This book traces the development during the twentieth century of four central themes in the philosophy of science: inductivism, conventionalism, the nature of observation, and the demarcation between science and metaphysics. The movement of ideas is placed against the background of the lives of the philosophers and of contemporary developments in science. The four themes have been chosen because of their central importance, and are expounded in a way which does not presuppose any previous knowledge of philosophy or science. The book thus constitutes an excellent introduction to the philosophy of science.
"Philosophy of Science in the Twentieth Century is one of the best introductions to the philosophy of science now available." Peter Lipton, Times Higher Education Supplement
Part I: Inductivism and its Critics:
1. Some Historical Background: Inductivism, Russell and the
Cambridge School, the Vienna Circle and Popper.
2. Popper's Critique of Inductivism.
3. Duhem's Critique of Inductivism.
Part II: Conventionalism and the Duhem-Quine Thesis:.
4. Poincare's Conventionalism of 1902.
5. The Duhem Thesis and the Quine Thesis.
Part III: The Nature of Observation:.
6. Observation Statements: (a) the Views of Carnap, Neurath,
Popper and Duhem.
7. Observation Statements: (b) Some Psychological Findings.
Part IV: The Demarcation between Science and
8. Is Metaphysics Meaningless? Wittgenstein, the Vienna Circle
and Popper's Critique.
9. Metaphysics in relation to Science: the Views of Popper,
Duhem and Quine.
10. Falsification in the light of the Duhem-Quine Thesis.