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1. Philosophy of Science: A Very
2. Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary
3. Philosophy of Science: The Central
4. Worldviews: An Introduction to
5. Theory and Reality: An Introduction
6. The Philosophy of Science
7. Introductory Readings in the Philosophy
8. Understanding Philosophy of Science
9. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy
10. Philosophy of Science: Contemporary
11. Philosophy of Science: An Historical
12. Science Fiction and Philosophy:
13. Heidegger and the Subject (Contemporary
14. Pyramid Energy: The Philosophy
15. Philosophy Through Science Fiction:
16. Readings in the Philosophy of
17. Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution
18. Evidence for God: 50 Arguments
19. Science, Philosophy and Human
20. The Philosophy of Science (Oxford

1. Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction
by Samir Okasha
Paperback: 160 Pages (2002-07-15)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$5.98
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Asin: 0192802836
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism.He also looks at philosophical issues in particular sciences, including the problem of classification in biology, and the nature of space and time in physics.The final chapter touches on the conflicts between science and religion, and explores whether science is ultimately a good thing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars Begin your quest here
In my quest to broaden my understanding of the philosophy of science, I found this book to be an ideal starting point. Having now read several other books and essays on the philosophy of science, I can say that this book covers the major points well and provides a good foundation to move forward. Also, this book is available in audio format[...]. As a follow-up to this book I found Peter Godfrey-Smith's book, Theory and reality: An introduction to the philosophy of science to be very good. As a matter of fact this book is a great companion to the audio course, Philosophy of Science, by Jeffrey Kasser available from the Teaching Company.

Also may I recommend that you read Thomas Kuhn's classic book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions which is also available in audio format (Audible) from Amazon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Short but stimulating
By their very nature, books of the "Very Short Introduction" series cannot possibly deliver an in-depth treatment of any of their subject matters. Then again, this doesn't mean an author cannot use this accessible format to stimulate and inform the reader, while maintaining as much rigor as one can expect from books aimed at a general audience. That is exactly what Samir Okasha manages to do here. The reader will find standard sections on what science is, the basics of scientific reasoning, and the nuances of what counts as an explanation in science. But Okasha also gets into a bit more tricky territory, such as the disputes between realists and anti-realists, and even takes a balanced look at science critics (believe me, it's not easy to be fair and balanced there!). Chapter six, on sample problems in the philosophy of physics, biology and psychology, gives the reader a flavor of what actual philosophical investigation looks like. This is, of course, no substitute for more substantive books on the philosophy of science, but it sure counts as a very good short introduction.

4-0 out of 5 stars What is a Science?
This book represents really very, very short introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Anyone who is beginner in this field should read this text as it really will help in acquiring basic insights about the most important debates within the history and philosophy of Science. As for me, of the particular interest were the issues of theory construction, hypothesis testing and assessing progress within the scientific fields. Most interesting points are made when discussing the issues of falsificationism and theory construction. Also the book discusses in great details Thomas Kuhn and his contribution to the History and Philosophy of Science.Overall this book is worth reading . . .

4-0 out of 5 stars Accurate and concise
Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction by Okasha is an informative read on a few of the basics in philosophy of science.In my opinion the author does a decent job of not taking sides in the issues he presents, although I sense he struggles a bit in some places and his biases show, but this is not a weakness.It is very difficult to talk about these issues (e.g., realism, reasoning, and scientific change) without taking sides.He is sufficiently neutral to allow readers to make their own decisions.Good job.

I sensed his biases creep through when talking about the uncertainty in inductive reasoning, particularly with regard to evolution. Evolution is built on inductive evidence; it is an inductive generalization.Given that we cannot be certain when using induction, we cannot be certain of the truthfulness of evolution (i.e., common descent).I agree.But the author asserts that commonly accepted theories like gravity and relativity were also built on induction, and because we have granted them law-like status we should also grant the same law-like status to evolution. This is a sound argument, but there is a major difference between gravity and evolution that he does not mention.The former has been largely confirmed with crucial experiments, the latter (evolutionary change across life forms) has not.I am sure that the author is aware of this fact.

Okasha has a very lucid and concise writing style that I enjoyed. The book is easy to read and follow, thus beginners to the field should find it very useful. The book is also full of examples to help clarify the issues for the reader.

If I had to pick one weak spot, it would be his coverage of the modular mind in the last chapter. This discussion is presented to illustrate a philosophical issue in psychological science. All I can say as a theoretical psychologist, is "Boring!"Rather than talk about the localization of brain functions, he could have addressed more hot topic issues like agency, responsibility, applying the assumptions of the natural science model (naturalism) to humanity, and the mind-body debate.

Nevertheless, a good read, especially for beginners and those wanting a brief review of the fundamental issues.

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of the book philosophy of science by Samir Okasha
This is a very good introductory book on the philosophie of science.As an inexpert in the area I enjoyed reading this book which does not include nonsense writings and unnecessary lengthy details.It is cheap in price and I recommend it to every scientist.

Tarek musslimani ... Read more

2. Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)
by Alex Rosenberg
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2005-06-29)
list price: US$120.00 -- used & new: US$93.60
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Asin: 041534316X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Identifies the philosophical problems that science raises through an examination of questions about its nature, methods and justification. A valuable introduction for science and philosophy students alike. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction; 4.5 Stars
This is a fine introduction to philosophy of science.Rosenberg discusses why philosophy of science is such an important part of philosophy and how philosophy is connected to a number of deep and traditional problems of philosophy, particularly epistemologic questions.Scientific explanation, the nature of scientific laws and concepts of causation, the nature and role of theories, some of the traditional models of scientific explanation and progress like the D-N model and Popper's notion of falsification, challenges to traditional empiricism such as Kuhn's model and Quine's analysis of underdetermination are all covered very well.These are often difficult topics but Rosenberg is a good writer and the explanations are generally clear.Each chapter has a nice summary and guide to the literature.The prevailing impression left by the text is the inadequacy of contemporary philosophy of science to really understand science and explain its successes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Critical Thinking and Reability
This book emphasizes problems in the philosophy of science over answers.It is specifically and effectively written as an introduction for beginning students.Thus, it proceeds mainly by identifying philosophical problems, thinking through potential answers, and then identifying problems with those potential answers.To other reviewers, this approach seems to have given the impression of unnecessary or unexpected digression, although I did not find the approach burdensome.

Introductory education is as much about exposure to a range of issues and practice with ways of thinking as it is about specifying facts; the book balances these needs well.It provides the main persons and terms of which a philosopher of science should be able to speak, but it does so in the context of critical consideration rather than simple cataloging.

I have to admit that I was a little surprised by how good the review questions were at the end of the chapters in prompting me to digest and articulate the ideas in the book, without seeming tedious or heavyhanded.The questions further emphasize critical thinking, often by requesting the reader to adopt different perspectives in approaching an issue.Many of the questions also make space for the student to bring into the discussion additional ideas not found in the book.

The book succeeds in its goal of being an introduction to the field, but as a result of its specialization the book is not well suited for two related tasks often (and not without reason) expected of introductory books.First, it is not a handy desk reference, because it is neither properly structured nor sufficiently comprehensive for a reader to turn to a page and find a straightforward summary of any topic.Second, the book will not provide sufficient reading material for a semester-long university course, although it will provide the backbone to a course.

The book approaches philosophy of science with a rather philosophical emphasis.Although early in the book Rosenberg notes a clear sense in which science requires philosophy, he has not written a book of answers to the kind of philosophical issues that typically pop up in the work of a research scientist.Indeed he occasionally notes that major issues discussed in the book are (seen as) irrelevant within the practice of research scientists.This is most true of the topic he pursues at greatest length: Kuhn's concept of scientific paradigms and the legacy of Kuhn's insight.While it might actually be extremely useful for researchers to consider the role of "normal science" in determining their research, Kuhn's legacy is mainly in the practically irrelevant idea that scientific research does not actually provide an increasingly close approximation of objective natural reality.This is a philosophically (and socio-historically) important issue, but scientists have no reason to attend to it (and every reason not to).

Although I was amenable to this esoteric/non-applied philosophy approach, on a perhaps-related note I was disappointed by the relative paucity of concrete examples in a discussion of evidence/epistemology.The one topic I wish had been pursued more was the notion of observable vs. unobservable things in nature, as this distinction was used in a commonsense way without being defined or justified.Indeed, an argument of Locke's mentioned in the book seems to invalidate this distinction, but this was not discussed.

Ultimately I think any reader/reviewer will wish some topic had been explored farther, but as the identities of these issues seems to vary from person to person, I think this indicates success rather than deficiency.This book is an introduction to questions, not a compendium of answers.The book is concise, and as I mentioned above I think a course based around this book would have room for additional reading.Thus, students would be able to pursue interests sparked but left unfulfilled by the book, or instructors could fill in deficiencies they find in the book's coverage.For similar reasons, this book is a good read for informal students or readers with specialized interests, who want to obtain a grounding in the philosophy of science without being inhibited with an overly comprehensive volume.


