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1. Pierre Duhem: Philosophy and History
2. Scientist and Catholic: Pierre
3. Pierre Duhem: Essays in History
4. Medieval Cosmology: Theories of
5. Thermodynamics and Chemistry:
6. The Aim and Structure of Physical
7. The methodology of Pierre Duhem
8. Uneasy Genius: The Life and Work
9. Lettres de Pierre Duhem a sa fille
10. Duhem science, realite et apparence:

1. Pierre Duhem: Philosophy and History in the Work of a Believing Physicist
by Bill Martin Jr.
Hardcover: 274 Pages (1999-10-27)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$19.45
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Asin: 0812691598
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Dr Martin's study of Pierre Duhem's work refutes many prevailing legends about Duhem. His book pays particular attention to the political and intellectual context of French Catholicism, wracked as it was by the tensions of the Dreyfus affair and the so-called modernist crisis. Duhem took his inspiration, not from the Papally-sponsored revival of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, but from Pascal, a fact that aroused suspicions of skepticism in the minds of conservatively-minded Catholics. The tensions between Duhem's work and authoritarian Catholic positions became more explicit at his historical work unfolded. Duhem has often been interpreted as a mere instrumentalist or conventionalist, denying the meaningfulness of a reality behind the theory. Dr Martin shows that Duhem was a Pascalian, arguing that both logic and intuition were indispensible in approaching the truth. Duhem argued that physics could not legitimately be used to attack Christianity, but he held that physics was equally useless for the defense of Christianity, a position which made him unpopular with many Catholics.Duhem is now well-known for his historical work refuting the myth that there was no medieval science. Duhem showed that figures like Leonardo and Galileo were not isolated; far from being the founders of a new science, they were continuing a tradition of scientific work that had been developing for centuries. It has been surmised that Duhem was predisposed to rehabilitate medieval science for apologetic motives. Martin shows that Duhem's discovery of medieval science can be dated to within a month, and came as a complete suprise to him, changing the whole course of his work, and introducing an abrupt discontinuity between his earlier and his later preoccupations. Furthermore, Duhem's findings in medieval intellectual history have proved indigestible ever since, to believers and unbelievers alike. ... Read more

2. Scientist and Catholic: Pierre Duhem
by Stanley L. Jaki
Paperback: 280 Pages (2004-10-01)
list price: US$10.00 -- used & new: US$7.99
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Asin: 0931888441
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The tragic conflict between men of faith and men of science has its origins in a false notion of history: a notion that the Middle Ages stultified scientific exploration and scholarship. French scientist Pierre Duhem dedicated his life to examining this problem. For years, however, his works were inaccessible to English- speaking scholars. Stanley Jaki makes available for the first time a systematic treatment of Duhem’s work along with twenty seven selections (in English translation) from his writings. This book is a powerful testimony to the unity of faith and reason.

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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best you never heard of
Pierre Duhem was a French Physicist in the late 1800's and early 1900's. A Catholic, he was banished from the French mainstream (to their harm) but well known in his field.Duhem was interested in the history of science and reviewed manuscripts from antiquity. He found where Buridan disagreed with Aristotle on the question of whether the earth had a beginning or not. Seems simple but questions like this have consequences to the way in which people can think about things. Aristotle put science in fetters, not on purpose, but by the magnitude of his achievements. The quoting of Aristotle as an authority sealed arguments, deflected real science, deformed it. Aristotle was correct on so many things including that small mistakes in the beginning lead to large ones later on. Duhem had many observations,mostly unknown to history,but which are now available for perusal-likely with profit. Those with genius often throw out sparks which others pick up and fan into flames. Most anyone who has a mind finds it most tiresome to unlearn things that he picked up as easily as our computers pick up virus but Duhem and Jaki are programs to aid in the unlearning.Those with an orientation towards the Christian view of the world will find that Duhem didn't cheat by using revelation.Like Aquinas, he took what he could find and made it useful. I can't yet tell you about his physics until I go thru his translated, 1991, works, but we should rue the fact that we were denied his expertise all these years in America just as we should shout down the parasites that deny us the last work of Gulag's author(and,for much the same reasons are these censoships imposed).

