Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Back Cover Blurb

  1. The most comprehensive anthology of its kind, Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues offers an exceptionally balanced introduction to the main currents in twentieth-century philosophy of science. Forty-nine articles and self-contained excerpts by Thomas S. Kuhn, Karl Popper, Carl G. Hempel, W. V. Quine, and other prominent philosophers survey the foundational questions in the field:
    • What distinguishes science from pseudoscience?
    • Is scientific change a rational process?
    • In what sense is science objective?
    • What are natural laws, and what do they describe?
    • Are scientific theories to be understood as offering a true account of the world?
    and others.
  2. To help uninitiated readers navigate the sometimes challenging literature in the field, the editors of this collection provide unusually extensive apparatus. Brief introductions to the nine thematic sections sketch out the major issues addressed in the subsequent readings. Fair-minded and thorough commentaries following the readings discuss the selections in depth and draw connections to other pieces in the anthology; they also develop salient arguments, explain unfamiliar theories, and place the readings in a wider philosophical context. A bibliography, a glossary, and two indexes — one for subjects, the other for names — further enhance this volume's value as a reference.
  3. About The Editors
    • Martin Curd is associate professor of philosophy at Purdue University. After taking a B.A. in natural sciences at Cambridge University, he studied history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Ph.D. His articles on a wide range of topics in philosophy of science and epistemology have been published in journals such as the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Ratio, and The Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association and have been reprinted in several anthologies, including Readings in the Philosophy of Science, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 1989). He is co-author of Principles of Reasoning (St. Martin’s Press, 1989) and author of Argument and Analysis: An Introduction to Philosophy (West, 1992).
    • J. A. Cover is associate professor of philosophy at Purdue University. Leaving a research post after completing a B.S. in biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, Davis, he took a B.A. at Syracuse University, where he later received his M.A. and Ph.D. His primary fields of research are early modern philosophy, metaphysics, and philosophy of science. His work on Leibniz, Spinoza, causation, space and time, and modality has appeared as book chapters and in numerous journals, including Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Nous, Synthese, and Philosophical Studies. In addition, he is co-editor of Central Themes in Early Modern Philosophy (Hackett, 1990) and co-author of Theories of Knowledge and Reality: An Introduction to the Problems and Arguments of Philosophy, Second Edition (McGraw-Hill, 1994).

BOOK COMMENT:

W. W. Norton & Co. Inc. 1998. Paperback.



"Achinstein (Peter) - Explanation v. Prediction: Which Carries More Weight?"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues


Philosophers Index Abstract
    Do predictions of novel facts provide stronger evidence for a theory than explanations of old ones? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Which obtains has nothing to do with whether the evidence is predicted or explained, but only with the selection procedure used to generate the evidence. This is demonstrated by reference to a series of hypothetical drug cases and to Heinrich Hertz's 1883 cathode ray experiments.



"Ayer (A.J.) - What is a Law of Nature?"

Source: Ayer - The Concept of a Person & Other Essays
COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues"



"Brown (James Robert) - Explaining the Success of Science"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Carnap (Rudolf) - The Value of Laws: Explanation and Prediction"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: From Philosophical Foundations of Physics



"Cartwright (Nancy) - Do the Laws of Physics State the Facts?"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Confirmation and Relevance: Bayesian Approaches: Introduction and Commentary"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Empiricism and Scientific Realism: Introduction and Commentary"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Induction, Prediction, and Evidence: Introduction and Commentary"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Intertheoretic Reduction: Introduction and Commentary"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Laws of Nature: Introduction and Commentary"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Models of Explanation: Introduction and Commentary"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Rationality, Objectivity, and Values in Science: Introduction and Commentary"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Science and Pseudoscience: Introduction and Commentary"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - The Duhem-Quine Thesis and Underdetermination: Introduction and Commentary"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Dretske (Fred) - Laws of Nature"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
Write-up Note1 (Full Text reproduced below).

Philosophers Index Abstract
    It is a traditional empiricist doctrine that natural laws are universal truths. In order to overcome the obvious difficulties with this equation most empiricists qualify it by proposing to equate laws with universal truths that play a certain role, or have certain function, within the larger scientific enterprise. This view is examined in detail and rejected; it fails to account for a variety of features that laws are acknowledged to have. An alternative view is advanced in which laws are expressed by singular statements of fact describing the relationship between universal properties and magnitudes.


Write-up2 (as at 04/04/2015 00:17:17): Dretske - Laws of Nature

This note provides my detailed review of "Dretske (Fred) - Laws of Nature".

