Abner Shimony is one of the most eminent of present-day philosophers of science, whose work has exerted a profound influence in both the philosophy and physics communities. This two-volume collection of his essays written over a period of forty years explores the interrelations between science and philosophy. Shimony regards the knowing subject as an entity in nature whose faculties must be studied from the points of view of evolutionary biology and empirical psychology. He maintains that the twentieth century is one of the great ages of metaphysics, given the deep implications of quantum mechanics, relativity theory, and molecular biology. Nevertheless he rejects the thesis that mentality is entirely explicable in physical terms and argues that mind has a fundamental place in nature. Though distinguishing between values and scientifically established facts, Shimony holds that the sense of wonder cultivated by the natural sciences is one of the noblest of human values. The first volume, Scientific Method and Epistemology, deals with the dialectic of subject and object, epistemic probability, induction and scientific theories, perception and conception, and fact and values. The focus of the second volume, Natural Science and Metaphysics, is on quantum mechanical measurement and nonlocality, parts and wholes, time, and mind and matter. The volumes will be of great interest to a broad range of philosophers of science as well as those who teach epistemology and metaphysics. The collection will also be read by philosophically-minded natural scientists, especially physicists.
Winner 1996 Lakatos Award "This collection of papers is an admirable contribution to the study of nature and of how we aquire knowledge of it. Shimony's work is an important model for how these investigations ought to be carried out." The Philosophical Review "There is so much to be learned and savored in these two volumes that my goal here has not been to 'summarize' Abner Shimony's Oeuvres, but to entice the reader into perusing this collection of masterfully written essays." American Journal of Physics "There is so much to be learned and savored in these two volumes that my goal here has not been to 'summarize' Abner Shimony's Oeuvres, but to entice the reader into perusing this collection of masterfully written essays." American Journal of Physics