Creating Scientific Concepts

Author: Nancy J Nersessian
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262293455
Format: PDF, Kindle
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How do novel scientific concepts arise? In Creating Scientific Concepts, Nancy Nersessian seeks to answer this central but virtually unasked question in the problem of conceptual change. She argues that the popular image of novel concepts and profound insight bursting forth in a blinding flash of inspiration is mistaken. Instead, novel concepts are shown to arise out of the interplay of three factors: an attempt to solve specific problems; the use of conceptual, analytical, and material resources provided by the cognitive-social-cultural context of the problem; and dynamic processes of reasoning that extend ordinary cognition. Focusing on the third factor, Nersessian draws on cognitive science research and historical accounts of scientific practices to show how scientific and ordinary cognition lie on a continuum, and how problem-solving practices in one illuminate practices in the other. Her investigations of scientific practices show conceptual change as deriving from the use of analogies, imagistic representations, and thought experiments, integrated with experimental investigations and mathematical analyses. She presents a view of constructed models as hybrid objects, serving as intermediaries between targets and analogical sources in bootstrapping processes. Extending these results, she argues that these complex cognitive operations and structures are not mere aids to discovery, but that together they constitute a powerful form of reasoning -- model-based reasoning -- that generates novelty. This new approach to mental modeling and analogy, together with Nersessian's cognitive-historical approach, make Creating Scientific Concepts equally valuable to cognitive science and philosophy of science.

Scientific Concepts and Investigative Practice

Author: Uljana Feest
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISBN: 3110253615
Format: PDF, ePub
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Recent philosophy and history of science have seen a surge of interest in the role of concepts in scientific research. Combining philosophical and historical scholarship, the articles in this volume investigate the ways in which scientists form and use concepts, rather than in what the concepts themselves represent. The fields treated range from mathematics to virology and genetics, from nuclear physics to psychology, from technology to present-day neural engineering.

Kuhn s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Revisited

Author: Vasso Kindi
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136243216
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The year 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Up until recently, the book’s philosophical reception has been shaped, for the most part, by the debates and the climate in philosophy of science in the 1960s and 1970s; this new collection of essays takes a renewed look at this work. This volume concentrates on particular issues addressed or raised in light of recent scholarship and without the pressure of the immediate concerns scholars had at the time of the Structure’s publication. There has been extensive research on all of the major issues concerning the development of science which are discussed in Structure, work in which the scholars contributing to this volume have all been actively involved. In recent years they have pursued novel research on a number of topics relevant to Structure’s concerns, such as the nature and function of concepts, the complexity of logical positivism and its legacy, the relation of history to philosophy of science, the character of scientific progress and rationality, and scientific realism, all of which are brought together and given new light in this text. In this way, our book makes new connections and undertakes new approaches in an effort to understand the Structure’s significance in the canon of philosophy of science.

Model Based Reasoning in Science and Technology

Author: Lorenzo Magnani
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642152228
Format: PDF
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Systematically presented to enhance the feasibility of fuzzy models, this book introduces the novel concept of a fuzzy network whose nodes are rule bases and their interconnections are interactions between rule bases in the form of outputs fed as inputs.

Psychology of Science

Author: Robert W. Proctor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199753628
Format: PDF, ePub
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Symposium held at Purdue Univ. in June 4-5, 2010.

Handbook of the Psychology of Science

Author: Gregory J. Feist, PhD
Publisher: Springer Publishing Company
ISBN: 0826106242
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"Highly recommended."--Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries This handbook is the definitive resource for scholars and students interested in how research and theory within each of the major domains of psychologyódevelopmental, cognitive, personality, and socialóhave been applied to understand the nature of scientific thought and behavior. Edited by two esteemed pioneers in the emerging discipline of the psychology of science, it is the first empirically based compendium of its time. The handbook provides a comprehensive examination of how scientific thinking is learned and evolves from infancy to adolescence and adulthood, and combines developmental and cognitive approaches to show the categorical similarities and differences in thinking between children, adolescents, adults, and scientists. Chapters highlight the breadth and depth of psychological perspectives in the studies of science, from creativity and genius, gender, and conflict and cooperation, to postmodernism and psychobiography. A section on applications offers findings and ideas that can be put to use by educators, policymakers, and science administrators. Contributors examine the importance of mental models in solving difficult technical problems, and the significance of leadership and organizational structure in successful innovation. The final section of the book is devoted to the future of this new field, focusing on how to continue to develop a healthy psychology of science. Key Features: Presents the only empirically based compendium of current knowledge about the psychology of scientific thought and behavior Edited by two pioneers in the discipline of psychology of science Describes how scientific thinking is learned and changes throughout the life span Addresses creativity and genius, gender, conflict and cooperation, postmodernism, and psychobiography Covers applications of the psychology of science that can be used by educators, policymakers, and science administrators

