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Smoke and Mirrors : How Science Reflects Reality - James Robert Brown

Smoke and Mirrors

How Science Reflects Reality

Hardcover Published: 3rd February 1994
ISBN: 9780415091800
Number Of Pages: 216

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Realism is an enlightening story, a tale which enriches our experience and makes it more intelligible. Yet this wonderful picture of humanity's best efforts at knowledge has been badly bruised by numerous critics. James Robert Brown in Smoke and Mirrors fights back against figures such as Richard Rorty, Bruno Latour, Michael Ruse and Hilary Putnam who have attacked realist accounts of science.
But this volume is not wholly devoted to combating Rorty and others who blow smoke in our eyes; the second half is concerned with arguing that there are some amazing ways in which science mirrors the world. The role of abstraction, abstract objects and a priori ways of getting at reality are all explored in showing how science reflects reality.
Smoke and Mirrors is a defence of science and knowledge in general as well as a defence of a particular way of understanding science. It is of interest to all those who wish or need to know how science works.

Industry Reviews

"This is a simply splendid book. Jim Brown argues with vigor and wit for a strongly positive view of scientific realism. He puts his own arguments fairly and openly, showing that no one should lightly dismiss his case. In a comprehensive review, which itself justifies the work, he presents the positions of those whom he would refute with clarity and sympathy. Taking on a multitude of recent advocates of scientific anti-realism, he shows their weaknesses with a scalpel-like critical faculty. As one who is at the receiving end of Brown's attack, I very much hope that he is wrong. I fear he may be right." -Michael Ruse, University of Guelph ...James Brown has produced an innovative defense of a robust metaphysical and scientific realism...realism is the lens through which the rest of the ideas in the bo

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgementsp. x
Introductionp. 1
Explaining the Success of Sciencep. 3
Smokep. 27
Rorty's Solidarityp. 29
Latour's Prosaic Sciencep. 41
The Naturalism of Rusep. 60
Putnam's Verificationp. 78
Mirrorsp. 89
Knowledge-In the Abstractp. 91
Phenomenap. 117
What is the Vector Potential?p. 142
Proof and Truth in the Abstract Realmp. 160
Afterwordp. 184
Notesp. 185
Bibliographyp. 189
Indexp. 196
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415091800
ISBN-10: 0415091802
Series: Philosophical Issues in Science
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 3rd February 1994
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 14.61  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1

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