(This is a review of the first edition.)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent introductory textbook for students
Rosenberg's introduction is well-structured and covers all the main points that would feature in an introductory philosophy of science course. It even goes beyond some of the more traditional topics, including chapters/sections on science studies and the semantic (model) view of scientific theories. However, while the book is better than some of its competitors (e.g., Ladyman's 'Understanding Philosophy of Science'), it still leaves a lot to be desired. The writing is at times awkward (commas are distributed more or less at random across the page), which makes for tedious reading. Also, the argument isn't always very clear and the author gets sidetracked quite often. Gross oversimplification may be inevitable in a textbook for students, but in this book it doesn't always make things any clearer. Given the success of the book, the author should take the time to make some serious revisions -- the second edition has not improved as much as it could have. A major positive point is the existence of a corresponding anthology (Balashov/Rosenberg) of classic texts from the philosophy of science.

5-0 out of 5 stars Time arrival in good condition
The book arrived on time in good condtion. I appreciate the quality of the book and speedy delivery. Tnanks.

5-0 out of 5 stars A review of the first six pages and the table of contents
I do not have this book. I wish I did. I read the first six pages of the book which explains how various scientific disciplines have in the course of History broken off from Science, and come to constitute fields of learning of their own, and understood that this is a very clearly written and informative book. I am sure that it will lay out clearly the major questions raised today in the Philosophy of Science. As I understand it one major idea of the work is that there are philosophical questions that Science cannot answer . Or to put this in another way that Philosophy in a sense sets the limits of scientific inquiry.
What strikes and troubles me in terms of the relationship of Philosophy and Science is that the latter produces in many cases testable conclusions, and thus has the authority of providing us ' truth'. And this when as far as I can tell or feel ' philosophical discourse ' is like discourse in the humanities, ' interpretative'. And it thus does not provide us with what is testable, objective, and ' communally held'. Of course I know that one of the questions of Philosophy of Science is whether there is such a 'thing' as ' objective truth'. But clearly in common sense terms, and in terms of the way most people think and act in the world of the mind ' scientific results' do have a quality in truth, that ' philosophical arguments ' do not.
I am curious as to how this volume deals with these questions.
I apologize for taking the reader's time. My sense is that this is a very good introduction to the whole subject. ... Read more

3. Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues
by J. A. Cover, Martin Curd
Paperback: 1408 Pages (1998-03-17)
-- used & new: US$45.61
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Asin: 0393971759
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Unmatched in breadth and depth, Philosophy of Science addresses the pivotal questions that have occupied philosophers and scientists in this century. Forty-six readings by leading thinkers such as Thomas S. Kuhn, Sir Karl Popper, and Philip Kitcher examine issues ranging from models of explanation to theoretic confirmation and prediction; from the significance of rationality, values, and objectivity to the arguments for and against scientific empiricism and realism, with two unique chapters on "Science and Pseudoscience" and "Laws of Nature." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars this book is boring...
Boring. and the size of the words is too small. having hard time reading it

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Curd and Cover's "Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues" is both an anthology and an introduction to philosophy of science. It concentrates on the most central problems of philosophy of natural science, and does not cover philosophy of social science, or particular problems in philosophy of physics or philosophy of biology.
Among the topics covered are the nature of science, scientific explanation, induction, prediction, confirmation, reduction, objectivity, underdetermination, laws of nature and scientific realism and anti-realism. Most of the selections are excellent, including classical and contemporary readings. The majority of the book consists in the readings; however, the commentary by Curd and Cover is very extensive.
The book is organized clearly. Each section begins with a brief introduction by Curd and Cover; the readings follow this; and, finally, these are explained and summarized by Curd and Cover's commentary. A thorough and helpful glossary follows towards the end of the book.
This book is excellent, and I strongly recommend it, especially for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students in philosophy. However, I think that readers unfamiliar with analytic philosophy may find some of the readings and the commentary difficult; Chalmer's "What Is This Thing Called Science?" is a less daunting introduction.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Exemplary Anthology
I hope I won't be suspected of overstating the virtues of this book when I say that this is the single finest philosophy anthology that I've ever encountered--and, believe me, I've seen my fair share of them.Curd and Cover deserve to be commended--and I hereby commend them--for their work in editing this volume.Not only have they made compiled a very useful anthology of approximately fifty selections in contemporary philosophy of science, but they've included a very significant amount of original editorial material.Indeed, I've never seen a philosophy anthology with editorial material anywhere near this extensive or helpful.Curd and Cover provide the reader with introductions to each section; detailed and thoughtful commentaries, many of which are forty to fifty pages long, on the readings at the end of each section; a twenty-page glossary of terms; and extensive bibliographies on each of the subjects covered.Roughly a third of this book, which is 1300+ pages long, has been written by the editors.

Because of the comprehensiveness of the commentaries that Curd and Cover have included on each section of readings, this volume, unlike many such anthologies, works very well as a stand-alone introduction to the field.For these commentaries provide the necessary background that the reader needs to fully appreciate the problems with which the authors of particular selections are struggling, the arguments they present in the selections, and the importance of the various selections in contemporary thinking about how best to solve the problems of the philosophy of science.In other words, the commentaries here do much of the work that a lecturer would do, and so reading these papers along with the commentaries is like going through an excellent and wide-ranging introductory course in the philosophy of science.

This anthology is intended to introduce the most general subjects in contemporary philosophy of science.Curd and Cover emphasize work in the philosophy of science that is of importance to anyone interested in the subject, and they have deliberately tried to avoid including readings that assume the reader is familiar with a great deal of contemporary science or its history.There are sections on each of the following topics:the demarcation problem (the problem of isolating what, if anything, is essential to, and distinctive of, scientific inquiry), values and objectivity in science, underdetermination and the Duhem-Quine thesis, induction and the nature of scientific evidence, explanation, laws of nature, intertheoretic reduction, and scientific realism.Most of these sections include four or five papers (the section on realism, which is by far the largest section, contains about twice as many).And this book includes work by many of the most important figures in these areas, including Kuhn, Popper, Hempel, Lakatos, Laudan, Kitcher, van Fraassen, et al.

And the reader should note that this anthology focuses only on work in the natural sciences.None of these selections discusses philosophical issues arising in the social sciences--though the topics covered are of sufficient generality that they should be of interest to people studying the social sciences as well.Furthermore, none of these selections are primarily about the philosophical issues arising in particular natural sciences.So don't come to this anthology looking for philosophy of biology or philosophy of physics.

I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the philosophy of science, and it's ideal for classes introducing philosophy of science to advanced undergraduates and to graduate students.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction in the philosophy of science
Anyone who ever wondered about science in general,or what answers sciences can give us to questions we pose, and which not, if we should believe what science tells us or rather not, what it is that sets apartphysics and astrologie, or if the picture that science gives us in its lawsand theories reflects reality or is just an instrument for science, allthose (and all those who would like to start pondering right now)can get avery profound introduction into those (and other) aspects of philosophicalcontemplation by reading this very well written and edited book. Itconsists of 9 chapters, each treating one subject by first giving a shortintroduction by the editors, then several papers by leading philosophers inthe field, and then a very well written commentary on each of those papers,that retrace and explain the papers for easier digestion. My fullestrecommendations for this book. ... Read more

4. Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science
by Richard DeWitt
Paperback: 392 Pages (2010-10-12)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$27.43
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Asin: 1405195630
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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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
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Philosophy still relevent
The author correctly argues that philosophy is not dead.The philosophy of science is still dealing with issues of what is truth, fact, and reality.There are still ongoing debates between realists, positivists, and historicists within the scientific community.This is truely an eye opening book on the philosophy of science. ... Read more

5. Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)
by Peter Godfrey-Smith
Paperback: 272 Pages (2003-08-01)
list price: US$29.00 -- used & new: US$23.82
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Asin: 0226300633
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science.

Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and Reality covers logical positivism; the problems of induction and confirmation; Karl Popper's theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and "scientific revolutions"; the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in more detail at some specific problems and theories, including scientific realism, the theory-ladeness of observation, scientific explanation, and Bayesianism. Finally, Godfrey-Smith defends a form of philosophical naturalism as the best way to solve the main problems in the field.

Throughout the text he points out connections between philosophical debates and wider discussions about science in recent decades, such as the infamous "science wars." Examples and asides engage the beginning student; a glossary of terms explains key concepts; and suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter. However, this is a textbook that doesn't feel like a textbook because it captures the historical drama of changes in how science has been conceived over the last one hundred years.

Like no other text in this field, Theory and Reality combines a survey of recent history of the philosophy of science with current key debates in language that any beginning scholar or critical reader can follow.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A discriminating review of the philosophy of science
One of the most refreshing qualities of this succinct, digestible, and comprehensive account of major currents in the philosophy of science since the early 20th century is that it does not treat each school's position as equally plausible. Godfrey-Smith does not hesitate to argue, respectfully but directly, that some have been effectively refuted (logical positivism) while others appear to be especially promising. He explicitly informs the reader whenever he defends his own outlook. At the end of every chapter he gives a compact selection of references along with a brief description of each, making it easy to delve deeper into primary sources.

The latter parts of this book are concerned with contemporary currents in the philosophy of science. In light of my own experience of scientific practice, many of them come across as naive. Nevertheless, Godfery-Smith has managed to convince me that at least some of the people pursuing them are thinking critically.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent but omits Nagel's "The Structure of Science."
This book is excellent as a first introduction to the philosophy of science. Two weaknesses are firstly, that it gives a less than precise explanation of empiricism and secondly, it omits discussion or even mention of Ernst Nagel's superior work "The Structure of Science" which is unforgiveable. Nagel's book is one of the half dozen or so superior analyses of the philosophy of science and positivism and should be essential reading for any intelligent reader in these fields.

