Scientific Explanation

Author: Erik Weber
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400764464
Size: 62.13 MB
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When scientist investigate why things happen, they aim at giving an explanation. But what does a scientific explanation look like? In the first chapter (Theories of Scientific Explanation) of this book, the milestones in the debate on how to characterize scientific explanations are exposed. The second chapter (How to Study Scientific Explanation?) scrutinizes the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation, Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher and Wesley Salmon and shows what went wrong. Next, it is the responsibility of current philosophers of explanation to go on where Hempel, Kitcher and Salmon failed. However, we should go on in a clever way. We call this clever way the pragmatic approach to scientific explanation and clarify briefly what this approach consists in. The third chapter (A Toolbox for Describing and Evaluating Explanatory Practices) elaborates the pragmatic approach by presenting a toolbox for analysing scientific explanation. In the last chapter (Examples of Descriptions and Evaluations of Explanatory Practices) the approach is illustrated with real-life examples of scientists aiming at explaining. This book can be used as a textbook for intermediate philosophy of science courses and is also valuable as “suggested reading” for introductory courses in philosophy of science. The way the book is set up makes it an excellent study and research guide for advanced (MA and PhD) students that work on the topic of scientific explanation. Finally, it is a handy source and reference book for senior researchers in the field of scientific explanations and – more generally – for all philosophers of science. ​

How To Do Science With Models

Author: Axel Gelfert
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319279548
Size: 29.14 MB
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Taking scientific practice as its starting point, this book charts the complex territory of models used in science. It examines what scientific models are and what their function is. Reliance on models is pervasive in science, and scientists often need to construct models in order to explain or predict anything of interest at all. The diversity of kinds of models one finds in science – ranging from toy models and scale models to theoretical and mathematical models – has attracted attention not only from scientists, but also from philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science. This has given rise to a wide variety of case studies that look at the different uses to which models have been put in specific scientific contexts. By exploring current debates on the use and building of models via cutting-edge examples drawn from physics and biology, the book provides broad insight into the methodology of modelling in the natural sciences. It pairs specific arguments with introductory material relating to the ontology and the function of models, and provides some historical context to the debates as well as a sketch of general positions in the philosophy of scientific models in the process.

A Summary Of Scientific Method

Author: Peter Kosso
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789400716148
Size: 18.21 MB
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A Summary of Scientific Method is a brief description of what makes science scientific. It is written in a direct, clear style that is accessible and informative for scientists and science students. It is intended to help science teachers explain how science works, highlighting strengths without ignoring limitations, and to help scientists articulate the process and standards of their work. The book demonstrates that there are several important requirements for being scientific, and the most fundamental of these is maintaining an extensive, interconnected, coherent network of ideas. Some components in the network are empirical, others are theoretical, and they support each other. Clarifying the structure of this web of knowledge explains the role of the commonly cited aspects of scientific method, things like hypotheses, theories, testing, evidence, and the like. A Summary of Scientific Method provides a clear, intuitive, and accurate model of scientific method.

The Philosophy Of Science And Engineering Design

Author: Dingmar van Eck
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319351559
Size: 60.19 MB
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This book discusses the relationship between the philosophy of science and philosophy of engineering, and demonstrates how philosophers of engineering design as well as design researchers can benefit from the conceptual toolkit that the philosophy of science has to offer. In this regard, it employs conceptual tools from the philosophical literature on scientific explanation to address key issues in engineering design and philosophy of engineering design. Specifically, the book focuses on assessing the explanatory value of function ascriptions used in engineering design and philosophy of technical functions; on elaborating the structure of explanation in engineering design; on assessing the role and value of design representations in engineering design and philosophy thereof; and on elaborating means for the testing of design methods. Presenting a novel and effective approach to tackling key issues in the field, philosophers of engineering and design alike will greatly benefit from this book.

Scientific Explanation

Author: Erik Weber
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400764464
Size: 29.23 MB
Format: PDF
View: 5435
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When scientist investigate why things happen, they aim at giving an explanation. But what does a scientific explanation look like? In the first chapter (Theories of Scientific Explanation) of this book, the milestones in the debate on how to characterize scientific explanations are exposed. The second chapter (How to Study Scientific Explanation?) scrutinizes the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation, Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher and Wesley Salmon and shows what went wrong. Next, it is the responsibility of current philosophers of explanation to go on where Hempel, Kitcher and Salmon failed. However, we should go on in a clever way. We call this clever way the pragmatic approach to scientific explanation and clarify briefly what this approach consists in. The third chapter (A Toolbox for Describing and Evaluating Explanatory Practices) elaborates the pragmatic approach by presenting a toolbox for analysing scientific explanation. In the last chapter (Examples of Descriptions and Evaluations of Explanatory Practices) the approach is illustrated with real-life examples of scientists aiming at explaining. This book can be used as a textbook for intermediate philosophy of science courses and is also valuable as “suggested reading” for introductory courses in philosophy of science. The way the book is set up makes it an excellent study and research guide for advanced (MA and PhD) students that work on the topic of scientific explanation. Finally, it is a handy source and reference book for senior researchers in the field of scientific explanations and – more generally – for all philosophers of science. ​

