scientific knowledge and sociological theory routledge library editions history philosophy of science

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Scientific Knowledge And Sociological Theory

Author : Barry Barnes
ISBN : 9781135029029
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 30. 68 MB
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Originally published in 1974. Scientific Knowledge and Sociological Theory centres on the problem of explaining the manifest variety and contrast in the beliefs about nature held in different groups and societies. It maintains that the sociologist should treat all beliefs symmetrically and must investigate and account for allegedly "correct" or "scientific" beliefs just as he would "incorrect" or "unscientific" ones. From this basic position a study of scientific beliefs is constructed. The sociological interest of such beliefs is illustrated and a sociological perspective upon scientific change is developed.

Philosophical Foundations Of The Three Sociologies Rle Social Theory

Author : Ted Benton
ISBN : 9781317651420
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 49. 6 MB
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An extended historical and philosophical argument, this book will be a valuable text for all students of the philosophy of the social sciences. It discusses the serious alternatives to positivist and empiricist accounts of the physical sciences, and poses the debate between naturalism and anti-naturalism in the social sciences in new terms. Recent materialist and realist philosophies of science make possible a defence of naturalism which does not make concessions to positivism and which recognizes the force of several of the anti-positivist arguments from the main anti-naturalist (neo-Kantian) tradition. The author presents a critical evaluation of empiricist and positivist theories of knowledge, and investigates some classic attempts at using them to provide the philosophical foundation for a scientific sociology. He takes the Kantian critique of empiricism as the starting point for the main anti-positivist and anti-naturalist philosophical approaches to the social studies. He goes on to investigate the inadequacy of post-Kantian arguments from Rickert, Weber, Winch and others, both against non-positivist forms of naturalism and as the possible source of a distinctive philosophical foundation for the social studies. The book concludes with a critical investigation of the Marxian tradition and an attempt to establish the possibility of a materialist and realist defence of the project of a natural science of history, which escapes the fundamental flaws of both positivist and neo-Kantian attempts at philosophical foundation.

Conjectures And Refutations

Author : Karl Popper
ISBN : 9781135971373
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 34. 51 MB
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Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.

Philosophy Science And History

Author : Lydia Patton
ISBN : 9781136626890
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 29. 17 MB
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Philosophy, Science, and History: A Guide and Reader is a compact overview of the history and philosophy of science that aims to introduce students to the groundwork of the field, and to stimulate innovative research. The general introduction focuses on scientific theory change, assessment, discovery, and pursuit. Part I of the Reader begins with classic texts in the history of logical empiricism, including Reichenbach’s discovery-justification distinction. With careful reference to Kuhn’s analysis of scientific revolutions, the section provides key texts analyzing the relationship of HOPOS to the history of science, including texts by Santayana, Rudwick, and Shapin and Schaffer. Part II provides texts illuminating central debates in the history of science and its philosophy. These include the history of natural philosophy (Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Kant, Hume, and du Châtelet in a new translation); induction and the logic of discovery (including the Mill-Whewell debate, Duhem, and Hanson); and catastrophism versus uniformitarianism in natural history (Playfair on Hutton and Lyell; de Buffon, Cuvier, and Darwin). The editor’s introductions to each section provide a broader perspective informed by contemporary research in each area, including related topics. Each introduction furnishes proposals, including thematic bibliographies, for innovative research questions and projects in the classroom and in the field.

Science In Society

Author : Massimiano Bucchi
ISBN : 9781134354870
Genre : Science
File Size : 47. 11 MB
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The world around us is continually being shaped by science, and by society’s relationship to it. In recent years sociologists have been increasingly preoccupied with the latter, and now in this fascinating book, Massimiano Bucchi provides a brief introduction to this topical issue. Bucchi provides clear and unassuming summaries of all the major theoretical positions within the sociology of science, illustrated with many fascinating examples. Theories covered include Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific change, the sociology of scientific knowledge, actor-network theory, and the social construction of technology. The second half of the book looks at recent public controversies over the role of science in the modern world including: * the Sokal affair, otherwise known as the science wars * debates over public understanding of science, such as global warming and genetically modified food * the implications of the human genome project. This much needed introduction to a rapidly growing area brings theory alive and will be essential reading for all students of the sociology of science.

Understanding Philosophy Of Science

Author : James Ladyman
ISBN : 9781134597901
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 49. 43 MB
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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.

The Logic Of Scientific Discovery

Author : Karl Popper
ISBN : 9781134470020
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 42. 83 MB
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Described by the philosopher A.J. Ayer as a work of 'great originality and power', this book revolutionized contemporary thinking on science and knowledge. Ideas such as the now legendary doctrine of 'falsificationism' electrified the scientific community, influencing even working scientists, as well as post-war philosophy. This astonishing work ranks alongside The Open Society and Its Enemies as one of Popper's most enduring books and contains insights and arguments that demand to be read to this day.

The Two Fundamental Problems Of The Theory Of Knowledge

Author : Karl Popper
ISBN : 9781135626839
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 65. 67 MB
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In a letter of 1932, Karl Popper described Die beiden Grundprobleme der Erkenntnistheorie – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge – as ‘...a child of crises, above all of ...the crisis of physics.’ Finally available in English, it is a major contribution to the philosophy of science, epistemology and twentieth century philosophy generally. The two fundamental problems of knowledge that lie at the centre of the book are the problem of induction, that although we are able to observe only a limited number of particular events, science nevertheless advances unrestricted universal statements; and the problem of demarcation, which asks for a separating line between empirical science and non-science. Popper seeks to solve these two basic problems with his celebrated theory of falsifiability, arguing that the inferences made in science are not inductive but deductive; science does not start with observations and proceed to generalise them but with problems, which it attacks with bold conjectures. The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge is essential reading for anyone interested in Karl Popper, in the history and philosophy of science, and in the methods and theories of science itself.

The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions

Author : Thomas S. Kuhn
ISBN : 9780226458144
Genre : Science
File Size : 25. 76 MB
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A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

Theory And Reality

Author : Peter Godfrey-Smith
ISBN : 0226300617
Genre : Science
File Size : 39. 19 MB
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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.

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