The aim of The Scientific Image is to develop an empiricist alternative to both logical positivism and scientific realism. Against positivism, the author insists on a literal interpretation of the language of science, and on an irreducibly pragmatic dimension of theory acceptance. Against realism he argues that the central aim of science is empirical adequacy, and that the only belief involved in the acceptance of a scientific theory is belief that the theory fits the observable phenomena. To substatiate this, the book presents three mutually supporting theories concerning science. The first is an account of the relation between a scientific theory and the empirical world. The second is a new theory of explanation and why-questions, according to which the explanatory power of a theory is a pragmatic aspect which goes beyond its empirical import, but which provides no additional reasons for believing it. And the third is an interpretation of probability in physical theory, with reference to both classical and quantum physics. The presentation of these three central theses is preceded by two chapters which provide an informal introduction to current debates in the philosophy of science, particularly concerning scientific realism.
In Psychiatry in the Scientific Image, Dominic Murphy looks at psychiatry from the viewpoint of analytic philosophy of science, considering three issues: how we should conceive of, classify, and explain mental illness. If someone is said to have a mental illness, what about it is mental? What makes it an illness? How might we explain and classify it? A system of psychiatric classification settles these questions by distinguishing the mental illnesses and showing how they stand in relation to one another. This book explores the philosophical issues raised by the project of explaining and classifying mental illness. Murphy argues that the current literature on mental illness--exemplified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--is an impediment to research; it lacks a coherent concept of the mental and a satisfactory account of disorder, and yields too much authority to commonsense thought about the mind. He argues that the explanation of mental illness should meet the standards of good explanatory practice in the cognitive neurosciences, and that the classification of mental disorders should group symptoms into conditions based on the causal structure of the normal mind.
This book addresses themes in the newly emerging discipline of philosophy of chemistry, in particular issues in connection with discussions in general philosophy of science on natural kinds, reduction and ceteris paribus laws. The philosophical issue addressed in all chapters is the relation between, on the one hand, the manifest image (the daily practice or common-sense-life-form) and on the other the scientific image, both of which claim to be the final arbiter of "everything." With respect to chemistry, the question raised is this: Where does this branch of science fit in, with the manifest or scientific image? Most philosophers and chemists probably would reply unhesitatingly, the scientific image. The aim of this book is to raise doubts about that self-evidence. It is argued that chemistry is primarily the science of manifest substances, whereas “micro” or “submicro” scientific talk—though important, useful, and insightful—does not change what matters, namely the properties of manifest substances. These manifest substances, their properties and uses cannot be reduced to talk of molecules or solutions of the Schrödinger equation. If “submicroscopic” quantum mechanics were to be wrong, it would not affect all (or any) “microlevel” chemical knowledge of molecules. If molecular chemistry were to be wrong, it wouldn't disqualify knowledge of, say, water—not at the “macrolevel” (e.g. its viscosity at 50 °C), nor at the pre- or protoscientific manifest level (e.g. ice is frozen water).
Release on 2013-06-15 | by Sebastian Normandin,Charles T. Wolfe
Author: Sebastian Normandin,Charles T. Wolfe
Pubpsher: Springer Science & Business Media
Vitalism is understood as impacting the history of the life sciences, medicine and philosophy, representing an epistemological challenge to the dominance of mechanism over the last 200 years, and partly revived with organicism in early theoretical biology. The contributions in this volume portray the history of vitalism from the end of the Enlightenment to the modern day, suggesting some reassessment of what it means both historically and conceptually. As such it includes a wide range of material, employing both historical and philosophical methodologies, and it is divided fairly evenly between 19th and 20th century historical treatments and more contemporary analysis. This volume presents a significant contribution to the current literature in the history and philosophy of science and the history of medicine.
This book is focused on the examination of the particular relationship between developments in neuroscience and commonsense concepts, such as free will, personal identity, privacy, etc., which feature prominently in moral discourse. In the book common sense is recast as an ever-shifting repository of theories from many domains, including science. Utilizing this alternative characterization of common sense, the book reexamines the impact of neuroscience on commonsense moral conceptions. Neuroethics is one of the newest, developing branches of Bioethics. Topics often raised include issues of free will, personal identity and the self; the possible ethical implication of memory manipulation; brain imaging and mind-reading; brain stimulation/enhancement and its impacts on personal identity; and brain death.
