Inventing Temperature Measurement And Scientific Progress Oxford Studies In The Philosophy Of Science Book PDF, EPUB Download & Read Online Free

Inventing Temperature
Author: Hasok Chang
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198038240
Pages: 304
Year: 2004-08-05
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What is temperature, and how can we measure it correctly? These may seem like simple questions, but the most renowned scientists struggled with them throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In Inventing Temperature, Chang examines how scientists first created thermometers; how they measured temperature beyond the reach of standard thermometers; and how they managed to assess the reliability and accuracy of these instruments without a circular reliance on the instruments themselves. In a discussion that brings together the history of science with the philosophy of science, Chang presents the simple eet challenging epistemic and technical questions about these instruments, and the complex web of abstract philosophical issues surrounding them. Chang's book shows that many items of knowledge that we take for granted now are in fact spectacular achievements, obtained only after a great deal of innovative thinking, painstaking experiments, bold conjectures, and controversy. Lurking behind these achievements are some very important philosophical questions about how and when people accept the authority of science.
Mathematics and Scientific Representation
Author: Christopher Pincock
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190208570
Pages: 352
Year: 2012-01-13
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Mathematics plays a central role in much of contemporary science, but philosophers have struggled to understand what this role is or how significant it might be for mathematics and science. In this book Christopher Pincock tackles this perennial question in a new way by asking how mathematics contributes to the success of our best scientific representations. In the first part of the book this question is posed and sharpened using a proposal for how we can determine the content of a scientific representation. Several different sorts of contributions from mathematics are then articulated. Pincock argues that each contribution can be understood as broadly epistemic, so that what mathematics ultimately contributes to science is best connected with our scientific knowledge. In the second part of the book, Pincock critically evaluates alternative approaches to the role of mathematics in science. These include the potential benefits for scientific discovery and scientific explanation. A major focus of this part of the book is the indispensability argument for mathematical platonism. Using the results of part one, Pincock argues that this argument can at best support a weak form of realism about the truth-value of the statements of mathematics. The book concludes with a chapter on pure mathematics and the remaining options for making sense of its interpretation and epistemology. Thoroughly grounded in case studies drawn from scientific practice, this book aims to bring together current debates in both the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of science and to demonstrate the philosophical importance of applications of mathematics.
Is Water H2O?
Author: Hasok Chang
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 940073932X
Pages: 316
Year: 2012-05-23
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This book exhibits deep philosophical quandaries and intricacies of the historical development of science lying behind a simple and fundamental item of common sense in modern science, namely the composition of water as H2O. Three main phases of development are critically re-examined, covering the historical period from the 1760s to the 1860s: the Chemical Revolution (through which water first became recognized as a compound, not an element), early electrochemistry (by which water’s compound nature was confirmed), and early atomic chemistry (in which water started out as HO and became H2O). In each case, the author concludes that the empirical evidence available at the time was not decisive in settling the central debates and therefore the consensus that was reached was unjustified or at least premature. This leads to a significant re-examination of the realism question in the philosophy of science and a unique new advocacy for pluralism in science. Each chapter contains three layers, allowing readers to follow various parts of the book at their chosen level of depth and detail. The second major study in "complementary science", this book offers a rare combination of philosophy, history and science in a bid to improve scientific knowledge through history and philosophy of science.
Scientific Understanding
Author: Henk W. de Regt, Sabina Leonelli, Kai Eigner
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre
ISBN: 0822971240
Pages: 365
Year: 2009
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To most scientists, and to those interested in the sciences, understanding is the ultimate aim of scientific endeavor. In spite of this, understanding, and how it is achieved, has received little attention in recent philosophy of science. Scientific Understanding seeks to reverse this trend by providing original and in-depth accounts of the concept of understanding and its essential role in the scientific process. To this end, the chapters in this volume explore and develop three key topics: understanding and explanation, understanding and models, and understanding in scientific practice. Earlier philosophers, such as Carl Hempel, dismissed understanding as subjective and pragmatic. They believed that the essence of science was to be found in scientific theories and explanations. In Scientific Understanding, the contributors maintain that we must also consider the relation between explanations and the scientists who construct and use them. They focus on understanding as the cognitive state that is a goal of explanation and on the understanding of theories and models as a means to this end. The chapters in this book highlight the multifaceted nature of the process of scientific research. The contributors examine current uses of theory, models, simulations, and experiments to evaluate the degree to which these elements contribute to understanding. Their analyses pay due attention to the roles of intelligibility, tacit knowledge, and feelings of understanding. Furthermore, they investigate how understanding is obtained within diverse scientific disciplines and examine how the acquisition of understanding depends on specific contexts, the objects of study, and the stated aims of research.
