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Philosophy of Science: Very Short Introduction

Philosophy of Science: Very Short Introduction

Author: Samir Okasha
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191062790
Pages: 160
Year: 2016-07-20
How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully 'objective'? What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of Science

Author: Samir Okasha
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198745583
Pages: 140
Year: 2016
How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully "objective?" What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction

Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Thomas Dixon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199295514
Pages: 150
Year: 2008-07-24
The debate between science and religion is never out of the news: emotions run high, fuelled by polemical bestsellers like iThe God Delusion/i and, at the other end of the spectrum, high-profile campaigns to teach 'Intelligent Design' in schools. Yet there is much more to the debate than the clash of these extremes. As Thomas Dixon shows in this balanced and thought-provoking introduction, a whole range of views, subtle arguments, and fascinating perspectives can be taken on this complex and centuries-old subject. He explores not only the key philosophical questions that underlie the debate, but also highlights the social, political, and ethical contexts that have made 'science and religion' such a fraught and interesting topic in the modern world. Along the way, he examines landmark historical episodes such as the Galileo affair, Charles Darwin's own religious and scientific odyssey, the Scopes 'Monkey Trial' in Tennessee in 1925, and the Dover Area School Board case of 2005, and includes perspectives from non-Christian religions and examples from across the physical, biological, and social sciences.
Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction

Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Mumford
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191640263
Pages: 128
Year: 2012-08-30
Metaphysics is one of the traditional four main branches of philosophy, alongside ethics, logic and epistemology. It is also an area that continues to attract and hold a fascination for many people yet it is associated with being complex and abstract. For some it is associated with the mystical or religious. For others it is known through the metaphysical poets who talk of love and spirituality. This Very Short Introduction goes right to the heart of the matter, getting to the basic and most important questions of metaphysical thought in order to understand the theory: What are objects? Do colours and shapes have some form of existence? What is it for one thing to cause another rather than just being associated with it? What is possible? Does time pass? By using these questions to initiate thought about the basic issues around substance, properties, changes, causes, possibilities, time, personal identity, nothingness and emergentism, Stephen Mumford provides a clear and simple path through this analytical tradition at the core of philosophical thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Simon Critchley
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191578320
Pages: 168
Year: 2001-02-22
Simon Critchley's Very Short Introduction shows that Continental philosophy encompasses a distinct set of philosophical traditions and practices, with a compelling range of problems all too often ignored by the analytic tradition. He discusses the ideas and approaches of philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Habermas, Foucault, and Derrida, and introduces key concepts such as existentialism, nihilism, and phenomenology by explaining their place in the Continental tradition. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

The Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Lawrence Principe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199567417
Pages: 148
Year: 2011-04-28
Lawrence M. Principe takes a fresh approach to the story of the scientific revolution, emphasising the historical context of the society and its world view at the time. From astronomy to alchemy and medicine to geology, he tells this fascinating story from the perspective of the historical characters involved.
Theory and Reality

Theory and Reality

Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226300617
Pages: 288
Year: 2009-12-11
How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and Reality covers logical positivism; the problems of induction and confirmation; Karl Popper's theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and "scientific revolutions"; the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in more detail at some specific problems and theories, including scientific realism, the theory-ladeness of observation, scientific explanation, and Bayesianism. Finally, Godfrey-Smith defends a form of philosophical naturalism as the best way to solve the main problems in the field. Throughout the text he points out connections between philosophical debates and wider discussions about science in recent decades, such as the infamous "science wars." Examples and asides engage the beginning student; a glossary of terms explains key concepts; and suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter. However, this is a textbook that doesn't feel like a textbook because it captures the historical drama of changes in how science has been conceived over the last one hundred years. Like no other text in this field, Theory and Reality combines a survey of recent history of the philosophy of science with current key debates in language that any beginning scholar or critical reader can follow.
Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192803956
Pages: 147
Year: 2003-06-26
This book introduces readers to the concepts of political philosophy. It starts by explaining why the subject is important and how it tackles basic ethical questions such as 'how should we live together in society?' It looks at political authority, the reasons why we need politics at all, the limitations of politics, and whether there are areas of life that shouldn't be governed by politics. It explores the connections between political authority and justice, a constant theme in political philosophy, and the ways in which social justice can be used to regulate rather than destroy a market economy. David Miller discusses why nations are the natural units of government and whether the rise of multiculturalism and transnational co-operation will change this: will we ever see the formation of a world government? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Worldviews