4-0 out of 5 stars interesting
I found the book readable and engaging. Since I have read no other introductions to the philosophy of science, I have no references with which to compare this book. That said, I would like to have had more attention paid to some obvious questions for a newcomer, such as 'By what criteria can we distinguish a 'good' philosophy of science from a 'bad' one? What are the consequences of adopting a 'bad' philosophy of science? Why is this area of study so contentious? Why should scientists or non-scientists care about this topic? Fortunately, Godfrey-Smith stimulated rather than suppressed my interest in this topic, so I'm looking forward to reading another introductory book or two to get more perspective.

3-0 out of 5 stars Half-hearted
This is a half-hearted textbook which in its worst moments degenerates into mantras and slurs.

As an example of blatant prejudice underpinned by appallingly poor arguments we may consider the treatment of Feyerabend.

"Feyerabend massively overextends his argument, into a principle that cannot be defended: 'Hence it is advisable to let one's inclinations go against reason in any circumstances, for science may profit from it'. Feyerabend claims that because some principle or rule may go wrong, we should completely ignore it. The claim is obviously crazy." (p. 114)

It is of course Godfrey-Smith who "massively overextends" things when he passes from the quotation to his own gloss: how on earth can anyone in their right mind infer from this (or any other) quotation that Feyerabend want us to "completely ignore" rules of reason? He simply never said anything of the sort. I'm afraid it's Godfrey-Smith who is "obviously crazy."

Two pages later we read that "What is missing in Feyerabend's picture is some rule or mechanism for the rejection and elimination of ideas. ... there is no way for an idea to be taken off the table." (p. 116)

Godfrey-Smith is clearly very confused. Just moments ago he maintained that Feyerabend would urge us to dismiss any fallible principle and now suddenly Feyerabend cannot dismiss anything at all. Godfrey-Smith goes on to criticise this latter stance by giving an example of a crackpot theory, and concluding that we need rules to dismiss such things. But this simple-minded argument proves nothing. A bad poem does not prove the necessity of rules for dismissing bad poems, no matter how important it is for us to find good poems. In fact, a canon of good poetry is rather distinctly crystallised despite the absence of rules. A serious critique of Feyerabend would have to explain why the same is not possible or satisfactory in science.

Another indication of Godfrey-Smith's complacent laziness is his perpetuation of ridiculous myths that are shattered by a thirty-second visit to the library, such as: "in the nineteenth century, mathematicians did work out alternative geometrical systems to Euclid's, but they did so as a mathematical exercise, not as an attempt to describe ... the actual world" (p. 26); or: "Adam Smith argued in the Wealth of Nations that individual selfishness in economic behaviour leads to good outcomes for society as a whole" (p. 99).

4-0 out of 5 stars Sound material, but disjointed presentation
Godfrey-Smith has put together a reasonable introduction to the philosophy of science.This is no small feat, given the vast spectrum of differing philosophical opinions and outright clan warfare that has characterized this field.To pull together so many disparate ideas, from thinkers whose backgrounds are so different, truly requires some mental agility.And Godfrey-Smith accomplishes this task acceptably.All of the necessary philosophical viewpoints, all of the main players, all of the intricate arguments -- they are all in the book.However, the overall (dis)organization of the book does little to help clarify a confusing field.

Godfrey-Smith seems unable to settle on what sort of book he is writing.Is it an introduction to the philosophy of science, a sort of "survey" of the main ideas of the field and their relation to each other?Or is it his own treatise, in which he lays out his own ideas to deal with the problems that arise as one "does" philosophy of science?Unfortunately, Godfey-Smith cannot make up his mind, and so the book is a mixture of (seemingly) objective reviews of the major ideas, along with a smattering of sometimes silly commentary (perhaps designed to keep the under-enthused undergraduate engaged?) and one-sided conversations with deceased philosophers.

Furthemore, as bewildering a field as philosophy of science is, it would have made sense to present the ideas in a logical, ordered fashion.Perhaps this could have been done chronologically, starting with Aristotle's metaphysics (despite it's anathema status to philosophers of science -- it would have given some much needed background to the book) and continuing on through the end of the 20th century.Or perhaps it could have been arranged by topic -- what do various thinkers make of the demarcation between science and pseudoscience? what about confirmation of theories? what about the induction and deduction?Either of these designs would have made sense and enhanced the book.Godfrey-Smith claims that the book is ordered chronologically, but this is just not the case.There are far too many interruptions to make it flow smoothly -- interruptions such as the chapter on feminism's influence on the philosophy of science, or the sociology of science.Those should have been worked into the chronological discussion.The author's own commentary and his advocacy of his own theories serve as further distractors.

However, Godfrey-Smith does have the respectable quality of being down-to-earth in a field whose chief thinkers have thought so hard that they end up in ridiculous places, with their arguments so twisted that they end up arguing against themselves!Godfrey-Smith's ideas serve to ground the book to earth, at times when the big minds of philosophy of science get too abstract, too sublime, or honestly just devoid of common sense.He cuts through the Gordian knot tied by many of his predecessors.

Overall, this is a solid introduction to the philosophy of science.It is easy to read, entertaining, and interesting.It would serve its reader even better if a little more attention had been paid to organizing it in a sensible manner. ... Read more

6. The Philosophy of Science
Paperback: 816 Pages (1991-06-26)
list price: US$62.00 -- used & new: US$52.48
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Asin: 0262521563
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The more than 40 readings in this anthology cover the most important developments of the past six decades, charting the rise and decline of logical positivism and the gradual emergence of a new consensus concerning the major issues and theoretical options in the field. The editors have included articles on all of the major special sciences and emphasize the relation between the more theoretical and applied questions.

Part One deals with basic theoretical issues: confirmation, semantics, and the interpretation of theories; causation and explanation; and reductionism and the unity of science. In Part Two, these relatively abstract themes are illustrated and examined further in light of issues in the various special sciences such as physics, biology, psychology, and social science. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A great compendium, but requires previous knowledge
As another reviewer stated, this is NOT a book for the beginner in philosophy of science. An undergraduate philosophy student who has taken other upper-level philosophy courses may have a slightly easier time with it, but some concepts are proper of scientific epistemology and require either previous expertise or thorough discussion on the instructor's part.

The content itself, of course, is excellent and quite comprehensive. Just consider your level of philosophical education and know what you're getting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good compilation
The book includes essays and articles from most well-known philosophers of science, in practically every branch and school (from Kuhn to Cartwright). It is an excellent text for gaining a broader insight into the subject, but not quite for beginners. An excellent addition to a science and/or philosophy library for its broad scope. ... Read more

7. Introductory Readings in the Philosophy of Science
by E. D. Klemke
Paperback: 579 Pages (1998-11)
list price: US$31.98 -- used & new: US$17.00
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Asin: 1573922404
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This popular reader has been vastly updated with ten stimulating new selections on the natural and the social sciences: feminism; postmodernism, relativism, and science; confirmation, acceptance, and theory; explanatory unification; and science and values. Retaining the best essays from the previous editions, the editors have added important new pieces to maintain this influential text's relevance. ... Read more

8. Understanding Philosophy of Science
by James Ladyman
Paperback: 302 Pages (2001-12-01)
list price: US$37.95 -- used & new: US$20.00
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Asin: 0415221579
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Without scientific theory, the technology developments of recent years would not have been possible. In this exceptionally clear and engaging introduction to philosophy of science, James Ladyman explores the scope of natural science and its implications for human life. With the focus firmly upon realism, he discusses how fundamental philosophical questions can be answered by science and how scientific theory can confirm and inform our basic and intrinsic knowledge. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Realism vs. Antirealism
James Ladyman's book is an excellent introduction to philosophy of science, though at times (especially in the latter part of the book) it becomes too sophisticated for a lower division course. Still, Ladyman covers the basics and then some using a clear style that engages the reader, bringing her gradually closer to some deep questions about the nature of science. The book starts with the standard topics of induction (and the corresponding problem pointed out by David Hume), moving to Popper's falsificationism, originally proposed as a solution to the problem of justification of inductive inference. After having explained why falsificationism in turn didn't work very well, Ladyman proceeds to Kuhn and the idea of paradigm shifts in the history of science. The difficult part comes in the second section, which is entirely devoted to the still ongoing debate between realists and antirealists in science. The reader is slowly but surely walked through increasingly complex rebuttals and counter-rebuttals articulated by major players in this high-level intellectual dispute, encountering fundamental concepts in modern philosophy of science throughout the ride. We learn about the underdetermination of theories by data, inference to the best explanation, constructive empiricism, the Duhem-Quine thesis and theories of explanation. The reader never gets to a final answer, which of course is not the point, but with a bit of effort it should be possible to follow Ladyman all the way to the end. The last two short sections, on idealisation and structural realism, are a bit too short to be effective; they should be either cut out or expanded in future editions. Still, I'm planning to use this book next semester in a 300-level class on philosophy of science, and I'm looking forward to the puzzled reactions of my students when they'll begin to appreciate how little we understand about how science works.