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Biography
Brisk, fascinating biography of an important, though largely forgotten, French Catholic.Pierre Duhem was a scientist who devoted much of the second half of his life to extensive research in the primary medieval sources which document the fruition of modern Western science.On the basis of this research Duhem established the importance of specifically Christian belief in laying the foundation for Western science (contrary to the myth of opposition between Christianity and science).Author Jaki is a good writer who brings the man to life through many fascinating anecdotes.Duhem was a devout Catholic, and Jaki, who is a Catholic priest and scientist, particularly focuses on Duhem's spiritual life.This is an excellent and enjoyable book.Highly recommended. ... Read more

3. Pierre Duhem: Essays in History and Philosophy of Science
by Pierre Duhem, Roger Ariew, Peter Barker
Paperback: 310 Pages (1996-10)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 0872203085
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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'This volume assembles twelve texts published between 1892 and 1915...The editors allow one to see the genesis of the ideas of Duhem, philosopher and historian, of the variety of his styles, and sometimes also the limits of his work...A useful index, probably unique in the field of Duhemian studies, completes the book...The English-language public may be assured an exemplary translation and a reliable critical apparatus' - Jean Gayon, "Revue d'Histoire des Sciences". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Opportunistic
The part of Duhem's philosophy of science remembered today is simplistic and trivial (as Duhem would have agreed; see p. 234 for Duhem referring to the so-called "Duhem thesis" as basically a "truism"), the forgotten part (viz., the instrumentalism and conventionalism;known perhaps by name but not more) is opportunistic and never argued for in a coherent way. As an illustration of the latter, observe the three blatantly inconsistent statements that: "physics logically precedes metaphysics" (p. 32); "physical theories are independent of metaphysics and vice versa" (p. 35); "it would be irrational to work towards the progress of physical theory if that theory were not more and more clear, and more and more precise reflection of a metaphysics" (p. 237).

Regarding history of science, one is surprised to read the editors' nonsense that "On the crucial issue of the indebtedness 0f seventeenth-century physics to fourteenth-centure physics ... recent scholarship has tended to support Duhem's view" (p. 163). Duhem's continuity thesis is based on nothing but thin air and wishful thinking. This is clear for example from the following quotation: "Although directed by tendencies diametrically opposed to the true scientific spirit, the efforts made by Averroists to restore the astronomy of homocentric spheres were perhaps a stimulus to the progress of science ... Thus, in their own way, the Averroists paved the way for the Copernican revolution." (p. 181). Obviously, "perhaps" is a euphemism for "not", and "paved the way" is a euphemism for "did something entirely different." The Duhem continuity thesis is based entirely on such euphemisms.

Essay 9 concerns "The Nature of Mathematical Reasoning." This amateurish essay is based on a simple error. Duhem wishes to argue against Poincaré's claim that mathematics is not reducible to a finite number of syllogisms. Poincaré offered mathematical induction as an example of this. Duhem claims that a number-theretic proposition P proved by induction is provable by a finite number of syllogisms. "Let us assume, in fact, that it is false for a certain whole number, and let p be this number" (p. 225). This assumption of course leads to a contradiction in a finite number of steps, whence P supposedly follows by reductio ad absurdum.. The problem is that *this assumption is not the negation of P*. Of course it would be inconsistent to assume that P was false *for a particular p*, but this in no way shows P, except by assuming induction itself, which was to be avoided. ... Read more

4. Medieval Cosmology: Theories of Infinity, Place, Time, Void, and the Plurality of Worlds
by Pierre Duhem
Paperback: 601 Pages (1987-08-15)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$31.39
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Asin: 0226169235
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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These selections from Le système du monde, the classic ten-volume history of the physical sciences written by the great French physicist Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), focus on cosmology, Duhem's greatest interest. By reconsidering the work of such Arab and Christian scholars as Averroes, Avicenna, Gregory of Rimini, Albert of Saxony, Nicole Oresme, Duns Scotus, and William of Occam, Duhem demonstrated the sophistication of medieval science and cosmology.
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Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Comment on Other Reviews
I'm sorry, Mr. Hobson.Did you read the title of this book before you bought it.That might have saved you the trouble.

