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Encyclopedia > Philosophy of science

Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science. The field is defined by an interest in one of a set of "traditional" problems or an interest in central or foundational concerns in science. In addition to these central problems for science as a whole, many philosophers of science consider these problems as they apply to particular sciences (e.g. philosophy of biology or philosophy of physics). Some philosophers of science also use contemporary results in science to draw philosophical morals. Although most practitioners are philosophers, several prominent scientists have contributed to the field and still do. A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Philosophy of biology (also called, rarely, biophilosophy) is a subfield of philosophy of science, which deals with epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical issues in the biological and biomedical sciences. ... Philosophy of physics is the study of the fundamental, philosophical questions underlying modern physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact. ...


Issues of ethics, such as bioethics and scientific misconduct, are not generally considered part of philosophy of science. These issues may be studied in ethics or science studies. For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... Bioethics is the ethics of biological science and medicine. ... Scientific misconduct is the violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in professional scientific research. ... Science studies is an interdisciplinary research area that seeks to situate scientific expertise in a broad social, historical, and philosophical context. ...

Contents

Nature of scientific concepts and statements

Demarcation

Main article: Demarcation problem

Karl Popper contended that the central question in the philosophy of science was distinguishing science from non-science.[1] Early attempts by the logical positivists grounded science in observation while non-science (e.g. metaphysics) was non-observational and hence nonsense.[2] Popper claimed that the central feature of science was that science aims at falsifiable claims (i.e. claims that can be proven false, at least in principle).[3] No single unified account of the difference between science and non-science has been widely accepted by philosophers, and some regard the problem as unsolvable or uninteresting.[4] The demarcation problem in the philosophy of science is about how and where to draw the lines around science. ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper (July 28, 1902 â€“ September 17, 1994) was an Austrian and British[1] philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ... Logical positivism (later referred to as logical empiricism) holds that philosophy should aspire to the same sort of rigor as science. ... Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. ... This page discusses how a theory or assertion is falsifiable (disprovable opp: verifiable), rather than the non-philosophical use of falsification, meaning counterfeiting. ...


This problem has taken center stage in the debate regarding evolution and intelligent design. Many opponents of intelligent design claim that it does not meet the criteria of science and should thus not be treated on equal footing as evolution.[5] Those who defend intelligent design either defend the view as meeting the criteria of science or challenge the coherence of this distinction.[6] This article is about evolution in biology. ... For other uses, see Intelligent design (disambiguation). ... This article is about evolution in biology. ...


Scientific realism and instrumentalism

Main article: Scientific realism

Two central questions about science are (1) what are the aims of science and (2) how ought one interpret the results of science? Scientific realists claim that science aims at truth and that one ought to regard scientific theories as true, approximately true, or likely true. Conversely, a scientific antirealist or instrumentalist argues that science does not aim (or at least does not succeed) at truth and that we should not regard scientific theories as true.[7] Some antirealists claim that scientific theories aim at being instrumentally useful and should only be regarded as useful, but not true, descriptions of the world.[8] More radical antirealists, like Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend, have argued that scientific theories do not even succeed at this goal, and that later, more accurate scientific theories are not "typically approximately true" as Popper contended. [9][10] Scientific realism is a view in the philosophy of science about the nature of scientific success, an answer to the question what does the success of science involve? The debate over what the success of science involves centers primarily on the status of unobservable entities (objects, process and events) apparently... Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ... Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 – February 11, 1994) was an Austrian-born philosopher of science best known for his work as a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked for three decades (1958-1989). ...


Realists often point to the success of recent scientific theories as evidence for the truth (or near truth) of our current theories.[11][12][13][14][15] Anti-realists point to either the history of science,[16][17] epistemic morals,[8] , the success of false modeling assumptions, [18], or widely termed postmodern criticisms of objectivity as evidence against scientific realisms.[19] Some anti-realists attempt to explain the success of our theories without reference to truth[8][20] while others deny that our current scientific theories are successful at all.[9][10] Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century...


Scientific explanation

In addition to providing predictions about future events, we often take scientific theories to offer explanations for those that occur regularly or have already occurred. Philosophers have investigated the criteria by which a scientific theory can be said to have successfully explained a phenomenon, as well as what gives a scientific theory explanatory power. One early and influential theory of scientific explanation was put forward by Carl G. Hempel and Paul Oppenheim in 1948. Their Deductive-Nomological (D-N) model of explanation says that a scientific explanation succeeds by subsuming a phenomenon under a general law.[21] Although ignored for a decade, this view was subjected to substantial criticism, resulting in several widely believed counter examples to the theory.[22] A model of scientific inquiry has two functions, first, to provide a descriptive account of how scientific inquiry is carried out in practice, second, to provide an explanatory account of why scientific inquiry succeeds as well as it appears to do in arriving at genuine knowledge of its objects. ... Carl Gustav Hempel (* January 8th, 1905 in Oranienburg, Germany † November 9th, 1997 in Princeton, New Jersey) was a philosopher of science and a student of logical positivism. ... The D-N model is a formalisation of natural language scientific explanations. ...


In addition to their D-N model, Hempel and Oppenheim offered other statistical models of explanation which would account for statistical sciences.[21] These theories have received criticism as well.[22] Salmon attempted to provide an alternative account for some of the problems with Hempel and Oppenheim's model by developing his statistical relevance model.[23][24] In addition to Salmon's model, others have suggested that explanation is primarily motivated by unifying disparate phenomena or primarily motivated by providing the causal or mechanical histories leading up to the phenomenon (or phenomena of that type).[24] For the idea of global unification, see globalization. ... This article is about causality as it is used in many different fields. ...


Analysis and reductionism

Analysis is the activity of breaking an observation or theory down into simpler concepts in order to understand it. Analysis is as essential to science as it is to all rational enterprises. It would be impossible, for instance, to describe mathematically the motion of a projectile without separating out the force of gravity, angle of projection and initial velocity. Only after this analysis is it possible to formulate a suitable theory of motion. A projectile is any object sent through space by the application of a force. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ...


Reductionism in science can have several different senses. One type of reductionism is the belief that all fields of study are ultimately amenable to scientific explanation. Perhaps a historical event might be explained in sociological and psychological terms, which in turn might be described in terms of human physiology, which in turn might be described in terms of chemistry and physics. The historical event will have been reduced to a physical event. This might be seen as implying that the historical event was 'nothing but' the physical event, denying the existence of emergent phenomena. The term scientific reductionism has been used to describe various reductionist ideas about science. ...


Daniel Dennett invented the term greedy reductionism to describe the assumption that such reductionism was possible. He claims that it is just 'bad science', seeking to find explanations which are appealing or eloquent, rather than those that are of use in predicting natural phenomena. He also says that: Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a prominent American philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. ... Greedy reductionism is a term coined by Daniel Dennett, in the book Darwins Dangerous Idea, to distinguish between acceptable and erroneous forms of reductionism. ... This article is about unreliable scientific findings. ...

There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination.Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, 1995.

Arguments made against greedy reductionism through reference to emergent phenomena rely upon the fact that self-referential systems can be said to contain more information than can be described through individual analysis of their component parts. Examples include systems that contain strange loops, fractal organization and strange attractors in phase space. Analysis of such systems is necessarily information-destructive because the observer must select a sample of the system that can be at best partially representative. Information theory can be used to calculate the magnitude of information loss and is one of the techniques applied by Chaos theory. Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a prominent American philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. ... cover Darwins Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life (1995) is a controversial book by Daniel Dennett that argues that Darwinian processes are the central organising force not only in biology (which is not controversial), but also in most other aspects of the Universe, including the human mind... A termite cathedral mound produced by a termite colony: a classic example of emergence in nature. ... The ASCII codes for the word Wikipedia represented in binary, the numeral system most commonly used for encoding computer information. ... M.C. Escher - Drawing Hands, 1948. ... The boundary of the Mandelbrot set is a famous example of a fractal. ... In the study of dynamical systems, an attractor is a set, curve, or space to which a system irreversibly evolves, if left undisturbed. ... Phase space of a dynamical system with focal stability. ... Not to be confused with information technology, information science, or informatics. ... For other uses, see Chaos Theory (disambiguation). ...


Grounds of validity of scientific reasoning

The most powerful statements in science are those with the widest applicability. Newton's Third Law — "for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction" — is a powerful statement because it applies to every action, anywhere, and at any time. In logic, the form of an argument is valid precisely if it cannot lead from true premises to a false conclusion. ...


But it is not possible for scientists to have tested every incidence of an action, and found a reaction. How is it, then, that they can assert that the Third Law is in some sense true? They have, of course, tested many, many actions, and in each one have been able to find the corresponding reaction. But can we be sure that the next time we test the Third Law, it will be found to hold true?


Induction

One solution to this problem is to rely on the notion of induction. Inductive reasoning maintains that if a situation holds in all observed cases, then the situation holds in all cases. So, after completing a series of experiments that support the Third Law, one is justified in maintaining that the Law holds in all cases. Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ...


Explaining why induction commonly works has been somewhat problematic. One cannot use deduction, the usual process of moving logically from premise to conclusion, because there is simply no syllogism that will allow such a move. No matter how many times 17th century biologists observed white swans, and in how many different locations, there is no deductive path that can lead them to the conclusion that all swans are white. This is just as well, since, as it turned out, that conclusion would have been wrong. Similarly, it is at least possible that an observation will be made tomorrow that shows an occasion in which an action is not accompanied by a reaction; the same is true of any scientific law. Deductive reasoning is reasoning whose conclusions are intended to necessarily follow from its premises. ... A syllogism (Greek: — conclusion, inference), usually the categorical syllogism, is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition (the conclusion) is inferred from two others (the premises) of a certain form. ... For other uses, see Swan (disambiguation). ...


One answer has been to conceive of a different form of rational argument, one that does not rely on deduction. Deduction allows one to formulate a specific truth from a general truth: all crows are black; this is a crow; therefore this is black. Induction somehow allows one to formulate a general truth from some series of specific observations: this is a crow and it is black; that is a crow and it is black; therefore all crows are black. For other uses, see Crow (disambiguation). ...


The problem of induction is one of considerable debate and importance in the philosophy of science: is induction indeed justified, and if so, how? The problem of induction is the philosophical issue involved in deciding the place of induction in determining empirical truth. ...


Coherentism

Induction attempts to justify scientific statements by reference to other specific scientific statements. It must avoid the problem of the criterion, in which any justification must in turn be justified, resulting in an infinite regress. The regress argument has been used to justify one way out of the infinite regress, foundationalism. Foundationalism claims that there are some basic statements that do not require justification. Both induction and falsification are forms of foundationalism in that they rely on basic statements that derive directly from observations. The Regress Argument (also known as The Problem of Criterion and the diallelus) is a problem in epistemology and, in general, a problem in any situation where a statement has to be justified. ... The Regress Argument (also known as The Problem of Criterion and the diallelus) is a problem in epistemology and, in general, a problem in any situation where a statement has to be justified. ... ...


The way in which basic statements are derived from observation complicates the problem. Observation is a cognitive act; that is, it relies on our existing understanding, our set of beliefs. An observation of a transit of Venus requires a huge range of auxiliary beliefs, such as those that describe the optics of telescopes, the mechanics of the telescope mount, and an understanding of celestial mechanics. At first sight, the observation does not appear to be 'basic'. This article is about the astronomical phenomenon. ...


Coherentism offers an alternative by claiming that statements can be justified by their being a part of a coherent system. In the case of science, the system is usually taken to be the complete set of beliefs of an individual or of the community of scientists. W. V. Quine argued for a Coherentist approach to science. An observation of a transit of Venus is justified by its being coherent with our beliefs about optics, telescope mounts and celestial mechanics. Where this observation is at odds with one of these auxiliary beliefs, an adjustment in the system will be required to remove the contradiction. Coherentism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... W. V. Quine Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 - December 25, 2000) was one of the most influential American philosophers and logicians of the 20th century. ...


Ockham's razor

William Ockham (c. 1295–1349) … is remembered as an influential nominalist, but his popular fame as a great logician rests chiefly on the maxim known as Ockham's razor: Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. No doubt this represents correctly the general tendency of his philosophy, but it has not so far been found in any of his writings. His nearest pronouncement seems to be Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate, which occurs in his theological work on the Sentences of Peter Lombard (Super Quattuor Libros Sententiarum (ed. Lugd., 1495), i, dist. 27, qu. 2, K). In his Summa Totius Logicae, i. 12, Ockham cites the principle of economy, Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora. (Kneale and Kneale, 1962, p. 243)

The practice of scientific inquiry typically involves a number of heuristic principles that serve as rules of thumb for guiding the work. Prominent among these are the principles of conceptual economy or theoretical parsimony that are customarily placed under the rubric of Ockham's razor, named after the 14th century Franciscan friar William of Ockham who is credited with giving the maxim many pithy expressions, not all of which have yet been found among his extant works.[25] Nominalism is the position in metaphysics that there exist no universals outside of the mind. ... For other uses, see Heuristic (disambiguation). ... Look up parsimony in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Occams Razor (also Ockhams Razor or any of several other spellings), is a principle attributed to the 14th century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham that forms the basis of methodological reductionism, also called the principle of parsimony or law of economy. ... William of Ockham (also Occam or any of several other spellings, IPA: ) (c. ...


The motto is most commonly cited in the form "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity", generally taken to suggest that the simplest explanation tends to be the correct one. As interpreted in contemporary scientific practice, it advises opting for the simplest theory among a set of competing theories that have a comparable explanatory power, discarding assumptions that do not improve the explanation. The "other things being equal" clause is a critical qualification, which rather severely limits the utility of Ockham's razor in real practice, as theorists rarely if ever find themselves presented with competent theories of exactly equal explanatory adequacy.


Among the many difficulties that arise in trying to apply Ockham's razor is the problem of formalizing and quantifying the "measure of simplicity" that is implied by the task of deciding which of several theories is the simplest. Although various measures of simplicity have been brought forward as potential candidates from time to time, it is generally recognized that there is no such thing as a theory-independent measure of simplicity. In other words, there appear to be as many different measures of simplicity as there are theories themselves, and the task of choosing between measures of simplicity appears to be every bit as problematic as the job of choosing between theories. Moreover, it is extremely difficult to identify the hypotheses or theories that have "comparable explanatory power", though it may be readily possible to rule out some of the extremes. Ockham's razor also does not say that the simplest account is to be preferred regardless of its capacity to explain outliers, exceptions, or other phenomena in question. The principle of falsifiability requires that any exception that can be reliably reproduced should invalidate the simplest theory, and that the next-simplest account which can actually incorporate the exception as part of the theory should then be preferred to the first. As Albert Einstein puts it, "The supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience". Einstein redirects here. ...


