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Philosophy of Language and the Challenge to Scientific Realism by Christopher Norris Book Resume:
In this book Christopher Norris develops the case for scientific realism by tackling various adversary arguments from a range of anti-realist positions. Through a close critical reading he shows how they fail to make adequate sense on any rational, consistent, and scientifically-informed survey of the evidence. Along the way he incorporates a number of detailed case-studies from the history and philosophy of science. Norris devotes much of his discussion to some of the most prominent and widely influential source-texts of anti-realism. Also included are the sophisticated versions of verificationism developed - albeit in very different ways - by thinkers such as Michael Dummett and Bas van Fraassen. Central to Norris's argument is a prolonged engagement with the once highly influential but nowadays neglected work of Norwood Russell Hanson. This book will be welcomed especially by readers who possess some knowledge of the background debate and who wish to deepen and extend their understanding of these issues beyond an introductory level.
The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism by Juha Saatsi Book Resume:
Scientific realism is a central, long-standing, and hotly debated topic in philosophy of science. Debates about scientific realism concern the very nature and extent of scientific knowledge and progress. Scientific realists defend a positive epistemic attitude towards our best theories and models regarding how they represent the world that is unobservable to our naked senses. Various realist theses are under sceptical fire from scientific antirealists, e.g. empiricists and instrumentalists. The different dimensions of the ensuing debate centrally connect to numerous other topics in philosophy of science and beyond. The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism is an outstanding reference source – the first collection of its kind – to the key issues, positions, and arguments in this important topic. Its thirty-four chapters, written by a team of international experts, are divided into five parts: Historical development of the realist stance Classic debate: core issues and positions Perspectives on contemporary debates The realism debate in disciplinary context Broader reflections In these sections, the core issues and debates presented, analysed, and set into broader historical and disciplinary contexts. The central issues covered include motivations and arguments for realism; challenges to realism from underdetermination and history of science; different variants of realism; the connection of realism to relativism and perspectivism; and the relationship between realism, metaphysics, and epistemology. The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of science. It will also be very useful for anyone interested in the nature and extent of scientific knowledge.
Theory and Reality by Peter Godfrey-Smith Book Resume:
How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and Reality covers logical positivism; the problems of induction and confirmation; Karl Popper's theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and "scientific revolutions"; the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in more detail at some specific problems and theories, including scientific realism, the theory-ladeness of observation, scientific explanation, and Bayesianism. Finally, Godfrey-Smith defends a form of philosophical naturalism as the best way to solve the main problems in the field. Throughout the text he points out connections between philosophical debates and wider discussions about science in recent decades, such as the infamous "science wars." Examples and asides engage the beginning student; a glossary of terms explains key concepts; and suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter. However, this is a textbook that doesn't feel like a textbook because it captures the historical drama of changes in how science has been conceived over the last one hundred years. Like no other text in this field, Theory and Reality combines a survey of recent history of the philosophy of science with current key debates in language that any beginning scholar or critical reader can follow.
A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism by Anjan Chakravartty Book Resume:
Scientific realism is the view that our best scientific theories give approximately true descriptions of both observable and unobservable aspects of a mind-independent world. Debates between realists and their critics are at the very heart of the philosophy of science. Anjan Chakravartty traces the contemporary evolution of realism by examining the most promising strategies adopted by its proponents in response to the forceful challenges of antirealist sceptics, resulting in a positive proposal for scientific realism today. He examines the core principles of the realist position, and sheds light on topics including the varieties of metaphysical commitment required, and the nature of the conflict between realism and its empiricist rivals. By illuminating the connections between realist interpretations of scientific knowledge and the metaphysical foundations supporting them, his book offers a compelling vision of how realism can provide an internally consistent and coherent account of scientific knowledge.
Derrida, Badiou and the Formal Imperative by Christopher Norris Book Resume:
In this path-breaking study Christopher Norris proposes a transformed understanding of the much-exaggerated differences between analytic and continental philosophy. While keeping the analytic tradition squarely in view his book focuses on the work of Jacques Derrida and Alain Badiou, two of the most original and significant figures in the recent history of ideas. Norris argues that these thinkers have decisively reconfigured the terrain of contemporary philosophy and, between them, pointed a way beyond some of those seemingly intractable issues that have polarised debate on both sides of the notional rift between the analytic and continental traditions. In particular his book sets out to show - against the received analytic wisdom - that continental philosophy has its own analytic resources and is capable of bringing some much-needed fresh insight to bear on problems in philosophy of language, logic and mathematics. Norris provides not only a unique comparative account of Derrida's and Badiou's work but also a remarkably wide-ranging assessment of their joint contribution to philosophy's current - if widely resisted - potential for self-transformation.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn Book Resume:
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was originally published in 1962 as part of Foundations of the Unity of Science, which constituted volumes 1 and 2 of the International Encyklopoedia of Unified Science. The organizational chart above is reproduced from the copyright page of the enlarged, second edition of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions published separately by the University of Chicago Press in 1970
Epistemology: Key Concepts in Philosophy by Christopher Norris Book Resume:
Key Concepts in Philosophy is a series of concise, accessible and engaging introductions to the core ideas and topics encountered in the study of philosophy. Specially written to meet the needs of students and those with little prior knowledge of the subject, these books open up a whole range of important, yet often difficult ideas. The series builds to give a solid grounding in philosophy and each book is also ideal as a companion to further study. Epistemology - inquiry into the nature, possibility and scope of human knowledge - has been at the heart of the philosophy from ancient Greek times to the present. Christopher Norris provides a lucid survey and analysis of the issues that have shaped that enterprise and continue to dominate present-day discussion. He also brings out with exceptional clarity the ways in which certain 'technical' issues in epistemology can have a decisive bearing on matters of practical concern. The text highlights continuities and contrasts between early and contemporary approaches, and between the sorts of thinking that have typified the mainstream analytic and the modern 'continental' lines of descent. Norris introduces the main topics of debate, among them arguments for and against adopting a realist position with regard to various fields of knowledge, from mathematics to the physical sciences and history. Philosophy undergraduates will find this an invaluable aid to study, one that goes beyond simple definitions and summaries to open up a new and stimulating range of ideas.
Badiou's 'Being and Event' by Christopher Norris Book Resume:
Alain Badiou's Being and Event is the most original and significant work of French philosophy to have appeared in recent decades. It is the magnum opus of a thinker who is widely considered to have re-shaped the character and set new terms for the future development of philosophy in France and elsewhere. This book has been written very much with a view to clarifying Badiou's complex and demanding work for non-specialist readers. It offers guidance on philosophical and intellectual context, key themes, reading the text, reception and influence; and further reading.
Emergentist Marxism by Sean Creaven Book Resume:
In tackling emergentist Marxism in depth, this well-written volume demonstrates that critical realism and materialist dialectics are indispensable to theorizing the functioning of complex social and physical systems. Author Sean Creaven investigates Marx’s dialectics of being and consciousness, forces and relations of production, base and superstructure, class structure and class conflict, and demonstrates how they allow the social analyst to conceptualize geo-history as embodying a tendential evolutionary directionality, rather than as simply random or indeterminate in terms of its outcomes. For those interested in social and political theory, Marxism and communism and contemporary social theory, this outstanding volume is an in important read and a valuable resource.
The Instrument of Science by Darrell P. Rowbottom Book Resume:
Roughly, instrumentalism is the view that science is primarily, and should primarily be, an instrument for furthering our practical ends. It has fallen out of favour because historically influential variants of the view, such as logical positivism, suffered from serious defects. In this book, however, Darrell P. Rowbottom develops a new form of instrumentalism, which is more sophisticated and resilient than its predecessors. This position—‘cognitive instrumentalism’—involves three core theses. First, science makes theoretical progress primarily when it furnishes us with more predictive power or understanding concerning observable things. Second, scientific discourse concerning unobservable things should only be taken literally in so far as it involves observable properties or analogies with observable things. Third, scientific claims about unobservable things are probably neither approximately true nor liable to change in such a way as to increase in truthlikeness. There are examples from science throughout the book, and Rowbottom demonstrates at length how cognitive instrumentalism fits with the development of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century chemistry and physics, and especially atomic theory. Drawing upon this history, Rowbottom also argues that there is a kind of understanding, empirical understanding, which we can achieve without having true, or even approximately true, representations of unobservable things. In closing the book, he sets forth his view on how the distinction between the observable and unobservable may be drawn, and compares cognitive instrumentalism with key contemporary alternatives such as structural realism, constructive empiricism, and semirealism. Overall, this book offers a strong defence of instrumentalism that will be of interest to scholars and students working on the debate about realism in philosophy of science.
The Realism-Antirealism Debate in the Age of Alternative Logics by Shahid Rahman,Giuseppe Primiero,Mathieu Marion Book Resume:
The relation between logic and knowledge has been at the heart of a lively debate since the 1960s. On the one hand, the epistemic approaches based their formal arguments in the mathematics of Brouwer and intuitionistic logic. Following Michael Dummett, they started to call themselves `antirealists'. Others persisted with the formal background of the Frege-Tarski tradition, where Cantorian set theory is linked via model theory to classical logic. Jaakko Hintikka tried to unify both traditions by means of what is now known as `explicit epistemic logic'. Under this view, epistemic contents are introduced into the object language as operators yielding propositions from propositions, rather than as metalogical constraints on the notion of inference. The Realism-Antirealism debate has thus had three players: classical logicians, intuitionists and explicit epistemic logicians. The editors of the present volume believe that in the age of Alternative Logics, where manifold developments in logic happen at a breathtaking pace, this debate should be revisited. Contributors to this volume happily took on this challenge and responded with new approaches to the debate from both the explicit and the implicit epistemic point of view.
The Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars: Queries and Extensions by Joseph C. Pitt Book Resume:
In early November 1976 a workshop on the Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars was held at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacks burg, Virginia. Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Research Division of the University and organized by Professor Joseph C. Pitt, its aim was to provide a forum in which views of Professor Sellars could be discussed by a group of scholars fully acquainted with this work. Aside from the twelve invited participants, the workshop was attended by interested parties from as far away as Canada. The papers contained in the volume rep resent the results of the discussions held that weekend. With two excep tions the contents are extensively rewritten and revised versions of infor mal talks and presentations. (Rosenberg's paper is here in its original complete version. Rottschaefer was unable to attend. ) This collection is not then the proceedings but the final product derived from work initiated that weekend. The papers reftect both the spirit of the workshop and the work of Professor Sellars in that they represent the fruits of an intense and multi-faceted dialogue. Professor Sellar~' presence and whole hearted participation left us all with more than enough food for thought and a deepened appreciation of both the man and his philosophy. Special thanks are due Thomas Gilmer, Associate Dean of Research for The College of Arts and Sciences and Randal M.
Solid-State Physics, Fluidics, and Analytical Techniques in Micro- and Nanotechnology by Marc J. Madou Book Resume:
Providing a clear theoretical understanding of MEMS and NEMS, Solid-State Physics, Fluidics, and Analytical Techniques in Micro- and Nanotechnology focuses on nanotechnology and the science behind it, including solid-state physics. It provides a clear understanding of the electronic, mechanical, and optical properties of solids relied on in integrated circuits (ICs), MEMS, and NEMS. After exploring the rise of Si, MEMS, and NEMS in a historical context, the text discusses crystallography, quantum mechanics, the band theory of solids, and the silicon single crystal. It concludes with coverage of photonics, the quantum hall effect, and superconductivity. Fully illustrated in color, the text offers end-of-chapter problems, worked examples, extensive references, and a comprehensive glossary of terms. Topics include: Crystallography and the crystalline materials used in many semiconductor devices Quantum mechanics, the band theory of solids, and the relevance of quantum mechanics in the context of ICs and NEMS Single crystal Si properties that conspire to make Si so important Optical properties of bulk 3D metals, insulators, and semiconductors Effects of electron and photon confinement in lower dimensional structures How evanescent fields on metal surfaces enable the guiding of light below the diffraction limit in plasmonics Metamaterials and how they could make for perfect lenses, changing the photonic field forever Fluidic propulsion mechanisms and the influence of miniaturization on fluid behavior Electromechanical and optical analytical processes in miniaturized components and systems The first volume in Fundamentals of Microfabrication and Nanotechnology, Third Edition, Three-Volume Set, the book presents the electronic, mechanical, and optical properties of solids that are used in integrated circuits, MEMS, and NEMS and covers quantum mechanics, electrochemistry, fluidics, and photonics. It lays the foundation for a qualitative and quantitative theoretical understanding of MEMS and NEMS.
Language, Truth and Knowledge by Thomas Bonk Book Resume:
This collection will prove a valuable resource for our understanding of the historic Carnap and the living philosophical issues with which he grappled. It arose out of a symposium on Carnap's work (Vienna, 2001). With essays by Graham H. Bird, Jaakko Hintikka, Ilkka Niiniluoto, Jan Wolenski, this volume will interest graduate students of the philosophy of language and logic, as well as professional philosophers, historians of analytic philosophy, and philosophically inclined logicians.
Understanding Philosophy of Science by James Ladyman Book Resume:
Few can imagine a world without telephones or televisions; many depend on computers and the Internet as part of daily life. Without scientific theory, these developments would not have been possible. In this exceptionally clear and engaging introduction to philosophy of science, James Ladyman explores the philosophical questions that arise when we reflect on the nature of the scientific method and the knowledge it produces. He discusses whether fundamental philosophical questions about knowledge and reality might be answered by science, and considers in detail the debate between realists and antirealists about the extent of scientific knowledge. Along the way, central topics in philosophy of science, such as the demarcation of science from non-science, induction, confirmation and falsification, the relationship between theory and observation and relativism are all addressed. Important and complex current debates over underdetermination, inference to the best explaination and the implications of radical theory change are clarified and clearly explained for those new to the subject.
Philosophy of Social Science by Mark Risjord Book Resume:
The Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction examines the perennial questions of philosophy by engaging with the empirical study of society. The book offers a comprehensive overview of debates in the field, with special attention to questions arising from new research programs in the social sciences. The text uses detailed examples of social scientific research to motivate and illustrate the philosophical discussion. Topics include the relationship of social policy to social science, interpretive research, action explanation, game theory, social scientific accounts of norms, joint intentionality, reductionism, causal modeling, case study research, and experimentation.
Science, Reality, and Language by Michele Marsonet Book Resume:
This book explains why anti-realism is so popular with philosophers of science by showing that many contemporary philosophers of science and language, who define themselves as empiricists, in fact have evolved into linguistic idealists.