If it is unclear what counts as science, how the process of confirming theories works, and what the purpose of science is, there is considerable scope for values and other social influences to shape science. Indeed, values can play a role ranging from determining which research gets funded to influencing which theories achieve scientific consensus. The origins of philosophy of science trace back to Plato and Aristotle  who distinguished the forms of approximate and exact reasoning, set out the threefold scheme of abductive , deductive , and inductive inference, and also analyzed reasoning by analogy.
The eleventh century Arab polymath Ibn al-Haytham known in Latin as Alhazen conducted his research in optics by way of controlled experimental testing and applied geometry , especially in his investigations into the images resulting from the reflection and refraction of light. Roger Bacon — , an English thinker and experimenter heavily influenced by al-Haytham, is recognized by many to be the father of modern scientific method. Francis Bacon no direct relation to Roger, who lived years earlier was a seminal figure in philosophy of science at the time of the Scientific Revolution.
In his work Novum Organum —an allusion to Aristotle's Organon —Bacon outlined a new system of logic to improve upon the old philosophical process of syllogism. Bacon's method relied on experimental histories to eliminate alternative theories. In this philosophy[,] propositions are deduced from the phenomena and rendered general by induction. The 19th century writings of John Stuart Mill are also considered important in the formation of current conceptions of the scientific method, as well as anticipating later accounts of scientific explanation.
Instrumentalism became popular among physicists around the turn of the 20th century, after which logical positivism defined the field for several decades. Logical positivism accepts only testable statements as meaningful, rejects metaphysical interpretations, and embraces verificationism a set of theories of knowledge that combines logicism , empiricism , and linguistics to ground philosophy on a basis consistent with examples from the empirical sciences.
Seeking to overhaul all of philosophy and convert it to a new scientific philosophy ,  the Berlin Circle and the Vienna Circle propounded logical positivism in the late s. Interpreting Ludwig Wittgenstein 's early philosophy of language , logical positivists identified a verifiability principle or criterion of cognitive meaningfulness.
From Bertrand Russell 's logicism they sought reduction of mathematics to logic. They also embraced Russell's logical atomism , Ernst Mach 's phenomenalism —whereby the mind knows only actual or potential sensory experience, which is the content of all sciences, whether physics or psychology—and Percy Bridgman 's operationalism. Thereby, only the verifiable was scientific and cognitively meaningful , whereas the unverifiable was unscientific, cognitively meaningless "pseudostatements"—metaphysical, emotive, or such—not worthy of further review by philosophers, who were newly tasked to organize knowledge rather than develop new knowledge.
Logical positivism is commonly portrayed as taking the extreme position that scientific language should never refer to anything unobservable—even the seemingly core notions of causality, mechanism, and principles—but that is an exaggeration. Talk of such unobservables could be allowed as metaphorical—direct observations viewed in the abstract—or at worst metaphysical or emotional.
Theoretical laws would be reduced to empirical laws , while theoretical terms would garner meaning from observational terms via correspondence rules.
Mathematics in physics would reduce to symbolic logic via logicism, while rational reconstruction would convert ordinary language into standardized equivalents, all networked and united by a logical syntax. A scientific theory would be stated with its method of verification, whereby a logical calculus or empirical operation could verify its falsity or truth. In the late s, logical positivists fled Germany and Austria for Britain and America. By then, many had replaced Mach's phenomenalism with Otto Neurath 's physicalism , and Rudolf Carnap had sought to replace verification with simply confirmation.
With World War II 's close in , logical positivism became milder, logical empiricism , led largely by Carl Hempel , in America, who expounded the covering law model of scientific explanation as a way of identifying the logical form of explanations without any reference to the suspect notion of "causation". The logical positivist movement became a major underpinning of analytic philosophy ,  and dominated Anglosphere philosophy, including philosophy of science, while influencing sciences, into the s.
Yet the movement failed to resolve its central problems,    and its doctrines were increasingly assaulted.
Nevertheless, it brought about the establishment of philosophy of science as a distinct subdiscipline of philosophy, with Carl Hempel playing a key role. In the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions , Thomas Kuhn argued that the process of observation and evaluation takes place within a paradigm, a logically consistent "portrait" of the world that is consistent with observations made from its framing. A paradigm also encompasses the set of questions and practices that define a scientific discipline.
He characterized normal science as the process of observation and "puzzle solving" which takes place within a paradigm, whereas revolutionary science occurs when one paradigm overtakes another in a paradigm shift. Kuhn denied that it is ever possible to isolate the hypothesis being tested from the influence of the theory in which the observations are grounded, and he argued that it is not possible to evaluate competing paradigms independently. More than one logically consistent construct can paint a usable likeness of the world, but there is no common ground from which to pit two against each other, theory against theory.