Objectivity of observations in science

It is vitally important for science that the information about the surrounding world and the objects of study be as accurate and as reliable as possible. For the sake of this, measurements which are the source of this information must be as objective as possible. Before the invention of measuring tools (like weights, meter sticks, clocks, etc) the only source of information available to humans were their senses (vision, hearing, taste, tactile, sense of heat, sense of gravity, etc.). Because human senses differ from person to person (due to wide variations in personal chemistry, deficiencies, inherited flaws, etc) there were no objective measurements before the invention of these tools. The consequence of this was the lack of a rigorous science. The ASCII codes for the word Wikipedia represented in binary, the numeral system most commonly used for encoding computer information. ... In philosophy, an object is a thing, an entity, or a being. ... Measurement is the estimation of the magnitude of some attribute of an object, such as its length or weight, relative to a unit of measurement. ... In science, the ideal of objectivity is an essential aspect of the scientific method, and is generally considered by the scientific community to come about as a result of strict observance of the scientific method, including the scientists willingness to submit their methods and results to an open debate by... Tool used to measure basic (fundamental) quantities (length, time intervals, angles, mass, electric current). ... For other uses, see Weight (disambiguation). ... The metre, or meter (symbol: m) is the SI base unit of length. ... For other uses, see Clock (disambiguation). ...


With the advent of exchange of goods, trades, and agricultures there arose a need in such measurements, and science (arithmetics, geometry, mechanics, etc) based on standardized units of measurements (stadia, pounds, seconds, etc) was born. To further abstract from unreliable human senses and make measurements more objective, science uses measuring devices (like spectrometers, voltmeters, interferometers, thermocouples, counters, etc) and lately - computers. In most cases, the less human involvement in measuring process, the more accurate and reliable scientific data are. Currently most measurements are done by a variety of mechanical and electronic sensors directly linked to computers—which further reduces the chance of human error/contamination of information. This made it possible to achieve astonishing accuracy of modern measurements. For example, current accuracy of measurement of mass is about 10-10, of angles—about 10-9, and of time and length intervals in many cases reaches the order of 10-13 - 10-15. This made possible to measure, say, the distance to the Moon with sub-centimeter accuracy (see Lunar laser ranging experiment), to measure slight movement of tectonic plates using GPS system with sub-millimeter accuracy, or even to measure as slight variations in the distance between two mirrors separated by several kilometers as 10-18 m—three orders of magnitude less than the size of a single atomic nucleus—see LIGO. This article is about economic exchange. ... The former Weights and Measures office in Middlesex, England. ... Introduction Many systems of weights and measures have existed throughout history in different civilisations. ... Look up pound in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the unit of time. ... Captain Nemo and Professor Aronnax contemplating measuring instruments in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea A Love Meter at a Framingham, Massachusetts Rest Stop. ... The Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment from the Apollo 11 mission The ongoing Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment measures the distance between the Earth and the Moon using laser ranging. ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ... Over fifty GPS satellites such as this NAVSTAR have been launched since 1978. ... LIGO stands for Lesser Inner Greater Outer. ...


Theory-dependence of observation

A scientific method depends on objective observation in defining the subject under investigation, gaining information about its behavior and in performing experiments. In science, the ideal of objectivity is an essential aspect of the scientific method, and is generally considered by the scientific community to come about as a result of strict observance of the scientific method, including the scientists willingness to submit their methods and results to an open debate by... For other uses, see Observation (disambiguation). ... See subject (grammar) for the linguistic definition of subject. ... The ASCII codes for the word Wikipedia represented in binary, the numeral system most commonly used for encoding computer information. ... In the scientific method, an experiment (Latin: ex- periri, of (or from) trying) is a set of observations performed in the context of solving a particular problem or question, to retain or falsify a hypothesis or research concerning phenomena. ...


Observation involves perception as well as a cognitive process. That is, one does not make an observation passively, but is actively involved in distinguishing the thing being observed from surrounding sensory data. Therefore, observations depend on some underlying understanding of the way in which the world functions, and that understanding may influence what is perceived, noticed, or deemed worthy of consideration.[26] The philosophy of perception concerns how mental processes and symbols depend on the world internal and external to the perceiver. ... The term cognition is used in several different loosely related ways. ...


Empirical observation is supposedly used to determine the acceptability of some hypothesis within a theory. When someone claims to have made an observation, it is reasonable to ask them to justify their claim. Such a justification must make reference to the theory - operational definitions and hypotheses - in which the observation is embedded. That is, the observation is a component of the theory that also contains the hypothesis it either verifies or falsifies. But this means that the observation cannot serve as a neutral arbiter between competing hypotheses. Observation could only do this "neutrally" if it were independent of the theory. Look up Hypothesis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Thomas Kuhn denied that it is ever possible to isolate the theory being tested from the influence of the theory in which the observations are grounded. He argued that observations always rely on a specific paradigm, and that it is not possible to evaluate competing paradigms independently. By "paradigm" he meant, essentially, a logically consistent "portrait" of the world, one that involves no logical contradictions. More than one such logically consistent construct can each paint a usable likeness of the world, but it is pointless to pit them against each other, theory against theory. Neither is a standard by which the other can be judged. Instead, the question is which "portrait" is judged by some set of people to promise the most in terms of “puzzle solving”. Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ...


For Kuhn, the choice of paradigm was sustained by, but not ultimately determined by, logical processes. The individual's choice between paradigms involves setting two or more “portraits" against the world and deciding which likeness is most promising. In the case of a general acceptance of one paradigm or another, Kuhn believed that it represented the consensus of the community of scientists. Acceptance or rejection of some paradigm is, he argued, more a social than a logical process.


That observation is embedded in theory does not mean that observations are irrelevant to science. Scientific understanding derives from observation, but the acceptance of scientific statements is dependent on the related theoretical background or paradigm as well as on observation. Coherentism and skepticism offer alternatives to foundationalism for dealing with the difficulty of grounding scientific theories in something more than observations. Coherentism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... This article is about the psychological term. ... ...


Indeterminacy of theory under empirical testing

According to the Duhem–Quine thesis, after Pierre Duhem and W.V. Quine, any theory can be made compatible with any empirical observation by the addition of suitable ad hoc hypotheses. This is analogous to the way in which an infinite number of curves can be drawn through any finite set of data points on a graph. The Duhem–Quine thesis (also called the Duhem–Quine problem) is chiefly about being unable to test a theory in isolation, and that in practice testing a theory requires one or more background assumptions (also called auxiliary assumptions or auxiliary hypotheses). ... Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (10 June 1861 – 14 September 1916) French physicist and philosopher of science. ... W. V. Quine Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 - December 25, 2000) was one of the most influential American philosophers and logicians of the 20th century. ...


This thesis was accepted by Karl Popper, leading him to reject naïve falsification in favor of 'survival of the fittest', or most falsifiable, of scientific theories. In Popper's view, any hypothesis that does not make testable predictions is simply not science. Such a hypothesis may be useful or valuable, but it cannot be said to be science. Confirmation holism, developed by W.V. Quine, states that empirical data are not sufficient to make a judgment between theories. In this view, a theory can always be made to fit with the available empirical data. However, that empirical evidence does not serve to determine between alternative theories does not necessarily imply that all theories are of equal value, as scientists often use guiding principles such as Occam's Razor. Sir Karl Raimund Popper (July 28, 1902 â€“ September 17, 1994) was an Austrian and British[1] philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ... Falsifiability (or refutability or testability) is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment. ... Confirmation holism, also called epistemological holism is the claim that a scientific theory cannot be tested in isolation; a test of one theory always depends on other theories and hypotheses. ... W. V. Quine Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 - December 25, 2000) was one of the most influential American philosophers and logicians of the 20th century. ... For the House television show episode, see Occams Razor (House episode). ...


One result of this view is that specialists in the philosophy of science stress the requirement that observations made for the purposes of science be restricted to intersubjective objects. That is, science is restricted to those areas where there is general agreement on the nature of the observations involved. It is comparatively easy to agree on observations of physical phenomena, harder for them to agree on observations of social or mental phenomena, and difficult in the extreme to reach agreement on matters of theology or ethics (and thus the latter remain outside the normal purview of science).


Philosophy of particular sciences

In addition to addressing the general questions regarding science and induction, many philosophers of science are occupied by investigating philosophical or foundational problems in particular sciences. The late 20th and early 21st century has seen a rise in the number of practitioners of philosophy of a particular science.


Philosophy of physics

Main article: Philosophy of physics

Philosophy of physics is the study of the fundamental, philosophical questions underlying modern physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact. The main questions concern the nature of space and time, atoms and atomism. Also the predictions of cosmology, the results of the interpretation of quantum mechanics, the foundations of statistical mechanics, causality, determinism, and the nature of physical laws. Classically, several of these questions were studied as part of metaphysics (for example, those about causality, determinism, and space and time). Philosophy of physics is the study of the fundamental, philosophical questions underlying modern physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... This article is about matter in physics and chemistry. ... For other uses, see Interaction (disambiguation). ... This article is about the idea of space. ... This article is about the concept of time. ... For other uses, see Atom (disambiguation). ... Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: discussions of existence of atoms among prominent physicists up to the end of 19th century. ... This article is about the physics subject. ... It has been suggested that Quantum mechanics, philosophy and controversy be merged into this article or section. ... Statistical mechanics is the application of probability theory, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. ... Causality describes the relationship between causes and effects, and is fundamental to all natural science, especially physics. ... This article is about the general notion of determinism in philosophy. ... For a list of set rules, see Laws of science. ... Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. ...


Philosophy of biology

Main article: Philosophy of biology

Philosophy of biology deals with epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical issues in the biological and biomedical sciences. Although philosophers of science and philosophers generally have long been interested in biology (e.g., Aristotle, Descartes, and even Kant), philosophy of biology only emerged as an independent field of philosophy in the 1960s and 1970s. Philosophers of science then began paying increasing attention to developments in biology, from the rise of Neodarwinism in the 1930s and 1940s to the discovery of the structure of Deoxyribonucleic acid in 1953 to more recent advances in genetic engineering. Other key ideas such as the reduction of all life processes to biochemical reactions as well as the incorporation of psychology into a broader neuroscience are also addressed. Philosophy of biology (also called, rarely, biophilosophy) is a subfield of philosophy of science, which deals with epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical issues in the biological and biomedical sciences. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, knowledge + λόγος, logos) or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. ... Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... René Descartes René Descartes (IPA: , March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Cartesius, worked as a philosopher and mathematician. ... Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ... The modern evolutionary synthesis (often referred to simply as the modern synthesis), neo-Darwinian synthesis or neo-Darwinism, brings together Charles Darwins theory of the evolution of species by natural selection with Gregor Mendels theory of genetics as the basis for biological inheritance. ... DNA replication Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid which carries genetic instructions for the biological development of all cellular forms of life and many viruses. ... Elements of genetic engineering Genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, genetic modification/manipulation (GM) and gene splicing are terms that are applied to the direct manipulation of an organisms genes. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Reductionism. ... Biochemistry is the chemistry of life. ... {redirect|Psychological science|the journal|Psychological Science (journal)}} Not to be confused with Phycology. ... Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ...


Philosophy of mathematics

Philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. // Philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... For other meanings of mathematics or uses of math and maths, see Mathematics (disambiguation) and Math (disambiguation). ...


Recurrent themes include:

  • What are the sources of mathematical subject matter?
  • What is the ontological status of mathematical entities?
  • What does it mean to refer to a mathematical object?
  • What is the character of a mathematical proposition?
  • What is the relation between logic and mathematics?
  • What is the role of hermeneutics in mathematics?
  • What kinds of inquiry play a role in mathematics?
  • What are the objectives of mathematical inquiry?
  • What gives mathematics its hold on experience?
  • What are the human traits behind mathematics?
  • What is mathematical beauty?
  • What is the source and nature of mathematical truth?
  • What is the relationship between the abstract world of mathematics and the material universe?

This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ... Look up Experience in Wiktionary, the free dictionary This article discusses the general concept of experience. ... Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, spirit, soul; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is an academic or applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... An example of beauty in method - a simple and elegant proof of the Pythagorean theorem. ...

Philosophy of chemistry

Philosophy of chemistry considers the methodology and underlying assumptions of the science of chemistry. It is explored by philosophers, chemists, and philosopher-chemist teams. The philosophy of chemistry considers the methodology and underlying assumptions of the science of chemistry. ... Meethodology is defined as the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline, the systematic study of methods that are, can be, or have been applied within a discipline or a particular procedure or set of procedures [1]. It should be noted that methodology is... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ...


The philosophy of science has centered on physics for the last several centuries, and during the last century in particular, it has become increasingly concerned with the ultimate constituents of existence, or what one might call reductionism. Thus, for example, considerable attention has been devoted to the philosophical implications of special relativity, general relativity, and quantum mechanics. In recent years, however, more attention has been given to both the philosophy of biology and chemistry, which both deal with more intermediate states of existence. For the philosophical movement, see Existentialism. ... Descartes held that non-human animals could be reductively explained as automata — De homines 1622. ... For a generally accessible and less technical introduction to the topic, see Introduction to special relativity. ... For a generally accessible and less technical introduction to the topic, see Introduction to general relativity. ... For a generally accessible and less technical introduction to the topic, see Introduction to quantum mechanics. ... Philosophy of biology (also called, rarely, biophilosophy) is a subfield of philosophy of science, which deals with epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical issues in the biological and biomedical sciences. ... For other uses, see Chemistry (disambiguation). ...


In the philosophy of chemistry, for example, we might ask, given quantum reality at the microcosmic level, and given the enormous distances between electrons and the atomic nucleus, how is it that we are unable to put our hands through walls, as physics might predict? Chemistry provides the answer, and so we then ask what it is that distinguishes chemistry from physics?


In the philosophy of biology, which is closely related to chemistry, we inquire about what distinguishes a living thing from a non-living thing at the most elementary level. Can a living thing be understood in purely mechanistic terms, or is there, as vitalism asserts, always something beyond mere quantum states? For the song by Girls Aloud see Biology (song) Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology (from Greek: Βιολογία - βίος, bio, life; and λόγος, logos, speech lit. ... Vitalism is the doctrine that vital forces are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism. ...