2-0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to read...
If you are interested in Theories that go on and on, this is the book for you.I was expecting more meat about the participants rather than what they were working on verbally, because it is all about verbiage.It is interesting to note how much thought went into written science in these times, but reading it was like watching paint dry...Very large volume and I would imagine, when Hubble recommended it in his book, it was to trick Grad students into buying and trying to read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book on medieval cosmologythat is available.
Duhem does us a major favour by compiling a mamouth amount of original texts that would otherwise by lost and fragmented in the vaults and basements of many very old universities.The traditional problem withmedieval philsophy is actually finding the philosophy itself! Duhem'sbreathtaking reasearch and presentation of these rare texts makes this bookan instant classic. But `Medieval Cosmology' is much more than acompilation of texts; Duhem's clear and concise summaries and transitionsof very intricate and detailed analyses of `Place, Time and Void' makesthis book not only accessible but a pure joy of scholarship and thought. ... Read more

5. Thermodynamics and Chemistry: A Non-Mathematical Treatise for Chemists and Students of Chemistry
by Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem
Paperback: 492 Pages (2010-04-05)
list price: US$38.75 -- used & new: US$21.85
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Asin: 1148608850
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This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

6. The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory (Princeton Science Library)
by Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem
Paperback: 344 Pages (1991-07-09)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$18.95
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Asin: 069102524X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This classic work in the philosophy of physical science is an incisive and readable account of the scientific method. Pierre Duhem was one of the great figures in French science, a devoted teacher, and a distinguished scholar of the history and philosophy of science. This book represents his most mature thought on a wide range of topics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Philosophy of science with a cheap history-facade
"A physical theory is not an explanation. It is a system mathematical propositions, deduced from a small number of principles, which aim to represent as simply, as completely, and as exactly as possible a set of experimental laws." (p. 19). "[W]e recognize in a theory a natural classification, if we feel that its principles express profound and real relations among things," and thus "we shall not be surprised to see its consequences anticipating experience and stimulating the discovery of new laws." (p. 28).

"It is not to [the] explanatory part that a theory owes its power and fertility; far from it. Everything good in the theory, by virtue of which it appears as a natural classification and confers on it the power to anticipate experience, is found in the representative part; all of that was discovered by the physicist while he forgot about the search for explanation. On the other hand, whatever is false in the theory and contradicted by facts is found above all in the explanatory part; the physicist has brought error into it, led by his desire to take hold of realities." (p. 32). An illustrative example is Descartes' work on optics. The "representative" part is quite flawless, while the explanatory part contains many silly things, e.g.: "Light is only an appearance; the reality is a pressure engendered by the rapid motions of incandescent bodies within a 'subtle matter' penetrating all bodies. This subtle matter is incompressible, so that the pressure which constitutes light is transmitted in it instantaneously to any distance" (p. 33). Indeed, Descartes was "the one who contributed most to break down the barrier between physical method and metaphysical method, and to confound their domains, so clearly distinguished in Aristotelian philosophy" (p. 43). He used the same principle in his physics, where he tried to prove that "all natural phenomena may be derived completely from this single proposition: 'The essence of matter is extension' ... He investigated the question of constructing the world with shape and motion by starting with this definition. And when he reached the end of his work, he stopped to contemplate it, and declared that nothing was missing in it: 'That there is no phenomenon in nature not included in what has been explained in this treatise'---so runs the title of one of the last paragraphs of the Principia Philosophiae." (p. 44). Newton used the right scientific approach (pp. 47-48), but his work was rejected by the Cartesians because of their garbling of science and metaphysics (pp. 15-16, 46-49). Newton won but "toward the end of the nineteenth century, hypothetical theories which were offered as more or less probable explanations of phenomena were extraordinarily multiplied. The noise of their battles and the fracas of their collapse have wearied physicists and led them gradually back to the sound doctrines Newton had expressed do forcefully." (p. 53).

