Science Rules A Historical Introduction to Scientific Methods

ISBN-10: 0801879442

ISBN-13: 9780801879449

Edition: 2004

Authors: Peter Achinstein

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Is there a universal set of rules for discovering and testing scientific hypotheses? Since the birth of modern science, philosophers, scientists, and other thinkers have wrestled with this fundamental question of scientific practice. Efforts to devise rigorous methods for obtaining scientific knowledge include the twenty-one rules Descartes proposed in his Rules for the Direction of the Mind and the four rules of reasoning that begin the third book of Newton's Principia, and continue today in debates over the very possibility of such rules. Bringing together key primary sources spanning almost four centuries, Science Rules introduces readers to scientific methods that have played a prominent role in the history of scientific practice. Editor Peter Achinstein includes works by scientists and philosophers of science to offer a new perspective on the nature of scientific reasoning. For each of the methods discussed, he presents the original formulation of the method; selections written by a proponent of the method together with an application to a particular scientific example; and a critical analysis of the method that draws on historical and contemporary sources. The methods included in this volume are Cartesian rationalism with an application to Descartes' laws of motion; Newton's inductivism and the law of gravity; two versions of hypothetico-deductivism -- those of William Whewell and Karl Popper -- and the nineteenth-century wave theory of light; Paul Feyerabend's principle of proliferation and Thomas Kuhn's views on scientific values, both of which deny that there are universal rules of method, with an application to Galileo's tower argument. Included also is a famous nineteenth-century debate about scientific reasoning between the hypothetico-deductivist William Whewell and the inductivist John Stuart Mill; and an account of the realism-antirealism dispute about unobservables in science, with a consideration of Perrin's argument for the existence of molecules in the early twentieth century.
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Book details

List price: $41.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 8/17/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 440
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

Descartes' rationalism & laws of motion
Descartes' methodological rules : from Rules for the direction of the mind
Descartes' ontological proof of God : from Meditations on first philosophy
Descartes' laws of motion : from Principles of philosophy
A discussion of Descartes' methodology : from Descartes' Metaphysical physics
Newton's inductivism & and law of gravity
Newton's methodological rules : from The principia, book 3
Newton's "phenomena" and derivation of the law of gravity : from The principia, book 3
Newton on "hypotheses," God, and gravity : from The principia, general scholium
Cohen's discussion of Newton's methodology : from A guide to Newton's principia
Whewell's critique of Newton's methodology : from The philosophy of the inductive sciences
Hypothetico-deductivism, the Mill-Whewell debate, & the wave theory of light
Young's wave theory of light : from A course of lectures on natural philosophy
Whewell's hypothetico-deductivism : from The philosophy of the inductive sciences
Popper's falsificationism : from The logic of scientific discovery
Mill's inductivism and debate with Whewell : from A system of logic, book 3
The wave theory of light and the Mill-Whewell debate : waves and scientific method
Realism vs. antirealism & molecular reality
Duhem's antirealism : from The aim and structure of physical theory
Van Fraassen's antirealism : from The scientific image
Perrin's realism and argument for molecules : from Atoms
Salmon's empirical defense of realism : from Scientific explanation and the causal structure of the world
Realism and Perrin's argument for molecules : is there a valid experimental argument for scientific realism?
Galileo's tower argument & rejections of universal rules of method
Galileo's refutation of the tower argument : from Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems
Feyerabend's rejection of universal rules : from Against method : outline of an anarchistic theory of knowledge
A critique of Feyerabend's anarchism : proliferation : is it a good thing?
Kuhn's rejection of universal rules : from The structure of scientific revolutions
A discussion of Kuhn's "values" : subjective views of Kuhn
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