869379550
Notes: Title from resource description page (Recorded Books, viewed January 23, 2014).
Description: 1 online resource
Contents: Copernican questions, 2006 ; It started with Copernicus, 2014 --
Copernican questions. What was Copernicus's revolution? ; What happens when your world changes? ; Copernican questions : rationality and realism ; The plan of the book --
Is science really rational? : the problem of incommensurability. Incommensurability of standards ; Incommensurability of values ; Incommensurability of meaning ; Evaluating meaning incommensurability ; Conversion : a concluding case study --
A walk on the wild side : social constructivism, postmodernism, feminism, and that old-time religion. The constructivist challenge ; Postmodernism attacks! ; Is "objectivity" what a man calls his subjectivity? ; Is science godless? --
Ascending the slippery slope : scientific progress and truth. The evils of Whig history ; Social-constructivist history ; Does science converge toward truth? ; Assessing Laudan's Critique of Convergent Realism ; Scientists' own realism ; Could we be wrong about everything? --
Truth of consequences? Electrons : real particles or convenient fictions? ; Van Fraassen's constrictive empiricism ; Do we observe through microscopes? ; But what about things that are really unobservable? ; So what really is the goal of science? --
Mysteries of methods. Induction and deduction ; Aristotle : the first methodologist ; Bacon : scientific method renovated? ; The hypothetico-deductive method ; Hume on induction ; Popper and the rejection of induction ; Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) to the rescue? --
If you have science, who needs philosophy? The limits of science? ; The breakdown of philosophy ; Naturalizing epistemology ; Naturalizing ethics ; Philosophy in an age of science --
Science, scientism, and being human. Mind : physical or spiritual? ; Science and the human image ; Ape, angel, or neither?
Responsibility: Keith Parsons.

Abstract:

A unique approach to the philosophy of science that focuses on the liveliest and most important controversies surrounding science Is science more rational or objective than any other intellectual endeavor' Are scientific theories accurate depictions of reality or just useful devices for manipulating the environment' These core questions are the focus of this unique approach to the philosophy of science. Unlike standard textbooks, this book does not attempt a comprehensive review of the entire field, but makes a selection of the most vibrant debates and issues. The author tackles such stimulating questions as: Can science meet the challenges of skeptics' Should science address questions traditionally reserved for philosophy and religion' Further, does science leave room for human values, free will, and moral responsibility' Written in an accessible, jargon-free style, the text succinctly presents complex ideas in an easily understandable fashion. By using numerous examples taken from diverse areas such as evolutionary theory, paleontology, and astronomy, the author piques readers' curiosity in current scientific controversies. Concise bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter invite readers to sample ideas different from the ones offered in the text and to explore the range of opinions on each topic. Rigorous yet highly readable, this excellent invitation to the philosophy of science makes a convincing case that understanding the nature of science is essential for understanding life itself.

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