Philosophy of Science for Scientists

Author: Lars-Göran Johansson
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319265512
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This textbook offers an introduction to the philosophy of science. It helps undergraduate students from the natural, the human and social sciences to gain an understanding of what science is, how it has developed, what its core traits are, how to distinguish between science and pseudo-science and to discover what a scientific attitude is. It argues against the common assumption that there is fundamental difference between natural and human science, with natural science being concerned with testing hypotheses and discovering natural laws, and the aim of human and some social sciences being to understand the meanings of individual and social group actions. Instead examines the similarities between the sciences and shows how the testing of hypotheses and doing interpretation/hermeneutics are similar activities. The book makes clear that lessons from natural scientists are relevant to students and scholars within the social and human sciences, and vice versa. It teaches its readers how to effectively demarcate between science and pseudo-science and sets criteria for true scientific thinking. Divided into three parts, the book first examines the question What is Science? It describes the evolution of science, defines knowledge, and explains the use of and need for hypotheses and hypothesis testing. The second half of part I deals with scientific data and observation, qualitative data and methods, and ends with a discussion of theories on the development of science. Part II offers philosophical reflections on four of the most important con cepts in science: causes, explanations, laws and models. Part III presents discussions on philosophy of mind, the relation between mind and body, value-free and value-related science, and reflections on actual trends in science.

The Nature of Scientific Knowledge

Author: Kevin McCain
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319334050
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the epistemology of science. It not only introduces readers to the general epistemological discussion of the nature of knowledge, but also provides key insights into the particular nuances of scientific knowledge. No prior knowledge of philosophy or science is assumed by The Nature of Scientific Knowledge. Nevertheless, the reader is taken on a journey through several core concepts of epistemology and philosophy of science that not only explores the characteristics of the scientific knowledge of individuals but also the way that the development of scientific knowledge is a particularly social endeavor. The topics covered in this book are of keen interest to students of epistemology and philosophy of science as well as science educators interested in the nature of scientific knowledge. In fact, as a result of its clear and engaging approach to understanding scientific knowledge The Nature of Scientific Knowledge is a book that anyone interested in scientific knowledge, knowledge in general, and any of a myriad of related concepts would be well advised to study closely.

Philosophy of Systems Biology

Author: Sara Green
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319470000
Format: PDF, ePub
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The emergence of systems biology raises many fascinating questions: What does it mean to take a systems approach to problems in biology? To what extent is the use of mathematical and computational modelling changing the life sciences? How does the availability of big data influence research practices? What are the major challenges for biomedical research in the years to come? This book addresses such questions of relevance not only to philosophers and biologists but also to readers interested in the broader implications of systems biology for science and society. The book features reflections and original work by experts from across the disciplines including systems biologists, philosophers, and interdisciplinary scholars investigating the social and educational aspects of systems biology. In response to the same set of questions, the experts develop and defend their personal perspectives on the distinctive character of systems biology and the challenges that lie ahead. Readers are invited to engage with different views on the questions addressed, and may explore numerous themes relating to the philosophy of systems biology. This edited work will appeal to scholars and all levels, from undergraduates to researchers, and to those interested in a variety of scholarly approaches such as systems biology, mathematical and computational modelling, cell and molecular biology, genomics, systems theory, and of course, philosophy of biology.

Problems Philosophy and Politics of Climate Science

Author: Guido Visconti
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319656694
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book is a critical appraisal of the status of the so-called Climate Sciences (CS). These are contributed by many other basic sciences like physics, geology, chemistry and as such employ theoretical and experimental methods. In the last few decades most of the CS have been identified with the global warming problem and numerical models have been used as the main tool for their investigations. The produced predictions can only be partially tested against experimental data and may represent one of the reasons CS are drifting away from the route of the scientific method. On the other hand the study of climate faces many other interesting and mostly unsolved problems (think about ice ages) whose solution could clarify how the climatic system works. As for the global warming, while its existence is largely proved, scientifically it can be solved only with a large experimental effort carried out for a few decades. Problems can arise when not proved hypotheses are adopted as the basis for public policy without the recognition that they may be on shaky ground. The strong interactions of the Global Warming (GW) with the society create another huge problem of political nature for the CS. The book argues that the knowledge gained so far on the specific GW problem is enough for the relevant political decisions to be taken and that Climate Science should resume the study of the climate system with appropriate means and methods. The book introduces the most relevant concepts needed for the discussion in the text or in appropriate appendices and it is directed to the general public with upper undergraduate background. Each chapter closes with a debate between a climate scientist and a humanist to reflect the discussions between climate science and philosophy or climate scientists and society.

Philosophy and Neuroscience

Author: J. Bickle
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401002371
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Philosophy and Neuroscience: A Ruthlessly Reductive Account is the first book-length treatment of philosophical issues and implications in current cellular and molecular neuroscience. John Bickle articulates a philosophical justification for investigating "lower level" neuroscientific research and describes a set of experimental details that have recently yielded the reduction of memory consolidation to the molecular mechanisms of long-term potentiation (LTP). These empirical details suggest answers to recent philosophical disputes over the nature and possibility of psycho-neural scientific reduction, including the multiple realization challenge, mental causation, and relations across explanatory levels. Bickle concludes by examining recent work in cellular neuroscience pertaining to features of conscious experience, including the cellular basis of working memory, the effects of explicit selective attention on single-cell activity in visual cortex, and sensory experiences induced by cortical microstimulation.

The Pendulum

Author: Michael Matthews
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781402035265
Format: PDF
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The pendulum is a universal topic in primary and secondary schools, but its full potential for learning about physics, the nature of science, and the relationships between science, mathematics, technology, society and culture is seldom realised. Contributions to this 32-chapter anthology deal with the science, history, methodology and pedagogy of pendulum motion. There is ample material for the richer and more cross-disciplinary treatment of the pendulum from elementary school to high school, and through to advanced university classes. Scientists will value the studies on the physics of the pendulum; historians will appreciate the detailed treatment of Galileo, Huygens, Newton and Foucault’s pendulum investigations; psychologists and educators will learn from the papers on Piaget; teachers will welcome the many contributions to pendulum pedagogy. All readers will come away with a new awareness of the importance of the pendulum in the foundation and development of modern science; and for its centrality in so many facets of society and culture.