Each paradigm has its own distinct questions, aims, and interpretations. Neither provides a standard by which the other can be judged, so there is no clear way to measure scientific progress across paradigms. For Kuhn, the choice of paradigm was sustained by rational processes, but not ultimately determined by them. The choice between paradigms involves setting two or more "portraits" against the world and deciding which likeness is most promising. For Kuhn, acceptance or rejection of a paradigm is a social process as much as a logical process.
Kuhn's position, however, is not one of relativism. That is, the choice of a new paradigm is based on observations, even though those observations are made against the background of the old paradigm. All scientific study inescapably builds on at least some essential assumptions that are untested by scientific processes.
These assumptions—a paradigm—comprise a collection of beliefs, values and techniques that are held by a given scientific community, which legitimize their systems and set the limitations to their investigation. There is no such thing as 'supernatural'. The scientific method is to be used to investigate all reality. Naturalism is the implicit philosophy of working scientists.
In contrast to the view that science rests on foundational assumptions, coherentism asserts that statements are justified by being a part of a coherent system. Or, rather, individual statements cannot be validated on their own: only coherent systems can be justified. As explained above, observation is a cognitive act. That is, it relies on a pre-existing understanding, a systematic set of beliefs. An observation of a transit of Venus requires a huge range of auxiliary beliefs, such as those that describe the optics of telescopes, the mechanics of the telescope mount, and an understanding of celestial mechanics.
If the prediction fails and a transit is not observed, that is likely to occasion an adjustment in the system, a change in some auxiliary assumption, rather than a rejection of the theoretical system. Quine , it is impossible to test a theory in isolation. For example, to test Newton's Law of Gravitation in the solar system, one needs information about the masses and positions of the Sun and all the planets.
Famously, the failure to predict the orbit of Uranus in the 19th century led not to the rejection of Newton's Law but rather to the rejection of the hypothesis that the solar system comprises only seven planets. The investigations that followed led to the discovery of an eighth planet, Neptune. If a test fails, something is wrong. But there is a problem in figuring out what that something is: a missing planet, badly calibrated test equipment, an unsuspected curvature of space, or something else. One consequence of the Duhem—Quine thesis is that one can make any theory compatible with any empirical observation by the addition of a sufficient number of suitable ad hoc hypotheses.
Instead, he favored a "survival of the fittest" view in which the most falsifiable scientific theories are to be preferred. Paul Feyerabend — argued that no description of scientific method could possibly be broad enough to include all the approaches and methods used by scientists, and that there are no useful and exception-free methodological rules governing the progress of science.
He argued that "the only principle that does not inhibit progress is: anything goes ". Feyerabend said that science started as a liberating movement, but that over time it had become increasingly dogmatic and rigid and had some oppressive features, and thus had become increasingly an ideology.
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Because of this, he said it was impossible to come up with an unambiguous way to distinguish science from religion , magic , or mythology. He saw the exclusive dominance of science as a means of directing society as authoritarian and ungrounded. According to Kuhn, science is an inherently communal activity which can only be done as part of a community. Others, especially Feyerabend and some post-modernist thinkers, have argued that there is insufficient difference between social practices in science and other disciplines to maintain this distinction. For them, social factors play an important and direct role in scientific method, but they do not serve to differentiate science from other disciplines.
On this account, science is socially constructed, though this does not necessarily imply the more radical notion that reality itself is a social construct. Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing, the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind.
Both sorts of entities enter our conceptions only as cultural posits. The public backlash of scientists against such views, particularly in the s, became known as the science wars. A major development in recent decades has been the study of the formation, structure, and evolution of scientific communities by sociologists and anthropologists — including David Bloor , Harry Collins , Bruno Latour , Ian Hacking and Anselm Strauss.
Concepts and methods such as rational choice, social choice or game theory from economics have also been applied [ by whom? This interdisciplinary field has come to be known as science and technology studies. Philosophers in the continental philosophical tradition are not traditionally categorized [ by whom? However, they have much to say about science, some of which has anticipated themes in the analytical tradition.
French Studies Philosophy Science Contemporary by Brenner Anastasios Jean Gayon
For example, Friedrich Nietzsche advanced the thesis in his The Genealogy of Morals that the motive for the search for truth in sciences is a kind of ascetic ideal. In general, continental philosophy views science from a world-historical perspective. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel became one of the first philosophers to support this view. Philosophers such as Pierre Duhem and Gaston Bachelard also wrote their works with this world-historical approach to science, predating Kuhn' work by a generation or more.