Issues in philosophy of chemistry may not be as deeply conceptually perplexing as the quantum mechanical measurement problem in the philosophy of physics, and may not be as conceptually complex as optimality arguments in evolutionary biology. However interest in the philosophy of chemistry in part stems from the ability of chemistry to connect the “hard sciences” such as physics with the “soft sciences” such as biology, which gives it a rather distinctive role as the central science. Philosophy of physics is the study of the fundamental, philosophical questions underlying modern physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact. ... Evolutionary biology is a sub-field of biology concerned with the origin of species from a common descent, and descent of species; as well as their change, multiplication, and diversity over time. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into chemistry. ...


Philosophy of economics

Philosophy of economics is the branch of philosophy which studies philosophical issues relating to economics. It can also be defined as the branch of economics which studies its own foundations and morality. The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ...


Philosophy of psychology

Philosophy of psychology refers to issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. Some of these issues are epistemological concerns about the methodology of psychological investigation. For example: Philosophy of psychology typically refers to a set of issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. ... {redirect|Psychological science|the journal|Psychological Science (journal)}} Not to be confused with Phycology. ... This article or section should include material from Episteme Epistemology (from the Greek words episteme=science and logos=word/speech) is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. ...

  • What is the most appropriate methodology for psychology: mentalism, behaviorism, or a compromise?
  • Are self-reports a reliable data gathering method?
  • What conclusions can be drawn from null hypothesis tests?
  • Can first-person experiences (emotions, desires, beliefs, etc.) be measured objectively?

Other issues in philosophy of psychology are philosophical questions about the nature of mind, brain, and cognition, and are perhaps more commonly thought of as part of cognitive science, or philosophy of mind, such as: In psychology, mentalism refers to those branches of study that concentrate on mental perception and thought processes, like cognitive psychology. ... Behaviorism (also called learning perspective) is a philosophy of psychology based on the proposition that all things which organisms do — including acting, thinking and feeling—can and should be regarded as behaviors. ... Cognitive science is usually defined as the scientific study either of mind or of intelligence (e. ... A phrenological mapping of the brain. ...

Philosophy of psychology also closely monitors contemporary work conducted in cognitive neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and artificial intelligence, questioning what they can and cannot explain in psychology. Cognitive The scientific study of how people obtain, retrieve, store and manipulate information. ... Rationality as a term is related to the idea of reason, a word which following Websters may be derived as much from older terms referring to thinking itself as from giving an account or an explanation. ... For other uses, see Knowledge (disambiguation). ... Look up innate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The field of cognitive neuroscience concerns the scientific study of the neural mechanisms underlying cognition and is a branch of neuroscience. ... Evolutionary psychology (EP) attempts to explain mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, that is, as the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection. ... AI redirects here. ...


Philosophy of psychology is a relatively young field, due to the fact that psychology only became a discipline of its own in the late 1800s. Philosophy of mind, by contrast, has been a well-established discipline since before psychology was a field of study at all. It is concerned with questions about the very nature of mind, the qualities of experience, and particular issues like the debate between dualism and monism. A phrenological mapping of the brain. ... For other uses, see Dualism (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Monist (disambiguation). ...


Social accountability

Scientific Openness

A very broad issue affecting the neutrality of science concerns the areas over which science chooses to explore, so what part of the world and man is studied by science. Since the areas for science to investigate are theoretically infinite, the issue then arises as to what science should attempt to question or find out.


Philip Kitcher in his "Science, Truth, and Democracy"[27] argues that scientific studies that attempt to show one segment of the population as being less intelligent, successful or emotionally backward compared to others have a political feedback effect which further excludes such groups from access to science. Thus such studies undermine the broad consensus required for good science by excluding certain people, and so proving themselves in the end to be unscientific. Philip Stuart Kitcher (born 1947) is a British philosophy professor who specializes in the philosophy of science. ...


See also The Mismeasure of Man and Nazi eugenics. First edition (1981) of The Mismeasure of Man The Mismeasure of Man is a controversial, best-selling 1981 book written by the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002). ... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazi eugenics pertains to Nazi Germanys race based social policies that placed the improvement of the race through eugenics at the center of their concerns and targeted those humans they identified as life unworthy...


Critiques of scientific method

Main article: epistemological anarchism

Paul Feyerabend argued that no description of scientific method could possibly be broad enough to encompass all the approaches and methods used by scientists. Feyerabend objected to prescriptive scientific method on the grounds that any such method would stifle and cramp scientific progress. Feyerabend claimed, "the only principle that does not inhibit progress is: anything goes."[28]. However there have been many opponents to his theory. Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont authored the essay "Feyerabend: Anything Goes" for his belief that science is of little use to society. Most other analytic philosophers resent Feyerabend`s ideas as they believe that his ideas have contributed to the Postmodern criticism of science.[citation needed] Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 – February 11, 1994) was an Austrian-born philosopher of science best known for his work as a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked for three decades (1958-1989). ... Analytic philosophy (sometimes, analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. ... Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century...


Sociology and anthropology of science

In his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Kuhn argues that the process of observation and evaluation take place within a paradigm. 'A paradigm is what the members of a community of scientists share, and, conversely, a scientific community consists of men who share a paradigm' (postscript, part 1). On this account, science can be done only as a part of a community, and is inherently a communal activity. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


For Kuhn, the fundamental difference between science and other disciplines is in the way in which the communities function. Others, especially Feyerabend and some post-modernist thinkers, have argued that there is insufficient difference between social practices in science and other disciplines to maintain this distinction. It is apparent that social factors play an important and direct role in scientific method, but that they do not serve to differentiate science from other disciplines. Furthermore, although on this account science is socially constructed, it does not follow that reality is a social construct. (See Science studies and the links there.) Kuhn’s ideas are equally applicable to both realist and anti-realist ontologies. Science studies is an interdisciplinary research area that seeks to situate scientific expertise in a broad social, historical, and philosophical context. ...


There are, however, those who maintain that scientific reality is indeed a social construct, to quote Quine: For people named Quine, see Quine (surname). ...

Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer . . . For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing, the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conceptions only as cultural posits[29]

See also cultural studies. Cultural studies is an academic discipline which combines political economy, communication, sociology, social theory, literary theory, media theory, film/video studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy, museum studies and art history/criticism to study cultural phenomena in various societies. ...


A major development in recent decades has been the study of the formation, structure, and evolution of scientific communities by sociologists and anthropologists including Michel Callon, Elihu Gerson, Bruno Latour, John Law, Susan Leigh Star, Anselm Strauss, Lucy Suchman, and others. Some of their work has been previously loosely gathered in actor network theory. Here the approach to the philosophy of science is to study how scientific communities actually operate. Michel Callon is a Professor at the Ecole des Mines de Paris. ... Bruno Latour Bruno Latour (born June 1947, Beaune, France) is a French sociologist of science best known for his books We Have Never Been Modern, Laboratory Life, and Science in Action, describing the process of scientific research from the perspective of social construction based on field observations of working scientists. ... There have been a number of famous individuals named John Law: John Law (economist), (bap. ... Anselm L. Strauss (December 18, 1916_September 5, 1996) was a sociologist, who worked the field of medical sociology. ... Lucy Suchman is Professor of Anthropology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. ... Actor-network theory, sometimes abbreviated to ANT, is a sociological theory developed by Bruno Latour, Michel Callon and John Law. ...


