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Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, 2nd Edition

October 2010, ©2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, 2nd Edition (EHEP002262) cover image
Updated throughout and with three entirely new chapters, Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, Second Edition furthers its reputation as the definitive introductory text on the historical developments and philosophical issues that inform our scientific view of the world around us.
  • Represents an innovative introduction to the history and philosophy of science, designed especially for those coming to the subject for the first time
  • Updated new edition features the addition of chapters focusing on scientific laws, evolutionary theory, and implications of evolution
  • Covers the key historical developments and philosophical themes that have impacted our scientific view of the world around us
  • Analyzes the transitions from the Aristotelian worldview to the Newtonian worldview to a new and currently developing worldview
  • Explores challenges to the Western scientific worldview brought on by recent discoveries
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List of figures ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part I: Fundamental Issues 5

1 Worldviews 7

2 Truth 17

3 Empirical Facts and Philosophical/Conceptual Facts 32

4 Confirming and Disconfirming Evidence and Reasoning 38

5 The Quine–Duhem Thesis and Implications for Scientific Method 46

6 Philosophical Interlude: Problems and Puzzles of Induction 58

7 Falsifiability 66

8 Instrumentalism and Realism 71

Part II: The Transition from the Aristotelian Worldview to the Newtonian Worldview 79

9 The Structure of the Universe on the Aristotelian Worldview 81

10 The Preface to Ptolemy’s Almagest: The Earth as Spherical, Stationary, and at the Center of the Universe 87

11 Astronomical Data: The Empirical Facts 99

12 Astronomical Data: The Philosophical/Conceptual Facts 106

13 The Ptolemaic System 113

14 The Copernican System 123

15 The Tychonic System 134

16 Kepler’s System 137

17 Galileo and the Evidence from the Telescope 148

18 A Summary of Problems Facing the Aristotelian Worldview 164

19 Philosophical and Conceptual Connections in the Development of the New Science 170

20 Overview of the New Science and the Newtonian Worldview 175

21 Philosophical Interlude: What is a Scientifi c Law? 183

22 The Development of the Newtonian Worldview, 1700–1900 192

Part III: Recent Developments in Science and Worldviews 205

23 The Special Theory of Relativity 207

24 The General Theory of Relativity 227

25 Overview of the Empirical Facts, Mathematics, and Interpretations of Quantum Theory 235

26 Quantum Theory and Locality: EPR, Bell’s Theorem, and the Aspect Experiments 272

27 Overview of the Theory of Evolution 287

28 Philosophical and Conceptual Implications of Evolution 310

29 Worldviews: Concluding Thoughts 341

Chapter Notes and Suggested Reading 349

References 366

Index 371

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Richard DeWitt is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Fairfield University. In addition to the history and philosophy of science, Professor DeWitt’s research interests include mathematical and philosophical logic, and the philosophy of mind.
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New edition features updates throughout and the addition of three new chapters focusing on scientific laws, evolutionary theory, and implications of evolution
See More
  • Represents an innovative introduction to the history and philosophy of science, designed especially for those coming to the subject for the first time
  • Updated new edition features the addition of chapters focusing on scientific laws, evolutionary theory, and implications of evolution
  • Covers the key historical developments and philosophical themes that have impacted our scientific view of the world around us
  • Analyzes the transitions from the Aristotelian worldview to the Newtonian worldview to a new and currently developing worldview
  • Explores challenges to the Western scientific worldview brought on by recent discoveries
See More
"The book has great merits and is very readable, and beginners in history of science and philosophy of science will appreciate the wealth of information that it offers." (Aestimatio: Critical Reviews in the History of Science, 2011)

"Written in clear and comprehensible prose and supplemented by effective diagrams and examples, Worldviews is an ideal text for anyone new to the history and philosophy of science. As the reader will come to find out, DeWitt is a gifted writer with the unique ability to break down complex and technical concepts into digestible parts, making Worldviews a welcoming and not overwhelming book for the introductory reader." (History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, vol. 28-2)

"The author is to be commended for the rare clarity of his writing, and for the truly impressive, most useful diagrams exemplifying many abstruse concepts and theses of quantum and relativistic theories. Unlike many other introductions to philosophy of science, DeWitt's book is at once historically informative and philosophically thorough and rigorous. Chapter notes, suggested readings, and references enhance its value". (Choice)

"This is a brilliantly clear introduction (and indeed reframing) of the history and philosophy of science in terms of world-views and thier elements.... In addition, the book is incredibly well-informed from both a scientific and philosophical angle. Highly recommended." (Scientific and Medical Network)

"Quite simply, this is one of the most accessible – and teachable – introductions to the history and philosophy of science I've seen in over two decades of teaching. DeWitt's exposition and discussion – manifestly honed by extensive classroom teaching experience – are exceptionally clear, and helpfully complimented by some of the best diagrams I've seen. DeWitt thus makes complex ideas and developments cogent and straightforward, especially for undergraduates and those approaching the history and philosophy of science for the first time."
Charles Ess, Drury University

"Richard DeWitt's Worldviews is a splendid introductory text. It is organized around themes – traditions and their overthrow – geared to engage undergraduates. It is historically informed and philosophically sensible. Best of all, it abounds in examples skillfully drawn from the physical sciences and made accessible to the non-specialist. The philosophy of science students encounter through Worldviews will strike them as the philosophy of real science – the science of Newton, Einstein, Copernicus, and Aristotle – and not some denatured surrogate for science concocted by philosophers so that it might succumb to the tools of their trade."
Laura Ruetsche, University of Pittsburgh

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E-book   
Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, 2nd Edition
ISBN : 978-1-4443-9276-0
392 pages
April 2011
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Paperback   
Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, 2nd Edition
ISBN : 978-1-4051-9563-8
392 pages
October 2010, ©2010
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Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, 2nd Edition
ISBN : 978-1-118-29654-7
392 pages
March 2012
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