Philosophy and Scientific Realism

Philosophy and Scientific Realism

Philosophy and Scientific Realism

Philosophy and Scientific Realism

Excerpt

In recent years I have been moving away from a roughly neoWittgensteinian conception of philosophy towards a more metaphysical one, according to which philosophy is in a much more intimate relation to the sciences. Philosophy, it now seems to me, has to do not only with unravelling conceptual muddles but also with the tentative adumbration of a world view. I have tried to do something of this latter sort in the present book. Though this book is addressed primarily to professional philosophers and students of philosophy, I hope that it may appeal to readers with scientific interests who have not had a specialised philosophical education.

Some parts of this book are based on articles which I have had published in various philosophical journals. However, much of this material has been rewritten. I am grateful to the editors of journals who have allowed me to use this material: a list of acknowledgments will be found on another page.

I wish to thank Dr D. M. Armstrong, Mr Gregory O'Hair, and especially Professor A. G. N. Flew, who have read an earlier draft of this book and who have helped me with their advice and encouragement. In revising this draft I have also been helped by the assistant editor of the International Library of Philosophy and Scientific Method, Mr Bernard Williams. I have had helpful discussions on parts of the book with my colleagues in Adelaide, Dr C. B. Martin (who incidentally suggested the title) and Mr M. C. Bradley. Though we disagree greatly on many issues, for nearly ten years I have been more influenced by Dr Martin's subtle profundities than will be apparent to many readers of this book: in particular, he has done much to wean me from a too positivistic and verificationist way of thinking. I am grateful to Mr and Mrs S. E. Hughes, who have helped with the proof reading, and to Mrs Bartesaghi, who typed the manuscript.

J.J,C.S.

University of Adelaide South Australia May 1963 . . .

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