The Metaphysics of Science: An Account of Modern Science in Terms of Principles, Laws and Theories by Craig DilworthThe Metaphysics of Science: An Account of Modern Science in Terms of Principles, Laws and Theories by Craig Dilworth

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

byCraig Dilworth

Paperback | October 24, 2007

Pricing and Purchase Info

$125.55 online 
$150.50 list price save 16%
Earn 628 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The roots of this work lie in my earlier book, Scientific Progress, which first appeared in 1981. One of its topics, the distinction - tween scientific laws and theories, is there treated with reference to the same distinction as drawn by N. R. Campbell in his Physics: The Elements. Shortly after completing Scientific Progress, I read Rom Harré's The Principles of Scientific Thinking, in which the concept of theory is even more clearly delineated than in Campbell, being directly connected to the notion of a model - as it was in my book. In subsequent considerations regarding science, Harré's work thus - came my main source of inspiration with regard to theories, while Campbell's remained my main source with respect to empirical laws. Around the same time I also read William Whewell's Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences. In this work, Whewell depicts principles as playing a central role in the formation of science, and conceives of them in much the same way as Kant conceives of fundamental synthetic a priori judgements. The idea that science should have principles as a basic element immediately made sense to me, and from that time I have thought of science in terms of laws, theories and principles.
Title:The Metaphysics of Science: An Account of Modern Science in Terms of Principles, Laws and TheoriesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:333 pagesPublished:October 24, 2007Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:140206327X

ISBN - 13:9781402063275

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction. 1. Empiricism vs. realism - the perennial debate in the philosophy of science. 2. Fundamental and refined principles: the core of modern science. 3. Empirical laws: the supervention of experience. 4. Scientific theories: closing the circle. 5. The principle-theory-law model of scientific explanation. 6. The social sciences: a consideration of economics. 7. Natural kinds. 8. Probability and confirmation. 9. Empiricism vs. realism revisited. 10. Modern science and the future. References. Index.

Editorial Reviews

From the reviews:"Dilworth does not content himself with a mere philosophical analysis of the phenomenon of modern science, but tries to draw a lesson from the analysis applicable to the actual practice of science. Whereas in its beginnings modern science was a paradigm of open-mindedness, it is now in danger of becomming an ideology, due to its refusal to reflect on its own principles.  The Metaphysics of Science performs the much-needed function of opening the doors to such reflection - both for professional philosophers and scientists themselves''.(L.E. Fleischhacker, Epistemologia)From the reviews of the second edition:"Craig Dilworth's second edition of The Metaphysics of Science contains the main text of an ambitious philosophical treatment intended to resolve realist-empiricist debates about the nature of science . . This book is worthwhile for philosophers of science and could profitably be assigned as reserve text for upper level undergraduate courses in history and philosophy of science of metaphysics. . Dilworth's main aim is to propose and defend a metaphysics of science based on three ontological principles, uniformity of nature, substance, and causality." (Robert L. Muhlnickel, Metapsychology Online Reviews, Vol. 12 (22), May, 2008)"Science makes metaphysical presuppositions. I must . at once declare an interest. . According to Dilworth, the three metaphysical principles constitute 'the core of modern science' . . They guide research and provide methodological rules. . Dilworth suggests that we need a new metaphysical paradigm for a new kind of science. . this book propounds an immensely important idea-even if one that received a much improved formulation at least twelve years before publication of the first edition." (Nicholas Maxwell, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, August, 2009)