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What is This Thing Called Science? [Paperback]

Alan Chalmers
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Jun 2013 0335262783 978-0335262786 4
A brand new edition of an internationally renowned science bestseller

Now well into its fourth decade, What is this thing called science? has become something of a classic the world over, available in nineteen languages. Each decade Alan Chalmers has drawn on his experience as a teacher and researcher to improve and update the text. In his accessible style, Chalmers illuminates the major developments in the field over the past few years.

The most significant feature of this new, fourth, edition is the addition of an extensive postscript, in which Chalmers uses the results of his recent research into the history of atomism to illustrate and enliven key themes in the philosophy of science. Identifying the qualitative difference between knowledge of atoms as it figures in contemporary science and metaphysical speculations about atoms common in philosophy since the time of Democritus proves to be a highly revealing and instructive way to pinpoint key features of the answer to the question 'What is this thing called science?'

This new edition ensures that the book holds its place as the leading introduction to the philosophy of science for the foreseeable future.

"Successive editions have retained and refined its clear, engaging and witty discussions of the most important topics in the field, incorporating the best new research in the field. This latest edition also adds a valuable layer of grounding in the history of science, particularly based on Chalmers' recent extensive research on the history of atomism."
Hasok Chang, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Hans Rausing Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, UK


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Product details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Open University Press; 4 edition (1 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0335262783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0335262786
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Alan Chalmers is Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, where he taught from 1971, first in the School of Philosophy, and from 1987 in the Unit for the History and Philosophy of Science, which he was instrumental in setting up. Born in Bristol, UK, in 1939, he graduated in physics at the University of Bristol in 1961, and received an MSc in physics from the University of Manchester in 1964. He taught physics and the history of science for two years before returning to full-time study at the University of London, where he received his PhD in history and philosophy of science in 1971. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Humanities in 1997 and was a Visiting Scholar in the Philosophy Department at Flinders University from 2000 to 2010.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Mark V
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got this book as it was recommended background reading for a philosophy course. Before reading this book I was only familiar with the best known philosophers of science - Popper and Kuhn. I found this book to be a very good and up to date introduction to the subject. It is clearly written and the author illustrates his points with examples. He gives a balanced overview of the various schools of thought in the subject area of philosophy of science. Chalmers covers the more recent developments in the field, like Lakatos and Feyerabend. Having read the book I now have a much better knowledge of and appreciation for the subject.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, easy to read material 12 April 2014
By Khana - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this as a textbook for a Philosophy of Science class, and I honestly enjoyed the read. That's not really normal! Even for me!

Seriously, it made me wish that I was taught these concepts in high school. While I fear that many high schoolers would be a less than pleased with the information density - it is, after all, suitable for a university class - it nonetheless presents information in an extremely helpful way, to better understand what exactly science is, and just as importantly, what it is not.

This is definitely going to be added to my "recommended" list of books!
5.0 out of 5 stars A first rate book 12 Mar 2014
By Ian Snape - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This really is a great introduction to the topic. A must have for students and researchers alike and there is a reason it is so widely represented in University courses.
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