Re-engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings
Author: William C. Wimsatt
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674015452
Pages: 450
Year: 2007
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Analytic philosophers once pantomimed physics, trying to understand the world by breaking it down. Thinkers from the Darwinian sciences now pose alternatives to this simplistic reductionism. In a tour of essays spanning thirty years, Wimsatt argues that scientists seek to atomize phenomena only when necessary to understand how entities, events, and processes articulate at different levels. This book offers a philosophy for error-prone humans trying to understand messy systems in the real world.
Idealization and the Aims of Science
Author: Angela Potochnik
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022650705X
Pages: 288
Year: 2017-11-17
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This book explores the centrality of idealization to science and reconsiders the aims of science in light of it. Idealizations are assumptions made without regard for whether they are true--that a plane is frictionless, for example, or that humans are perfectly rational agents. Idealizations of all kinds pervade science and are often made with full knowledge that they are false. Moreover, it is uncommon for scientists to try to replace them with more accurate assumptions. Why do scientists deliberately maintain idealizations in their theories and models? What do they contribute to science? Angela Potochnik shows how a science practiced by human beings in a complex world results in rampant and unchecked idealization and argues that the full scope of the use of idealizations has significant implications for our best theories of what science shows us about the world, and of scientific explanations specifically. Her clear analysis will be welcomed by anyone curious about the nature of science.
Simulation and Similarity
Author: Michael Weisberg
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199933669
Pages: 224
Year: 2013-02-14
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This book is an account of modeling and idealization in modern scientific practice, focusing on concrete, mathematical, and computational models. The main topics of this book are the nature of models, the practice of modeling, and the nature of the relationship between models and real-world phenomena. In order to elucidate the model/world relationship, Weisberg develops a novel account of similarity called weighted feature matching.
The Scientist's Atom and the Philosopher's Stone
Author: Alan Chalmers
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9048123623
Pages: 287
Year: 2009-06-04
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Drawing on the results of his own scholarly research as well as that of others the author offers, for the first time, a comprehensive and documented history of theories of the atom from Democritus to the twentieth century. This is not history for its own sake. By critically reflecting on the various versions of atomic theories of the past the author is able to grapple with the question of what sets scientific knowledge apart from other kinds of knowledge, philosophical knowledge in particular. He thereby engages historically with issues concerning the nature and status of scientific knowledge that were dealt with in a more abstract way in his What Is This Thing Called Science?, a book that has been a standard text in philosophy of science for three decades and which is available in nineteen languages. Speculations about the fundamental structure of matter from Democritus to the seventeenth-century mechanical philosophers and beyond are construed as categorically distinct from atomic theories amenable to experimental investigation and support and as contributing little to the latter from a historical point of view. The thesis will provoke historians and philosophers of science alike and will require a revision of a range of standard views in the history of science and philosophy. The book is key reading for students and scholars in History and Philosophy of Science and will be instructive for and provide a challenge to philosophers, historians and scientists more generally.
Reconstructing Reality
Author: Margaret Morrison
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199380279
Pages: 334
Year: 2015
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This text examines issues related to the way modelling and simulation enable us to reconstruct aspects of the world we are investigating. It also investigates the processes by which we extract concrete knowledge from those reconstructions and how that knowledge is legitimated.
