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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction - informative, balanced and accessible, 5 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
A book of this size will never do justice to such an extensive subject as the philosophy of science - but what this covers, it does so extremely well, thanks largely to the author's clear writing and a good choice of subjects.

The fundamentals of induction, explanation, realism and scientific change are all explained intelligibly, arguments are presented with corresponding counterarguments, and where necessary, topics are introduced with the right amount of background information - for example, the debate between scientific realism and anti-realism begins with a summary of the older, more metaphysical debate between realism and idealism; the chapter on scientific reasoning begins with an exploration of the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning, and so on.

A chapter on scientific change and the nature of scientific revolutions is particularly enjoyable, introducing the logical positivists and Kuhn's view of science. Another chapter explores some of the more notorious philosophical problems within science, such as the concept of absolute space and the dilemma of biological classification. The final chapter is devoted to a much-needed discussion of the various criticisms often aimed at science, including that old chestnut, scientism.

Overall I found this to be an introduction worthy of the name - it was informative, challenging and kept my interest throughout. Suitable for anyone interested in philosophy or indeed any branch of science.
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