The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science

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9780521644112: The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science
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It is often supposed that the spectacular successes of our modern mathematical sciences support a lofty vision of a world completely ordered by one single elegant theory. In this book Nancy Cartwright argues to the contrary. When we draw our image of the world from the way modern science works - as empiricism teaches us we should - we end up with a world where some features are precisely ordered, others are given to rough regularity and still others behave in their own diverse ways. This patchwork makes sense when we realise that laws are very special productions of nature, requiring very special arrangements for their generation. Combining classic and newly written essays on physics and economics, The Dappled World carries important philosophical consequences and offers serious lessons for both the natural and the social sciences.

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'Written with a literary sensitivity, knocks numerous nails square on the head ... provides a wonderful antidote to the abundant quack-medicine views of what science is and an excellent example of progress in philosophical thought.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

Book Description:

In this book Nancy Cartwright argues for a patchwork of laws of nature. Combining classic and newly written essays, The Dappled World offers important methodological lessons for both the natural and social sciences, and will interest anyone who wants to understand how modern science works.

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