5-0 out of 5 stars a component of a system of philosophy...
This book is unique among textbooks about the philosophy of science. It sets the stage for more serious investigations. I have read many books on the philosophy of science, and this is the only one that opens outwards onto a carefully crafted and cutting-edge metaphysics of science.

The author is an authentic advocate of the ideals which can be realized by means of coordinated efforts by individuals dedicated to objective methods. He demonstrates his credentials as a thinker and as a logician, as well as as a concerned human being. He cares very much about the future of our species. He shows how we can make our way into a future worth having.

Ladyman is relatively young (born 1969) and quickly dismisses vast regions of irrelevant philosophy which have been cherished by generations of "old school" philosophers. This could explain some of the negative reactions the book is bound to provoke. Revolutions in understanding are like that.

I believe sincerely that this author is forging a new pathway for philosophy. And there is no better place to start understanding the scope of the current revolution than right here with this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent introduction
This is an introductory book, and as to be evaluated as such. Thus it is nonsense to say "Don't read this; read Popper, Duhem, etc. instead". And as an introduction to the philosophy of science this book is great, because it does what it is supposed to do: it covers most of the main issues, and it discusses the main theories in a very clear and structured way.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good introduction
At first sight, Ladyman's book looks like a solid introductory book -- nothing exciting, no brilliant new ideas, but at least a good survey of the field. On closer inspection, however, there are numerous omissions, not least when it comes to problems of apportioning credit for good ideas... Old examples get recycled (fair enough), but their original authors don't even get credit (intolerable). The author seems not to care about related work in history and sociology of science, which renders the book useless for anyone with a broader interest in science.

2-0 out of 5 stars Read some real classics instead...
There is no shortage of introductory philosophy books, and over the last ten years or so numerous books for undergraduates / beginning grad-school students have appeared, all of which claim to offer 'the' definitive survey of philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology... Well then, here is another introduction to philosophy of science -- no more, no less. Just like all other introductory texts, there are some omissions (some more serious than others), some errors and some unbalanced passages. However, the core problems are presented in a clear, though rather conventional way. If anyone with a serious interest in studying philosophy of science is reading this (let's call him 'Student' or, since analytic philosophers seem to enjoy abbreviations, 'S'), please let me say the following words: 'Dear S. Thank you for your interest in philosophy of science and in this book. Please don't waste your time reading *another* introductory textbooks. Go to your library, check out that Reichenbach, Duhem, Popper, Feyerabend, Hempel, Salmon, Achinstein, and *read the classics!*' They are infinitely more rewarding than this (or any other introductory) book. But if you feel you must add this book to your shopping cart -- who am I to stop you?? ... Read more

9. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology (Oxford Handbooks)
by Michael Ruse
 Paperback: 656 Pages (2010-11-05)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$43.24
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Asin: 0199737266
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The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology is an exciting collection of new essays written especially to give the reader an introduction to one of the most vibrant areas of scholarship today, and at the same time to move the subject forward dramatically.Written in a clear and rigorous style it will give the more experienced scholar much to think about and will also be of great value to the new student of the subject.The handbook covers the history of the topic, then moves into important analyses of contemporary evolutionary thinking, and continues with discussions of genetics and the moral and epistemological foundations of our understanding of heredity.The book goes on to cover ecology, behavior and morality, and does not neglect religion or feminist issues.Finally, it takes up matters to do with language and metaphor.

The authors range from the senior and experienced to new and exciting young scholars.The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology is a collection that will be of interest to philosophers of science, to philosophers generally, as well as biologists of all kinds.There is no better way to learn about this dynamic field than through the essays in this volume. ... Read more

10. Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings (Routledge Contemporary Readings in Philosophy)
Paperback: 456 Pages (2002-01-01)
list price: US$36.95 -- used & new: US$24.44
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Asin: 0415257824
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Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readingsis a comprehensive anthology that draws together leading philosophers writing on the major themes in the philosophy of science. Sections are: Science and Philosophy; Explanation; Causation and Laws; Scientific Theories and Conceptual Change; Scientific Realism; Testing and Confirmation of Theories; and Science in Context. Each section is prefaced by an introductory essay by the editors. ... Read more

11. Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)
Paperback: 680 Pages (2009-05-18)
list price: US$57.95 -- used & new: US$46.87
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Asin: 1405175427
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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By combining excerpts from key historical writings with commentary by experts, Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology provides a comprehensive history of the philosophy of science from ancient to modern times.

  • Provides a comprehensive history of the philosophy of science, from antiquity up to the 20th century
  • Includes extensive commentary by scholars putting the selected writings in historical context and pointing out their interconnections
  • Covers areas rarely seen in philosophy of science texts, including the philosophical dimensions of biology, chemistry, and geology
  • Designed to be accessible to both undergraduates and graduate students
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great resource for students
This anthology is made for students. The editors have kept in mind those with little or no background in philosophy or science and made the last 2,500 years where these two disciplines intersect, open for study. Each unit has an introduction written by the editors, as does each reading in order to provide the necessary information for the reader to appreciate the texts.

Anyone looking to understand the core of philosophy of science for its own sake or to provide a cornerstone for the study of more specific branches in the field would be greatly aided by the reading of this anthology.

I would have liked to have seen a few selections by authors coming from the `continental' tradition, but that is more a problem with academic institutions than with this book. To take the massive corpus of scientific and philosophical thought and reduce it down to something understandable for people with no background in either deserves more than praise. Because of this, I fully recommend this volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent text in the History & Philosophy of Science
This anthology combines two strengths:first, it provides a wide range of primary texts from a large number of the major figures in the history of the philosophy of science; and second, it provides accessible commentary by the editors designed to bring the reader up to speed on key issues and in doing so it provides the reader with a broad perspective. Too often one finds an imbalance of the former or the latter in an anthology, but this anthology from editors McGrew, Alspector-Kelly, and Allhoff provides just the right balance of both.

Since it is strong in both the range of primary texts and the level and engagement of the editorial commentary, this anthology would serve well in a number of contexts. It would work very well in undergraduate courses in which historical approaches to the philosophy of science are explored because students unfamiliar with debates in the history of science would receive a much-needed introduction through the editorial commentary. This commentary is provided by the editors at the beginning of each of the book's 9 units.

The anthology would also work well for a beginning-level graduate course in the history of the philosophy of science or as a supplementary text in a course on the history of science. A graduate student in such a situation would not only benefit from the commentary but also from the wide range of primary texts provided in a single volume. Working through this anthology would provide such a graduate student with the necessary breadth of the field that he or she will need when moving further along in the discipline.

Given its breadth and accessibility, I wholeheartedly recommend this text for anyone interested in the philosophy of science!

3-0 out of 5 stars Useful anthology, bad editorial material
This is a very useful anthology. I will comment only on the editorial material, which is, however, poor and prejudiced.

Consider for example the introductory comments on Kuhn. Since modern philosophers of science are incapable of engaging with or refuting his arguments, he must be vilified by various unsubstantiated insinuations, e.g., that his work is "notoriously difficult to interpret" (p. 489). As for actual arguments, the editors resort to inventing straw-men, e.g.:

"Some criticisms of Kuhn's view concerns its internal consistency. The resolution of crisis, for example, requires that the same anomalies that proved so resistant to resolution within the old paradigm are resolved in the new. But then the very same anomaly must be recognizable from the standpoint of both paradigms, which seem to contradict the incommensurability of meaning thesis" (p. 466).

This is nonsense; Kuhn's theory "requires" nothing of the sort. Indeed, let us turn to the editors' selections from Kuhn, where we find a section called "The Resolution of Revolutions" in which we read the following:

"If there were but one set of scientific problems ... paradigm competition might be settled by some process like counting the number of problems solved by each. But, in fact, these conditions are never met completely. ... Paradigm debates are not really about relative problem-solving ability, though for good reasons they are usually couched in those terms." (pp. 506-507).

We can only conclude that the editors find Kuhn "notoriously difficult to interpret" because of their lack of basic literacy.

A second flaw is the utterly tasteless and groundless glorification of Galileo. This is to be contrasted with the outlandish rubbish that "Kepler's overflowing imagination was too unfocused for him to lead the scientific revolution forward in his own day" (p. 100). As regards Galileo, on the other hand, "even a portion of what he achieved in the course of his brilliant and tempestuous career would have guaranteed him a place among the greatest scientists of all time" (pp. 100-101) etc., etc. As in the case of Kuhn, the fervent rhetoric is necessary since arguments and substance are lacking.

The first selection from Galileo is a polemic against Grassi, "who published an attack on some of Galileo's work," to which "Galileo shot back with ... a blistering critique in which he pillories [Grassi] and articulates a tough-minded empiricism as an alternative to the mere citation of venerable authority." (p. 135). This is misleading in so many ways. First of all, Grassi was a rather humble and honest scientist who had written a decent treatise on comets that Galileo attacked without provocation (Grassi's treatise in fact never mentioned Galileo). This unprovoked attack is the "some of Galileo's work" referred to above. Grassi replied and raised many solid scientific arguments against the poor theory of comets that Galileo had offered as an improvement. Being unable to answer these arguments, Galileo cowardly resorted to the superficial praise of empiricism reproduced here, in which Galileo "pilloried" not Grassi but a figment of his imagination.

To see that Galileo's alleged empiricism is so much hot air, we need only turn to the next selection, which ostensibly is a sample of how Galileo "systematically demolishes a wide range of Aristotelian arguments" (p. 138). Galileo argues as follows.

