Download A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science by John Losee PDF

By John Losee

Designed for first-time readers of the topic, this stimulating advent bargains a historic exposition of differing perspectives at the philosophy of technology. With concise profiles proposing the key philosophers whose contributions are mentioned during this booklet, Losee explores the long-argued questions raised by way of philosophers and scientists concerning the right assessment of technological know-how. This re-creation comprises modern advancements within the self-discipline, together with contemporary paintings on theory-appraisal, experimental perform, the controversy over medical realism, and the philosophy of biology. Taking a balanced and informative method, this paintings is the right introductory quantity.

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Extra info for A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (OPUS)

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J. J. Leverrier independently calculated the position of this new planet. One ingredient in their calculations was the assumption that the mean distance of the new planet would be given by the next term in Bode’s Law (). The planet Neptune was discovered by Galle in the region predicted by Leverrier. * With the inclusion of Neptune, Bode’s Law no longer satisfied the criterion of successful fit. Hence one may be a Pythagorean today without being impressed by Bode’s Law. On the other hand, since Pluto’s distance is very close to the Bode’s Law value for the next planet beyond Uranus, a person with a Pythagorean bent might be tempted to explain away the anomalous case of Neptune by insisting that Neptune is a lately captured acquisition of the solar system, and not one of the original planets at all.

But although Aristotle did state that the Principle of Non-Contradiction is the ultimate principle of all demonstration, he also recognized that no conclusions about physical or biological phenomena can be deduced from this principle alone. Hence Aristotle included among the first principles of demonstration both general logical principles such as the Laws of Identity, Non-Contradiction, and the Excluded Middle, and first principles proper to the respective sciences. Nicolaus, however, refused to concede certainty to the inductively established first principles of the sciences, whether these principles state causal relations or mere aptitudinal unions of phenomena.

1 Several aspects of the atomists’ programme have been important in the development of subsequent views of scientific method. One influential aspect of atomism is the idea that observed changes can be explained by reference to processes occurring at a more elementary level of organization. This became an item of belief for many natural philosophers in the seventeenth century. That sub-macroscopic interactions cause macroscopic changes was affirmed by Gassendi, Boyle, and Newton, among others. Moreover, the ancient atomists realized, tacitly at least, that one cannot explain adequately qualities and processes at one level merely by postulating that the same qualities and processes are present at a deeper level.

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