Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science
Cambridge University Press, Oct 20, 1983 - Philosophy - 287 pages
This 1983 book is a lively and clearly written introduction to the philosophy of natural science, organized around the central theme of scientific realism. It has two parts. 'Representing' deals with the different philosophical accounts of scientific objectivity and the reality of scientific entities. The views of Kuhn, Feyerabend, Lakatos, Putnam, van Fraassen, and others, are all considered. 'Intervening' presents the first sustained treatment of experimental science for many years and uses it to give a new direction to debates about realism. Hacking illustrates how experimentation often has a life independent of theory. He argues that although the philosophical problems of scientific realism can not be resolved when put in terms of theory alone, a sound philosophy of experiment provides compelling grounds for a realistic attitude. A great many scientific examples are described in both parts of the book, which also includes lucid expositions of recent high energy physics and a remarkable chapter on the microscope in cell biology.
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What is scientific realism?
Building and causing
Speculation calculation models approximations
The creation of phenomena
Experimentation and scientific realism
A surrogate for truth
Reals and representations
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atoms become beginning believe called causes century Chapter charge claim concepts constants course determine direction distinction effect electrons entities example exist experiment experimental explanation fact force hold human hypotheses idea important inference interest invented Kant kind knowledge Kuhn Lakatos language later laws least light logical looking mathematical matter meaning measurement method microscope mind models nature never objects observation once particles Paul Feyerabend perhaps phenomena phenomenon philosophers physics picture polarized Popper positive positivist possible precise present problems produce programme provides Putnam quantum mechanics question rationality realism reality reason reference remarks represent representation result scientific scientific realism sense sentences sort speak speculation statements structure suggested suppose talk theoretical entities theory things thought true truth turn understand universe