"First, let us consider only the immense bulk of the starry sphere in contrast with the smallness of the terrestrial globe, which is contained in the former so many million times. Now if we think of the velocity of motion required to make a complete rotation in a single day and night, I cannot persuade myself that anyone could be found who would think it the more reasonable and credible thing that it was the celestial sphere which did the turning, and the terrestrial globe which remained fixed." (p. 139). "And let us redouble the difficulty with another very great one, which is this. If the great motion is attributed to the heavens, it has to be made in the opposite direction from the specific motion of all the planetary orbs" (p. 140). "The improbability is show for a third time in the relative disruption of the order which we see existing among those heavenly bodies whose circulation is not doubtful, but most certain. This order is such that the greater orbits complete their revolutions in longer times, and the lesser in shorter ... [which principle would be violated if one opted] to pass on beyond to another incomparably larger sphere, and make this one finish an entire revolution in twenty-four hours." (p. 141). "A fourth difficulty ... is the immense disparity between the motions of the stars, some of which would be moving very rapidly in vast circles, and others very slowly in little tiny circles, according as they are located farther from or closer to the poles." (p. 141).

Clearly no empiricist ("tough-minded" or otherwise) would dream of characterising these arguments based on apriorism and divine design as coming anywhere close to "demolishing" anything.

3-0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking collection
This anthology contains over 80 extracts from the literature of science and philosophy from Democritus (circa 400 BC) onwards. Part I covers the ancient and medieval periods, the scientific revolution, the modern philosophers (Bacon to Kant), then methodology and revolution (Lavoisier to Einstein). Part II contains the received (positivist or logical empiricist) view, mostly Carnap and Hempel, confirmation and observation (more Hempel and some others), then the revisionists in methodology (Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos), explanation (mostly Salmon) and the realism debate (Boyd, van Frassen, Laudan and Fine).

Commentaries from the editors guide the reader through the main themes and the shifts in the narrative. It is good to have extracts from scientists. The philosopher/scientist Duhem advised young scientists to read the works of the great scientists rather than philosophers. He gave that advice when positivism was on the rise and it is still apt. He is represented here by his argument against the decisive nature of crucial experiments, a theme that took on new life under the influence of a paper by Quine.

The use of a large number of small extracts provides breadth at the cost of depth. It is good to find Koyre among the supplementary reading for the Copernican revolution in cosmology and Koestler's "The Sleepwalkers" would be a useful addition for a gripping account of the episode from a man who combined a grasp of the science with the narrative skills of a novelist.

Inthe later sections there appears to be a bias towards logical empiricists, perhaps reflecting the dominant school of thought in the US where the book will be most used. A local hero, the great philosopher-scientist Peirce is represented with two pieces and an extract from Dewey would not be out of place, especially as they both stand as a corrective to positivism. The same can be said of Karl Popper although the logical empiricists were unwilling to take on the new direction that he offered with his theory of conjectural objective knowledge in place of theories of justified subjective beliefs. As Quine acknowledged, following Popper, the paradoxes of confirmation (spelled out by Hempel on The Raven Paradox) do not arise with the Popperian "negative" use of evidence.

The commentary on Popper is a part of the book that could be improved. It has to be said that he overplayed his hand with falsification and the demarcation criterion, possibly because it played such a large part in his own intellectual development, as described in the paper included here. But when someone has decided to take evidence seriously then it is not such a big deal whether a theory is defined as scientific, any more than it is a big deal for an auto to have a steering wheel. The focus moves on to questions like "How does this theory compare with competitors?", "What questions does this theory answer and what questions does it raise?", "How can it be tested?" and "What are its practical applications?".

One of the editors raises the Duhem-Quine consideration that a test result depends on statements of the situation and ancillary theories, not just the theory under investigation, concluding "There can, therefore, be no such decisive refutation of a theory as Popper suggests". However in "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" Popper wrote "In point of fact, no conclusive disproof of a theory can ever be produced; for it is always possible to say that the experimental results are not reliable, or that the discrepancies which are asserted to exist between the experimental results and the theory are only apparent and that they will disappear with the advance of our understanding."

Other criticisms of Popper are offered and it would be a good exercise for students to find how many of them are valid in the light of a close examination of the original texts.

... Read more

12. Science Fiction and Philosophy: From Time Travel to Superintelligence
Paperback: 368 Pages (2009-06-16)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$11.89
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Asin: 1405149078
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A timely volume that uses science fiction as a springboard to meaningful philosophical discussions, especially at points of contact between science fiction and new scientific developments.

  • Raises questions and examines timely themes concerning the nature of the mind, time travel, artificial intelligence, neural enhancement, free will, the nature of persons, transhumanism, virtual reality, and neuroethics
  • Draws on a broad range of books, films and television series, including The Matrix, Star Trek, Blade Runner, Frankenstein, Brave New World, The Time Machine, and Back to the Future
  • Considers the classic philosophical puzzles that appeal to the general reader, while also exploring new topics of interest to the more seasoned academic
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have for any hard sci-fi fan
This book is not to be confused with the series "Pop Culture and Philosophy" which uses different franchises such as The Matrix or Star Wars combined with philosophy.While I love that series (especially the ones aforementioned), this book beats them all.It offers articles and short stories that from renowned philosophers and writers on serious philosophical problems that occur in science fiction such as time travel, free will, artificial intelligence and metaphysics, skepticism, ethics, etc.Each chapter reflects a specific issue and gives examples in sci-fi such as Minority Report on the issue of free will, The Matrix on the issue of skepticism, etc.What makes this book better than the series I mentioned earlier is that these are famous and important articles or stories.It also begins the chapter usually with a short story that is very entertaining and elicits the philosophical problem the chapter is going to discuss.In the pop culture series many articles are written quite poorly and only use the subject or franchise as a backdrop for the philosophy.This book is much more intriguing, entertaining, and offers much more philosophy than the others.It's seriously good enough that it can be used as a textbook in a lower division philosophy class (I'd love to take a class like that).

5-0 out of 5 stars Science-Fiction and Philosophy.
_Science Fiction and Philosophy:From Time Travel to Superintelligence_ (2009) is a fascinating collection of philosophical essays dealing with issues that have been perennial themes in science-fiction edited by Susan Schneider.These essays show what was previously regarded solely as science-fiction or idle speculation has increasingly become the reality of science fact.The editor maintains that science-fiction serves as a useful source for thought experiments and philosophical puzzles.However, the issues presented by science-fiction are not solely mere puzzles.In fact, to further our understanding of science it is increasingly necessary to understand such conundrums and paradoxes so that we may come to understand the perennial issues that have haunted humanity since the dawn of our existence.Issues such as whether or not we live in the "Matrix" and computer simulation, free will and the nature of persons, the role of mind and our understanding of what an artificial intelligence might be, ethical questions raised by new technologies, artificial intelligence, bio-science, and the various political issues that accompany such questions, and finally the nature of space and time and whether time travel is possible (outside of the trivial case).The book provides a fascinating source for our understanding of the perspectives various modern philosophers and theorists have taken on such issues.In particular, with the enormous advance in technology, the development of modern science in terms of cognition, bio-science (genetic engineering, etc.), computers, and issues from theoretical physics, such timeless philosophical issues have again re-appeared in our age.This book offers a look at the fore-front of philosophical thinking concerning such issues.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have!
This book is a fantastic book that is both fun to read and thought provoking.If you have ever thought about any question like What am I? What makes me...me? Could I be in a "Matrix?"?, ever had any love for science fiction, or have ever had any sort of interest in philosophy, this book is great.It is easy to read even if you do not have any sort of experience with philosophy, and even if you do it still can easily get your mind going.There aren't a lot of books that can go from Plato to the Matrix to Neuroethics, but this sure can.It is one of my favorite books, and I highly recommend it. ... Read more

13. Heidegger and the Subject (Contemporary Studies in Philosophy and the Human Sciences)
by Francois Raffoul
Hardcover: 335 Pages (1999-04)
list price: US$89.98 -- used & new: US$85.98
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Asin: 1573926183
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Against traditional interpretations, which claim either that Heidegger has rendered all accounts of subjectivity - and consequently of ethics - impossible, or, on the contrary, that Heidegger merely renews the modern metaphysics of subjectivity, Raffoul demonstrates how Heidegger's destruction/deconstruction of the subject opens the space for a radically non-subjectivistic formulation of human being. Raffoul reconstitutes and analyses Heidegger's debate with the great thinkers of subjectivity (Descartes, Kant, Husserl), in order to show that Heidegger's 'destructive' reading of the modern metaphysics of subjectivity is, in fact, a positive re-appropriation of the ontological foundations of the subject. Raffoul's recasting of Heidegger's work on human subjectivity should prove indispensable in future debates on the fate of the subject in the post-modern era. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Afirst-rate analysis of Heidegger's thought of selfhood
This is a first-rate and thorough analysis of Heidegger's thought of selfhood, from the early writings focusing on fundamental ontology to the last seminars in the late sixties and early seventies. Raffoul provides an in-depth treatment of Heidegger's critique of the tradition of the subject, particularly through close readings of Descartes and Kant. He then carefully unfolds Heidegger's ontological appropriation of the subject, focusing on Heidegger's thought of Dasein, of transcendence and being-in-the-world, ecstasis and reflection. The work culminates in a meditation on Heidegger's notion of 'mineness' (Jemeinigkeit), a notion that indicates that the event of being is 'each time mine,' that is, each time my own task to be. Raffoul thus argues that Heidegger's thought is not without a reflection on the proper being of human beings, and that his critique of the subject opens onto a renewed understanding of what it means to be human.This is an important work, for it engages Heidegger's texts rigorously while staying away from sterile polemics. It is both a contribution to Heidegger studies and to the task of a philosophical rethinking of selfhood. ... Read more

14. Pyramid Energy: The Philosophy of God, the Science of Man
by Dean Hardy, Mary Hardy, Marjorie Killick
 Paperback: Pages (1994-05)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$27.79
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Asin: 0932298583
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening and Informative!
I have had an interest on the subject of standing columnar waves and pyramids, specifically what they are and how they work. This book is PHENOMENAL in bridging the intellectual gap between science as we know it and the theoretical.

