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Copernicus, Darwin and Freud: Revolutions in the History and Philosophy of Science

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8184-6
296 pages
November 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Copernicus, Darwin and Freud: Revolutions in the History and Philosophy of Science (1405181842) cover image
Using Copernicanism, Darwinism, and Freudianism as examples of scientific traditions, Copernicus, Darwin and Freud takes a philosophical look at these three revolutions in thought to illustrate the connections between science and philosophy.
  • Shows how these revolutions in thought lead to philosophical consequences
  • Provides extended case studies of Copernicanism, Darwinism, and Freudianism
  • Integrates the history of science and the philosophy of science like no other text
  • Covers both the philosophy of natural and social science in one volume
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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

I. Nicolaus Copernicus: The Loss of Centrality.

1. Ptolemy and Copernicus.

2. A Clash of Two Worldviews.

3. The Heliocentric Worldview.

4. Copernicus was not a Scientific Revolutionary.

5. The Transition to Newton.

6. Some Philosophical Lessons.

7. Copernicus and Scientific Revolutions.

8. The Anthropic Principle: A Reversal of the Copernican Turn?.

Reading List.

Essay Questions.

II. Charles Darwin: The Loss of Rational Design.

1. Darwin and Copernicus.

2. Views of Organic Life.

3. Fossil Discoveries.

4. Darwin’s Revolution.

5. Philosophical Matters.

6. A Question of Method.

Reading List.

Essay Questions.

III. Sigmund Freud: The Loss of Transparency.

1. Copernicus, Darwin and Freud.

2. Some Views of Humankind.

3. Scientism and the Freudian Model of Personality.

4. The Social Sciences beyond Freud.

5. Evolution and the Social Sciences.

6. Freud and Revolutions in Thought.

Reading List.

Essay Questions.

Name Index.

Subject Index

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Friedel Weinert is Professor of Philosophy at Bradford University and a former Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University and Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the LSE in London. He holds a PhD in Philosophy, a BA in Sociology, and a BSc in Physics. Dr. Weinert is the editor of Laws of Nature (1995), the author of The Scientist as Philosopher (2004) and chief editor of the forthcoming Compendium of Quantum Physics: Concepts, Experiments, History and Philosophy.
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  • Shows how these revolutions in thought lead to philosophical consequences
  • Provides extended case studies of Copernicanism, Darwinism, and Freudianism
  • Integrates the history of science and the philosophy of science like no other text
  • Covers both the philosophy of natural and social science in one volume
See More
"Whether used as a textbook or as a review of issues concerning scientific revolutions and theory change in their historical context, Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud may be strongly recommended." (The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, 2011)

"Those seeking a more conventional approach to the history and philosophy of science may well find Weinert's book informative...there is much to be learned from Weinert's comparison of Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud." (Science & Education, January 2011)“Weinert has provided an informative textbook that is written in a very accessible style. His examples invite the student to apply the philosophical concepts that are discussed.” (Metapsychology, May 2009)

"Why is Darwin less the Copernicus than the Kepler of biology ? What are good criteria for scientific revolutions? Shift of perspective? Replacement of paradigms? Reweaving conceptual networks? Explanatory gain? Restructuring the constraint space? Threatening worldviews? Whoever wants to learn more about these and many other important issues of history & philosophy of science will have to read on!"
Klaus Hentschel, full professor for history of science & technology, University of Stuttgart

"Friedel Weinert has done a rare and excellent thing in this book: he has shown how the philosophy of science is intimately connected with the development of physical, biological and social sciences and that argument concerning the foundations of these sciences cannot be advanced with out reference to philosophy. It is a clearly written and engaging book that will be informative for teachers, students and the lay public alike."
Robert Nola, Dept of Philosophy, the University of Auckland

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