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50 Philosophy of Science Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas You Really Need to Know series) Hardcover – 26 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (26 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780879091
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780879093
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 2.1 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Gareth Southwell is a philosopher, writer and illustrator. He is currently working on a beginner's guide to the theory of knowledge for Wiley-Blackwell, and "50 Philosophy of Science Ideas You Really Need to Know" (Quercus) is due out Sept 2013. His previous publications include "Words of Wisdom" (Quercus), "A Beginner's Guide to Descartes's Meditations" and "A Beginner's Guide to Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil" (both for Wiley-Blackwell), and "Philosophy: Key Texts" and "Philosophy: Key Themes" (Palgrave), second editions co-authored with Julian Baggini. He has examined for AQA and the WJEC, and runs the website philosophyonline.co.uk, which has been going since around 2001. As well as in numerous books and magazines, his illustrations have appeared in The Philosophers' Magazine and he is a regular contributor of articles to Avanti magazine. He graduated from Swansea University before obtaining a PhD at Newport University on the subject of philosophical controversies related to the definition of death.

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Presumably, there are limits to what science can tell us about our lives. But has the advent of new technologies - such as nuclear power and genetics - inclined us to rely on scientists more, or to doubt their pronouncements? The questions raised by such developments are as much philosophical as scientific. Can you copyright a gene? Can knowledge ever be wholly objective? Are certain types of scientific knowledge better left undiscovered? Here, Gareth Southwell gives a valuable insight into the shared roots of science and philosophy, and considers how philosophical questions have often shaped the development of scientific knowledge. From ancient Greece to the modern day, through topics including realism, positivism and feminism, he looks at the controversies that have haunted the discipline and its leading innovators, including Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn. With every concept introduced in straightforward, clear language, 50 Philosophy of Science Ideas You Really Need to Know will help you understand and engage with the cutting edge of scientific debate. Examining issues such as how philosophical and religious problems affect the practice of science; how shifts in knowledge have taken science forward; and the search for truth, this book is the ideal introduction to a wide-ranging and controversial field.

From the Back Cover

Natural philosophy. Appearance and reality. Knowledge. Demonstration. The language of maths. Experiment and observation. Eliminative induction. Rationalism. Mechanism. Empiricism. The problem of induction. Newtonian method. Laplace's demon. Ockham's razor. Materialism. Realism. Teleology. Scepticism. Idealism. Science and ethics. Positivism. Vitalism. Abduction. Falsification. Science and god. Science and utopia. Metaphysics. Artificial intelligence. Pragmatism. Gaia theory. The Duhem-Quine thesis. Creation. Chaos. Paradigm shifts. Phenomenalism. Natural kinds. Research programmes. Anti-Realism. Reduction. Underdetermination. Incompleteness. Epistemological anarchism. Supervenience. Non-Euclidean space. Indeterminacy. Kant. Special relativity. Science and phenomenology. The science wars. Science and gender.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. G. Norris on 20 Feb 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had previously read quite a lot on the history of philosophy and also on the developments in science that have led (and are leading) to our understanding of nature at its most fundamental level, also the very challenging work on neuroscience and consciousness, so I found this book easy to follow as regards its subject areas. What I found most valuable was the drawing together of the fundamental questions in these areas that bear on the basic validity of what we understand as scientific enquiry. The author does not seek to convince us on any particular side of the many controversial issues involved but does leave little doubt on where he himself stands, which is fine.
As an overview of what are vast areas of existing and contemporary work this provides valuable insights into their fundamental connectedness and the questions that continue to exercise the leading thinkers in the various fields. Some of these may never become answerable.
You can read it as an introduction to the subject, which will leave you feeling somewhat unsatisfied but can guide you on where to look for more detailed treatments (that will seek to persuade you to their authors' conclusions!).
Well written in good clear English; I found the numerous "boxed" interpositions a bit distracting, at least in the Kindle version - you have to read round them, then go back to them, or you lose the thread of the main text.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Book by Gareth Southwell 6 Jun 2014
By Berit Brogaard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written by the well-known illustrator and philosopher Gareth Southwell, this is an excellent book introducing philosophy of science to students in a simple way that does not require prior knowledge of the subject matter. Highly recommendable.
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