Release on 2012-10-12 | by Peter Weingart,Bernd Huppauf
Author: Peter Weingart,Bernd Huppauf
Category: Social Science
What is a popular image of science and where does it come from? Little is known about the formation of science images and their transformation into popular images of science. In this anthology, contributions from two areas of expertise: image theory and history and the sociology of the sciences, explore techniques of constructing science images and transforming them into highly ambivalent images that represent the sciences. The essays, most of them with illustrations, present evidence that popular images of the sciences are based upon abstract theories rather than facts, and, equally, images of scientists are stimulated by imagination rather than historical knowledge.
Were one to characterize the aims of this book ambitiously, it could be said to sketch the philosophical foundations or underpinnings of the scientific world view or, better, of the scientific conception of the world. In any case, it develops a comprehensive philosophical view, one which takes science seri ously as the best method for getting to know the ontological aspects of the world. This view is a kind of scientific realism - causal internal realism, as it is dubbed in the book. This brand of realism is "tough" in matters of ontology but "soft" in matters of semantics and epistemology. An ancestor of the book was published in Finnish under the title Tiede, toiminta ja todellisuus (Gaudeamus, 1983). That book is a shortish undergraduate-level monograph. However, as some research-level chapters have been added, the present book is perhaps best regarded as suited for more advanced readers. I completed the book while my stay at the University of Wisconsin in Madison as a Visiting Professor under the Exchange Program between the Universities of Wisconsin and Helsinki. I gratefully acknowledge this support. I also wish to thank Juhani Saalo and Martti Kuokkanen for comments on the manuscript and for editorial help. Dr Matti Sintonen translated the Finnish ancestor of this book into English, to be used as a partial basis for this work. His translation was supported by a grant from Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden edistamisvarat. Finally, and as usual, I wish to thank Mrs.
Australia and New Zealand boast an active community of scholars working in the field of history, philosophy and social studies of science. Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science aims to provide a distinctive publication outlet for their work. Each volume comprises a group of thematically-connected essays edited by scholars based in Australia or New Zealand with special expertise in that particular area. In each volume, a majority ofthe contributors are from Australia or New Zealand. Contributions from elsewhere are by no means ruled out, however, and are actively encouraged wherever appropriate to the balance of the volume in question. Earlier volumes in the series have been welcomed for significantly advancing the discussion of the topics they have dealt with. I believe that the present volume will be greeted equally enthusiastically by readers in many parts of the world. R. W. Home General Editor Australasian Studies in History And Philosophy of Science viii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The majority of the papers in this collection had their origin in the 2001 Australasian Association for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science annual conference, held at the University of Melbourne, where streams of papers on the themes of scientific realism and commonsense were organised.
Papers Deriving from and Related to a Workshop on the Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars held at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1976
Author: Joseph C. Pitt
Pubpsher: Springer Science & Business Media
In early November 1976 a workshop on the Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars was held at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacks burg, Virginia. Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Research Division of the University and organized by Professor Joseph C. Pitt, its aim was to provide a forum in which views of Professor Sellars could be discussed by a group of scholars fully acquainted with this work. Aside from the twelve invited participants, the workshop was attended by interested parties from as far away as Canada. The papers contained in the volume rep resent the results of the discussions held that weekend. With two excep tions the contents are extensively rewritten and revised versions of infor mal talks and presentations. (Rosenberg's paper is here in its original complete version. Rottschaefer was unable to attend. ) This collection is not then the proceedings but the final product derived from work initiated that weekend. The papers reftect both the spirit of the workshop and the work of Professor Sellars in that they represent the fruits of an intense and multi-faceted dialogue. Professor Sellar~' presence and whole hearted participation left us all with more than enough food for thought and a deepened appreciation of both the man and his philosophy. Special thanks are due Thomas Gilmer, Associate Dean of Research for The College of Arts and Sciences and Randal M.