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Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology

Timothy McGrew (Editor), Marc Alspector-Kelly (Editor), Fritz Allhoff (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-7542-5
680 pages
May 2009, ©2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology (1405175427) cover image
By combining excerpts from key historical writings with commentary by experts, Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology provides a comprehensive history of the philosophy of science from ancient to modern times.

  • Provides a comprehensive history of the philosophy of science, from antiquity up to the 20th century
  • Includes extensive commentary by scholars putting the selected writings in historical context and pointing out their interconnections
  • Covers areas rarely seen in philosophy of science texts, including the philosophical dimensions of biology, chemistry, and geology
  • Designed to be accessible to both undergraduates and graduate students
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List of Figures

Notes on Editors

Personal Acknowledgments

Text Acknowledgments

Part I

Introduction

Unit 1 The Ancient and Medieval Periods

1.1 Atoms and Empty Space: Diogenes Laertius

1.2 Letter to Herodotus: Epicurus

1.3 The Paradoxes of Motion: Zeno

1.4 Plato’s Cosmology: Plato

1.5 The Structure and Motion of the Heavenly Spheres: Aristotle

1.6 Change, Natures, and Causes: Aristotle

1.7 Scientific Inference and the Knowledge of Essential Natures: Aristotle

1.8 The Cosmos and the Shape and Size of the Earth: Aristotle

1.9 The Divisions of Nature and the Divisions of Knowledge: Aristotle

1.10 On Methods of Inference: Philodemus

1.11 The Explanatory Power of Atomism: Lucretius

1.12 The Earth: Its Size, Shape, and Immobility: Claudius Ptolemy

1.13 The Weaknesses of Hypotheses: Proclus

1.14 Projectile Motion: John Philoponus

1.15 Free Fall: John Philoponus

1.16 Against the Reality of Epicycles and Eccentrics: Moses Maimonides

1.17 Impetus and its Applications: Jean Buridan

1.18 The Possibility of a Rotating Earth: Nicole Oresme

Unit 2 The Scientific Revolution

2.1 The Nature and Grounds of the Copernican System: Georg Joachim Rheticus

2.2 The Unsigned Letter: Andreas Osiander

2.3 The Motion of the Earth: Nicholas Copernicus

2.4 The New Star: Tycho Brahe

2.5 A Man Ahead of His Time: Johannes Kepler

2.6 On Arguments about a Moving Earth: Johannes Kepler

2.7 Eight Minutes of Arc: Johannes Kepler

2.8 Tradition and Experience: Galileo Galilei

2.9 A Moving Earth Is More Probable Than the Alternative: Galileo Galilei

2.10 The Ship and the Tower: Galileo Galilei

2.11 The Copernican View Vindicated: Galileo Galilei

2.12 The "Corpuscular" Philosophy: Robert Boyle

2.13 Successful Hypotheses and High Probability: Christiaan Huygens

2.14 Inductive Methodology: Isaac Newton

2.15 Space, Time, and the Elements of Physics: Isaac Newton

2.16 Four Rules of Reasoning: Isaac Newton

2.17 General Scholium: Isaac Newton

2.18 The System of the World: Isaac Newton

Unit 3 The Modern Period

3.1 The Inductive Method: Francis Bacon

3.2 Rules for the Discovery of Scientific Truth: René Descartes

3.3 Rationalism and Scientific Method: René Descartes

3.4 Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits: John Locke

3.5 The Principle of Least Action: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

3.6 Space, Time, and Symmetry: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

3.7 The Problem of Induction: David Hume

3.8 The Nature of Cause and Effect: David Hume

3.9 The Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science: Immanuel Kant

Unit 4 Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century

4.1 The Nature of Scientific Explanation: Antoine Lavoisier

4.2 Determinism, Ignorance, and Probability: Pierre-Simon Laplace

4.3 Hypotheses, Data, and Crucial Experiments: John Herschel

4.4 An Empiricist Account of Scientific Discovery: John Stuart Mill

4.5 Against Pure Empiricism: William Whewell

4.6 The Causes Behind the Phenomena: William Whewell

4.7 Catastrophist Geology: Georges Cuvier

