This book is a balanced and up-to-date introduction to the philosophy of science. It covers all the main topics in the area, as well as introducing the student to the moral and social reality of science. The author's style is free from jargon, and although he makes use of scientific examples, these should be intelligible to those without much scientific background. At the same time the questions he raises are not merely abstract, so the book will be of interest and concern to scientists as well as philosophers. The author discusses the growth of knowledge of science, the status of scientific theories and their relationship to observational data, the extent to which scientific theories rest on unprovable paradigms, and the nature of scientific explanations. In later chapters he considers probability, scientific reductionism, the relationship between science and technology, and the relationship between scientific and other values.
'This small paperback is a welcome addition to the current literature for philosophy of science classes. It covers a great variety of material, is up-to-date, and gives examples and references. The book is nicely organized into nine chapters, each leading into the next in a natural way. O'Hear's book fills a real need in the literature, offering an interesting and modern survey of philosophy of science. The book is sensitive to the depth and philosophical
difficulty of the problems in philosophy of science. And O'hear has organized his book in a way which represents a refreshing departure from the worn out post-positivistic style of teaching philosophy of science.'
Lila Luce, St. John's College, Annapolis, Philosophia, Philsoophical Quarterly of Israel, Vol. 23, Nos. 1-4, July '94