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Metaphysics of Science An Account of Modern Science in Terms of Principles, Laws and Theories

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ISBN-10: 140206327X

ISBN-13: 9781402063275

Edition: 2nd 2007 (Revised)

Authors: Craig Dilworth

List price: $109.00
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Description:

The Metaphysics of Science provides a clear, well-founded conception of modern science, according to which its core consists of particular metaphysical principles. On this view, both the empirical and the theoretical aspects of science are the result of the attempt to apply these metaphysical principles to reality. There is a flexibility in the application of the principles, however, so that, in their scientific guise, they may come to be reformed over time through scientific revolutions. This approach to modern science provides a unified conception of the enterprise, explaining such of its various aspects as the principle of induction, the nature of scientific knowledge and scientific reduction, the fundamental difference between the natural and social sciences, and the role of essentialism with respect to natural kinds. Furthermore, it provides a resolution of the long-standing debate between empiricism and realism. In this regard, and in others, the view of science advanced in this work is not only novel, but constitutes an alternative that is superior to both the empiric-analytic and the sociology of knowledge approaches that are prevalent today.
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Book details

List price: $109.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Springer
Publication date: 10/24/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 333
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction
Empiricism vs. Realism - the Perennial Debate in the Philosophy of Science
Comte
Whewell
Mill
Mach
Boltzmann
Poincare
Duhem
Campbell
Hempel
Harre
van Fraassen
Laudan
Cartwright
Hacking
Putnam
Fundamental and Refined Principles: The Core of Modern Science
Three Principles Central to Modern Science
Refinements of the Principles in Science
Four Ways Principles Function with Respect to Science
On the Epistemological Status of the Principles of Science
Empirical Laws: The Supervention of Experience
The Uniformity Principle and Empirical Laws
The Substance Principle and Empirical Systems
Continuity
Necessity and Universality
Discovery, Prediction and Technology
The Supervention of Experience
Empirical Laws Require Explanation
Scientific Theories: Closing the Circle
Theoretical Reduction and the Closing of the Circle
The Substance Principle and Theoretical Ontologies
The Causality Principle and Causal Mechanisms
The Hypothetical Aspect of Theories
Explanation, Understanding and the Limits of Intelligibility
The Principle-Theory-Law Model of Scientific Explanation
Theoretical Models, Source-Analogues and Abstraction
The Substantial, Formal and Causal Aspects of a Theoretical Model
Theoretical Systems and the Derivation of Empirical Laws
Theoretical Models Can Suggest Experiments But Do Not Determine Their Results
The Nominal vs. the Real Aspect of the Subject
Idealisation
Explanation vs. Prediction
The Social Sciences: A Consideration of Economics
The Principles of Rationality and Equilibrium
The Empirical Facts of Economics
Economic Models Are Theories
The Substantial, Causal and Formal Aspects of Economic Models
Intentional Constructs and Empathetic Understanding
The Source and Subject of Economic Models
Abstraction and Idealisation
Natural Kinds
What Are Natural Kinds for Modern Science?
Nominal and Real Essences: Key to the Understanding of Natural Kinds
Natural Kinds in Biology
On Identifying Natural Kinds
Sets, Classes, Individuals and Natural Kinds
On Difference of Level and the Epistemological Status of Attributions of Nominal and Real Essence
Probability and Confirmation
General Considerations Regarding Probability
Two Senses of the Word "Confirm"
Evidential Basis vs. Subject-Matter
Methodological Grounds and Inductive Probability
Subjective Probability and the Implications of a Probability Claim
Knowledge-Relativity and the Propensity Interpretation
Nominal vs. Real Probability Determinations
Methodological Requirements of Probability Locutions
On the Acceptability of Scientific Theories
On the Confirmation of Experimental Laws
On the Applicability of Scientific Principles
Empiricism vs. Realism Revisited
The Historical Debate
The Supervention of Experience
Ontology vs. Epistemology
Understanding vs. Knowledge
Modern Science and the Future
A Particular Enterprise Emanating from Particular Principles
The Revolution from Mythopoeic Thought
Three Streams in Greek Thought
Christianity, Platonism, Aristotelianism and the Scientific Revolution
Intellectual and Practical Successes and Problems
What Next?
Appendices
The Vicious Circle Principle of Human Development
The Vicious Circle Principle
Application and Corroboration
Conclusion
The Demarcation of Modern Science from Magic, Astrology, Chinese Medicine and Parapsychology
Magic
Astrology
Chinese Medicine
Parapsychology
Metaphysics and Worldviews
Historical Development of the Non-Physical
Modern Science and the Spirit
The Physical vs. the Spiritual
Conclusion
Reply to Criticism
The Deductive Model
The Perspectivist Conception
Principles
Realism vs. Empiricism
Understanding vs. Knowledge
The PTL Model of Scientific Explanation
Quantum Mechanics
Conclusion
References
Index