Representing and Intervening Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science

ISBN-10: 0521282462

ISBN-13: 9780521282468

Edition: 1983

Authors: Ian Hacking
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Description: This 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.

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Book details

List price: $57.00
Copyright year: 1983
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/20/1983
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Ian Hacking is University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. He holds the chair of Philosophy and History of Concepts at the College de France. Among his many books, the most recent is Rewriting the Soul.

Analytical table of contents
Preface
Introduction: rationality
Representing
What is scientific realism?
Building and causing
Positivism
Pragmatism
Incommensurability
Reference
Internal realism
A surrogate for truth
Intervening
Experiment
Observation
Microscopes
Speculation, calculation, models, approximations
The creation of phenomena
Measurement
Baconian topics
Experimentation and scientific realism
Further reading
Index
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