Mathematics plays a central role in much of contemporary science, but philosophers have struggled to understand what this role is or how significant it might be for mathematics and science. Pincock tackles this perennial question by asking how mathematics contributes to the success of our best scientific representations.
What is mathematics about? And how can we have access to the reality it is supposed to describe? The book tells the story of this problem, first raised by Plato, through the views of Aristotle, Proclus, Kant, Frege, Gödel, Benacerraf, up to the most recent debate on mathematical platonism.
- what is the relationship between the social sciences and the natural sciences? - where do today's dominant approaches to doing social science come from? - what are the main fissures and debates in contemporary social scientific thought? - how are we to make sense of seemingly contrasting approaches to how social scientists find out about the world and justify their claims to have knowledge of it? In this exciting handbook, Ian Jarvie and Jesús Zamora-Bonilla have put together a wide-ranging and authoritative overview of the main philosophical currents and traditions at work in the social sciences today. Starting with the history of social scientific thought, this handbook sets out to explore that core fundamentals of social science practice, from issues of ontology and epistemology to issues of practical method. Along the way it investigates such notions as paradigm, empiricism, postmodernism, naturalism, language, agency, power, culture, and causality. Bringing together in one volume leading authorities in the field from around the world, this book will be a must-have for any serious scholar or student of the social sciences.
This volume is presented in honour of Heinz Post, who founded a distinc tive and distinguished school of philosophy of science at Chelsea College, University of London. The 'Chelsea tradition' in philosophy of science takes the content of science seriously, as exemplified by the papers presented here. The unifying theme of this work is that of 'Correspondence, Invariance and Heuristics', after the title of a classic and seminal paper by Heinz Post, published in 1971, which is reproduced in this volume with the kind permission of the editors and publishers of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. Described by Paul Feyerabend in Against Method as "brilliant" and " . . . a partial antidote against the view which I try to defend" (1975, p. 61, fn. 17), this paper, peppered with illustrative examples from the history of science, brings to the fore some of Heinz Post's central concerns: the heuristic criteria used by scientists in constructing their theories, the intertheoretic relationships which these criteria reflect and, in particular, the nature of the correspondence that holds between a theory and its predecessors (and its suc cessors). The appearance of this volume more than twenty years later is an indica tion of the fruitfulness of Post's contribution: philosophers of science continue to explore the issues raised in his 1971 paper.
This indispensable reference source and guide to the major themes, debates, problems and topics in philosophy of science contains fifty-five specially commissioned entries by a leading team of international contributors. Organized into four parts it covers: historical and philosophical context debates concepts the individual sciences. The Companion covers everything students of philosophy of science need to know - from empiricism, explanation and experiment to causation, observation, prediction and more - and contains many helpful features including: a section on the individual sciences, including chapters on the philosophy of biology, chemistry, physics and psychology, further reading and cross-referencing at the end of each chapter.
Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Knowledge and Data Paul Humphreys
Author: Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Knowledge and Data Paul Humphreys
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Philosophy and science
This handbook provides both an overview of state-of-the-art scholarship in philosophy of science, as well as a guide to new directions in the discipline. Section I contains broad overviews of the main lines of research and the state of established knowledge in six principal areas of the discipline, including computational, physical, biological, psychological and social sciences, as well as general philosophy of science. Section II covers what are considered to be the traditional topics in the philosophy of science, such as causation, probability, models, ethics and values, and explanation. Section III identifies new areas of investigation that show promise of becoming important areas of research, including the philosophy of astronomy and astrophysics, data, complexity theory, neuroscience, simulations, post-Kuhnian philosophy, post-empiricist epistemology, and emergence. Most chapters are accessible to scientifically educated non-philosophers as well as to professional philosophers, and the contributors - all leading researchers in their field -- bring diverse perspectives from the North American, European, and Australasian research communities. This volume is an essential resource for scholars and students.
In the 1980s, philosophical, historical and social studies of science underwent a change which later evolved into a turn to practice. Analysts of science were asked to pay attention to scientific practices in meticulous detail and along multiple dimensions, including the material, social and psychological. Following this turn, the interest in scientific practices continued to increase and had an indelible influence in the various fields of science studies. No doubt, the practice turn changed our conceptions and approaches of science, but what did it really teach us? What does it mean to study scientific practices? What are the general lessons, implications, and new challenges? This volume explores questions about the practice turn using both case studies and theoretical analysis. The case studies examine empirical and mathematical sciences, including the engineering sciences. The volume promotes interactions between acknowledged experts from different, often thought of as conflicting, orientations. It presents contributions in conjunction with critical commentaries that put the theses and assumptions of the former in perspective. Overall, the book offers a unique and diverse range of perspectives on the meanings, methods, lessons, and challenges associated with the practice turn.
1. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND The purpose of the book is to develop internal realism, the metaphysical-episte mological doctrine initiated by Hilary Putnam (Reason, Truth and History, "Introduction", Many Faces). In doing so I shall rely - sometimes quite heavily - on the notion of conceptual scheme. I shall use the notion in a somewhat idiosyncratic way, which, however, has some affinities with the ways the notion has been used during its history. So I shall start by sketching the history of the notion. This will provide some background, and it will also give opportunity to raise some of the most important problems I will have to solve in the later chapters. The story starts with Kant. Kant thought that the world as we know it, the world of tables, chairs and hippopotami, is constituted in part by the human mind. His cen tral argument relied on an analysis of space and time, and presupposed his famous doctrine that knowledge cannot extend beyond all possible experience. It is a central property of experience - he claimed - that it is structured spatially and temporally. However, for various reasons, space and time cannot be features of the world, as it is independently of our experience. So he concluded that they must be the forms of human sensibility, i. e. necessary ingredients of the way things appear to our senses.