Holism and the Understanding of Science: Integrating the Analytical, Historical and Sociological

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Ashgate, Jan 1, 2000 - Philosophy - 173 pages
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This book addresses issues which are central in the philosophy of science, exploring a large and relevant literature. It should be of broad interest in the philosophy of science community.. Peter Lipton, University of Cambridge, UK (NB: quote needs checking with PL before using) How can the complexities of understanding science be dealt with as a whole? Is philosophical realism still a defensible philosophical position? Exploring such fundamental questions, this book claims that science ought to be understood in terms of universal practices and that such an understanding supports an attractive version of scientific realism. Holism is attracting renewed scholarly attention but is still loosely used in a range of different contexts, from semantics to medicine. This book presents a detailed philosophical analysis of holism, concentrating on two complementary aspects of holism - cognitive and social - to investigate 'holism's' connectivity with science. Bridging the gap between analytical, historical and sociological accounts of science, Caruana draws together results from recent research by Davidson, Dummett, Quine, Wright and others, on Wittgenstein's later philosophy Demonstrating that holism, both cognitive and social, is not only essential for a full understanding of science but also compatible with a particular version of scientific realism, this book presents important new perspectives for the philosophers of science and scholars of the history of science in particular.

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Cognitive Holism
Social Holism
Discourse and Practice

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About the author (2000)

Louis Caruana is Assistant Lecturer in Philosophy of Science and Nature at the Gregorian University, Rome, Italy.

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