The Metaphysics of Science

The Metaphysics of Science

An Account of Modern Science in Terms of Principles, Laws and Theories
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, Band 173 2nd ed. 2007

von: Craig Dilworth

93,08 €

Verlag: Springer
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 04.10.2007
ISBN/EAN: 9781402038389
Sprache: englisch
Anzahl Seiten: 333

Dieses eBook enthält ein Wasserzeichen.


This book provides a clear, well-founded conception of modern science. The views advanced are not only novel, but they constitute an alternative that is superior to both the empiric-analytic and the sociology of knowledge approaches that are prevalent today. Furthermore, the book provides a resolution of the long-standing debate between empiricism and realism, and it gives a coherent view that transcends the boundaries of the professional philosophy of science.
The roots of this work lie in my earlier book, Scientific Progress, which first appeared in 1981. One of its topics, the distinction - tween scientific laws and theories, is there treated with reference to the same distinction as drawn by N. R. Campbell in his Physics: The Elements. Shortly after completing Scientific Progress, I read Rom Harré’s The Principles of Scientific Thinking, in which the concept of theory is even more clearly delineated than in Campbell, being directly connected to the notion of a model – as it was in my book. In subsequent considerations regarding science, Harré’s work thus - came my main source of inspiration with regard to theories, while Campbell’s remained my main source with respect to empirical laws. Around the same time I also read William Whewell’s Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences. In this work, Whewell depicts principles as playing a central role in the formation of science, and conceives of them in much the same way as Kant conceives of fundamental synthetic a priori judgements. The idea that science should have principles as a basic element immediately made sense to me, and from that time I have thought of science in terms of laws, theories and principles.
Preface. Introduction.
1. Empiricism vs. realism - the perennial debate in the philosophy of science.
2. Fundamental and refined principles: the core of modern science.
3. Empirical laws: the supervention of experience.
4. Scientific theories: closing the circle.
5. The principle-theory-law model of scientific explanation.
6. The social sciences: a consideration of economics.
7. Natural kinds.
8. Probability and confirmation.
9. Empiricism vs. realism revisited.
10. Modern science and the future.
References. Index.

Takes a Metaphysical approach to the subject
Coherent view of science that trnascents the boundries of professional philosophy of science
Provides a realistic conception of the enterprise than can be found there

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