Introduction to the Philosophy of Science: Cutting Nature at its Seams

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byRobert Klee

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Introduction to the Philosophy of Science: Cutting Nature at Its Seams is a clear and lively explanation of key concepts and issues in the philosophy of science. It surveys the field from positivism to social constructivism, focusing on the metaphysical implications of science as a form ofknowledge gathering that explains what the world is really like, while simultaneously arguing for the superiority of a holistic model of scientific theories over competing models. An innovative feature is the use of immunology as the central domain of illustration, in contrast to other philosophy ofscience texts that draw examples predominantly from physics. The text also presents Thomas Kuhn's model of science clearly and accurately, rectifying the notorious and widespread misinterpretations projected upon it in the past. Klee discusses both traditional models of science and alternativeinterpretations, most notably nonfeminist and feminist models inspired by the work of Kuhn. Richly illustrated and complete with a glossary of over eighty key terms, this book serves as an ideal text for undergraduates, because it presents a highly accessible and contemporary investigation ofscience as a form of inquiry capable of revealing to us the structure of the world.

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From Our Editors

A clear and lively explanation of key concepts and issues in the philosophy of science. It surveys the field from positivism to social constructivism, focusing on the metaphysical implications of science as a form of knowledge gathering that explains what the world is really like, while simultaneously arguing for the superiority of a h...

From the Publisher

Introduction to the Philosophy of Science: Cutting Nature at Its Seams is a clear and lively explanation of key concepts and issues in the philosophy of science. It surveys the field from positivism to social constructivism, focusing on the metaphysical implications of science as a form ofknowledge gathering that explains what the worl...

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A clear and lively explanation of key concepts and issues in the philosophy of science. It surveys the field from positivism to social constructivism, focusing on the metaphysical implications of science as a form of knowledge gathering that explains what the world is really like, while simultaneously arguing for the superiority of a h...

Robert Klee is at Ithaca College.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 6.14 × 9.17 × 0.55 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195106113

ISBN - 13:9780195106114

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. The Case of Allergic Disease: From Everyday Observation to Microstructural Explanation1.1. Experimentation and Research Science1.1.1. Observable Mysteries1.1.2. Physical Microstructure1.2. Mechanism and Testing1.2.1. Mast Cell Release1.2.2. Immunoglobulin E1.3. Intervention and Manipulation1.3.1. Released Inflammatory Mediator Blockade1.3.2. Mast Cell Release Blockade1.3.3. Immunoglobulin E Blockade1.4. Unification and Explanation1.4.1. IgE--anthelminthic1.4.2. Allergy Genes1.4.3. Determination and Explanation2. The Positivist Model of Scientific Theories2.1. Theories as Formal Languages2.2. A Dummy Scientific Theory to Illustrate the Positivist Model3. Trouble in Positivist Paradise3.1. The Point of the Observational/Theoretical Distinction3.1.1. Ease of Application3.1.2. Instrumentation3.1.3. Putnamian Cynicism3.1.4. Encapsulated Information Processing3.1.5. Sensory Surface Distance3.2. Correspondence-Rules3.2.1. Dispositional Properties3.2.2. Holism4. The Underdetermination of Theory4.1. The Quine-Duhem Thesis4.2. Popperian Falsificationism4.3. Is Underdetermination a Myth?4.4. Pragmatism and Realism5. Reductionism, Antireductionism, and Supervenience5.1. Nagel's Model of Reduction5.2. Kemeny and Oppenheim's Model of Reduction5.3. The Unity of Science Program5.4. The Putnam/Fodor Multiple Realization Argument Against the Unity of Science5.5. Supervenience to the Rescue?5.5.1. Kim's Model of Supervenience5.5.2. Modest Physicalism6. The Structure of Scientific Explanation6.1. The Deductive-Nomological (D-N) Model of Scientific Explanation6.1.1. Laws of nature6.1.2. Standard Counterexamples to the D-N Model6.2. The Aleatory Model of Scientific Explanation6.3. The Unification Model of Scientific Explanation6.4. Natural Kinds, Homeostatic Property Clusters, and the Structural Basis of Reality7. The Revenge of Historicism7.1. Anti-Incrementalism7.2. Paradigms and the Practice of Normal Science7.3. Puzzle-Solving and the Cautiousness of Normal Science7.4. Anomalies7.5. Revolutionary Science7.6. Antirealism, Relativism, and Their Shadows7.7. The Case of Modern Immunology8. The Social Constructivist Challenge8.1. The Strong Programme8.2. Roll Over Socrates: Philosophy as the Bad Guy8.3. The Case Method with a Vengeance8.4. The View from Deep in the Swamp of History8.5. The Inequality of Theoretical Alternatives9. The Politics of Epistemology9.1. The Genderization of Scientific Knowledge9.2. Postmodernist Feminism: Sandra Harding9.3. Feminist Social Activism: Helen Longino9.4. Feminist Empiricism: Lynn Hankinson Nelson10. The Actual Way Things Really Are10.1. What Can or Cannot Happen in the Limit of Inquiry10.2. The Cosmic Coincidence Argument for Scientific Realism10.2.1. The Covergence Argument10.2.2. The Manipulability Argument10.3. The Case for Scientific Antirealism10.3.1. Antirealism: Success is Self-Defeating for Realism10.3.2. Antirealism: Success Needs No Explanation at All10.3.3. Antirealism: Success isn't What You Think it is10.3.4. Antirealism: Success May Have Nothing to Do With Truth10.4. ConclusionGlossarySuggested ReadingsIndexEach chapter is followed by recommendations for further reading

From Our Editors

A clear and lively explanation of key concepts and issues in the philosophy of science. It surveys the field from positivism to social constructivism, focusing on the metaphysical implications of science as a form of knowledge gathering that explains what the world is really like, while simultaneously arguing for the superiority of a holistic model of scientific theories over competing models.

Editorial Reviews

"An excellent and comprehensive examination of recent developments in the philosophy of science."--James Maffie, Colorado State University