This text focuses on two major issues: the nature of scientific inquiry and the relations between scientific disciplines. Designed to introduce the basic issues and concepts in the philosophy of science, Bechtel writes for an audience with little or no philosophical background.
The first part of the book explores the legacy of Logical Positivism and the subsequent post-Positivistic developments in the philosophy of science. The second section examines arguments for and against using a model of theory reduction to integrate scientific disciplines. The book concludes with a chapter describing non-reductionist approaches for relating scientific disciplines using psycholinguistic and cognitive neuroscience models.