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Science Rules : A Historical Introduction to Scientific Methods - Peter Achinstein

Science Rules

A Historical Introduction to Scientific Methods

By: Peter Achinstein (Editor)

Paperback Published: 29th September 2004
ISBN: 9780801879449
Number Of Pages: 440
For Ages: 22+ years old

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Is there a universal set of rules for discovering and testing scientific hypotheses? Since the birth of modern science, philosophers, scientists, and other thinkers have wrestled with this fundamental question of scientific practice. Efforts to devise rigorous methods for obtaining scientific knowledge include the twenty-one rules Descartes proposed in his Rules for the Direction of the Mind and the four rules of reasoning that begin the third book of Newton's Principia, and continue today in debates over the very possibility of such rules. Bringing together key primary sources spanning almost four centuries, Science Rules introduces readers to scientific methods that have played a prominent role in the history of scientific practice.

Editor Peter Achinstein includes works by scientists and philosophers of science to offer a new perspective on the nature of scientific reasoning. For each of the methods discussed, he presents the original formulation of the method; selections written by a proponent of the method together with an application to a particular scientific example; and a critical analysis of the method that draws on historical and contemporary sources.

The methods included in this volume are Cartesian rationalism with an application to Descartes' laws of motion; Newton's inductivism and the law of gravity; two versions of hypothetico-deductivism -- those of William Whewell and Karl Popper -- and the nineteenth-century wave theory of light; Paul Feyerabend's principle of proliferation and Thomas Kuhn's views on scientific values, both of which deny that there are universal rules of method, with an application to Galileo's tower argument. Included also is a famous nineteenth-century debate about scientific reasoning between the hypothetico-deductivist William Whewell and the inductivist John Stuart Mill; and an account of the realism-antirealism dispute about unobservables in science, with a consideration of Perrin's argument for the existence of molecules in the early twentieth century.

Descartes' rationalism & laws of motion
Descartes' methodological rules : from Rules for the direction of the mindp. 17
Descartes' ontological proof of God : from Meditations on first philosophyp. 35
Descartes' laws of motion : from Principles of philosophyp. 40
A discussion of Descartes' methodology : from Descartes' Metaphysical physicsp. 48
Newton's inductivism & and law of gravity
Newton's methodological rules : from The principia, book 3p. 78
Newton's "phenomena" and derivation of the law of gravity : from The principia, book 3p. 81
Newton on "hypotheses," God, and gravity : from The principia, general scholiump. 95
Cohen's discussion of Newton's methodology : from A guide to Newton's principiap. 99
Whewell's critique of Newton's methodology : from The philosophy of the inductive sciencesp. 112
Hypothetico-deductivism, the Mill-Whewell debate, & the wave theory of light
Young's wave theory of light : from A course of lectures on natural philosophyp. 137
Whewell's hypothetico-deductivism : from The philosophy of the inductive sciencesp. 150
Popper's falsificationism : from The logic of scientific discoveryp. 168
Mill's inductivism and debate with Whewell : from A system of logic, book 3p. 173
The wave theory of light and the Mill-Whewell debate : waves and scientific methodp. 234
Realism vs. antirealism & molecular reality
Duhem's antirealism : from The aim and structure of physical theoryp. 258
Van Fraassen's antirealism : from The scientific imagep. 281
Perrin's realism and argument for molecules : from Atomsp. 298
Salmon's empirical defense of realism : from Scientific explanation and the causal structure of the worldp. 312
Realism and Perrin's argument for molecules : is there a valid experimental argument for scientific realism?p. 327
Galileo's tower argument & rejections of universal rules of method
Galileo's refutation of the tower argument : from Dialogue concerning the two chief world systemsp. 361
Feyerabend's rejection of universal rules : from Against method : outline of an anarchistic theory of knowledgep. 372
A critique of Feyerabend's anarchism : proliferation : is it a good thing?p. 389
Kuhn's rejection of universal rules : from The structure of scientific revolutionsp. 402
A discussion of Kuhn's "values" : subjective views of Kuhnp. 412
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780801879449
ISBN-10: 0801879442
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 440
Published: 29th September 2004
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.64