4.8 Uniformitarian Geology: Charles Lyell

4.9 The Explanatory Scope of the Evolutionary Hypothesis: Charles Darwin

4.10 Induction as a Self-Correcting Process: Charles Sanders Peirce

4.11 The Nature of Abduction: Charles Sanders Peirce

4.12 The Role of Hypotheses in Physical Theory: Henri Poincaré

4.13 Against Crucial Experiments: Pierre Duhem

4.14 On the Method of Theoretical Physics: Albert Einstein

Part II

Introduction

Unit 5 Positivism and the Received View

5.1 Theory and Observation: Rudolf Carnap

5.2 Scientific Explanation: Carl Hempel

5.3 Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology: Rudolf Carnap

5.4 The Pragmatic Vindication of Induction: Hans Reichenbach

5.5 Dissolving the Problem of Induction: Peter Strawson

Unit 6 After the Received View: Confirmation and Observation

6.1 Empiricist Criteria of Cognitive Significance: Problems and Changes: Carl Hempel

6.2 The Raven Paradox: Carl Hempel

6.3 Two Dogmas of Empiricism: W. V. O. Quine

6.4 The New Riddle of Induction: Nelson Goodman

6.5 What Theories Are Not: Hilary Putnam

6.6 On Observation: N. R. Hanson

6.7 The Ontological Status of Theoretical Entities: Grover Maxwell

Unit 7 After the Received View: Methodology

7.1 Science: Conjectures and Refutations: Karl Popper

7.2 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: Thomas Kuhn

7.3 Science and Pseudoscience: Imre Lakatos

Unit 8 After the Received View: Explanation

8.1 Counterexamples to the D-N and I-S Models of Explanation: Wesley Salmon

8.2 The Statistical Relevance Model of Explanation: Wesley Salmon

8.3 Why Ask, "Why"?: Wesley Salmon

8.4 Explanatory Unification: Philip Kitcher

Unit 9 After the Received View: The Realism Debate

9.1 The Current Status of Scientific Realism: Richard N. Boyd

9.2 A Confutation of Convergent Realism: Larry Laudan

9.3 Constructive Empiricism: Bas van Fraassen

9.4 The Natural Ontological Attitude: Arthur Fine

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Timothy McGrew is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Western Michigan University.

Marc Alspector-Kelly is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University.

Fritz Allhoff is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Mallinson Institute for Science Education, and Director of the History and Philosophy of Science Workgroup at Western Michigan University.

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  • Provides a comprehensive history of the philosophy of science, from antiquity up to the 20th century
  • Includes extensive commentary by scholars putting the selected writings in historical context and pointing out their interconnections
  • Covers areas rarely seen in philosophy of science texts, including the philosophical dimensions of biology, chemistry, and geology
  • Designed to be accessible to both undergraduates and graduate students
See More
"The introductions, which occupy one-sixth of the volume, are carefully, clearly, and at times even beautifully written. Perhaps most important, they are always intelligently sympathetic to the authors whose views they are presenting." (The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, 1 April 2011)

 

"For years I've fielded queries from colleagues around the world seeking an anthology through which to teach introductory history and philosophy of science courses by means of primary sources from the Greeks to the twentieth century. My answer has always been discouraging: No one book fills that need. But not anymore. This superb new collection is the book we've all been wanting. It's sure to become a classroom staple and a standard reference in the library of every historian and philosopher of science who thinks that Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, and Einstein deserve to be heard speaking for themselves."
- Don Howard, University of Notre Dame

"This text provides a unique combination of historical and classical sources, combined with very helpful introductions. Its breadth of coverage means it may profitably used as a text in philosophy of science courses at many levels."
Peter Machamer, University of Pittsburgh

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