Science: Key Concepts in Philosophy

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9780826486554: Science: Key Concepts in Philosophy
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The philosophical questions raised by the history and practice of science are among the most complex and stimulating. The philosophy of science inquires into such matters as scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, the nature and value of scientific knowledge, progress in science, and the debate between realist and anti-realist views of science. Science: Key Concepts in Philosophy is the ideal first stop for the student wishing to get to grips with this challenging subject. Written with the specific needs of students new to the discipline in mind, it covers the work of key thinkers and outlines clearly the central questions, problems and arguments encountered in studying the philosophy of science. The book considers such fundamentals as discovery, evidence, verification and falsification, realism and objectivity. It also draws on specific examples from the history of science to further illuminate the philosophical questions addressed. This is a practical and informative introduction to a major component of the undergraduate philosophy curriculum, as well as being a support to ongoing study.

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Review:

'The book consists of ten chapters, each of which segues clearly into the next...There are four Study Exercises which probe students' understanding of the material and challenge them to think about further issues associated with the material. These questions could serve as a starting point for a classroom discussion, or even as potential topics for student essays...French takes a conversational and light-hearted tone, so that the prose is more engaging for non-scholars than many other introductions to philosophy of science...For graduate students in other philosophical fields, this text could prove useful as a quick introduction to or refresher for some core ideas in philosophy of science.'
Holly Andersen, University of Pittsburgh, Metascience

"The author provides a succinct and approachable introduction to the field of philosophy of science...Casual, with plenty of examples and humor yet, importantly, Science gets across the technical details of some of the most central and influential philosophical positions, concepts, and arguments of the field."
-Robert Rosenberger, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 84, Sept. 2009

"In this volume, the author provides a succinct and approachable introduction to the field of philosophy of science. The book is written without assuming its readers have any philosophical training. Its style is casual, with plenty of examples and humor yet, importantly, "Science" gets across the technical details of some of the most central and influential philosophical positions, concepts, and arguments of the field. Because it is both short and extremely easy to read, this volume provides ideal supplementary material for those engaging the primary textbooks of this field for the first time. I have used it more than once for an introductory course in the philosophy of science, and it has worked well in this role. For my students, this book made for a welcome and helpful contrast to those volumes in terms of tone and approachability. Although other more cumbersome textbooks force instructors to structure their courses in a certain way, French's publication instead complements a course structured by primary works. In short, Science is an admirably concise and accessible basic introduction to the philosophy of science, one which enables its readers to go on to tackle more esoteric and dense primary philosophical textbooks." The Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2009

Synopsis:

"Key Concepts in Philosophy" is a series of concise, accessible and engaging introductions to the core ideas and subjects encountered in the study of philosophy. Specially written to meet the needs of students and those with an interest in, but little prior knowledge of, philosophy, these books open up fascinating, yet sometimes difficult ideas. The series builds to give a solid grounding in philosophy and each book is also ideal as a companion to further study. The philosophical questions raised by the history and practice of science are among the most complex and stimulating. The philosophy of science inquires into such matters as scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, the nature and value of scientific knowledge, progress in science, and the debate between realist and anti-realist views of science. "Science: Key Concepts in Philosophy" is the ideal first stop for the student wishing to get to grips with this challenging subject. Written with the specific needs of students new to the discipline in mind, it covers the work of key thinkers and outlines clearly the central questions, problems and arguments encountered in studying the philosophy of science.

The book considers such fundamentals as discovery, evidence, verification and falsification, realism and objectivity. It also draws on specific examples from the history of science to further illuminate the philosophical questions addressed. This is a practical and informative introduction to a major component of the undergraduate philosophy curriculum, as well as being a support to ongoing study.

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