Understanding Philosophy of Science Paperback – 20 Dec 2001
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An excellent introduction to philosophy of science that can be recommended as a starting point to the general reader... The writing is exceptionally clear and the text is enlivened by periodic snippets of dialogue between enthusiastic science lover Alice and her more sceptical friend Thomas.
About the Author
James Ladyman is Senior Lecturer in philosophy at the University of Bristol
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Top Customer Reviews
The first half provides as clear and concise accounts of demarcation, inductivism, falsification and epistemology as will be found anywhere; Hume, Popper, Kuhn at al are all covered in a very clear and precise style. The second half updated my knowledge of the field considerably with developments in underdetermination and theory change that have taken place since my degree. I'll admit that I didn't find all of these areas straightforward but that was by no means a reflection on the quality of the writing but rather on the challenges of the subject matter. Ladyman has produced an excellent introduction to the subject for the undergraduate or layman that also manages to deal admirably with some of the complexities a post-graduate student would have to tackle.
Understanding Philosophy of Science is, very sensibly, split into two parts. The first part deals with methodology. Here Ladyman kicks off with a lengthy and fruitful taxonomy on the historical formation and subtle variants of induction before proceeding to a beautifully clear analysis on the so-called 'problem of induction', which seeks to understand whether, if ever, we can make inferences from observed cases to unobserved ones. Using Ladyman's example, heat has always expanded when heated in the past, but what is to say it will do that next time? Is it fair to make such an inference? Or, objects have always fallen in the past, but can we infer they will do so next time we drop one? Ladyman then goes into the key arguments for and against such inference. He introduces ten reasons to adopt inductive reasoning and whilst there is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a little repetition here (circularity is alluded to a few times) it is a more than useful analysis. Ladyman then provides an entertaining a crystal clear look at the twentieth century philosopher Karl Popper.Read more ›
I would recommend it to any degree level student reading Philosophy of Science.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent, I have learnt a lot from reading the book. It is well written and suitable for the beginner and expert alike :)Published 15 months ago by Jane Smith
This book is one of many introductions to this particular area of philosophy. As such it does a reasonable job at introducing students to a (non-exhaustive) set of questions. Read morePublished on 22 May 2007 by Peter Gilbert
An excellent introduction to the philosophy of science: clear, accessible, well-written and challenging. Should be read by every student of the subject.Published on 1 Oct. 2004