More recently Gibbons and colleagues (1994) have introduced the notion of mode 2 knowledge production. Mode 2 is a theory of knowledge production, put forth in 1994 by Michael Gibbons, Camille Limoges, Helga Nowotny, Simon Schwartzman, Peter Scott and Martin Trow in their book The new production of knowledge: the dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies(Sage). ...


Researchers in Information science have also made contributions, e.g., the Scientific Community Metaphor. Not to be confused with informatics or information theory. ... The Scientific Community Metaphor is an approach in computer science to understanding and performing scientific communities. ...


Continental philosophy of science

In the Continental philosophical tradition, science is viewed from a world-historical perspective. One of the first philosophers who supported this view was Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Philosophers such as Ernst Mach, Pierre Duhem and Gaston Bachelard also wrote their works with this world-historical approach to science. Nietzsche advanced the thesis in his "The Genealogy of Morals" that the motiv for search of truth in sciences is a kind of ascetic ideal. Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage, refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe. ... Hegel redirects here. ... Ernst Mach Ernst Mach (February 18, 1838 – February 19, 1916) was an Austrian-Czech physicist and philosopher and is the namesake for the Mach number and the optical illusion known as Mach bands. ... Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (10 June 1861 – 14 September 1916) French physicist and philosopher of science. ... Gaston Bachelard (June 27, 1884 – October 16, 1962) was a French philosopher and poet who rose to some of the most prestigious positions in the French academy. ... Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ...


All of these approaches involve a historical and sociological turn to science, with a special emphasis on lived experience (a kind of Husserlian "life-world"), rather than a progress-based or anti-historical approach as done in the analytic tradition. Two other approaches to science include Edmund Husserl's phenomenology and Martin Heidegger's hermeneutics. Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (IPA: ; April 8, 1859 – April 26, 1938) was a philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology. ... This article is about the philosophical movement. ... Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (IPA ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ...


The largest effect on the continental tradition with respect to science was Martin Heidegger's assault on the theoretical attitude in general which of course includes the scientific attitude. For this reason one could suggest that the philosophy of science, in the Continental tradition, has not developed much further due to its inability to overcome Heidegger's criticism. Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (IPA ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... // Martin Heidegger, the 20th-century German philosopher, introduced to the world a large body of work that represented a profound change of direction for philosophy. ...


Notwithstanding, there have been a number of important works: especially a Kuhnian precursor, Alexandre Koyré. Another important development was that of Foucault's analysis of the historical and scientific thought in The Order of Things and his study of power and corruption within the "science" of madness. His works were considered a great work of art and the science of madness was a significant achievement. It involved explaining madness as a science (knowledge) and therefore must be gratified. Alexandre Koyré Alexandre Koyré (1882/1892, Taganrog - April 28, 1964, Paris) was a French philosopher of Russian origin who wrote on history and the philosophy of science. ... See: Léon Foucault (physicist) Foucault pendulum Michel Foucault (philosopher) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The Order of Things (Les Mots et les choses) is a book written by Michel Foucault and was published in 1966. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ...


Traditional Chinese philosophy of science

In ancient China, science and technology were subordinate to value. The formless and personal Tao of Confucianism was holistically mingled with forms and usefulness. Therefore, its philosophy of science and values like moral and pragmatic considerations was a single entity. Together with its holistic health and pacifism, skepticism of the totalitarianism of Taoism also formed part of its characteristics.[dubious ] Alternatively, other philosophies in China emphasized technical experimentation, such as Mohism. A Confucian temple in Wuwei, Peoples Republic of China. ... Taoism (pronounced or ; also spelled Daoism) refers to a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions and concepts. ... Mohism (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally School of Mo) or Moism is a Chinese philosophy founded by Mozi. ...


See also

Philosophy of science Portal

Image File history File links Portal. ... For the town in France, see Cudos, Gironde. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, knowledge + λόγος, logos) or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. ... The history and philosophy of science (HPS) is an academic discipline that encompasses the philosophy of science and the history of science. ... Science is a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world, produced by a global community of researchers making use of a body of techniques known as scientific methods, emphasizing the observation, experimentation and scientific explanation of real world phenomena. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... For other uses of objectivity, see objectivity (disambiguation). ... Philosophy of language is the reasoned inquiry into the nature, origins, and usage of language. ... // Philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. ... Positivism is a philosophy developed by Auguste Comte in the beginning of the 19th century, which stated that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge. ... Science studies is an interdisciplinary research area that seeks to situate scientific expertise in a broad social, historical, and philosophical context. ... This article primarily focuses on the general concepts of matter and existence. ... -1... Scientism is a term mainly used as a pejorative[1][2][3] to accuse someone of holding that science has primacy over all other interpretations of life such as religious, mythical, spiritual, or humanistic explanations. ... A social construction, social construct or social concept is an institutionalized entity or artifact in a social system invented or constructed by participants in a particular culture or society that exists because people agree to behave as if it exists, or agree to follow certain conventional rules, or behave as... The sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK), closely related to the sociology of science, considers social influences on science. ... Sociology of science is the subfield of sociology that deals with the practice of science. ...

Philosophers of science

Before the 16th century

16th century For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Empedocles (Greek: , ca. ... This article is about the scientist. ... A 13th century portrait of Grosseteste. ... For the Nova Scotia premier see Roger Bacon (politician). ...

17th century Sir Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English astrologer, philosopher, statesman, spy, freemason and essayist. ...

18th century Galileo redirects here. ... René Descartes (French IPA:  Latin:Renatus Cartesius) (March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius (latinized form), was a highly influential French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer. ... Sir Isaac Newton in Knellers portrait of 1689. ...

19th century Kant redirects here. ... For other persons named David Hume, see David Hume (disambiguation). ...

1900-1930 Auguste Comte (full name: Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte; January 17, 1798 - September 5, 1857) was a French thinker who coined the term sociology. ... John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873), British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. ... William Whewell In later life William Whewell (May 24, 1794 – March 6, 1866) was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. ... Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (IPA: ; April 8, 1859 – April 26, 1938) was a philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology. ... Ernst Mach Ernst Mach (February 18, 1838 – February 19, 1916) was an Austrian-Czech physicist and philosopher and is the namesake for the Mach number and the optical illusion known as Mach bands. ... Charles Sanders Peirce (IPA: /pɝs/), (September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American polymath, physicist, and philosopher, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ...

1930-1960 Jules Henri Poincaré (April 29, 1854 – July 17, 1912) (IPA: [1]) was one of Frances greatest mathematicians and theoretical physicists, and a philosopher of science. ... Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (10 June 1861 – 14 September 1916) French physicist and philosopher of science. ... Niels Henrik David Bohr (October 7, 1885 – November 18, 1962) was a Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. ... “Einstein” redirects here. ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ... Frank Plumpton Ramsey (February 22, 1903 – January 19, 1930) was a British mathematician who, in addition to mathematics, made significant contributions in philosophy and economics. ... Moritz Schlick around 1930 Moritz Schlick ( )(April 14, 1882–June 22, 1936) was a German philosopher and the founding father of logical positivism and the Vienna Circle. ... Alfred North Whitehead, OM (February 15, 1861, Ramsgate, Kent, England – December 30, 1947, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.) was an English-born mathematician who became a philosopher. ...

