Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein

Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein

Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein

Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein

Synopsis

In this, the first book devoted to Peter Achinstein's influential work in philosophy of science, twenty distinguished philosophers, including four Lakatos award winners, address various aspects of Achinstein's influential views on the nature of scientific evidence, scientific explanation, and scientific realism. It includes short essays by Steve Gimbel and Jeff Maynes, Nancy Cartwright, Jordi Cat, Victor DiFate, Jerry Doppelt, Adam Goldstein, Philip Kitcher, Fred Kronz, Deborah Mayo, Greg Morgan, Helen Longino, John Norton, Michael Ruse, Bas van Fraassen, Stathis Psillos, Larry Laudan, Richard Richards, Kent Staley, and Jim Woodward with replies to each contributor from Peter Achinstein. Readers will come away with an understanding of the current debate in multiple areas of philosophy of science and how various contemporary issues are connected.

Excerpt

This book is a series of essays inspired by the work of Peter Achinstein, one of the most prominent philosophers of science of his generation, Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein University Professor at Yeshiva University, and long time professor at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to editing eight volumes, Achinstein has authored seven books: Concepts of Science: A Philosophical Analysis (1968); Law and Explanation: An Essay in the Philosophy of Science (Oxford University Press, 1971); The Nature of Explanation (Oxford University Press, 1983); The Concept of Evidence (Oxford University Press, 1983); Particles and Waves: Historical Essays in the Philosophy of Science (Oxford University Press, 1991); The Book of Evidence (Oxford University Press, 2003); and Evidence, Explanation, and Realism (Oxford University Press, 2010). Particles and Waves won the 1993 Lakatos Award, the highest honor for a book in philosophy of science. Surprisingly, the current volume is the first book entirely devoted to Achinstein’s views and reactions to them.

The book consists of nineteen short essays on various aspects of Achinstein’s corpus, followed by succinct replies by Peter Achinstein to each of the essays. Chapter 1, by Steven Gimbel and Jeffrey Maynes, provides a historical overview of Achinstein’s approach to philosophy of science; the essays that follow are organized alphabetically by author. They are weighted toward Achinstein’s most recent work on the notion of scientific evidence. Nancy Cartwright, Gerald Doppelt, Philip Kitcher, Helen Longino, Deborah Mayo, Richard Richards, and Kent Staley all consider how Achinstein’s conceptions of scientific evidence fare when applied to case studies or when compared with competing views of evidence. The essays of Victor Di Fate, Frederick Kronz, and John Norton look at the role of induction in scientific methodology, a topic not unrelated to a proper account of scientific evidence. James Woodward and Adam Goldstein consider questions related to Achinstein’s pragmatic theory of explanation. Gregory Morgan considers Achinstein’s interpretation of William Whewell, and Michael Ruse considers Achinstein’s early work on analogy in theoretical science. One distinctive aspect of Peter Achinstein’s approach to the philosophy of science is his use of the history of physics to . . .

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