the dappled world a study of the boundaries of science

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The Dappled World

Author : Nancy Cartwright
ISBN : 0521644119
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 21. 86 MB
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It is often supposed that the spectacular successes of our modern mathematical sciences support a lofty vision of a world completely ordered by one single elegant theory. In this book Nancy Cartwright argues to the contrary. When we draw our image of the world from the way modern science works - as empiricism teaches us we should - we end up with a world where some features are precisely ordered, others are given to rough regularity and still others behave in their own diverse ways. This patchwork makes sense when we realise that laws are very special productions of nature, requiring very special arrangements for their generation. Combining classic and newly written essays on physics and economics, The Dappled World carries important philosophical consequences and offers serious lessons for both the natural and the social sciences.

Hunting Causes And Using Them

Author : Nancy Cartwright
ISBN : 9781139462549
Genre : Science
File Size : 73. 92 MB
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Hunting Causes and Using Them argues that causation is not one thing, as commonly assumed, but many. There is a huge variety of causal relations, each with different characterizing features, different methods for discovery and different uses to which it can be put. In this collection of new and previously published essays, Nancy Cartwright provides a critical survey of philosophical and economic literature on causality, with a special focus on the currently fashionable Bayes-nets and invariance methods - and it exposes a huge gap in that literature. Almost every account treats either exclusively how to hunt causes or how to use them. But where is the bridge between? It's no good knowing how to warrant a causal claim if we don't know what we can do with that claim once we have it. This book will interest philosophers, economists and social scientists.

Nancy Cartwright S Philosophy Of Science

Author : Luc Bovens
ISBN : 9781134170562
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 52. 44 MB
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Nancy Cartwright is one of the most distinguished and influential contemporary philosophers of science. Despite the profound impact of her work, there is neither a systematic exposition of Cartwright’s philosophy of science nor a collection of articles that contains in-depth discussions of the major themes of her philosophy. This book is devoted to a critical assessment of Cartwright’s philosophy of science and contains contributions from Cartwright's champions and critics. Broken into three parts, the book begins by addressing Cartwright's views on the practice of model building in science and the question of how models represent the world before moving on to a detailed discussion of methodologically and metaphysically challenging problems. Finally, the book addresses Cartwright's original attempts to clarify profound questions concerning the metaphysics of science. With contributions from leading scholars, such as Ronald N. Giere and Paul Teller, this unique volume will be extremely useful to philosophers of science the world over.

Scientific Essentialism

Author : Brian Ellis
ISBN : 0521800943
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 45. 92 MB
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Examines the laws of nature.

Scientific Perspectivism

Author : Ronald N. Giere
ISBN : 9780226292144
Genre : Science
File Size : 82. 16 MB
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Many people assume that the claims of scientists are objective truths. But historians, sociologists, and philosophers of science have long argued that scientific claims reflect the particular historical, cultural, and social context in which those claims were made. The nature of scientific knowledge is not absolute because it is influenced by the practice and perspective of human agents. Scientific Perspectivism argues that the acts of observing and theorizing are both perspectival, and this nature makes scientific knowledge contingent, as Thomas Kuhn theorized forty years ago. Using the example of color vision in humans to illustrate how his theory of “perspectivism” works, Ronald N. Giere argues that colors do not actually exist in objects; rather, color is the result of an interaction between aspects of the world and the human visual system. Giere extends this argument into a general interpretation of human perception and, more controversially, to scientific observation, conjecturing that the output of scientific instruments is perspectival. Furthermore, complex scientific principles—such as Maxwell’s equations describing the behavior of both the electric and magnetic fields—make no claims about the world, but models based on those principles can be used to make claims about specific aspects of the world. Offering a solution to the most contentious debate in the philosophy of science over the past thirty years, Scientific Perspectivism will be of interest to anyone involved in the study of science.

The Philosophy Of Science

Author : Alexander Rosenberg
ISBN : 9780415939270
Genre : Science
File Size : 41. 2 MB
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Rethinking Order

Author : Nancy Cartwright
ISBN : 9781474244084
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 55. 92 MB
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This book presents a radical new picture of natural order. The Newtonian idea of a cosmos ruled by universal and exceptionless laws has been superseded; replaced by a conception of nature as a realm of diverse powers, potencies, and dispositions, a 'dappled world'. There is order in nature, but it is more local, diverse, piecemeal, open, and emergent than Newton imagined. In each chapter expert authors expound the historical context of the idea of laws of nature, and explore the diverse sorts of order actually presupposed by work in physics, biology, and the social sciences. They consider how human freedom might be understood, and explore how Newton's idea of a 'universal designer' might be revised, in this new context. They argue that there is not one unified totalizing program of science, aiming at the completion of one closed causal system. We live in an ordered universe, but we need to rethink the classical idea of the 'laws of nature' in a more dynamic and creatively diverse way.

Evidence Based Policy

Author : Nancy Cartwright
ISBN : 9780199986705
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 54. 86 MB
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Over the last twenty or so years, it has become standard to require policy makers to base their recommendations on evidence. That is now uncontroversial to the point of triviality--of course, policy should be based on the facts. But are the methods that policy makers rely on to gather and analyze evidence the right ones? In Evidence-Based Policy, Nancy Cartwright, an eminent scholar, and Jeremy Hardie, who has had a long and successful career in both business and the economy, explain that the dominant methods which are in use now--broadly speaking, methods that imitate standard practices in medicine like randomized control trials--do not work. They fail, Cartwright and Hardie contend, because they do not enhance our ability to predict if policies will be effective. The prevailing methods fall short not just because social science, which operates within the domain of real-world politics and deals with people, differs so much from the natural science milieu of the lab. Rather, there are principled reasons why the advice for crafting and implementing policy now on offer will lead to bad results. Current guides in use tend to rank scientific methods according to the degree of trustworthiness of the evidence they produce. That is valuable in certain respects, but such approaches offer little advice about how to think about putting such evidence to use. Evidence-Based Policy focuses on showing policymakers how to effectively use evidence, explaining what types of information are most necessary for making reliable policy, and offers lessons on how to organize that information.

Nature S Capacities And Their Measurement

Author : Nancy Cartwright
ISBN : 9780198235071
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 40. 45 MB
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This book argues for the place of capacities within an grounds of meaning, not method. Yet it is questions of method that should concern the modern empiricist: can capacities be measured? Cartwright argues that they are measured if anything is. Stanford University's Gravity-Probe-B will measure capacities in a cryogenic dewar deep in space. More mundanely, we use probabilities to measure capacities, and the assumptions required to ensure that probabilities are a reliable instrument are investigated in the opening chapters of this book, where the early methods of econometrics set a model. The last chapter applies lessons about probabilities and capacities to quantum mechanics and the Bell inequalities. The central thesis throughout is that capacities not only can be admitted by empiricists, but indeed must be - otherwise the empirical methods of modern science will make no sense.

Science Without Laws

Author : Ronald N. Giere
ISBN : 0226292088
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 80. 99 MB
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Science without Laws thus stakes out a middle ground in these debates by demonstrating a more powerful way of seeing science.

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