Currently, this write-up is only available as a PDF. Click File Note (PDF). It is my intention to convert this to Note format shortly.

… Further details to be supplied3




In-Page Footnotes ("Dretske (Fred) - Laws of Nature")

Footnote 2:
  • This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (04/04/2015 00:17:17).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.



"Duhem (Pierre) - Physical Theory and Experiment"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: From The Aim and Structure of Scientific Theory



"Feyerabend (Paul) - How to be a Good Empiricist - A Plea for Tolerance in Matters Epistemological"

Source: Nidditch - The Philosophy of Science - Oxford Readings
COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues"



"Fine (Arthur) - The Natural Ontological Attitude"

Source: Papineau - The Philosophy of Science
COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues"



"Gillies (Donald) - The Duhem Thesis and the Quine Thesis"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Glymour (Clark) - Why I am Not a Bayesian"

Source: Papineau - The Philosophy of Science
COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues"



"Hacking (Ian) - Experimentation and Scientific Realism"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues


Philosophers Index Abstract
    Scientific realism can never be proven nor refuted at the level of theorizing. The only grounds for scientific realism are experimental. The best evidence for the reality of a hypothetical entity is that it can be used in order to investigate other bits of nature. A detailed example is given, namely a 1977 polarized electron gun used to show failure of parity conservation in weak neutral current interactions.



"Hempel (Carl) - Criteria of Confirmation and Acceptability"

Source: Hempel - Philosophy of Natural Science, 1966, Chapter 4


Sections
  • Quantity, variety and precision of supporting evidence – 33
  • Confirmation by "new" test implications – 37
  • Theoretical support – 38
  • Simplicity – 40
  • The probability of hypotheses – 45


COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues".



"Hempel (Carl) - Inductive-Statistical Explanation"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: From "Hempel (Carl) - Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science"



"Hempel (Carl) - The Thesis of Structural Identity"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: From "Hempel (Carl) - Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science"



"Hempel (Carl) - Two Basic Types of Scientific Explanation"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: From "Explanation in Science and History"



"Horwich (Paul) - Wittgensteinian Bayesianism"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Kitcher (Philip) - 1953 and All That: A Tale of Two Sciences"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Kuhn (Thomas) - Logic of Discovery or Psychology of Research?"

Source: Lakatos & Musgrave - Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge
COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues"



"Kuhn (Thomas) - Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice"

Source: Kuhn - The Essential Tension
COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues"



"Kuhn (Thomas) - The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: Extract from "Kuhn (Thomas) - The Structure of Scientific Revolutions"



"Lakatos (Imre) - Science and Pseudoscience"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues


Philosophers Index Abstract
  1. The problem of demarcation is not simply a philosophical one: one can easily show that it has also grave ethical and political implications.
  2. Different solutions to the problem have been proposed so far, but they all turned out to be insufficient.
  3. The "methodology of scientific research programmes" solves some of the difficulties into which other methodologies have led.

Editors’ introduction1
  1. In an important paper2, Lakatos put forward his view that the key to the demarcation between science and pseudo-science lies in the distinction between progressive research programmes and degenerating ones.
  2. As against Karl Popper he allows that any scientific research programme has a ‘hard core' which is belted against falsification by auxiliary hypotheses. According to Lakatos it is this protective belt which is adjusted in the light of unfavourable results.
  3. These adjustments will lead, in the case of a progressive programme, to an increase in the content of the theory whereas, in the case of a degenerating programme, the theory becomes increasingly trivial and empty.
  4. Lakatos insists, contrary to Thomas Kuhn, that the changeover from one programme to another is a wholly rational process even though it lacks the ‘instant rationality’ of a Popperian refutation.
  5. The following extract3 is a radio talk given by Lakatos for an Open University course. It is an informal account of his position and includes some exaggeration natural to the spoken word.


COMMENT: Also in "Brown (Stuart), Fauvel (John) & Finnegan (Ruth), Eds. - Conceptions of Inquiry" (full text, with editorial introduction).




In-Page Footnotes ("Lakatos (Imre) - Science and Pseudoscience")

Footnote 1: Footnote 2: Footnote 3:
  • It’s the complete text, as far as I can see.



"Laudan (Larry) - A Confutation of Convergent Realism"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues


Philosophers Index Abstract
    This essay contains a partial exploration of some key concepts associated with the epistemology of realist philosophies of science. It shows that neither reference nor approximate truth will do the explanatory jobs that realists expect of them. Equally, several widely-held realist theses about the nature of inter-theoretic relations and scientific progress are scrutinized and found wanting. Finally, it is argued that the history of science, far from confirming scientific realism, decisively confutes several extant versions of avowedly 'naturalistic' forms of scientific realism.


