scientific explanation springerbriefs in philosophy

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Scientific Explanation

Author : Erik Weber
ISBN : 9789400764460
Genre : Science
File Size : 64. 11 MB
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When scientist investigate why things happen, they aim at giving an explanation. But what does a scientific explanation look like? In the first chapter (Theories of Scientific Explanation) of this book, the milestones in the debate on how to characterize scientific explanations are exposed. The second chapter (How to Study Scientific Explanation?) scrutinizes the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation, Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher and Wesley Salmon and shows what went wrong. Next, it is the responsibility of current philosophers of explanation to go on where Hempel, Kitcher and Salmon failed. However, we should go on in a clever way. We call this clever way the pragmatic approach to scientific explanation and clarify briefly what this approach consists in. The third chapter (A Toolbox for Describing and Evaluating Explanatory Practices) elaborates the pragmatic approach by presenting a toolbox for analysing scientific explanation. In the last chapter (Examples of Descriptions and Evaluations of Explanatory Practices) the approach is illustrated with real-life examples of scientists aiming at explaining. This book can be used as a textbook for intermediate philosophy of science courses and is also valuable as “suggested reading” for introductory courses in philosophy of science. The way the book is set up makes it an excellent study and research guide for advanced (MA and PhD) students that work on the topic of scientific explanation. Finally, it is a handy source and reference book for senior researchers in the field of scientific explanations and – more generally – for all philosophers of science. ​

The Philosophy Of Science And Engineering Design

Author : Dingmar van Eck
ISBN : 9783319351551
Genre : Science
File Size : 24. 99 MB
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This book discusses the relationship between the philosophy of science and philosophy of engineering, and demonstrates how philosophers of engineering design as well as design researchers can benefit from the conceptual toolkit that the philosophy of science has to offer. In this regard, it employs conceptual tools from the philosophical literature on scientific explanation to address key issues in engineering design and philosophy of engineering design. Specifically, the book focuses on assessing the explanatory value of function ascriptions used in engineering design and philosophy of technical functions; on elaborating the structure of explanation in engineering design; on assessing the role and value of design representations in engineering design and philosophy thereof; and on elaborating means for the testing of design methods. Presenting a novel and effective approach to tackling key issues in the field, philosophers of engineering and design alike will greatly benefit from this book.

How To Do Science With Models

Author : Axel Gelfert
ISBN : 9783319279541
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 68. 77 MB
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Taking scientific practice as its starting point, this book charts the complex territory of models used in science. It examines what scientific models are and what their function is. Reliance on models is pervasive in science, and scientists often need to construct models in order to explain or predict anything of interest at all. The diversity of kinds of models one finds in science – ranging from toy models and scale models to theoretical and mathematical models – has attracted attention not only from scientists, but also from philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science. This has given rise to a wide variety of case studies that look at the different uses to which models have been put in specific scientific contexts. By exploring current debates on the use and building of models via cutting-edge examples drawn from physics and biology, the book provides broad insight into the methodology of modelling in the natural sciences. It pairs specific arguments with introductory material relating to the ontology and the function of models, and provides some historical context to the debates as well as a sketch of general positions in the philosophy of scientific models in the process.

The Philosophical Background And Scientific Legacy Of E B Titchener S Psychology

Author : Christian Beenfeldt
ISBN : 9783319002422
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 71. 36 MB
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​This volume offers a new understanding of Titchener’s influential system of psychology popularly known as introspectionism, structuralism and as classical introspective psychology. Adopting a new perspective on introspectionism and seeking to assess the reasons behind its famous implosion, this book reopens and rewrites the chapter in the history of early scientific psychology pertaining to the nature of E. B. Titchener’s psychological system. Arguing against the view that Titchener’s system was undone by an overreliance on introspection, the author explains how this idea was first introduced by the early behaviorists in order to advance their own theoretical agenda. Instead, the author argues that the major philosophical flaw of introspectionism was its utter reliance on key theoretical assumptions inherited from the intellectual tradition of British associationism—assumptions that were upheld in defiance of introspection, not because of introspection. The book is divided into three parts. In Part I, British associationism is examined thoroughly. The author here discusses the psychology of influential empiricist philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, David Hartley, James Mill, and John Stuart Mill. In Part II of the book, Titchener’s introspectionist system of psychology is examined and analyzed. In Part III, the author argues that Titchener’s psychology should be understood as a form of associationism and explains how analysis, not introspection, was central to introspectionism.