Creating a Dialectical Social Science

Author: I.I. Mitroff
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400984693
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The depth, intensity, and long-standing nature of the disagreements between differing schools of social thought renders more critical than ever the treatment of dialectical reasoning and its relationship to the social sciences. The nature of these disagreements are deeply rooted in fundamentally differing beliefs regarding, among many things: (1) the nature of man, (2) the role of theory versus data in constructing social theories, (3) the place and function of values versus facts in inquiry, etc. It has become more and more apparent that such fundamental differences cannot be resolved by surface appeals to rationality or to consensus. Such for it is precisely the definitions of appeals are doomed to failure 'rationality' and 'consensus' that are at odds. That is, different schools not only have different definitions of rationality and consensus but different notions regarding their place and function within a total system of inquiry. A dialectical treatment of conflicts is called for because such conflicts demand a method which is capable of recognizing first of all how deep they lie. Secondly, a method is demanded which is capable of appreciating that the various sides of the conflict fundamentally depend on one another for their very existence; they depend, in other words, on one another not 'in spite of' their opposition but precisely 'because of' it.

Scientific Discovery

Author: Pat Langley
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262620529
Format: PDF, Docs
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Scientific discovery is often regarded as romantic and creative -- and hence unanalyzable -- whereas the everyday process of verifying discoveries is sober and more suited to analysis. Yet this fascinating exploration of how scientific work proceeds argues that however sudden the moment of discovery may seem, the discovery process can be described and modeled. Using the methods and concepts of contemporary information-processing psychology (or cognitive science) the authors develop a series of artificial-intelligence programs that can simulate the human thought processes used to discover scientific laws. The programs -- BACON, DALTON, GLAUBER, and STAHL -- are all largely data-driven, that is, when presented with series of chemical or physical measurements they search for uniformities and linking elements, generating and checking hypotheses and creating new concepts as they go along. Scientific Discovery examines the nature of scientific research and reviews the arguments for and against a normative theory of discovery; describes the evolution of the BACON programs, which discover quantitative empirical laws and invent new concepts; presents programs that discover laws in qualitative and quantitative data; and ties the results together, suggesting how a combined and extended program might find research problems, invent new instruments, and invent appropriate problem representations. Numerous prominent historical examples of discoveries from physics and chemistry are used as tests for the programs and anchor the discussion concretely in the history of science.

Science as Psychology

Author: Lisa M. Osbeck
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139495135
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Science as Psychology reveals the complexity and richness of rationality by demonstrating how social relationships, emotion, culture, and identity are implicated in the problem-solving practices of laboratory scientists. In this study, the authors gather and analyze interview and observational data from innovation-focused laboratories in the engineering sciences to show how the complex practices of laboratory research scientists provide rich psychological insights, and how a better understanding of science practice facilitates understanding of human beings more generally. The study focuses not on dismantling the rational core of scientific practice, but on illustrating how social, personal, and cognitive processes are intricately woven together in scientific thinking. The book is thus a contribution to science studies, the psychology of science, and general psychology.

Picturing Science and Engineering

Author: Felice C. Frankel
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 9780262038553
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A guide to making scientific photographs for presentations, journal submissions, and covers, featuring step-by-step instructions and case studies, by an award-winning science photographer; illustrated in color throughout. One of the most powerful ways for scientists to document and communicate their work is through photography. Unfortunately, most scientists have little or no training in that craft. In this book, celebrated science photographer Felice Frankel offers a guide for creating science images that are both accurate and visually stunning. Picturing Science and Engineering provides detailed instructions for making science photographs using the DSLR camera, the flatbed scanner, and the phone camera. The book includes a series of step-by-step case studies, describing how final images were designed for cover submissions and other kinds of visualizations. Lavishly illustrated in color throughout, the book encourages the reader to learn by doing, following Frankel as she recreates the stages of discovery that lead to a good science visual. Frankel shows readers how to present their work with graphics--how to tell a visual story--and considers issues of image adjustment and enhancement. She describes how developing the right visual to express a concept not only helps make science accessible to nonspecialists, but also informs the science itself, helping scientists clarify their thinking. Within the book are specific URLs where readers can view Frankel's online tutorials--visual "punctuations" of this printed edition. Additional materials, including tutorials and videos, can be found online at the book's website. Published with the help of funding from Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan fund