COMMENT: Probably the same as "Laudan (Larry) - A Confutation of Convergent Realism". Ive not checked.



"Laudan (Larry) - Commentary: Science at the Bar - Causes for Concern"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Laudan (Larry) - Demystifying Underdetermination"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Laudan (Larry) - Dissecting the Holistic Picture of Scientific Change"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: From "Laudan (Larry) - Science and Values - The Aims of Science and their Role in Scientific Debate"



"Lipton (Peter) - Induction"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: From "Lipton (Peter) - Inference to the Best Explanation"



"Longino (Helen E.) - Values and Objectivity"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Maxwell (Grover) - The Ontological Status of Theoretical Entities"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"McMullin (Ernan) - Rationality and Paradigm Choice in Science"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Mellor (D.H.) - Necessities and Universals in Natural Laws"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Musgrave (Alan) - NOA's Ark - Fine For Realism"

Source: Papineau - The Philosophy of Science
COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues"



"Musgrave (Alan) - Realism versus Constructive Empiricism"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Nagel (Ernest) - Issues in the Logic of Reductive Explanations"

Source: Nagel (Ernest) - Teleology Revisited
COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues"



"Nickles (Thomas) - Two Concepts of Intertheoretic Reduction"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues


Philosophers Index Abstract
    I distinguish two types of reduction. Reduction (1) is nagel's derivational reduction and pertains to "domain combining" reduction contexts; it achieves postulational and ontological economy and amounts to the explanation of one theory by another. Reduction (2) pertains to "domain preserving" contexts and need have none of the above features. Here the successor theory reduces to its predecessor (e.G., Under a limit operation), not vice versa. Reduction (2) is of great heuristic and justificatory importance.



"Okruhlik (Kathleen) - Gender and the Biological Sciences"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Popper (Karl) - Science: Conjectures and Refutations"

Source: Popper - Conjectures & Refutations, 1989
Write-up Note1 (Full Text reproduced below).

COMMENT:

Write-up3 (as at 01/08/2017 23:09:36): Popper - Conjectures and Refutations

This note provides my detailed review of "Popper (Karl) - Science: Conjectures and Refutations".

Currently, this write-up is only available as a PDF. For a précis, click File Note (PDF). It is my intention to convert this to Note format in due course.

→ Further details to be supplied4.




In-Page Footnotes ("Popper (Karl) - Science: Conjectures and Refutations")

Footnote 3:
  • This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (01/08/2017 23:09:36).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.



"Popper (Karl) - The Problem of Induction"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: From "Popper (Karl) - The Logic of Scientific Discovery"



"Quine (W.V.) - Two Dogmas of Empiricism"

Source: Quine - From a Logical Point of View


Author’s Abstract
  1. Modern empiricism has been conditioned in large part by two dogmas.
    1. One is a belief in some fundamental cleavage between truths which are analytic, or grounded in meanings independently of matters of fact and truths which are synthetic, or grounded in fact.
    2. The other dogma is reductionism1: the belief that each meaningful statement is equivalent to some logical construct upon terms which refer to immediate experience.
  2. Both dogmas, I shall argue, are ill founded.
  3. One effect of abandoning them is, as we shall see, a blurring of the supposed boundary between speculative metaphysics and natural science. Another effect is a shift toward pragmatism.


COMMENT:



"Railton (Peter) - A Deductive-Nomological Model of Probabilistic Explanation"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Resnick (David B.) - Hacking's Experimental Realism"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues


Philosophers Index Abstract
    This paper provides a critical analysis of Ian Hacking's experimental realism and argues that Hacking does not succeed in shifting the defense of realism away from questions about representation to questions about intervention.



"Ruben (David-Hillel) - Arguments, Laws, and Explanation"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Ruse (Michael) - Creation-Science Is Not Science"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Ruse (Michael) - Response to the Commentary: Pro Judice"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Salmon (Wesley) - Rational Prediction"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Salmon (Wesley) - Rationality and Objectivity in Science or Tom Kuhn Meets Tom Bayes"

Source: Papineau - The Philosophy of Science
COMMENT: Also in "Curd (Martin) & Cover (J.A.) - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues"



"Snyder (Laura J.) - Is Evidence Historical?"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Thagard (Paul R.) - Why Astrology Is a Pseudoscience"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues



"Van Fraassen (Bas) - Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues
COMMENT: From "Van Fraassen (Bas) - The Scientific Image"



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2021
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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