All of these approaches involve a historical and sociological turn to science, with a priority on lived experience a kind of Husserlian "life-world" , rather than a progress-based or anti-historical approach as emphasised in the analytic tradition. The largest effect on the continental tradition with respect to science came from Martin Heidegger's critique of the theoretical attitude in general, which of course includes the scientific attitude. Another important development was that of Michel Foucault 's analysis of historical and scientific thought in The Order of Things and his study of power and corruption within the "science" of madness.
Analysis is the activity of breaking an observation or theory down into simpler concepts in order to understand it. Reductionism can refer to one of several philosophical positions related to this approach. One type of reductionism is the belief that all fields of study are ultimately amenable to scientific explanation. Perhaps a historical event might be explained in sociological and psychological terms, which in turn might be described in terms of human physiology, which in turn might be described in terms of chemistry and physics.
A broad issue affecting the neutrality of science concerns the areas which science chooses to explore, that is, what part of the world and man is studied by science. Philip Kitcher in his "Science, Truth, and Democracy"  argues that scientific studies that attempt to show one segment of the population as being less intelligent, successful or emotionally backward compared to others have a political feedback effect which further excludes such groups from access to science.
Thus such studies undermine the broad consensus required for good science by excluding certain people, and so proving themselves in the end to be unscientific. There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination. In addition to addressing the general questions regarding science and induction, many philosophers of science are occupied by investigating foundational problems in particular sciences. They also examine the implications of particular sciences for broader philosophical questions.
The late 20th and early 21st century has seen a rise in the number of practitioners of philosophy of a particular science. The problem of induction discussed above is seen in another form in debates over the foundations of statistics. Instead, the typical test yields a p-value , which is the probability of the evidence being such as it is, under the assumption that the hypothesis being tested is true.
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If the p -value is too low, the hypothesis is rejected, in a way analogous to falsification. In contrast, Bayesian inference seeks to assign probabilities to hypotheses. Related topics in philosophy of statistics include probability interpretations , overfitting , and the difference between correlation and causation. Philosophy of mathematics is concerned with the philosophical foundations and implications of mathematics.
Was calculus invented or discovered? A related question is whether learning mathematics requires experience or reason alone. What does it mean to prove a mathematical theorem and how does one know whether a mathematical proof is correct? Philosophers of mathematics also aim to clarify the relationships between mathematics and logic , human capabilities such as intuition , and the material universe.
Philosophy of physics is the study of the fundamental, philosophical questions underlying modern physics , the study of matter and energy and how they interact. The main questions concern the nature of space and time , atoms and atomism. Also included are the predictions of cosmology , the interpretation of quantum mechanics , the foundations of statistical mechanics , causality , determinism , and the nature of physical laws.
Philosophy of chemistry is the philosophical study of the methodology and content of the science of chemistry. It is explored by philosophers, chemists, and philosopher-chemist teams. It includes research on general philosophy of science issues as applied to chemistry. For example, can all chemical phenomena be explained by quantum mechanics or is it not possible to reduce chemistry to physics?
For another example, chemists have discussed the philosophy of how theories are confirmed in the context of confirming reaction mechanisms. Determining reaction mechanisms is difficult because they cannot be observed directly. Chemists can use a number of indirect measures as evidence to rule out certain mechanisms, but they are often unsure if the remaining mechanism is correct because there are many other possible mechanisms that they have not tested or even thought of. The philosophy of Earth science is concerned with how humans obtain and verify knowledge of the workings of the Earth system, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere solid earth.
Philosophy of biology deals with epistemological , metaphysical , and ethical issues in the biological and biomedical sciences. Although philosophers of science and philosophers generally have long been interested in biology e. Other key ideas such as the reduction of all life processes to biochemical reactions as well as the incorporation of psychology into a broader neuroscience are also addressed.
Research in current philosophy of biology includes investigation of the foundations of evolutionary theory such as Peter Godfrey-Smith 's work ,  and the role of viruses as persistent symbionts in host genomes. As a consequence the evolution of genetic content order is seen as the result of competent genome editors in contrast to former narratives in which error replication events mutations dominated.
Within the epistemology of medicine, evidence-based medicine EBM or evidence-based practice EBP has attracted attention, most notably the roles of randomisation,    blinding and placebo controls. Related to these areas of investigation, ontologies of specific interest to the philosophy of medicine include Cartesian dualism , the monogenetic conception of disease  and the conceptualization of 'placebos' and 'placebo effects'. Philosophers of medicine might not only be interested in how medical knowledge is generated, but also in the nature of such phenomena.
Causation is of interest because the purpose of much medical research is to establish causal relationships, e. Philosophy of psychology refers to issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. Some of these issues are epistemological concerns about the methodology of psychological investigation. For example, is the best method for studying psychology to focus only on the response of behavior to external stimuli or should psychologists focus on mental perception and thought processes?
