+612 9045 4394
 
CHECKOUT
Creating Scientific Concepts : A Bradford Book - Nancy J. Nersessian

Creating Scientific Concepts

A Bradford Book

Paperback

Published: 3rd September 2010
For Ages: 18+ years old
Ships: 15 business days
15 business days
RRP $53.99
$46.25
14%
OFF

How do novel scientific concepts arise? In "Creating Scientific Concepts, " Nancy Nersessian seeks to answer this central but virtually unasked question in the problem of conceptual change. She argues that the popular image of novel concepts and profound insight bursting forth in a blinding flash of inspiration is mistaken. Instead, novel concepts are shown to arise out of the interplay of three factors: an attempt to solve specific problems; the use of conceptual, analytical, and material resources provided by the cognitive-social-cultural context of the problem; and dynamic processes of reasoning that extend ordinary cognition. Focusing on the third factor, Nersessian draws on cognitive science research and historical accounts of scientific practices to show how scientific and ordinary cognition lie on a continuum, and how problem-solving practices in one illuminate practices in the other. Her investigations of scientific practices show conceptual change as deriving from the use of analogies, imagistic representations, and thought experiments, integrated with experimental investigations and mathematical analyses. She presents a view of constructed models as hybrid objects, serving as intermediaries between targets and analogical sources in bootstrapping processes. Extending these results, she argues that these complex cognitive operations and structures are not mere aids to discovery, but that together they constitute a powerful form of reasoning--model-based reasoning--that generates novelty. This new approach to mental modeling and analogy, together with Nersessian's cognitive-historical approach, makes "Creating Scientific Concepts" equally valuable to cognitive science and philosophy of science. "A Bradford Book"

"It should be obvious: scientists are human beings and their scientific theories reflect normal human mechanisms of thought, called frames and metaphors by some cognitive scientists and models and analogies by others. James Clerk Maxwell was no exception. His laws of electromagnetism were structured by those forms of human cognition. In Creating Scientific Concepts, Nancy Nersessian demonstrates this beyond question. The book is a tour de force by a great cognitive scientist of science."--George Lakoff, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics, The University of California at Berkeley "In research of major importance, Nancy Nersessian has shown how mental models underlie the creative reasoning of scientists. At the heart of her book is a unique and imaginative use of cognitive science to explain how an incremental series of models led James Clerk Maxwell to his field equations for electromagnetism." --Philip Johnson-Laird, Department of Psychology, Princeton University -- Philip Johnson-Laird "Drawing on years of experience as a founder of cognitive studies of science, Nersessian tackles a fundamental problem neglected by past inquiries into conceptual change: How can a genuinely novel representation be created? This can be done, she argues, by a process of model-based reasoning involving such activities as creating analogies, deploying visual representations, and performing thought experiments. In developing her case she draws on her own "cognitive-historical method" which combines detailed historical analysis with insights from cognitive science. The result speaks to the interests of historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science, and many others, including cognitive scientists."--Ronald N. Giere, Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota -- Ronald Giere "Drawing on years of experience as a founder of cognitive studies of science, Nersessian tackles a fundamental problem neglected by past inquiries into conceptual change: How can a genuinely novel representation be created? This can be done, she argues, by a process of model-based reasoning involving such activities as creating analogies, deploying visual representations, and performing thought experiments. In developing her case she draws on her own 'cognitive-historical method' which combines detailed historical analysis with insights from cognitive science. The result speaks to the interests of historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science, and many others, including cognitive scientists." Ronald N. Giere , Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota "In research of major importance, Nancy Nersessian has shown how mental models underlie the creative reasoning of scientists. At the heart of her book is a unique and imaginative use of cognitive science to explain how an incremental series of models led James Clerk Maxwell to his field equations for electromagnetism." Philip Johnson-Laird , Department of Psychology, Princeton University

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Creativity in Conceptual Changep. 1
A Cognitive-Historical Approach
Recasting the Problem of Conceptual Changep. 2
The Cognitive-Historical Methodp. 6
Reasoningp. 10
Model-based Reasoning Exemplarsp. 13
Overview of the Bookp. 16
Model-based Reasoning Practicesp. 19
Historical Exemplar
Maxwell's Problem Situationp. 21
Maxwell's Modeling Processesp. 29
Discussion: Maxwell's Model-based Reasoning Practicesp. 48
Model-based Reasoning Practicesp. 61
Protocol Study Exemplar
Protocol Records and Analysisp. 62
Protocol Records and Analysisp. 62
Exemplar 2: S2 and the Concept of Springp. 65
S2's Problem Situationp. 67
S2's Modeling Processesp. 67
Discussion: S2's Model-based Reasoning Practicesp. 85
The Cognitive Basis of Model-based Reasoning Practicesp. 91
Mental Modeling
The Mental Models Frameworkp. 92
General Format and Processing Issuesp. 95
Mental Modeling in Logical Reasoningp. 101
öCraikianö Mental Modeling: Simulative Reasoningp. 105
Mental Modeling and Scientific Model-based Reasoning Practicesp. 127
Representation and Reasoningp. 131:Analogy,
Model Construction and Analogyp. 135
Imagistic Representationp. 158
Representation Simulation and Thought Experimentingp. 172
Model-based Reasoningp. 180
Creativity in Conceptual Changep. 183
Model-based Reasoning: The Argument Thus Farp. 184
Conceptual Innovationp. 186
Conclusion: Model-based Reasoning in Conceptual Innovationp. 200
Reflexive Reflections: Wider Implicationsp. 201
Notesp. 209
Referencesp. 219
Indexp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262515078
ISBN-10: 0262515075
Series: A Bradford Book
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 3rd September 2010
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.36