Skip to main content

Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science

Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science

Christopher Hitchcock (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-405-10151-6

Jan 2004

364 pages

In Stock

$165.95

Description

Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science contains sixteen original essays by leading authors in the philosophy of science, each one defending the affirmative or negative answer to one of eight specific questions, including: Are there laws of social science? Are causes physically connected to their effects? Is the mind a system of modules shaped by natural selection?

  • Brings together fresh debates on eight of the most controversial issues in the philosophy of science.
  • Questions addressed include: “Are there laws of social science?”; “Are causes physically connected to their effects?”; “Is the mind a system of modules shaped by natural selection?”
  • Each question is treated by a pair of opposing essays written by eminent scholars, and especially commissioned for the volume.
  • Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion.
  • Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in contemporary philosophy of science, whilst also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers.
Notes on Contributors

Preface

Introduction: What is the Philosophy of Science?

Part I: Do Thought Experiments Transcend Empiricism?

1. Why Thought Experiments Transcend Empiricism
James Robert Brown, University of Toronto

2. Why Thought Experiments do not Transcend Empiricism
John Norton, University of Pittsburgh

Part II: Does Probability Capture the Logic of Scientific Confirmation or Justification?

3. Probability Captures the Logic of Scientific Confirmation
Patrick Maher, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

4. Why Probability Does not Capture the Logic of Scientific Justification
Kevin Kelly, Carnegie Mellon University and Clark Glymour, Carnegie Mellon University

Part III: Can a Theory's Predictive Success Warrant Belief in the Unobservable Entities it Postulates?

5. A Theory's Predictive Success Can Warrant Belief in the Unobservable Entities it Postulates
Jarrett Leplin, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

6. A Theory's Predictive Success Does not Warrant Belief in the Unobservable Entities it Postulates
André Kukla, University of Toronto and Joel Walmsley, University of Toronto

Part IV: Are There Laws in the Social Sciences?

7. There are no Laws in the Social Sciences
John Roberts, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

8. There are Laws in the Social Sciences
Harold Kincaid, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Part V: Are Causes Physically Connected to their Effects?

9. Causes are Physically Connected to Their Effects: Why Preventers and Omissions are not Causes
Phil Dowe, University of Queensland, Australia

10. Causes Need Not be Physically Connected to their Effects: The Case for Negative Causation
Jonathan Schaffer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Part VI: Is There a Puzzle about the Low Entropy Past?

11. On the Origins of the Arrow of Time: Why There is Still a Puzzle About the Low Entropy Past
Huw Price, University of Edinburgh

12. There is No Puzzle About the Low Entropy Past
Craig Callender

Part VII: Do Genes Encode Information About Phenotypic Traits

13. Genes Encode Information for Phenotypic Traits
Sahotra Sarkar, University of Texas at Austin

14. Genes Do not Encode Information for Phenotypic Traits
Peter Godfrey-Smith, Stanford University

Part VIII: Is the Mind a System of Modules Shaped by Natural Selection?

15. The Mind is a System of Modules Shaped by Natural Selection
Peter Carruthers, University of Maryland

16. The Mind is Not (Just) a System of Modules Shaped (Just) by Natural Selection
Fiona Cowie, California Institute of Technology and James Woodward, California Institute of Technology

Index

"This book offers an excellent way into both general philosophy of science and the important foundational issues that are generated by particular special sciences. The contributions are of the highest quality, and range from the epistemology of thought-experiments to the relationship between genes and whole organisms. The pairing of essays defending opposing points of view shows readers that philosophy of science is full of live issues that demand scientifically well-informed and philosophically sophisticated debate." James Ladyman, University of Bristol <!--end-->


"The essays in this invaluable collection are splendid and spirited, and they manage to encompass a broad range of the most exciting debates in philosophy of science today. By juxtaposing rival viewpoints on the same questions, this collection is sure to provoke vigorous responses from students and their teachers alike." Marc Lange, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"The volume gives a real taste of current philosophical debate. The debated issues are real and well-defined, and not obscure conflicts of various -isms whose philosophical relevance is only understood by the participants." Petri Ylikoski, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies


  • Brings together fresh debates on eight of the most controversial issues in the philosophy of science.

  • Questions addressed include: “Are there laws of social science?”; “Are causes physically connected to their effects?”; “Is the mind a system of modules shaped by natural selection?”

  • Each question is treated by a pair of opposing essays written by eminent scholars, and especially commissioned for the volume.

  • Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion.

  • Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in contemporary philosophy of science, whilst also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers.