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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $66.00
  • September 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-91903-5
  • 1424 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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Philosophy of Science

The Central Issues

Second Edition


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J. A. Cover (Author, Purdue University), Martin Curd (Author, Purdue University), Christopher Pincock (Author, The Ohio State University)


A flexible and comprehensive introduction to the main currents in philosophy of science.

Both an anthology and an introductory textbook, Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues offers instructors and students a comprehensive anthology of fifty-two primary texts by leading philosophers in the field and provides extensive editorial commentary that places the readings in a wide philosophical context.


Contemporary and relevant readings

The Second Edition offers an exceptionally balanced selection of some of the most important statements in contemporary philosophy of science. Readings added to the Second Edition include Colin Howson and Peter Urbach, “The Duhem Problem”; Nelson Goodman, “The New Riddle of Induction”; Deborah G. Mayo, “A Critique of Salmon’s Bayesian Way”; Alan Chalmers, “The Bayesian Approach”; Philip Kitcher, “Explanatory Unification”; James Woodward, “The Manipulability Conception of Causal Explanation”; Jerry A. Fodor, “Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)”; Juha T. Saatsi, “On the Pessimistic Induction and Two Fallacies”; and Martin Carrier, “What Is Right with the Miracle Argument: Establishing a Taxonomy of Natural Kinds.” 

Comprehensive coverage

Fifty-two articles, including nine added to this edition, by Thomas S. Kuhn, Karl Popper, Carl G. Hempel, W. V. Quine, Jerry A. Fodor, Philip S. Kitcher, and other prominent philosophers, survey foundational questions in the field such as What distinguishes science from pseudoscience? Is scientific change a rational process? In what sense is science objective? What are natural laws, and what do they describe? Do scientific theories offer a true account of the world? All readings are offered complete or in substantial, teachable excerpts. 

A clear and accessible introduction to philosophy of science

The book provides unmatched editorial apparatus, including brief introductions to the nine thematic sections that highlight the major issues addressed in the readings and thorough commentaries following the readings that discuss the selections in depth, develop salient arguments, explain unfamiliar theories, place the readings in a wider philosophical context, and draw connections to other pieces in the anthology.  


    (*= New to this Edition)

    General Introduction

    1 | Science and Pseudoscience


    Karl Popper, Science: Conjectures and Refutations
    Thomas S. Kuhn, Logic of Discovery or Psychology of Research?
    Imre Lakatos, Science and Pseudoscience
    Paul R. Thagard, Why Astrology Is a Pseudoscience
    Michael Ruse, Creation-Science Is Not Science
    Larry Laudan, Commentary: Science at the Bar—Causes for Concern


    2 | Rationality, Objectivity, and Values in Science


    Thomas S. Kuhn, The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions
    Thomas S. Kuhn, Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice
    Ernan McMullin, Rationality and Paradigm Change in Science
    Larry Laudan, Kuhn’s Critique of Methodology
    Helen E. Longino, Values and Objectivity
    Kathleen Okruhlik, Gender and the Biological Sciences


    3 | The Duhem-Quine Thesis and Underdetermination


    Pierre Duhem, Physical Theory and Experiment
    W. V. Quine, Two Dogmas of Empiricism
    Donald Gillies, The Duhem Thesis and the Quine Thesis
    Larry Laudan, Demystifying Underdetermination
    *Colin Howson and Peter Urbach, The Duhem Problem


    4 | Induction, Prediction, and Evidence


    Peter Lipton, Induction
    Karl Popper, The Problem of Induction
    Wesley C. Salmon, Rational Prediction
    Carl G. Hempel, Criteria of Confirmation and Acceptability
    Peter Achinstein, Explanation v. Prediction: Which Carries More Weight?
    *Nelson Goodman, The New Riddle of Induction


    5 | Confirmation and Relevance: Bayesian Approaches


    Wesley C. Salmon, Rationality and Objectivity in Science
    *Deborah G. Mayo, A Critique of Salmon’s Bayesian Way
    *Alan Chalmers, The Bayesian Approach
    Paul Horwich, Therapeutic Bayesianism


    6 | Models of Explanation


    Rudolf Carnap, The Value of Laws: Explanation and Prediction
    Carl G. Hempel, Two Basic Types of Scientific Explanation
    Carl G. Hempel, The Thesis of Structural Identity
    Carl G. Hempel, Inductive-Statistical Explanation
    Peter Railton, A Deductive-Nomological Model of Probabilistic Explanation
    *Philip Kitcher, Explanatory Unification
    *James Woodward, The Manipulability Conception of Causal Explanation


    7 | Laws of Nature


    A. J. Ayer, What Is a Law of Nature?
    Fred I. Dretske, Laws of Nature
    D. H. Mellor, Necessities and Universals in Natural Laws
    Nancy Cartwright, Do the Laws of Physics State the Facts?


    8 | Intertheoretic Reduction


    Ernest Nagel, Issues in the Logic of Reductive Explanations
    Paul K. Feyerabend, How to Be a Good Empiricist
    *Jerry A. Fodor, Special Sciences
    Philip Kitcher, 1953 and All That: A Tale of Two Sciences


    9 | Empiricism and Scientific Realism


    Grover Maxwell, The Ontological Status of Theoretical Entities
    Bas C. van Fraassen, Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism
    Alan Musgrave, Realism versus Constructive Empiricism
    Larry Laudan, A Confutation of Convergent Realism
    *Juha T. Saatsi, On the Pessimistic Induction and Two Fallacies
    Ian Hacking, Experimentation and Scientific Realism
    David B. Resnik, Hacking’s Experimental Realism
    *Martin Carrier, What Is Right with the Miracle Argument
    Arthur Fine, The Natural Ontological Attitude
    Alan Musgrave, NOA’s Ark—Fine for Realism




    Name Index
    Subject Index