Realism is an enlightening story, a tale which enriches our experience and makes it more intelligible. Yet this wonderful picture of humanity's best efforts at knowledge has been badly bruised by numerous critics. James Robert Brown in Smoke and Mirrors fights back against figures such as Richard Rorty, Bruno Latour, Michael Ruse and Hilary Putnam who have attacked realist accounts of science.
But this volume is not wholly devoted to combating Rorty and others who blow smoke in our eyes; the second half is concerned with arguing that there are some amazing ways in which science mirrors the world. The role of abstraction, abstract objects and a priori ways of getting at reality are all explored in showing how science reflects reality.
Smoke and Mirrors is a defence of science and knowledge in general as well as a defence of a particular way of understanding science. It is of interest to all those who wish or need to know how science works.
"This is a simply splendid book. Jim Brown argues with vigor and wit for a strongly positive view of scientific realism. He puts his own arguments fairly and openly, showing that no one should lightly dismiss his case. In a comprehensive review, which itself justifies the work, he presents the positions of those whom he would refute with clarity and sympathy. Taking on a multitude of recent advocates of scientific anti-realism, he shows their weaknesses with a scalpel-like critical faculty. As one who is at the receiving end of Brown's attack, I very much hope that he is wrong. I fear he may be right."
-Michael Ruse, University of Guelph ...James Brown has produced an innovative defense of a robust metaphysical and scientific realism...realism is the lens through which the rest of the ideas in the bo
|Explaining the Success of Science||p. 3|
|Rorty's Solidarity||p. 29|
|Latour's Prosaic Science||p. 41|
|The Naturalism of Ruse||p. 60|
|Putnam's Verification||p. 78|
|Knowledge-In the Abstract||p. 91|
|What is the Vector Potential?||p. 142|
|Proof and Truth in the Abstract Realm||p. 160|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Philosophical Issues in Science
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 4th April 1994
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.4