1960-1980 Ayer redirects here. ... Hans Reichenbach (September 26, 1891, Hamburg, – April 9, 1953, Los Angeles) was a leading philosopher of science, educator and proponent of logical positivism. ... Georges Canguilhem (Castelnaudary, June 4, 1904 – September 11, 1995 in Marly-le-Roi) was a French philosopher who specialized in epistemology and the philosophy of science (in particular, biology). ... Alexandre Koyré Alexandre Koyré (1882/1892, Taganrog - April 28, 1964, Paris) was a French philosopher of Russian origin who wrote on history and the philosophy of science. ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper (July 28, 1902 â€“ September 17, 1994) was an Austrian and British[1] philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ... Rudolf Carnap (May 18, 1891 - September 14, 1970) was a German philosopher. ... Michael Polanyi (born Polányi Mihály) (March 11, 1891 – February 22, 1976) was a Hungarian–British polymath whose thought and work extended across physical chemistry, economics, and philosophy. ... Otto Neurath (December 10, 1882-December 22, 1945) was an Austrian sociologist, political economist, and an unorthodox Marxist. ... Carl Gustav Hempel (* January 8th, 1905 in Oranienburg, Germany † November 9th, 1997 in Princeton, New Jersey) was a philosopher of science and a student of logical positivism. ... Gaston Bachelard (June 27, 1884 – October 16, 1962) was a French philosopher and poet who rose to some of the most prestigious positions in the French academy. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Werner Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976) was a celebrated German physicist and Nobel laureate, one of the founders of quantum mechanics and acknowledged to be one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century. ...

1980-2000 Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 – February 11, 1994) was an Austrian-born philosopher of science best known for his work as a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked for three decades (1958-1989). ... Mary B. Hesse (born 1924) is a contemporary English philosopher of science. ... Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ... Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) was a philosopher of mathematics and science. ... Ernest Nagel (November 16, 1901, Prague, Austro-Hungarian Empire -- September 22, 1985, New York City) was among the most important philosophers of science of his time. ... Hilary Whitehall Putnam (born July 31, 1926) is an American philosopher who has been a central figure in Western philosophy since the 1960s, especially in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science. ... W. V. Quine Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 - December 25, 2000) was one of the most influential American philosophers and logicians of the 20th century. ...

Patrick Colonel Suppes (b. ... Bastiaan Cornelis van Fraassen (born Goes, the Netherlands, 5 April 1941) is a member of the Princeton University Philosophy department, currently entering phased retirement. ... Nancy Cartwright (born 1943) is a professor of philosophy at the London School of Economics and the University of California at San Diego. ... Larry Laudan is a contemporary philosopher of science. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Peter Lipton Peter Lipton (October 9, 1954 – November 25, 2007) was the Hans Rausing Professor and Head of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University, and a fellow of Kings College, until his unexpected death in November 2007. ... Ian Hacking, CC (born 1936 in Vancouver) is a philosopher, specializing in the philosophy of science. ... Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a prominent American philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. ... David Charles Stove (1927–1994), was an Australian philosopher of science, and essayist in the popular press. ... Sir Roger Penrose, OM, FRS (born 8 August 1931) is an English mathematical physicist and Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College. ...

Subfields

Philosophy of biology (also called, rarely, biophilosophy) is a subfield of philosophy of science, which deals with epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical issues in the biological and biomedical sciences. ... The philosophy of chemistry considers the methodology and underlying assumptions of the science of chemistry. ... Philosophy of physics is the study of the fundamental, philosophical questions underlying modern physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact. ... Philosophy of psychology typically refers to a set of issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. ... Neurophilosophy is the interdisciplinary study of neuroscience and philosophy. ... Philosophy of social science is the scholarly elucidation and debate of accounts of the nature of the social sciences, their relations to each other, and their relations to the natural sciences (see natural science). ...

Related topics

Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... confirmed redirects here. ... Curve fitting is finding a curve which matches a series of data points and possibly other constraints. ... The demarcation problem in the philosophy of science is about how and where to draw the lines around science. ... For other uses, see Dualism (disambiguation). ... An explanation is a statement which points to causes, context, and consequences of some object, process, state of affairs, etc. ... Faith and rationality are two modes of belief which are seen to exist in varying degrees of conflict or compatibility. ... Free will is the philosophical doctrine that holds that our choices are ultimately up to us. ... // Philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. ... Philosophy of space and time is the branch of philosophy concerned with the issues surrounding the ontology, epistemology, and character of space and time. ... Probability is the likelihood or chance that something is the case or will happen. ... The problem of induction is the philosophical issue involved in deciding the place of induction in determining empirical truth. ... The Regress Argument (also known as The Problem of Criterion and the diallelus) is a problem in epistemology and, in general, a problem in any situation where a statement has to be justified. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Simplicity Simplicity is the property, condition, or quality of being simple or un-combined. ... Uniformitarianism, in the philosophy of science, is the assumption that the natural processes operating in the past are the same as those that can be observed operating in the present. ... Unobservables are entities whose existence, nature, properties, qualities or relations are not observable. ... Rhetoric, since Aristotle, is best known as a discipline that studies the means and ends of persuasion. ...

Further reading

  • Augros, Robert M., Stanciu, George N., The New Story of Science: mind and the universe, Lake Bluff, Ill.: Regnery Gateway, c1984. ISBN 0895268337
  • The London Philosophy Study Guide offers many suggestions on what to read, depending on the student's familiarity with the subject:
    • Philosophy of Science
    • Epistemology & Methodology
  • Ben-Ari, M. (2005) Just a theory: exploring the nature of science, Prometheus Books, Amherst, N.Y.
  • Godfrey-Smith, P. (2003) Theory and reality: an introduction to the philosophy of science, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London
  • Feyerabend, Paul K. 2005. Science, history of the philosophy of. Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford.
  • Papineau, David. 2005. Science, problems of the philosophy of. Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford.