Worldviews

Author: Richard DeWitt
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 144439276X
Pages: 392
Year: 2011-04-08
Updated throughout and with three entirely new chapters, Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, Second Edition furthers its reputation as the definitive introductory text on the historical developments and philosophical issues that inform our scientific view of the world around us. Represents an innovative introduction to the history and philosophy of science, designed especially for those coming to the subject for the first time Updated new edition features the addition of chapters focusing on scientific laws, evolutionary theory, and implications of evolution Covers the key historical developments and philosophical themes that have impacted our scientific view of the world around us Analyzes the transitions from the Aristotelian worldview to the Newtonian worldview to a new and currently developing worldview Explores challenges to the Western scientific worldview brought on by recent discoveries
Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: R. A. Hope
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192802828
Pages: 152
Year: 2004-09-23
Issues in medical ethics are rarely out of the media and it is an area of ethics that has particular interest for the general public as well as the medical practitioner. This short and accessible introduction deals with moral questions such as euthanasia as well as asking how health care resources can be distributed fairly.
Objectivity: A Very Short Introduction

Objectivity: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Gaukroger
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199606692
Pages: 112
Year: 2012-05-24
Objectivity is both an essential and elusive philosophical concept. This Very Short Introduction explores the theoretical and practical problems raised by objectivity, and also deals with the way in which particular understandings of objectivity impinge on social research, science, and art.
Understanding Philosophy of Science

Understanding Philosophy of Science

Author: James Ladyman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134597908
Pages: 304
Year: 2012-08-06
Few can imagine a world without telephones or televisions; many depend on computers and the Internet as part of daily life. Without scientific theory, these developments would not have been possible. In this exceptionally clear and engaging introduction to philosophy of science, James Ladyman explores the philosophical questions that arise when we reflect on the nature of the scientific method and the knowledge it produces. He discusses whether fundamental philosophical questions about knowledge and reality might be answered by science, and considers in detail the debate between realists and antirealists about the extent of scientific knowledge. Along the way, central topics in philosophy of science, such as the demarcation of science from non-science, induction, confirmation and falsification, the relationship between theory and observation and relativism are all addressed. Important and complex current debates over underdetermination, inference to the best explaination and the implications of radical theory change are clarified and clearly explained for those new to the subject.
Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Edward Craig
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 0192854216
Pages: 132
Year: 2002-02-21
Examines how philosophers including Plato, Descartes, Hobbes, Darwin, and de Beauvoir responded to real life situations, and how their responses continue to influence people today.
Philosophy in the Islamic World

Philosophy in the Islamic World

Author: Peter Adamson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199577498
Pages: 544
Year: 2016-07-07
Peter Adamson presents the first full history of philosophy in the Islamic world for a broad readership. He traces its development from early Islam to the 20th century, ranging from Spain to South Asia, featuring Jewish and Christian thinkers as well as Muslim. Major figures like Avicenna, Averroes, and Maimonides are covered in great detail, but the book also looks at less familiar thinkers, including women philosophers. Attention is also given to thephilosophical relevance of Islamic theology (kalam) and mysticism--the Sufi tradition within Islam, and Kabbalah among Jews--and to science, with chapters on disciplines like optics and astronomy. The first partof the book looks at the blossoming of Islamic theology and responses to the Greek philosophical tradition in the world of Arabic learning, the second discusses philosophy in Muslim Spain (Andalusia), and a third section looks in unusual detail at later developments, touching on philosophy in the Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid empires.
Chaos

Chaos

Author: Leonard Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192853783
Pages: 180
Year: 2007-02-22
An introduction to chaotic behavior dynamics describes its behavior in both science and the real world.