Philosophy of Science: Very Short Introduction (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780198745587

Samir Okasha
160 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions



  • Looks at both the historical and contemporary challenges of the philosophy of science, considering core debates such as the two opposing schools of thought of realism and idealism
  • Addresses key questions such as the issue of scientific change, and whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time
  • Investigates fascinating ethical and philosophical questions across a variety of scientific fields including physics, biology and psychology
  • Discusses the controversial "science wars"

How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully "objective?" What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these.
Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science.


1. What is science?
2. Scientific Inference
3. Explanation in science
4. Realism and anti-realism
5. Scientific change and scientific revolutions
7. Science and its critics
Further reading


Samir Okasha is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Bristol, where he has taught since 2003. He currently serves as Associate Editor of Philosophy of Science, and has previously served as Associate Editor for the European Journal for the Philosophy of Science. He is currently the holder of a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award, for a research project entitled Darwinism and the Theory of Rational Choice. His articles have appeared in multiple leading philosophy and science journal, and he has authored several books, including Evolution and the Levels of Selection (OUP, 2006) and Evolution and Rationality (CUP, 2014).

"The 2nd Edition of Samir Okasha's Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction is a fantastic entry point for all those who would like to get an overview of the issues philosophers of science grapple with. The book is written in a highly accessible and clear fashion, and manages to cover an impressively wide— and I would say, representative—range of topics on a mere 130 pages. -" - Samuel Schindler, Metascience

"Do not underestimate the value of having a working understanding the philosophy of science, to which end this short book is one that you - if your professional life has any connection with science - could well find invaluable" - Jonathan Cowie, Concatenation