Theory-ladenness of experiment. "An experiment in physics is the precise observation of phenomena accompanied by an interpretation of these phenomena; this interpretation substitutes for the concrete data really gathered by observation abstract and symbolic representations which correspond to them by virtue of the theories admitted by the observer." (p. 147). This implies, for example, that no one hypothesis can be tested in isolation (p. 187). Duhem attributes great philosophical importance to the theory-ladenness of experiment, speculating about incommensurability issues, etc. But this is pure philosophical speculation with no historical examples to back it up. In fact, the only historical examples Duhem does mention in these sections are examples showing that, on the contrary, "theory-ladenness" can often be quite easily disentangled from experiments, allowing reinterpretation in a new theory (p. 160).

Against models. "Physical theory ... is not to be resolved into a mass of disparate and incompatible models" (p. 220), says Duhem, mocking "the English," who do things like try to explain atomic phenomena in terms of springs and jelly and whatnot (p. 82). Again Duhem has no historical evidence that models are bad. On the contrary, one must "admit frankly that the use of mechanical models has been able to guide certain physicists on the road to discovery" (p. 99). Even so Duhem simply proclaims with no evidence that "the share of booty it has poured into the bulk of our knowledge seems quite meager when we compare it with the opulent conquests of abstract theories." (p. 99). Duhem is also upset that the method of models in many cases "appears as the instrument of discovery whereas it has only been a means of exposition" (p. 94). But why "only"? Did not Duhem himself just argue that science is "only" representation, i.e. exposition?

Similarly, Duhem dislikes, on philosophical grounds, the idea that physical hypotheses should be drawn from experiment, without being able to offer any historical examples of this method being counterproductive, and while recognising the fruits of this method in the works of, e.g., Newton and Ampère (pp. 219, 190-200).

Duhem compensates for being unable to offer historical support for his main theses by throwing in a trivially true decoy thesis---"hypotheses are not the product of sudden creation, but the result of progressive evolution" (p. 220)---which he then goes on to support by giving a ridiculously elaborate 30-page account of the prehistory of the law of gravitation.

Finally, a great Napoleon quotation: "I take greater pleasure in reading this material than a girl does in reading a novel." (p. 59)

5-0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading for philosophers of science
"The Aim and Structure" is a very influential book in the history of philosophy of science.Duhem rejects the methodology of crucial experiment and inductivism. He emphasizes that scientific experiments are not observations of raw empirical data, but they are highly dependent on theory (theory-ladenness of observation). But the most famous thesis of this book is epistemological holism; according to W.V.O. Quine it is a "milestone of empiricism". I consider "The Aim and Structure" an excellent introduction to some philosophical problems of science, a compulsory reading for a philosopher of science. ... Read more

7. The methodology of Pierre Duhem
by Armand Lowinger
 Hardcover: 183 Pages (1967)

Asin: B0007EBLUW
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8. Uneasy Genius: The Life and Work of Pierre Duhem (International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées)
by St.L. Jaki
 Paperback: 480 Pages (1987-06-30)
list price: US$81.50
Isbn: 9024735327
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9. Lettres de Pierre Duhem a sa fille Helene (Scientifiques & croyants, 7) (French Edition)
by Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem
 Paperback: 237 Pages (1994)
-- used & new: US$51.98
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Asin: 270101297X
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10. Duhem science, realite et apparence: La relation entre philosophie et histoire dans l'euvre de Pierre Duhem (Mathesis) (French Edition)
by Anastasios Brenner
 Paperback: 253 Pages (1990)

Isbn: 2711610047
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