Explanations: Styles of explanation in science

Hardcover | May 15, 2004

EditorJohn Cornwell

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Our lives, states of health, relationships, behaviour, experiences of the natural world, and the technologies that shape our contemporary existence are subject to a superfluity of competing, multi-faceted and sometimes incompatible explanations. Widespread confusion about the nature of'explanation' and its scope and limits pervades popular exposition of the natural sciences, popular history and philosophy of science. This fascinating and intriguing book explores the way explanations work, why they vary between disciplines, periods, and cultures, and whether they have anynecessary boundaries. In other words, Explanations aims to achieve a better understanding of explanation, both within the sciences and the humanities. It features contributions from expert writers from a wide range of disciplines, including science, philosophy, mathematics, and socialanthropology.

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Our lives, states of health, relationships, behaviour, experiences of the natural world, and the technologies that shape our contemporary existence are subject to a superfluity of competing, multi-faceted and sometimes incompatible explanations. Widespread confusion about the nature of'explanation' and its scope and limits pervades pop...

John Cornwell is an author and journalist, and Director of the Science and Human Dimension Project at Jesus College, Cambridge. He is the editor of two previous collections, also published by OUP: Nature's Imagination (1994) and Consciousness and Human Identity (1998).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.02 inPublished:May 15, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198607784

ISBN - 13:9780198607786

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of contributorsJohn Cornwell: Introduction1. Peter Lipton: What good is an explanation?2. Steven Weinberg: Can science explain everything? Can science explain anything?3. Martin Rees: Explaining the universe4. William C. Saslaw: Does physics rule the roost of scientific explanation?5. John D. Barrow: Mathematical explanation6. Peter Atkins: Ponderable matter: explanation in chemistry7. Steven Rose: The biology of the future and the future of biology8. David Hanke: Teleology: the explanation that bedevils biology9. Colin McGinn: What is it not like to be a brain?10. Tian Yu Cao: Ontology and scientific explanation11. Jack Goody: From explanation to interpretation in social anthropology12. Jon Turney: Passing it on: redescribing scientific explanationIndex

Editorial Reviews

`I recommend this book to all readers interested in philosophy and sociology of science.'Andrzej Stasiak, EMBO Reports