Philosophy of Science  

In General > s.a. philosophy.
* History: Founded by Bacon and Comenius; Two main schools, foundationist and historicist.
* Issues: The problem of nature (is it really out there?), of knowledge, of science.
* Relationship with science: According to S Weinberg [@ NYRB(96)aug] the results of physics per se have nothing to say about philosophy of science, with a couple of exceptions; The counterparts of the big issues are fundamental theory, foundations of quantum mechanics, and the study of the development of physics.
* Common dualism: Science deals with universal, eternal, theory-independent questions; Everything cultural is a transitory metaphor; May be changing, from a profound reinterpretation of quantum field theory [@ Schweber PT(93)nov].
> Points of view: see Structural Realism.

Critical Naturalism
* Idea: Mechanic yet non-materialistic universe; Analysis of a small portion of universe is enough – the rest can be done by extrapolation with mathematical and philosophical means.

* Idea: The meaning of a question is its means of verification.
@ References: Reichenbach PAAAS(51); Salmon PhSc(99)sep [Hempel and logical empiricism]; Frost-Arnold PhSc(05)dec [unification of science and elimination of metaphysics].

Logical Positivism
* Idea: The view (typified by Ernst Mach), according to which only experimental observations are considered satisfactory and reliable; The anti-positivist view (typified by Thomas Kuhn), is much more willing to credit theoretical ideas in advancing and altering the general consensus; The historical and philosophical view of physics over the past century or so as oscillating between two poles (Galison).


Scientific Realism > s.a. realism.
@ General references: Harré 70; Adler AJP(89)oct; Gardner AJP(89)mar; Hacking PhSc(89)dec [lensing]; Murphy BJPS(90); Jones PhSc(91)jun, discussion Musgrave PhSc(92)dec.
@ And astronomy: Shapere PhSc(93)mar.

Thematic Component of Science > s.a. Emergence; physics paradigms [reductionism, etc].
* Idea: "It consists of unverifiable, unfalsifiable, and yet non-quite-arbitrary hypotheses that belong to a pool of specifically scientific ideas but spring from the more general ground of the imagination".
* Example: Atomisms.
@ References: Holton 73, Sci(75)apr, 78; Misner PRD(78) ['use' in physics].

Other Issues > s.a. computation [artificial intelligence]; philosophy of physics.
@ Spectrometer: Rothbart & Slayden PhSc(94)mar.
@ Existence, truth: Ghins FP(00).
> Related topics: see Beable; Determinism; Teleology; Zeno's Paradox.

References > s.a. physics teaching.
@ Overviews: Churchman PhSc(94)mar; Wray SHPS(05) [status and Mirowski's analysis]; Psillos 07.
@ Books: Northrop 31; Eddington 39; Frank AJP(47)may; Margenau 50; Ayer 56; Feyerabend 69; Harré 72; Rorty 79; van Fraassen 80; Bunge 83; Home ed-83; Pachner FP(84); Munitz 86; Galison 87; Kourany ed-87; Morris 87; Giere 88; Gjertsen 90; Laudan 91; Kosso 92; Shimony 93; Klee 96 [intro]; van Fraassen 08; Dear 10; Rosenberg 11; Staley 14 [read].
@ Books, II: Sanitt 96.
@ Books, history: Edmonds & Eidinow 01 [Wittgenstein and Popper].
@ Reference books: Durbin 88.
@ On explanation: Salmon 90; Trout PhSc(02)jun [and understanding]; > s.a. Explanation [including truth]; Understanding.
@ Computational: Thagard 88.
@ Related topics: Stone BJPS(91) [falsifiability]; Kelly et al PhSc(97)jun [and learning]; Sesardic PhSc(00)dec [and science]; Hodgson CP(00) [quantum]; Demopoulos BJPS(03) [Carnap–Ramsey reconstruction of knowledge]; Kourany PhSc(03)jan [socially responsible program], criticism Giere PhSc(03)jan, reply PhSc(03)jan; Piccinini & Scott PhSc(06)oct, Machery PhSc(06)oct [kinds of concepts?]; Cartwright PhSc(07)dec [useful science]; French Isis(08) [putative alternatives vs genuine possibilities]; Maxwell JBPC-a1103 [need for change]; Martínez & Huang PhSc(11) [epistemic groundings of abstraction]; Maxwell a1509 [aim-oriented empiricism]; Collins a1607 [interactional expertise and embodiment].

Science and Philosophy
@ General references: Newman SHPSA(10) [history and philosophy of science].
@ And marxist philosophy: Haldane 38.

Online Resources > see PhilSci Archive.

"To expect a scientist to do philosophy of science is like expecting a fish to do hydrodynamics" – Imre Lakatos

main pageabbreviationsjournalscommentsother sitesacknowledgements
send feedback and suggestions to bombelli at – modified 28 feb 2017