What is Philosophy of Science?
What is Philosophy of Science?
Philosophy of science puts science itself under the microscope: What exactly is science? How do its explanations of the world differ from those of other subjects, including so-called “pseudo-sciences”? How should we understand and evaluate scientific methods? What, if anything, can science tell us about the nature of physical reality?

Dean Rickles guides beginners through the central topics in philosophy of science. He looks at the origins and evolution of the field, the issues that arise when distinguishing between science and non-science, the concepts of logic and associated problems, scientific realism and anti-realism, and the nature of scientific models and representing. Rickles brings the subject to sparkling life with a user-friendly tone and rich, real-world examples.

<i>What is Philosophy of Science?</i> is the must-have primer for students getting to grips with this broad-ranging and important topic.
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  • July 2020
  • 160 pages
  • 145 x 221 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509534166
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509534173
  • Open eBook $16.00
  • 9781509534180
Table of Contents

1 Philosophy, Science, and History
2 Logic and Philosophy of Science
3 Demarcation and the Scientific Method
4 The Nature of Scientific Theories

About the Author
Dean Rickles is Professor of History and Philosophy of Modern Physics at the University of Sydney.
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'An enjoyable and lively introduction to central issues within general philosophy of science. The book is 'written for the absolute beginner' (xi) and lives up to the billing. The writing is clear and accessible. Explanations are balanced, neither superficial nor weighed down by excessive jargon and detail. This economy of style enables Rickles to cover an impressive amount of material, given its length. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning what philosophy of science is, and I am confident that instructors of relevant courses will find the book useful.

A wonderfully accessible picture of what philosophers are trying to understand about science ? about the nature of scientific reasoning and theories, what makes them special, and how they represent the world. Rickles pithy introduction is fun, direct, extensive, and captivating.
Anjan Chakravartty, University of Miami

This engagingly written introduction gives a fresh voice to traditional, and essential, topics in the philosophy of science. It is perfectly pitched at the complete beginner, requires no prior philosophical training, and will be a wonderful resource both inside and outside the classroom.
Eleanor Knox, Kings College London

Dean Rickles rightly notes that philosophy of science puts science under the microscope. Well, in his own fine What is Philosophy of Science?, Rickles manages to put philosophy of science itself under the magnifying glass. Written for the uninitiated, the book succeeds in making major philosophical views and arguments concerning science accessible to the novice, offering the necessary conceptual tools for a more in depth study of the subject.
Stathis Psillos, University of Athens

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