Explanation and Cognition
Author: Frank C. Keil, Robert Andrew Wilson, Robert Anton Wilson
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262112493
Pages: 396
Year: 2000
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These essays draw on work in the history and philosophy of science, the philosophy of mind and language, the development of concepts in children, conceptual change in adults, and reasoning in human and artificial systems. Explanations seem to be a large and natural part of our cognitive lives. As Frank Keil and Robert Wilson write, "When a cognitive activity is so ubiquitous that it is expressed both in a preschooler's idle questions and in work that is the culmination of decades of scholarly effort, one has to ask whether we really have one and the same phenomenon or merely different cognitively based phenomena that are loosely, or even metaphorically, related." This book is unusual in its interdisciplinary approach to that ubiquitous activity. The essays address five basic questions about explanation: How do explanatory capacities develop? Are there kinds of explanation? Do explanations correspond to domains of knowledge? Why do we seek explanations, and what do they accomplish? How central are causes to explanation? The essays draw on work in the history and philosophy of science, the philosophy of mind and language, the development of concepts in children, conceptual change in adults, and reasoning in human and artificial systems. They also introduce emerging perspectives on explanation from computer science, linguistics, and anthropology. Contributors Woo-kyoung Ahn, William F. Brewer, Patricia W. Cheng, Clark A. Chinn, Andy Clark, Robert Cummins, Clark Glymour, Alison Gopnik, Christine Johnson, Charles W. Kalish, Frank C. Keil, Robert N. McCauley, Gregory L. Murphy, Ala Samarapungavan, Herbert A. Simon, Paul Thagard, Robert A. Wilson
Data-Centric Biology
Author: Sabina Leonelli
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022641650X
Pages: 288
Year: 2016-11-18
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In recent decades, there has been a major shift in the way researchers process and understand scientific data. Digital access to data has revolutionized ways of doing science in the biological and biomedical fields, leading to a data-intensive approach to research that uses innovative methods to produce, store, distribute, and interpret huge amounts of data. In Data-Centric Biology, Sabina Leonelli probes the implications of these advancements and confronts the questions they pose. Are we witnessing the rise of an entirely new scientific epistemology? If so, how does that alter the way we study and understand life—including ourselves? Leonelli is the first scholar to use a study of contemporary data-intensive science to provide a philosophical analysis of the epistemology of data. In analyzing the rise, internal dynamics, and potential impact of data-centric biology, she draws on scholarship across diverse fields of science and the humanities—as well as her own original empirical material—to pinpoint the conditions under which digitally available data can further our understanding of life. Bridging the divide between historians, sociologists, and philosophers of science, Data-Centric Biology offers a nuanced account of an issue that is of fundamental importance to our understanding of contemporary scientific practices.
Conjectures and Refutations
Author: Karl Popper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135971374
Pages: 608
Year: 2014-05-01
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Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.
Philosophy, Science, and History
Author: Lydia Patton
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136626883
Pages: 482
Year: 2014-06-27
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Philosophy, Science, and History: A Guide and Reader is a compact overview of the history and philosophy of science that aims to introduce students to the groundwork of the field, and to stimulate innovative research. The general introduction focuses on scientific theory change, assessment, discovery, and pursuit. Part I of the Reader begins with classic texts in the history of logical empiricism, including Reichenbach’s discovery-justification distinction. With careful reference to Kuhn’s analysis of scientific revolutions, the section provides key texts analyzing the relationship of HOPOS to the history of science, including texts by Santayana, Rudwick, and Shapin and Schaffer. Part II provides texts illuminating central debates in the history of science and its philosophy. These include the history of natural philosophy (Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Kant, Hume, and du Châtelet in a new translation); induction and the logic of discovery (including the Mill-Whewell debate, Duhem, and Hanson); and catastrophism versus uniformitarianism in natural history (Playfair on Hutton and Lyell; de Buffon, Cuvier, and Darwin). The editor’s introductions to each section provide a broader perspective informed by contemporary research in each area, including related topics. Each introduction furnishes proposals, including thematic bibliographies, for innovative research questions and projects in the classroom and in the field.
Scientific Representation
Author: Bas C. van Fraassen
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191613746
Pages: 422
Year: 2010-07-22
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Bas C. van Fraassen presents an original exploration of how we represent the world. Science represents natural phenomena by means of theories, as well as in many concrete ways by such means as pictures, graphs, table-top models, and computer simulations. Scientific Representation begins with an inquiry into the nature of representation in general, drawing on such diverse sources as Plato's dialogues, the development of perspectival drawing in the Renaissance, and the geometric styles of modelling in modern physics. Starting with Mach's and Poincaré's analyses of measurement and the 'problem of coordination', van Fraassen then presents a view of measurement outcomes as representations. With respect to the theories of contemporary science he defends an empiricist structuralist version of the 'picture theory' of science, through an inquiry into the paradoxes that came to light in twentieth-century philosophies of science. Van Fraassen concludes with an analysis of the complex relationship between appearance and reality in the scientific world-picture.
Wilhelm Reich, Biologist
Author: James E. Strick
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 067428688X
Pages: 467
Year: 2015-04-01
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Wilhelm Reich’s experiments in the 1930s with cutting-edge light microscopy and time-lapse micro-cinematography were considered discredited, but not because of shoddy lab technique, as has been claimed. Scientific opposition to Reich’s experiments, James Strick argues, grew out of resistance to his unorthodox sexual theories and Marxist leanings.