Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 20, 1983 - Philosophy - 287 pages
3 Reviews
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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Review: Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science

User Review  - Paul Ivanov - Goodreads

A good, accessible but incisive coverage of various aspects and the development of philosophy of science. Read full review

Review: Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science

User Review  - mpacer - Goodreads

Fantastic book. Extremely thought provoking. The middle is a bit slow for a little while and I would just skip the intermediate chapter, but its truly excellent philosophical work. Read full review

Contents

Rationality
1
What is scientific realism?
21
Building and causing
32
Positivism
41
Pragmatism
58
Incommensurability
65
Reference
75
Internal realism
92
Experiment
149
Observation
167
Microscopes
186
Speculation calculation models approximations
210
The creation of phenomena
220
Measurement
233
Baconian topics
246
Experimentation and scientific realism
262

A surrogate for truth
112
Reals and representations
130

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About the author (1983)

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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