Self-reports of feelings and beliefs may not be reliable because, even in cases in which there is no apparent incentive for subjects to intentionally deceive in their answers, self-deception or selective memory may affect their responses. Then even in the case of accurate self-reports, how can responses be compared across individuals? Even if two individuals respond with the same answer on a Likert scale , they may be experiencing very different things. Other issues in philosophy of psychology are philosophical questions about the nature of mind, brain, and cognition, and are perhaps more commonly thought of as part of cognitive science , or philosophy of mind.
For example, are humans rational creatures? Philosophy of psychology also closely monitors contemporary work conducted in cognitive neuroscience , evolutionary psychology , and artificial intelligence , questioning what they can and cannot explain in psychology. Philosophy of psychology is a relatively young field, because psychology only became a discipline of its own in the late s.
In particular, neurophilosophy has just recently become its own field with the works of Paul Churchland and Patricia Churchland. It is concerned with questions about the very nature of mind, the qualities of experience, and particular issues like the debate between dualism and monism. Another related field is philosophy of language. Functional Contextualism is a modern philosophy of science rooted in philosophical pragmatism and contextualism.
It is most actively developed in behavioral science in general, the field of behavior analysis , and contextual behavioral science in particular see the entry for the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Functional contextualism serves as the basis of a theory of language known as relational frame theory  and its most prominent application, acceptance and commitment therapy ACT.
Skinner 's radical behaviorism first delineated by Steven C. Hayes which emphasizes the importance of predicting and influencing psychological events including thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with precision, scope, and depth, by focusing on manipulable variables in their context. Philosophy of psychiatry explores philosophical questions relating to psychiatry and mental illness.
The philosopher of science and medicine Dominic Murphy identifies three areas of exploration in the philosophy of psychiatry. The first concerns the examination of psychiatry as a science, using the tools of the philosophy of science more broadly. The second entails the examination of the concepts employed in discussion of mental illness, including the experience of mental illness, and the normative questions it raises.
remnusubra.cf The third area concerns the links and discontinuities between the philosophy of mind and psychopathology. Philosophy of economics is the branch of philosophy which studies philosophical issues relating to economics. It can also be defined as the branch of economics which studies its own foundations and morality. It can be categorized into three central topics. For example, is it possible to research economics in such a way that it is value-free, establishing facts that are independent of the normative views of the researcher?
The second topic is the meaning and implications of rationality. For example, can buying lottery tickets increasing the riskiness of your income at the same time as buying insurance decreasing the riskiness of your income be rational? The third topic is the normative evaluation of economic policies and outcomes.
What criteria should be used to determine whether a given public policy is beneficial for society? The philosophy of social science is the study of the logic and method of the social sciences , such as sociology , anthropology , and political science. The French philosopher, Auguste Comte — , established the epistemological perspective of positivism in The Course in Positivist Philosophy , a series of texts published between and The first three volumes of the Course dealt chiefly with the physical sciences already in existence mathematics , astronomy , physics , chemistry , biology , whereas the latter two emphasised the inevitable coming of social science : " sociologie ".
Comte offers an evolutionary system proposing that society undergoes three phases in its quest for the truth according to a general ' law of three stages '. These are 1 the theological , 2 the metaphysical , and 3 the positive. Centre de Langues. High Performance Computing. Accords interuniversitaires. Courses taught in English. Transatlantic Dialogue. Confucius Institute. Research in numbers. Publications - ORBilu. Robert Schuman Institute of European Affairs.
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This volume, an expanded Contemporary Research in Engineering Science. To design against these failures, crack propagation life and fracture strength need to be accurately predicted. Dennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative Self Contemporary. Silverman, Stony Brook UniversityWith Silverman, Stony Brook UniversityWith this careful and critical exposition of two narrative theories of selfhood, Joan McCarthy advances our understanding not only of how selves are best understood, but How Things Are: Studies in Predication and the.
One of the earliest and most influential treatises on the subject of this volume is One of the earliest and most influential treatises on the subject of this volume is Aristotle's Categories. Aristotle's title is a form of the Greek verb for speaking against or submitting an accusation in a legal proceeding.
By the time Italian Studies in the Philosophy of Science. The impressive record of Italian philosophical research since the end of Fascism thirty-two years ago The impressive record of Italian philosophical research since the end of Fascism thirty-two years ago is shown in many fields: esthetics, social and personal ethics, history and sociology of philosophy, and magnificently, perhaps above all, in logic, foundations of mathematics Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology. This ambitious work aims to shed new light on the relations between Husserlian phenomenology and New Challenges to Philosophy of Science.