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A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (Opus Books) [Paperback]

John Losee
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (OPUS) A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (OPUS) 4.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

Dec 1980 Opus Books
Designed for those coming to the subject for the first time, this stimulating introduction offers a historical exposition of differing views on the philosophy of science. With concise profiles introducing the major philosophers whose contributions are discussed, Losee explores the long-argued questions raised by philosophers and scientists about the proper evaluation of science. This new edition incorporates contemporary developments in the discipline, including recent work on theory-appraisal, experimental practice, the debate over scientific realism, and the philosophy of biology.

Taking a balanced and informative approach, with a focus on the historical development of the subject, John Losee presents a full and up to date account that is ideal for the introductory reader.

NEW TO THIS EDITION: coverage of recent developments in Philosophy of Science, including philosophy of biology, normative naturalism, theory appraisal, experimental practice, theories of explanation, and scientific realism
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; 2nd Revised edition edition (Dec 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019289143X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192891433
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,892,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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well known and widely used textbook ... As in the earlier editions the same writing style and format for organizing the material are preserved. As a result the book rigidly stays at the level of presenting only carefully condensed factual presentations in serial order of the individual authors involved, and scrupulously avoids any critical evaluations or comparisons of the philosophies of science sketched out for the reader. (Richard J. Blackwell, Saint Louis University, Physis, Vol. XXI (1994)) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Losee is Professor of Philosophy at Lafayette College, USA. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Aristotle (384-322 BC) was born in Stagira in northern Greece. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History of the philosophy of science 18 April 2003
The title says it is a historical introduction to the philosophy of science. I would rather recomend the book after a little studies of history of philosophy and contempory philosophy of science. As a introduction to the history of philosophy of science its a must read to everybody studying philosophy of science. Sometimes it gets a little sketchy.
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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As the title says 11 Nov 2003
By "pose21" - Published on Amazon.com
this is an introduction to the history of philosophical thinking throughout history, not an indepth treatment of ethics throughout history as one reviewer criticised it for not being (something it never stated it was).
It is thorough without being overwhelming for someone interested in an introduction to philosopphy, and it is interesting not dry and boring or hard to follow as many philosophy books can prove to be.
It is exactly what it says it is and does a good job at it.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice little volume 30 Dec 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Losse starts with the Pythagoreans, the atomists, and Aristotle. He ends up discussing Popper, Hempel, Kuhn, Feyerband, Lakatos, and a variety of contemporary philosophers. It's densely packed, and for novices to philosophy or logic it might take some effort, but for those with a little background it is easy and, at least for me, fun.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb HISTORY 1 Dec 2005
By sargoxyz - Published on Amazon.com
This is not an introduction to philosophy of science; it is a history of the evolution of philosophy of science. As such, it serves its purpose very well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unencumbering Intro from the Historical P.O.V. 22 Nov 2010
By David Milliern - Published on Amazon.com
This book is as advertized; an historical introduction to the philosophy of science. I have heard it paraphrased that "History of Science without Philosophy of Science is Blind; Philosophy of Science without the History of Science is Empty." This is a very easy read to get you started on your way to understanding science as an evolving set of methods and views. I can see layman and students in undergraduate sciences with no prior knowledge of the history or philosophy and reap great rewards from this work. It fashioned as a collection short essays on topics through history. If you are looking for a hardcore introduction with all kinds of depth, this is not it. For advanced HPS students, look elsewhere. If you know a bit about the history and philosophy of science, you can pick and choose your way through the sections of this book. For this reason, I have found it immensely useful.
4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Little theory and fewer data 6 Jun 2010
By Peter S. Oliphant, Ph.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My review is from the position that philosophy defines what is possible to be and know by ontology and phenomenology, while science defines what is demonstrable to be and know by observation and experiment. In this definition, models and data, experiment and observation, induction and deduction, and causality and probability contribute to one another, gradually extending our ability to symbolize.

Losee never defines the terms "science" or "philosophy," saying the boundary between them is "unclear" (3). He says the "philosophy of science is a second-order criteriology," (2), or a bunch of questions. Having nothing but a bunch of questions, he bobbles through two millennia of literature at a loss for any landing. He starts out with a competent crew like Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, but half way through the book, he throws the philosophers overboard in favor of a random selection of contemporary writers on science. For some of these, he provides little biographical sketches in lieu of any theoretical framework for selecting them. Most of the book consists of book reports with no particular point or purpose.

There are lots of references to natural science (physics, chemistry, geology, and biology) and some to analytic science (mathematics), but few to historical science (archaeology) and almost none to action science (sociology, anthropology, and psychology). In fact, there is no treatment of action sciences to speak of, since he dismisses the sociology of knowledge as "implausible." (241) It is difficult to see how this squares with his generous statement that Aristotle is "plausible." (13) He proceeds from an idealistic conviction that scientific data are independent of social facts, being some sort of natural necessities independent of culture.

His chapters have grand titles ("Mathematical Positivism") that give the appearance of a view of history, but many end in no conclusion at all. Where any summary is drawn, it is banal: "the philosopher seeks to develop evaluative principles applicable to diverse instances," for example (276).
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