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This 1983 book is a lively and clearly written introduction to the philosophy of natural science, organized around the central theme of scientific realism. It has two parts. 'Representing' deals with the different philosophical accounts of scientific objectivity and the reality of scientific entities. The views of Kuhn, Feyerabend, Lakatos, Putnam, van Fraassen, and others, are all considered. 'Intervening' presents the first sustained treatment of experimental science for many years and uses it to give a new direction to debates about realism. Hacking illustrates how experimentation often has a life independent of theory. He argues that although the philosophical problems of scientific realism can not be resolved when put in terms of theory alone, a sound philosophy of experiment provides compelling grounds for a realistic attitude. A great many scientific examples are described in both parts of the book, which also includes lucid expositions of recent high energy physics and a remarkable chapter on the microscope in cell biology.
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A lively and clearly written introduction to the philosophy of natural science, organized around the central theme of scientific realism.About the Author:
Ian Hacking is a retired professor of College de France, Chair of Philosophy and History of Scientific Concepts, and retired University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. His most recent books include The Social Construction of What? (1999), An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic (Cambridge University Press, 2001), The Emergence of Probability (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Scientific Reason (2009) and Exercises in Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
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