External links

Notes

  1. ^ Thornton, Stephen (2006). Karl Popper. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on 2007-12-01.
  2. ^ Uebel, Thomas (2006). Vienna Circle. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on 2007-12-01.
  3. ^ Popper, Karl (1959). The logic of scientific discovery. New York: Basic Books. 
  4. ^ Laudan, Larry (1983). "The Demise of the Demarcation Problem", in Adolf Grünbaum, Robert Sonné Cohen, Larry Laudan: Physics, Philosophy, and Psychoanalysis: Essays in Honor of Adolf Grünbaum. Springer. ISBN 9027715335. 
  5. ^ Nobel Laureates Initiative (PDF). The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity (September 9, 2005). Retrieved on 2007-07-19.
  6. ^ The Demarcation of Science and Religion. The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition (Garland Publishing). Discovery Institute (January 1, 2000). Retrieved on 2007-12-07.
  7. ^ Levin, Michael (1984). "What Kind of Explanation is Truth?", in Jarrett Leplin: Scientific Realism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 124-1139. ISBN 0520051556. 
  8. ^ a b c van Fraassen, Bas (1980). The Scientific Image. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. ISBN 019824424X. 
  9. ^ a b Kuhn, Thomas (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
  10. ^ a b Feyerabend, Paul (1993). Against Method. London: Verso. ISBN 086091481X. 
  11. ^ Popper, Karl (1963). Conjectures and Refutations. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 
  12. ^ Smart, J. J. C. (1968). Between Science and Philosophy. New York: Random House. 
  13. ^ Putnam, Hillary (1975). Mathematics, Matter and Method (Philosophical Papers, Vol. I). London: Cambridge University Press. 
  14. ^ Putnam, Hillary (1978). Meaning and the Moral Sciences. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 
  15. ^ Boyd, Richard (1984). "The Current Status of Scientific Realism", in Jarrett Leplin: Scientific Realism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 41-82. ISBN 0520051556. 
  16. ^ Stanford, P. Kyle (2006). Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195174083. 
  17. ^ Laudan, Larry (1981). "A Confutation of Convergent Realism". Philosophy of Science 48: 218-249. 
  18. ^ Winsberg, Eric (September 2006). "Models of Success Versus the Success of Models: Reliability without Truth". Synthese 152: 1-19. 
  19. ^ Boyd, Richard (2002). Scientific Realism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on 2007-12-01.
  20. ^ Stanford, P. Kyle (June 2000). "An Antirealist Explanation of the Success of Science". Philosophy of Science 67: 266-284. 
  21. ^ a b Hempel, Carl G.; Paul Oppenheim (1948). "Studies in the Logic of Explanation". Philosophy of Science 15: 135-175. 
  22. ^ a b Salmon, Merrilee; John Earman, Clark Glymour, James G. Lenno, Peter Machamer, J.E. McGuire, John D. Norton, Wesley C. Salmon, Kenneth F. Schaffner (1992). Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0136633455. 
  23. ^ Salmon, Wesley (1971). Statistical Explanation and Statistical Relevance. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 
  24. ^ a b Woodward, James (2003). Scientific Explanation. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on 2007-12-07.
  25. ^ Ockham's razor, however, was not originally a principle of science but of theology and the issue of parsimony comes, not from science, but from the vow of poverty that was modeled on the life of Christ. However, the origins of the idea do not necessarily take away from its overall usefulness.
  26. ^ See the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis for an early version of this understanding of the impact of cultural artifacts on our perceptions of the world.
  27. ^ Kitcher, P. Science, Truth, and Democracy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001
  28. ^ Paul Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (1975), ISBN 0-391-00381-X, ISBN 0-86091-222-1, ISBN 0-86091-481-X, ISBN 0-86091-646-4, ISBN 0-86091-934-X, ISBN 0-902308-91-2
  29. ^ Quine, Willard Van Orman (1980). "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", From a Logical Point of View. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674323513. 

Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper (July 28, 1902 â€“ September 17, 1994) was an Austrian and British[1] philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 200th day of the year (201st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 341st day of the year (342nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Bastiaan Cornelis van Fraassen (born Goes, the Netherlands, 5 April 1941) is a member of the Princeton University Philosophy department, currently entering phased retirement. ... Thomas Samuel Kuhn (pronounced )(July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ... Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 – February 11, 1994) was an Austrian-born philosopher of science best known for his work as a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked for three decades (1958-1989). ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper (July 28, 1902 â€“ September 17, 1994) was an Austrian and British[1] philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ... Larry Laudan is a contemporary philosopher of science. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Carl Gustav Hempel (* January 8th, 1905 in Oranienburg, Germany † November 9th, 1997 in Princeton, New Jersey) was a philosopher of science and a student of logical positivism. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 341st day of the year (342nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Apostolic poverty is a doctrine professed by various religious orders, primarily those sprung from the mendicant orders of the Middle Ages in direct response to the call for reforms in the Roman Catholic Church. ... In linguistics, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (SWH) states that there is a systematic relationship between the grammatical categories of the language a person speaks and how that person both understands the world and behaves in it. ... For people named Quine, see Quine (surname). ... Quines paper Two Dogmas of Empiricism, published 1951, is one of the most celebrated papers of twentieth century philosophy in the analytic tradition. ... The Harvard University Press is a publishing house, a division of Harvard University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ...

References

  • Agassi, J., (1975), Science in Flux, Reidel, Dordrecht.
  • Agassi, J. and Jarvie, I. C. (1987), Rationality: The Critical View, Kluwer, Dordrecht.
  • Bovens, L. and Hartmann, S. (2003), Bayesian Epistemology, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Boyd, R., Gasper, P., and Trout, J.D. (eds., 1991), The Philosophy of Science, Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA.
  • Glazebrook, Trish (2000), Heidegger's Philosophy of Science, Fordham University Press.
  • Gutting, Gary (2004), Continental Philosophy of Science, Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA.
  • Harris, Errol E. (1965), The Foundations of Metaphysics in Science , George Allen and Unwin, London, Reprinted by Routledge, London (2002).
  • Harris, Errol E. (1991), Cosmos and Anthropos, Humanities Press, New Jersey.
  • Harré, R. (1972), The Philosophies of Science: An Introductory Survey, Oxford University Press, London, UK.
  • Heelan, Patrick A. (1983), Space-Perception and the Philosophy of Science, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • Honderich, Ted (Ed.) (2005) The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. New York, NY.
  • Kearney, R. (1994), Routledge History of Philosophy, Routledge Press. See Vol. 8.
  • Klemke, E., et al. (eds., 1998), Introductory Readings in The Philosophy of Science, Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, NY.
  • Kneale, William, and Kneale, Martha (1962), The Development of Logic, Oxford University Press, London, UK.
  • Kuipers, T.A.F. (2001), Structures in Science, An Advanced Textbook in Neo-Classical Philosophy of Science, Synthese Library, Springer-Verlag.
  • Ladyman, J. (2002), Understanding Philosophy of Science, Routledge, London, UK.
  • Losee, J. (1998), A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  • Newton-Smith, W.H. (ed., 2001), A Companion to the Philosophy of Science, Blackwell Publishers, Malden, MA.
  • Niiniluoto, I. (2002), Critical Scientific Realism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  • Pap, A. (1962), An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, The Free Press, New York, NY.
  • Papineau, D. (ed., 1997), The Philosophy of Science, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  • Piattelli-Palmarini, Massimo (ed., 1980), Language and Learning, The Debate between Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • Alexander Rosenberg, (2000), Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction, Routledge, London, UK.
  • Runes, D.D. (ed.), Dictionary of Philosophy, Littlefield, Adams, and Company, Totowa, NJ, 1962.
  • Salmon, M.H., et al. (1999), Introduction to the Philosophy of Science: A Text By Members of the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Pittsburgh, Hacket Publishing Company, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Snyder, Paul (1977), Toward One Science: The Convergence of Traditions, St Martin's Press.
  • van Fraassen, Bas C. (1980), The Scientific Image, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  • van Luik, James, The Energy of Ideas, Crow Hill Press, Cambridge, MA. 2000
  • Walker, Benjamin, Caesar's Church: The Irrational in Science & Philosophy, Book Guild, Lewes, Sussex, 2001, ISBN 1-85776-625-3
  • Ziman, John (2000). Real Science: what it is, and what it means. Cambridge, Uk: Cambridge University Press.
Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Errol Eustace Harris (1908-) is a contemporary South African philosopher. ... Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA, (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicist. ... The Universe in a Nutshell is one of Stephen Hawkings latest books on theoretical physics. ... Horace Romano Harré (born 1927 in New Zealand), known widely as Rom, is a distinguished philosopher and psychologist // He graduated in mathematics and physics and he afterwards lectured at the University of Punjab, India. ... William Henry Newton-Smith (b. ... Alexander Rosenberg is an American philosopher, and the R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. ... Benjamin Walker (November 25, 1913) is the truncated pen name of George Benjamin Walker, who also writes under the pseudonym Jivan Bhakar. ...

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