A Summary Of Scientific Method

Author : Peter Kosso
ISBN : 9400716141
Genre : Science
File Size : 25. 51 MB
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A Summary of Scientific Method is a brief description of what makes science scientific. It is written in a direct, clear style that is accessible and informative for scientists and science students. It is intended to help science teachers explain how science works, highlighting strengths without ignoring limitations, and to help scientists articulate the process and standards of their work. The book demonstrates that there are several important requirements for being scientific, and the most fundamental of these is maintaining an extensive, interconnected, coherent network of ideas. Some components in the network are empirical, others are theoretical, and they support each other. Clarifying the structure of this web of knowledge explains the role of the commonly cited aspects of scientific method, things like hypotheses, theories, testing, evidence, and the like. A Summary of Scientific Method provides a clear, intuitive, and accurate model of scientific method.

Practical Applications Of The Philosophy Of Science

Author : Peter Truran
ISBN : 9783319004525
Genre : Science
File Size : 43. 38 MB
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Explores the practical applicability of the philosophy of science to scientific research, but also considers its relevance to practice within the realms of technology, design, crafts, and even within the world of arts and the humanities. The attempt to engage working scientists with the issues raised by the philosophy of science may profitably be extended to examine its applicability to any other fields of knowledge that encompass a problem-solving dimension. Drawing on his experience as a research and development scientist in the biomedical device industry, the author shows how the principles of the philosophy of science illuminate the research process. The book is structured on the concept of the inspirational text; it consists of short chapters, each of which provides an accessible discussion of an aspect of the philosophy of science. Each chapter concludes with a list of practical pointers towards the development of attitudes and skills which will benefit the student researcher. ​

Theoretical And Practical Reason In Economics

Author : Ricardo F. Crespo
ISBN : 9789400755642
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 53. 66 MB
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The aim of the book is to argue for the restoration of theoretical and practical reason to economics. It presents Nancy Cartwright and Amartya Sen’s ideas as cases of this restoration and sees Aristotle as an influence on their thought. It looks at how we can use these ideas to develop a valuable understanding of practical reason for solving concrete problems in science and society. Cartwright’s capacities are real causes of events. Sen’s capabilities are the human person’s freedoms or possibilities. They relate these concepts to Aristotelian concepts. This suggests that these concepts can be combined. Sen’s capabilities are Cartwright’s capacities in the human realm; capabilities are real causes of events in economic life. Institutions allow us to deliberate on and guide our decisions about capabilities, through the use of practical reason. Institutions thus embody practical reason and infuse certain predictability into economic action. The book presents a case study: the UNDP’s HDI.​

Philosophy Of The Economy

Author : Ricardo F. Crespo
ISBN : 9783319026480
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 46. 24 MB
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This book develops a philosophical analysis of economic reality and economic science from an Aristotelian point of view. It is the result of many years of thinking and philosophical study about these topics. It differs from other philosophy of economics books as it also deals with economic reality (not only the science) and approaches its subject from an Aristotelian perspective. It differs from other Aristotelian studies about economics as it covers the whole of philosophy of the economy. This book argues why Aristotle’s thinking guarantees an appropriate interdisciplinary synthesis.

Evolutionary Psychology And The Propositional Attitudes

Author : Alex Walter
ISBN : 9789400729698
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 78. 33 MB
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The two essays provide a critical examination of theory and research in the field of evolutionary psychology. The view advanced here is that philosophical materialism and minimalist assumptions about adaptation serve Darwinian psychology better than the more popular alternative view that relies on cognitive dualism and propositional-attitude psychology to formulate evolutionary psychology theory. A commitment to cognitive dualism is destined to undermine the physical basis of behavior upon which evolutionary theory depends. Many evolutionary psychologists do not see this but are seduced by the easy way in which hypotheses can be formulated using the ‘propositional-attitude’ model. The challenge is to develop a materialistic and mechanistic approach to understanding human cognition and behavior, including linguistic and social behavior.

The Expression Of The Psychosomatic Body From A Phenomenological Perspective

Author : Jennifer Bullington
ISBN : 9789400764989
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 42. 18 MB
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This book is a contribution to the understanding of psychosomatic health problems. Inspired by the work of the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a phenomenological theory of psychosomatics is worked out as an alternative to traditional, biomedical thinking. The patient who presents somatic symptoms with no clearly discernible lesion or dysfunction presents a problem to the traditional health care system. These symptoms are medically unexplainable, constituting an anomaly for the materialistic understanding of ill health that underlies the practice of modern medicine. The traditional biomedical model is not appropriate for understanding a number of health issues that we call “psychosomatic” and for this reason, biomedical theory and practice must be complemented by another theoretical understanding in order to adequately grasp the psychosomatic problematic. This book establishes a complementary understanding of psychosomatic ill health in terms of a non-reductionistic model allowing for the (psychosomatic) expression of the lived body. A thorough presentation of the work Merleau-Ponty is followed by the author’s application of his thinking to the phenomenon of psychosomatic pathology.

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