What makes science different from other ways of investigating the world? In “Theory and Reality” Peter Godfrey-Smith uses debates – such as the problem of confirmation, the new riddle of induction, and the problem of scientific realism – as a way to introduce, in a completely accessible way, the main themes in the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, “Theory and Reality” starts by surveying the last hundred years of work in the field. It covers logical positivism; induction and confirmation; Karl Popper’s theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and “scientific revolutions”; the radical views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from the sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in detail at some of the broader philosophical issues at stakes, such as philosophical naturalism, scientific realism, theories of explanation in science, Bayesianism, and other modern theories of explanation in science.
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