Why Is Everyone Else Wrong

Author: Tibor R. Machan
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441978592
Size: 45.77 MB
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Especially when there is a lot of political rhetoric in the air, those of us with strong political convictions are inclined to reflect on just why we hold certain views even as others who are basically like us hold very different ones. Social scientists and other thinkers struggle to explain it, but the puzzle remains—in part because they, too, disagree so much with one another. Whether the arena is politics, religion, business, scientific research, or education, individuals who operate in the same environment and experience the same conditions may have radically different interpretations of the facts and diametrically opposed convictions about how to react to them. When faced with a fundamental disagreement, we ask ourselves: Why are these folks so wrong? And how can they be so convinced that we are wrong? In this provocative monograph, Tibor Machan explores the principles of truth, reason, and ideology, with particular respect to the profound political, economic, and social crises gripping the world today. In so doing, he not only sheds light on the nature of “truth” but also suggests a framework for embracing differences to come up with creative solutions.

Scientific Integrity And Research Ethics

Author: David Koepsell
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319512773
Size: 34.79 MB
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This book is an easy to read, yet comprehensive introduction to practical issues in research ethics and scientific integrity. It addresses questions about what constitutes appropriate academic and scientific behaviors from the point of view of what Robert Merton called the “ethos of science.” In other words, without getting into tricky questions about the nature of the good or right (as philosophers often do), Koepsell’s concise book provides an approach to behaving according to the norms of science and academia without delving into the morass of philosophical ethics. The central thesis is that: since we know certain behaviors are necessary for science and its institutions to work properly (rather than pathologically), we can extend those principles to guide good behaviors as scientists and academics. The Spanish version of this book was commissioned by the Mexican National Science Foundation (CONACyT) and is being distributed to and used by Mexican scientists in a unique, national plan to improve scientific integrity throughout all of Mexico. Available now in English, the examples and strategies employed can be used throughout the English speaking research world for discussing issues in research ethics, training for scientists and researchers across disciplines, and those who are generally interested in ethics in academia.

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

Author: Christian Beenfeldt
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3319002422
Size: 65.91 MB
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​This volume offers a new understanding of Titchener’s influential system of psychology popularly known as introspectionism, structuralism and as classical introspective psychology. Adopting a new perspective on introspectionism and seeking to assess the reasons behind its famous implosion, this book reopens and rewrites the chapter in the history of early scientific psychology pertaining to the nature of E. B. Titchener’s psychological system. Arguing against the view that Titchener’s system was undone by an overreliance on introspection, the author explains how this idea was first introduced by the early behaviorists in order to advance their own theoretical agenda. Instead, the author argues that the major philosophical flaw of introspectionism was its utter reliance on key theoretical assumptions inherited from the intellectual tradition of British associationism—assumptions that were upheld in defiance of introspection, not because of introspection. The book is divided into three parts. In Part I, British associationism is examined thoroughly. The author here discusses the psychology of influential empiricist philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, David Hartley, James Mill, and John Stuart Mill. In Part II of the book, Titchener’s introspectionist system of psychology is examined and analyzed. In Part III, the author argues that Titchener’s psychology should be understood as a form of associationism and explains how analysis, not introspection, was central to introspectionism.

Evolutionary Psychology And The Propositional Attitudes

Author: Alex Walter
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400729685
Size: 24.64 MB
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The two essays provide a critical examination of theory and research in the field of evolutionary psychology. The view advanced here is that philosophical materialism and minimalist assumptions about adaptation serve Darwinian psychology better than the more popular alternative view that relies on cognitive dualism and propositional-attitude psychology to formulate evolutionary psychology theory. A commitment to cognitive dualism is destined to undermine the physical basis of behavior upon which evolutionary theory depends. Many evolutionary psychologists do not see this but are seduced by the easy way in which hypotheses can be formulated using the ‘propositional-attitude’ model. The challenge is to develop a materialistic and mechanistic approach to understanding human cognition and behavior, including linguistic and social behavior.

The Biological Mind

Author: Justin Garson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317676696
Size: 67.92 MB
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For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness? The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, using the philosophy of biology to introduce and assess the nature of the mind. Drawing on the four key themes of evolutionary biology; molecular biology and genetics; neuroscience; and biomedicine and psychiatry Justin Garson addresses the following key topics: moral psychology, altruism and levels of selection evolutionary psychology and modularity genes, environment and the nature-nurture debate neuroscience, reductionism and the relation between biology and free will function, selection and mental representation psychiatric classification and the maladapted mind. Extensive use of examples and case studies is made throughout the book, and additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. It will also be an excellent resource for those in related fields such as biology.