Science in the Looking Glass: What do scientists really know?

Paperback | August 1, 2007

byE. Brian Davies

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How do scientific conjectures become laws? Why does proof mean different things in different sciences? Do numbers exist, or were they invented? Why do some laws turn out to be wrong? In this wide-ranging book, Brian Davies discusses the basis for scientists' claims to knowledge about the world. He looks at science historically, emphasizing not only the achievements of scientists from Galileo onwards, but also their mistakes. He rejects the claim that all scientific knowledge isprovisional, by citing examples from chemistry, biology and geology. A major feature of the book is its defence of the view that mathematics was invented rather than discovered. While experience has shown that disentangling knowledge from opinion and aspiration is a hard task, this book provides aclear guide to the difficulties.Full of illuminating examples and quotations, and with a scope ranging from psychology and evolution to quantum theory and mathematics, this book brings alive issues at the heart of all science.

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How do scientific conjectures become laws? Why does proof mean different things in different sciences? Do numbers exist, or were they invented? Why do some laws turn out to be wrong? In this wide-ranging book, Brian Davies discusses the basis for scientists' claims to knowledge about the world. He looks at science historically, emphasi...

Professor E. B. Davies Department of Mathematics King's College London

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Kobo ebook|Dec 15 2009

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.71 inPublished:August 1, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199219184

ISBN - 13:9780199219186

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Table of Contents

1. Perception and Language2. Theories of the Mind3. Arithmetic4. How Hard can Problems get?5. Pure Mathematics6. Mechanics and Astronomy7. Probability and Quantum Theory8. Is Evolution a Theory?9. Against Reductionism10. Some Final Thoughts

Editorial Reviews

`I highly recommend this book and hope that it is widely read by scientists and laypeople alike.'Bill Rowe, American Journal of Psychology