The book I bought was a collectible, the first printing. It was in very good condition, except for a slightly bent over spine, which happened because it was paperback.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in standing columnar waveforms and pyramids, both for its informative, theoretical somewhat metaphysical idealizations, and for the satiation it will give those with mere curiosity. Be warned, it will require much patience and contemplation to digest all the realizations you may arrive at from reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Book!
This book puts everything into perspective; UFO's, Pyramids, The Bible and Jesus Christ, Tachion Energy, Atlantis and Lemuria, The Origins of the Universe, Levitation, Ancient Civilizations, etc. This book is a must for anyone who is interested in these topics. Awesome! One of my all time favorite books!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most in depth, fascinating reads ever!
This would have to be one of the best books in this genre that i have ever come across! I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in pyramid energy, ancient egyptian gods and links to todays religions andmuch much more... ... Read more

15. Philosophy Through Science Fiction: A Coursebook with Readings
by Ryan Nichols, Nicholas D. Smith, Fred Miller
Paperback: 434 Pages (2008-09-19)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$31.45
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Asin: 0415957559
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Philosophy Through Science Fiction offers a fun, challenging, and accessible way in to the issues of philosophy through the genre of science fiction. Tackling problems such as the possibility of time travel, or what makes someone the same person over time, the authors take a four-pronged approach to each issue, providing

·         a clear and concise introduction to each subject

·         a science fiction story that exemplifies a feature of the philosophical discussion

·         historical and contemporary philosophical texts that investigate the issue with rigor, and

·         glossary, plot profiles of pertinent science fiction stories and films, and questions for further reflection.

Philosophy Through Science Fiction includes stories from contemporary science fiction writers including Greg Egan and Mike Resnick, as well as from classic authors like Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein. Philosophy readings include historical pieces by René Descartes and David Hume, and contemporary pieces by John Searle and Mary Midgley.


... Read more

16. Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science (Bradford Books)
Paperback: 785 Pages (1994-03-22)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$40.95
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Asin: 0262631512
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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This is the first comprehensive anthology in the philosophy of socialscience to appear since the late 1960s. Covering all of the major areasin the discipline, it will serve as the standard source for scholarshipin the field and could be used as the basis for an entire course.Sections cover: Explanation, Prediction, and Laws. Interpretation andMeaning. Rationality. Functional Explanation. Reductionism,Individualism, and Holism. Objectivity and Values. Problems of theSpecial Sciences. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst service ever
He didn't even send me the book. And when I tried to contact him to ask when he was going to send it, I got no reply. I had to get my money back through Amazon.com. ... Read more

17. Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science
by Werner Heisenberg
Paperback: 256 Pages (2007-05-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.64
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Asin: 0061209198
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The seminal work by one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century, Physics and Philosophy is Werner Heisenberg's concise and accessible narrative of the revolution in modern physics, in which he played a towering role. The outgrowth of a celebrated lecture series, this book remains as relevant, provocative, and fascinating as when it was first published in 1958. A brilliant scientist whose ideas altered our perception of the universe, Heisenberg is considered the father of quantum physics; he is most famous for the Uncertainty Principle, which states that quantum particles do not occupy a fixed, measurable position. His contributions remain a cornerstone of contemporary physics theory and application.

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Customer Reviews (21)

2-0 out of 5 stars Just historical
I see people usually like this book. It is remarkable how much history of philosophy Heisenberg knows, however I don't really find a thesis here. Not like the principle of complementarity of Bohr. He makes parallels and shows how August Conte was wrong in the way that he didn't proclaim that science evolved of changes in language.
I does not go far from the standards from today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classical Dynamics and Quantum Theory
Werner Heisenberg's classic text on physics and philosophy is a must read for all those in quantum theory today who feel as one of the founders of the Standard Model of Particle Physics; in"Dreams of a Final Theory," Dr. Stephen Weinberg, in some ways very hostile, if that is not too strong a word, towards philosophy (because Dr. Weinberg asserts that philosophy has only obtruded or obscured the quest for the final laws of nature: in surveying the philosophy of science literature today, one gets the bewildering feeling that the only thing that matters is taking an obscure subject matter and turning it into an incomprehensible one.) concedes that "we need to better understand quantum mechanics."
If this is true, and if philosophers of science can assist in the scientific quest (a premise Dr. Weinberg disagrees with, I think) by purifying the reasoning or methodology of the scientific quest, then philosophy of science can be a gaurdian of what W. V. O Quine considered the "queen" of the sciences--i.e., physics. Certain philosophers of physics assure me that this task will be necessary until a final theory is in hand, if ever, after long millenia, it can be in hand. The work of William Lane Craig and Quinton Smith is an excellant example of what philosophy can do for science, the work of Albert William Levi "Philosophy and the Modern World" is a masterful study by a non-scientist of the work of, for example, Albert Einstein and Max Planck and of Alfred North Whitehead. Modern philosophy itself--in its Logical Positivist manifestation--is technological;consider alone the level of attention paid to relativity theory and quantum mechanics by the Vienna Circle.
Heisenberg is very careful in this work to offer an argument for the consistency of modern quantum mechanics with certain elements of Aristotle's concept of potency or potentiiality: He sees the nature of the quantum to lay in a certain manyness-in-oneness, or what is today called the superposition of the quantum wave function; since potency resides in this state, the orthodox Copenhagen School allows only statistical descriptions of the probable, emergent phenomena: these statistics are inherently part of any quantum field, or better expressed, any part of a quantum field when it is subject to the Heisenberg Cut, which is a mesurement of part of the quantum field which causes the collapse of the wavefunction and its superposition; what evolves once the Heisenberg Cut is made does so by a presumable determinism which is indemonstrable within quantum mechanics; and here, I think, is where Heisenberg's text re-pays careful study (I have twice read the book), for he admits a determinism at the scale of, say, planetary bodies or telluric bodies, but he also indicates that classical determinism emerges from the quantum state's potentiality. This whole problem in Modern physics revolves about various questions about the "measurement problem" in quantum physics, and I have already alluded to that; but Heisenberg taught us that just as Newtonian mechanics was eventually shown to be a subset of Einsteinian dynamics, when special relativity was considered, so does classical deterministic evolution of micro-matter occur as a subset of states of the quantum, but these states are the precisely measurable states. They are the product of freely chosen laws to this extent: they were brought into being by measurement, which founds the ensemble (Q. Smith), a micro-world as subset of the total world structure. To recur to Dirac's way of dividing the wave-function, it has two cognate parts, Large Psi, which refers to the entire quantum wave-function, and small psi, which refers to the division of the wavefunction into a proper subset: Here is where the crossroads of a great philosophic/scientific problem is broached, for if Classical determinism prevails at the level of human life or planets, and measurement from the superposition creates such determinism, then what measures into being the measurer? Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of NatureTheism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (Clarendon Paperbacks)The Principles of Quantum Mechanics (International Series of Monographs on Physics)Before the Big Bang: The Origins of the Universe

5-0 out of 5 stars Quantum theory, crossing borders in the higlight of physics
The German physician and philosopher Heisenberg counts together with the German Erwin Schrödinger as founder of the Quantum mechanics. In the year 1927 he formulated the uncertainty relation, German: "Unschärferelation" (also called indeterminacy principle) according to which place and impulse of a subatomic particle cannot be destined at the same time. For his quantum physical research he received in 1932 the Nobel prize of physics.

After the second World War Heisenberg became director of the Max-Planck-Institute. His "Einheitliche Theorie der Elementarteilchen" (unitary theory of elementary particles) from the year 1958 was called "world formula" (although that is just what it is not!) and strengthened Heisenbergs position as one of the most important representative of quantum physics.

In countless lectures and essays he disputed the philosophical implications of quantum physics, among others in "Quantentheorie und Philosophie", "Physik und Philosophie" and "Der Teil und das Ganze".
According to Heisenberg the whole thing is more than the summary of the parts. In this idealism is recognizable as to such a degree that it must be concluded to have created not the theory but vice versa the reality itself. And this would mean, that in the end all things that came into being must be traced back to an immaterial flow of information. But information is a spiritual phenomeneon. The magazine "Der SPIEGEL" called this "God in the quantum chaos", for according to Heisenberg:

"The quantum theory leaves no room for a totally objective description of nature... In the experiments of atomic procedures we have to do with material things and facts, with phenomenons so much real as any phenomenon in daily life. But the atoms or the elementary particles are not equally real. They form much more a world of tendencies and possibilities than a world of things and facts."
Quite a heap of idealism, it seems, but a compelling conclusion from the datum of physics? Does a spiritual principle stick behind the whole cake? The universe as quantum world! A world which is incessantly in movement because she is designed like that. Only by movement is the personality-structure of all proprieties held. Still-stand is death, or better: non-existence. Is there still-stand at all? Nowhere is it visible, nowhere it has space.

