Readership: Students of philosophy, ethics, and science. General readers interested in science, its definition, history, scope, and difficulties, as well as issues in contemporary science, including philosophical problems in biology, physics, and linguisitics.
Samir Okasha, Lecturer in Philosophy, University of York
"the book is extremely readable and, I was delighted to discover, extremely sensible...I wouldn't have missed the trip for all the tea in Harrods" - John Ewing, Nurturing Potential
"This book gives an excellent sense of what keeps philosophers of science awake at night. The issues and the arguments are presented with stunning clarity. For those who want a first taste of our subject, Samir Okasha's Introduction is ideal." - Peter Lipton, University of Cambridge
1: What is science?
A very short history of science
Does science have an essential nature?
Science and pseudo-science
2: Scientific reasoning
Induction and deduction
Two types of inductive reasoning
Probability and induction
3: Explanation in science
The 'covering-law' model of explanation
Alternative models of explanation
Can science explain everything?
4: Realism and anti-realism about science
Objections to scientific realism
Varieties of anti-realism
5: Scientific change and scientific revolutions
Explaining scientific change
Thomas Kuhn on 'normal' and 'revolutionary' science
Sociological accounts of scientific change
6: Philosophical problems in physics, biology and linguistics
Leibniz versus Newton on absolute space
The problem of biological classification
Is knowledge of language innate
7: Science and its critics
Is science a good thing?
Science and religion
The science wars