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Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science

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Worldviews

An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science

By Richard Dewitt

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Format: Paperback / softback, 392 pages, 2nd Edition
Published In: United Kingdom, 03 September 2010
Updated throughout and with three entirely new chapters, Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, Second Edition furthers its reputation as the definitive introductory text on the historical developments and philosophical issues that inform our scientific view of the world around us. * Represents an innovative introduction to the history and philosophy of science, designed especially for those coming to the subject for the first time * Updated new edition features the addition of chapters focusing on scientific laws, evolutionary theory, and implications of evolution * Covers the key historical developments and philosophical themes that have impacted our scientific view of the world around us * Analyzes the transitions from the Aristotelian worldview to the Newtonian worldview to a new and currently developing worldview * Explores challenges to the Western scientific worldview brought on by recent discoveries

Table of Contents

List of figures ix Acknowledgments xi Introduction 1 Part I: Fundamental Issues 5 1 Worldviews 7 2 Truth 17 3 Empirical Facts and Philosophical/Conceptual Facts 32 4 Confirming and Disconfirming Evidence and Reasoning 38 5 The Quine-Duhem Thesis and Implications for Scientific Method 46 6 Philosophical Interlude: Problems and Puzzles of Induction 58 7 Falsifiability 66 8 Instrumentalism and Realism 71 Part II: The Transition from the Aristotelian Worldview to the Newtonian Worldview 79 9 The Structure of the Universe on the Aristotelian Worldview 81 10 The Preface to Ptolemy's Almagest: The Earth as Spherical, Stationary, and at the Center of the Universe 87 11 Astronomical Data: The Empirical Facts 99 12 Astronomical Data: The Philosophical/Conceptual Facts 106 13 The Ptolemaic System 113 14 The Copernican System 123 15 The Tychonic System 134 16 Kepler's System 137 17 Galileo and the Evidence from the Telescope 148 18 A Summary of Problems Facing the Aristotelian Worldview 164 19 Philosophical and Conceptual Connections in the Development of the New Science 170 20 Overview of the New Science and the Newtonian Worldview 175 21 Philosophical Interlude: What is a Scientifi c Law? 183 22 The Development of the Newtonian Worldview, 1700-1900 192 Part III: Recent Developments in Science and Worldviews 205 23 The Special Theory of Relativity 207 24 The General Theory of Relativity 227 25 Overview of the Empirical Facts, Mathematics, and Interpretations of Quantum Theory 235 26 Quantum Theory and Locality: EPR, Bell's Theorem, and the Aspect Experiments 272 27 Overview of the Theory of Evolution 287 28 Philosophical and Conceptual Implications of Evolution 310 29 Worldviews: Concluding Thoughts 341 Chapter Notes and Suggested Reading 349 References 366 Index 371

About the Author

Richard DeWitt is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Fairfield University. In addition to the history and philosophy of science, Professor DeWitt s research interests include mathematical and philosophical logic, and the philosophy of mind.

Reviews

"The book has great merits and is very readable, and beginners inhistory of science and philosophy of science will appreciate thewealth of information that it offers." (Aestimatio: CriticalReviews in the History of Science, 2011) "Written in clear and comprehensible prose and supplemented byeffective diagrams and examples, Worldviews is an ideal text foranyone new to the history and philosophy of science. As the readerwill come to find out, DeWitt is a gifted writer with the uniqueability to break down complex and technical concepts intodigestible parts, making Worldviews a welcoming and notoverwhelming book for the introductory reader." (History andPhilosophy of the Life Sciences, vol. 28-2) "The author is to be commended for the rare clarity of hiswriting, and for the truly impressive, most useful diagramsexemplifying many abstruse concepts and theses of quantum andrelativistic theories. Unlike many other introductions tophilosophy of science, DeWitt's book is at once historicallyinformative and philosophically thorough and rigorous. Chapternotes, suggested readings, and references enhance its value".(Choice) "This is a brilliantly clear introduction (and indeed reframing)of the history and philosophy of science in terms of world-viewsand thier elements... In addition, the book is incrediblywell-informed from both a scientific and philosophical angle.Highly recommended." (Scientific and Medical Network)

EAN: 9781405195638
ISBN: 1405195630
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
Dimensions: 24.84 x 17.27 x 2.06 centimetres (0.68 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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