Einstein struggled long against the quantum theory. He tried to adopt it to the theoretical fundament of the classic physics and confessed to himself that he failed. There is no solid - you could also say no material - ground on which the order of the world is built! Many years Einstein spent to give the world the knowledge, that there is no chance to pass by the quantum theory, an almost metaphysical theory, when describing reality.
In reference to Einstein`s theory of relativity Heisenberg had called the fact that all physical systems possess either the propriety of a wave or of a particle and that only one of the two is measurable, "indeterminacy principle" or "uncertainty relation". Material, according to Einstein nothing but of time and energy, was robbed of it`s last consistency. Und such thing should have stood in the beginning of the universe?
Impossible since the quantum mechanics stand before. Material needs an idea to start movement. A frontier crossing to the spiritual realm is inevitable!
Interestingly Heisenberg perceived the contradiction of the quantum theory to modern biology. "...most biologists are prepared to confess, that the existence of atoms and molecules can only be understood with the help of the quantum theory, but besides that they have the wish to regard the working material of the chemists and biologists, namely atoms and molecules, as stuff of classic physics, thus dealing with them as with stones or grain of sand."
Creation is, by all appearance, provided that we are ready to believe the quantum physics an artfully, a subtle construction, a "Within" which does not only make an "Outside" thinkable but even demands for it. Any attempt of a world formula" in the sense of Einstein must therefore fail, because it wants to explain the Within without the Outside!
Some may flinch from the title of the book or the name of the author to read the book. The fears are not grounded. Basic knowledge of atomic physics is sufficient to understand what the author is talking about. He uses a clear and simple diction. If one understands his theories is another matter. But this might be indebted to the ideology one tends to hold.

5-0 out of 5 stars Existence and physical reality according to physicist Werner Heisenberg
At the turn of 20th century when quantum physics was born; the founding fathers of this scientific revolution were thinking deeply about the philosophical consequences of the new physics in terms of existence and physical reality (ontology). The reality perceived through the laws of classical physics provided strong challenges to quantum reality and human knowledge of quantum physical concepts (epistemology). In addition, the theory of relativity, which also came into existence at about the same time, altered the concept of space and time (consequently their relationship to matter, and the concept of gravity) radically from the existing knowledge of Newtonian physics. In this book, physicist Heisenberg gives a brilliant account of physical reality after reviewing the works ofnotable philosophers like; Kant, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. You get to read the physical and philosophical analysis of one of the founding fathers of quantum physics using both classical and quantum physics. His philosophical ideas are summarized below:

Physical theories had to be proposed speculatively and pursued deductively with respect to their many consequences that can be put to theoretical and experimental verifications. It turns out that the theory makes more physical and philosophical assumptions than the facts alone imply. The assumptions could be ontological or epistemological in nature. For example, the concept of space and time (and its relation to matter) is independent of the observer, which would be ontological in nature since the subject matter of scientific knowledge is independent of the perceiver (consequences of relativity). The nature of quantum physics introduces indeterminacy to nature of things which would be epistemological since the experiment performer (and knowledge-seeker) influences the subject matter (the outcome his experiments) by his physical observation. The state of a quantum object is undetermined until an observation is recorded. Hence, the author's argument is that the potentiality is a part of physical reality. Einstein's contention was that the potentiality, probability or chance is due to epistemological limitations of our knowledge in knowing the entire picture, the Omni-complete, and hence misapplied to the object itself. The Omni-complete object is omniferous, omnifarious, omniparous, omnipotent and omniscient and therefore the concept of chance or probability is inappropriate in the description of a real object. Both Einstein and Heisenberg admitted that the experimental data does not lead to concepts of physics, and hence the object of scientific knowledge remains unknown, but it is known through the theoretical constructs or axiomatic postulation verified indirectly by experiments and its deduced consequences. To find the object of scientific knowledge one must go to the theoretical assumptions of a physical law; the concept of probability and chance figures into the definition of the state of a physical system (due to statistical nature of things, and also use of statistical analysis in understanding the results of an experiment) in both classical and quantum physics. In quantum physics it also figures in the subject matter, but not in classical physics. This is the major difference between two disciplines that separated Einstein from Copenhagen school of thought. Author Heisenberg suggests that the concept of potentiality very much a part of subjective reality contrary to classical reality.

The probability function represents a mixture of two things, partly a fact and partly our knowledge of a fact. An atom consists of a nucleus and electrons (wave) moving around the nucleus; from the classical standpoint it is difficult to conceive how an electron orbit around the nucleus without changing its energy. Then again the electron is a wave until detected; therefore the energy is constant as long as it stays in the same orbit. The second point is that the act of determining the position becomes a measurement problem since light quanta is absorbed during its detection and the electron is displaced (change its position) to a higher electronic state. Thus the spacetime descrip¬tion of the atomic events is complementary to their deterministic description. The probability function obeys equations of motion as in Newtonian mechanics; its change in the course of time is completely determined by the quantum mechanical equation, but it does not allow a descrip¬tion in space and time. The observation, on the other hand, enforces the description in space and time but breaks the determined continuity of the probability function by changing our knowledge of the system. The mechanism and the results of an observation of atomic events can be described in classical concepts, but the deductions from observations results in probability functions which combines the statements about possibilities with statements about our knowledge of facts. Therefore we can not completely objectify the results of an observation. What happens between an observation and the next depends on the way we observe or on the fact we observe. This becomes subjectivism. Since the probability function combines objective and subjective elements. It contains statements about possibilities or better tendencies ("potentia" in Aristotelian philosophy), and these statements are completely objective, they do not depend on any observer, but it contains statements about our knowledge of the system, which of course are subjective in so far as they may be different for different observers. In ideal cases the subjective element in the probability function may be practically negligible as com¬pared with the objective one.

1. Heisenberg and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: The Physicist as Philosopher
2. The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory
3. Encounters with Einstein
4. Philosophical Problems of Quantum Physics
5. What Is Life?: with "Mind and Matter" and "Autobiographical Sketches"
6. Schrödinger: Life and Thought
7. Niels Bohr's Times,: In Physics, Philosophy, and Polity
8. Niels Bohr's Philosophy of Physics
9. Ideas And Opinions
10. From a Life of Physics

5-0 out of 5 stars His master's voice
Quantum science is without any doubt the greatest breakthrough of science in the 20th century.If you want to know what quantum physics is all about, read this fluently written introduction to quantum physics by one of the founders of the theory himself, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Werner Heisenberg.It is very uncommon that a great scientist is capable to transmit his profound knowledge in such an easy to read book, without a single formula. (For the ones interested in the mathematics behind this theory, he has also written another book : "The physical principles of the quantum theory").In the world of today, Aristotle's deeper understanding that philosophy is the mother of science has been forgotten, something that Heisenberg not only recalls, but actively uses as a guiding principle throughout this book.

Quantum physics is important, since it produced a revolution within the materialistic perspective of classical physics.At elementary level, there is no longer a sharp distinction between matter and energy.Heisenberg says : "The elementary particles are certainly not eternal and indestructible units of matter, they can actually be transformed into each other. As a matter of fact, if two such particles, moving through space with a very high kinetic energy, collide, then many new elementary particles may be created from the available energy and the old particles may have disappeared in the collision. Such events have been frequently observed and offer the best proof that all particles are made of the same substance : energy."

This way he also solves the duality between particles and fields.If energy is the primary substance of the universe, then it will only depend on the experiment how we will observe this energy."What we observe is not nature in itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning."
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18. Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science
Paperback: 272 Pages (2010-07-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$11.87
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Asin: 0801072603
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
There have always been challenges to belief in God as he is revealed in the Bible and each new year seems to add more questions to the doubter's arsenal. In Evidence for God, leading apologists provide compelling arguments that address the most pressing questions of the day about God, science, Jesus, the Bible, and more, including Is Intelligent Design really a credible explanation of the origins of our world? Did Jesus really exist? Is Jesus really the only way to God? What about those who have never heard the gospel? Is the Bible today what was originally written? What about recently publicized gospels that aren't in the Bible? and much more ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction
This is a good book, one that I would encourage others to purchase. It seems to me that is it a book that is an introduction, a very important introduction, to a most important topic. Having read many articles and books on some of the topics within (many of them, actually), I quickly learned that the design of the editors was to be brief. Many unbelievers will not be persuaded, but that is simply because there is no desire to be persuaded.

Well worth the purchase, in my view.

5-0 out of 5 stars A 10 STAR BOOK...
We received this the beginning of last week and my wife and I have read it cover to cover.
Dr. Bob Marks, Chapter 17 hits it on the head.Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science

We have bought additional copies for the Church and our Pastor and waiting for his feedback.

We really didn't need more evidence that God exists, but this book approaches it from a Engineering/Math based proof.

Buy it and read it.You will enjoy...

