Science without Laws

Science without Laws Debate over the nature of science has recently moved from the halls of academia into the public sphere where it has taken shape as the science wars At issue is the question of whether scientific know

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  • Title: Science without Laws
  • Author: Ronald N. Giere
  • ISBN: 9780226292083
  • Page: 318
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Debate over the nature of science has recently moved from the halls of academia into the public sphere, where it has taken shape as the science wars At issue is the question of whether scientific knowledge is objective and universal or socially mediated, whether scientific truths are independent of human values and beliefs Ronald Giere is a philosopher of science who hDebate over the nature of science has recently moved from the halls of academia into the public sphere, where it has taken shape as the science wars At issue is the question of whether scientific knowledge is objective and universal or socially mediated, whether scientific truths are independent of human values and beliefs Ronald Giere is a philosopher of science who has been at the forefront of this debate from its inception, and Science without Laws offers a much needed mediating perspective on an increasingly volatile line of inquiry.Giere does not question the major findings of modern science for example, that the universe is expanding or that inheritance is carried by DNA molecules with a double helical structure But like many critics of modern science, he rejects the widespread notion of science deriving ultimately from the Enlightenment as a uniquely rational activity leading to the discovery of universal truths underlying all natural phenomena In these highly readable essays, Giere argues that it is better to understand scientists as merely constructing or less abstract models of limited aspects of the world Such an understanding makes possible a resolution of the issues at stake in the science wars The critics of science are seen to be correct in rejecting the Enlightenment idea of science, and its defenders are seen to be correct in insisting that science does produce genuine knowledge of the natural world.Giere is utterly persuasive in arguing that to criticize the Enlightenment ideal is not to criticize science itself, and that to defend science one need not defend the Enlightenment ideal Science without Laws thus stakes out a middle ground in these debates by showing us how science can be better conceived in other ways.

    One thought on “Science without Laws”

    1. An interesting set of essays on a fascinating set of ideas in contemporary philosophy of science. The book reads as Giere laying down the precursors of his preferred form of methodological naturalism, a view that reaches a more mature form in his more recent Scientific Perspectivism. As the essays are spread out by topic matter, there is a little here for even the layman interested in an "insider's" look at both the practice of science and the philosopher's reflections on them. Not everyone will [...]

    2. Some books have an overarching theme that flows across chapters. Giere's text has one theme that's repeated 12 times. The book is at it's most interesting when the author recounts the history of 20th century philosophy of science. His interpretation of logical empiricism's rise is so interesting that I didn't mind reading it three times over. I can't say the same for the rest of the text which beats around the "model-based reasoning" bush delivering a vague course of action for the field.I sugge [...]

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