ISBN : 9780192802835
What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism. He also looks at philosophical issues in particular sciences, including the problem of classification in biology, and the nature of space and time in physics. The final chapter touches on the conflicts between science and religion, and explores whether science is ultimately a good thing.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
1. What is science?
A very short history of science
Does science have an essential nature?
Science and pseudo-science
2. Scientific reasoning
Induction and deduction
Two types of inductive reasoning
Probability and induction
3. Explanation in science
The 'covering-law' model of explanation
Alternative models of explanation
Can science explain everything?
4. Realism and anti-realism about science
Objections to scientific realism
Varieties of anti-realism
5. Scientific change and scientific revolutions
Explaining scientific change
Thomas Kuhn on 'normal' and 'revolutionary' science
Sociological accounts of scientific change
6. Philosophical problems in physics, biology and linguistics
Leibniz versus Newton on absolute space
The problem of biological classification
Is knowledge of language innate
7. Science and its critics
Is science a good thing?
Science and religion
The science wars