5-0 out of 5 stars Evidence is Ammunition
God is under attack constantly in the media, the madrases we call universities, state college and "higher learning." Christians need to be equipped to give everyman an answer for the hope that lies within! Get knowledge, get your answers in order, get this book and get ready to defend your faith!

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give it ten stars
The good folks at Baker have done a great job with Evidence for God.Edited by William A. Dembski and Michael R. Licona, this is a one volume quick reference guide to apologetics.
Contained within the book are fifty articles (as the subtitle states it "arguments") for faith from the Bible, history, philosophy, and science.
The articles are concise, well-written, and very informative.I cannot imagine finding a better book for those who desire to defend their faith, or strengthen their faith.
Contributors include Craig Blomberg, Andreas Kostenberger, Darrell Bock, Craig Evans, Ben Witherington III, Phillip E. Johnson, and many more.One cannot ask for a better set of writers.
Whether one is dealing with arguments for God (cosmological argument, moral argument) or against God (the problem of evil), this book has a section to address it.There's also a section dealing with science, the impossibility of evolution, and even a chapter that debunks some myths about the "Scopes Monkey Trial".Wondering about skeptics arguments against Jesus?There's a section filled with information.Finally, there is a section on the Bible, the canon, the reliability of the Bible, inerrancy, and the "Gnostic gospels".
I cannot speak too highly of this book.I give it a five star ranking only because there aren't ten stars to give.
I received this book free from Baker Publishing.Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expresses in this review are my own.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

2-0 out of 5 stars Insubstantial due to the 50-count .... popcorn apologetics.
The problem is brevity; with each topic treated in 3-5 pages,the subjects don't have enough information to be useful writeups.

Even though written by subject experts who've said it better elsewhere (sometimes in a comparably small space)the little nuggets that made it to this book come across as facile and shallow.

Can the origin of life be covered usefully let alone persuasively in 4 pages? The moral argument for God in 4 pages?A compelling case for near-death experiences in 4 pages?

These things have been said better elsewhere (Josh McDowell's "Evidence That Demands a Verdict", "The Nature and Character of God" (Pratney), etc.).

The book may have been designed around a 50-count (i.e., marketing tip-off) instead of content. The result is not helpful for sound apologetics. ... Read more

19. Science, Philosophy and Human Behavior in the Soviet Union
by Loren R. Graham
 Paperback: 565 Pages (1989-09)
list price: US$57.00 -- used & new: US$19.95
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Asin: 0231064438
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Loren Graham's encyclopedic account of science, psychology and philosophy in the former Soviet Union
About a year and half ago, I picked up in a used-book store a copy of Professor Loren R. Graham's book, *Science, Philosophy, and Human Behavior in the Soviet Union*. This 1987 book is a revision of his earlier 1972 book, *Science and Philosophy in the Soviet Union*. To the earlier book, Graham added on some new chapters, revised earlier chapters, while deleting some old material.This work, like the earlier one, owes much to research that he was able to do within the Soviet Union.

Loren Graham's book on science and philosophy in the former Soviet Union is noteworthy for the scope of its coverage of work done in the natural sciences and the philosophy of science there. Professor Graham provides an almost encyclopedic coverage of many different scientific disciplines including physics (with discussions on relativity, quantum mechanics and cosmology), biology (encompassing genetics, physiology, evolutionary biology), psychology, computer science and cybernetics.

He relates Soviet debates in those different disciplines to arguments over dialectical materialism.He points out while a lot of Soviet writing on Marxism and dialectical materialism was pure hackery, a lot of highly talented scientists, philosophers, and other scholars in the Soviet Union took dialectical materialism quite seriously and they wrote some significant works on thephilosophy of science from a dialectical materialist perspective.

While in Stalin's time, it was almost mandatory for scientists to include in their writings genuflections to Marx, Lenin, and Comrade Stalin to ensure state support for their work, this was generally not true after Stalin's time and it was quite possible for scientists to go about their work without bothering themselves over Marxism or dialectical materialism, just as most Western scientists don't like to bother themselves over philosophical or political issues. Nevertheless, Graham points out many eminent scientists and scholars continued to write on dialectical materialism and attempt to show that system of thought could help to illuminate issues in their own disciplines.In other words they continued to take dialectical materialism seriously as a philosophy even when it was not mandatory for them to bother with it as a means for winning support for their work.

Graham in discussing the Soviet dialectical materialists of the 1970s and 1980s, distinguishes between two schools or tendencies: the "ontologists" and the "epistemologists."The latter was a tendency that emerged in the post-Stalin era which attempted to draw clear distinctions between scientific issues and philosophical issues.In effect, they were attempting to elaborate Marxist and dialectical materialist defenses of the autonomy of scientific disciplines in order to curb the sort of state interference and censorship that was characteristic of the Stalin era. These philosophers and scientists argued that the proper concern of the philosophy of science was with issues of epistemology, logic, scientific methodology, and cognition. In their view, it was not the place for dialectical materialism as a world view to pronounce on scientific issues like what was the best theory of the origins of the cosmos, or what was the best theory of heredity. Those were issues that were best left to researchers in the appropriate disciplines, rather than to dialectical materialist philosophers. The attempt to link Marxism to specific theories concerning these issues was in their view bad both for science and for Marxism.

The "epistemologists" seem to have been more open to influences from the West. Thus, the philosopher Engels Matveevich Chudinov (yes, he was named after Marx's sidekick), attempted in his writings to work out a sophisticated Marxist epistemology which would take into account the work of such Western philosophers as Rescher, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Russell, Carnap, Quine and Godel amongst others.

Igor Naletov's work *Alternatives to Positivism* (Naletov is not mentioned at all by Graham) seems to have been written from a similar perspective.

The "ontologists" clung to a more traditional understanding of dialectical materialism in which diamat was seen as "the most general science of nature and society."For these dialectical materialists, the dialectics of nature was thought to be of critical importance.They argued that there were dialectical laws that could be seen as operating at all levels of the organization of matter in the inorganic and organic nature that is studied by chemists, physicists, and biologists.And these dialectical laws can also be seen as operating at the levels of the human psyche and human society.

In this book, Professor Graham delineates the shifts in the influence of these two schools within the former Soviet Union during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.As he saw it, for a number of years, the "epistemologists" were gaining influence within Soviet academic circles, especially as older philosophers and scientists from the Stalin era began to retire or die off. However, by the early 1980s the "ontologists" began to regain some lost ground with the emergence of a new generation of scholars who sought to breathe new life into more traditional forms of diamat.Graham points out that the "ontologists" benefited from the fact that their formulations of dialectical materialism were closer to the simplified formulations that were taught in most Soviet schools and institutions of higher education.He suggests that by the mid-1980s the debate between the "epistemologists" and the "ontologists" was winding down.
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20. The Philosophy of Science (Oxford Readings in Philosophy)
Paperback: 352 Pages (1996-07-11)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$23.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0198751656
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The newest addition to the successful Oxford Readings in Philosophy series, this collection contains the most important contributions to the recent debate on the philosophy of science. The contributors crystallize the often heated arguments of the last two decades, assessing the skeptical attitudes within philosophy of science and the counter-challenges of the scientific realists. Contributors include Nancy Cartwright, Brian Ellis, Arthur Fine, Clark Glymour, Larry Laudan, Peter Lipton, Alan Musgrave, Wesely C. Salmon, Lawrence Sklar, Bas C. van Fraassen, and John Worrall. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Quite useful collection
Fine and Musgrave on the natural ontological attitude. Fine: Realism is a natural attitude, but this owes nothing to the following two things which philosophers have compounded with it: (1) the idea that across "revolutions" there is a steady progress towards truth and a continuity in the objects studied; (2) elaborate philosophical explications of what truth really means and in what sense electrons and such are really out there in the objective, external world. Musgrave: (2) is a straw man: realists don't really have any sophisticated theories for these things; they are happy with the naive correspondence theory which Fine accepts.

Lipton. Antirealist: Suppose that scientists can reliably rank any set of theories with respect to truth. Even with this generous assumption one could not infer that the best theory is true, for the truth may be among those theories not considered. Realist: with this assumption one could easily produce many truths by applying it to P and not-P. Antirealist: But if P is scientifically interesting then not-P is typically a worthless thing to know, so the "truths" produced in this way will be useless. Realist: now you have changed your principled argument into an empirical claim (that scientists will choose mostly not-P's), which is, moreover, false, when we let P be any well-established fact of current science. So far so good, but now Lipton heedlessly adds the supposed death-blow that since ranking depends on already accepted theories, reliable ranking in fact implies (why? how? Lipton doesn't say) probable approximate truth of these background theories.

Worrall's "structural realism" makes two claims: (1) the "real" part of a scientific theory is its structure, which is equated with its mathematical equations in order to support the claim that (2) science is continuous at this level, i.e., new theories either incorporate old equations (the only example is Fresnel/Maxwell) or yield them as limiting cases of new ones (of which there is also only one example (relativity theory) despite this case being allegedly "much more common" (p. 160)). Worrall has thus cooked up a "realism" which is: (a) based on ad hoc, post factum induction on two cases, (b) much too feeble to support a no miracles argument, (c) falsified (e.g. Ptolemy/Copernicus/Kepler), (d) deceptively ascribed to Poincaré, who in fact claimed neither (1) nor (2). ... Read more

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