Peter Godfrey-Smith is associate professor of philosophy and of his- tory and philosophy of Theory and reality: an introduction to the philosophy of science I. Request PDF on ResearchGate | Theory and Reality: An Introduction to Philosophy In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by. In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science.

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Do scientific theories give literally true accounts of the world as it is, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Sci- ence . Peter Godfrey-Smith, Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the posted in two formats,.pdf; students are encouraged to use whichever they find most . Peter Godfrey-Smith (), Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy . (Routledge), Available here:

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No Downloads. Views Total views. These debates came to be known as the "Science Thomas Carlyle. There is still a much-debated border region, however, Wars;' a phrase that conveys a sense of how heated things became. The Science Wars eventually cooled down, but now, as I write these At Stanford University, where I teach, this kind of debate was one element words, it is fair to say that there is still a great deal of disagreement about of a process in which the Department of Anthropology split into two sep- even the most basic questions concerning the nature and status of scientific arate departments.

Is anthropology, the general study of humankind, a knowledge. These disagreements usually do not have much influence on fully scientific discipline that should be closely linked to biology, or is it a the day-to-day practice of science, but sometimes they do.

And they have more "interpretive" discipline that should be more closely connected to the huge importance for general discussions of human knowledge, cultural humanities?

This book aims to introduce The existence of this gray area should not be surprising, because in con- you to this remarkable series of debates, and to give you an understanding temporary society the word "science" is a loaded and rhetorically powerful of the present situation. People will often find it a useful tactic to describe work in a border- line area as "scientific" or as "unscientific. Less commonly, but occasionally, a person might call an in- If we want to understand how science works, it seems that the first thing vestigation scientific in order to say something negative about it-to sug- we need to do is work out what exactly we are trying to explain.

Where gest that it is dehumanizing, perhaps. The term "scientistic" is more often does science begin and end? Which kinds of activity count as "science"? Because the words Unfortunately this is not something we can settle in advance.

There is a "science" and "scientific" have these rhetorical uses, we should not be sur- lot of disagreement about what counts as science, and these disagreements prised that people constantly argue back and forth about which kinds of are connected to all the other issues discussed in this book.

There is consensus about some central cases. People often think of The history of the term "science" is also relevant here. The current uses physics as the purest example of science. Certainly physics has had a heroic of the words "science" and "scientist" developed quite recently.

The word history and a central role in the development of modern science. Molecu- "science" is derived from the Latin word "scientia:' In the ancient, medi- lar biology, however, is probably the science that has developed most rap- eval, and early modern world, "scientia" referred to the results of logical idly and impressively over the past fifty years or so. Scientia could be These seem to be central examples of science, though even here we en- gained in various fields, but the kind of proof involved was what we would 4 Chapter One Introduction 5 now mostly associate with mathematics and geometry.

Around the seven- of understanding we would eventually like to have. However we choose to teenth century, when modern science began its rise, the fields that we would use the word "science," in the end we should try to develop both now call science were more usually called "natural philosophy" physics, astronomy, and other inquiries into the causes of things or "natural his- I.

The current senses of the term "science" and the associated word "scientist" are products of the nineteenth century. We will move back and forth between these two kinds of questions through- Given the rhetorical load carried by the word "science;' we should not out the book.

For now we will have to let the gray mentioned. How confident should we be that all the work we call "sci- area remain gray.

Some theories that are too broad and sweeping. Sci- ence is seen as something found in all human cultures, even though the 1. But there are also views that construe "sci- ence" more narrowly, seeing it as a cultural phenomenon that is localized This book is an introduction to the philosophy of science. But most of the in space and time. For views of this kind, it was only the Scientific Revolu" book focuses on one set of issues in that field.

Within the philosophy of sci- tion of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe that gave us sci- ence, we can distinguish between epistemological issues and metaphysical ence in the full sense. Before that, we find the initial "roots" or precursors issues aswell as issues that fall into neither category. Epistemology is the of science in ancient Greece, some contributions from the Arab world and side of philosophy that is concerned with questions about knowledge, evi- from the Scholastic tradition in the late Middle Ages, but not much else.

So dence, and rationality. Metaphysics, a more controversial part of philos- this is a view in which science is treated as a special social institution with ophy, deals with general questions about the nature of reality.

Philosophy a definite history. Science is something that descends from specific people of science overlaps with both of these.

For example, we will be concerned with questions about in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

We will also ask To set things up this way is to see science as unlike the kinds of investi- whether we have reason to hope that science can succeed in describing the gation and knowledge that routinely go along with farming, architecture, world "as it really is. So a view like this need not claim that sues, and issues in the philosophy of language.

The discussion will intersect people in nonscientific cultures must be ignorant or stupid; the idea is that with work in the history of science and other fields as well. And we need to work out how one approach philosophical work should be done and what a philosophical theory should to knowledge developed by a small group of Europeans turned out to have try to do.

So we will have to deal with disagreement about the right form such spectacular consequences for humanity. One obvious possibility is that we construing science broadly, others narrowly, and others in a way that lies in might try for an understanding of scientific thinking. In the twentieth cen- between. But this does not stop us from outlining, in advance, what kind tury, many philosophers rejected this idea, insisting that we should seek a Introduction 7 6 Chapter One logical theory of science.

That is, we should try to understand the abstract science textbooks to have an early section describing "the scientific method;' structure of scientific theories and the relationships between theories and but recently textbooks seem to have become more cautious about this. A third option is that we should try to come up with a method- I said that much twentieth-century philosophy of science aimed at de- ology, a set of rules or procedures that scientists do or should follow.

In scribing the logical structure of science.

Theory and reality godfrey-smith pdf

What does this mean? The idea is more recent years, philosophers influenced by historical work have wanted that the philosopher should think of a scientific theory as an abstract struc- to give a general theory of scientific change.

The philosopher aims A distinction that is very important here is the distinction between de- to give a description of the logical relations between the sentences in the scriptive and normative theories.

A descriptive theory is an attempt to de- theory and the relations between the theory and observational evidence. A normative theory does make value judgments; it talks scientific theories in related fields. Some theories Philosophers taking this approach tend to be enthusiastic about the tools about science are supposed to be descriptive only.

But most of the views we of mathematical logic. They prize the rigor of their work. This kind of phi- will look at do have a normative element, either officially or unofficially. The crusty old philosophers seemed stantly ask: "Is this claim intended to be descriptive or normative, or both?

Peter Godfrey-Smith

Sometimes ing interfere with the endless games that can be played with imaginary the- objectivity is taken to mean the absence of bias; objectivity is impartiality ories expressed in artificial languages. This kind of logic-based philosophy or fairness. But the term "objective" is also often used to express claims of science will be discussed in the early chapters of this book.

I will argue about whether the existence of something is independent of our minds. A that the logical investigations were often very interesting, but ultimately person might wonder whether there really is an "objective reality;' that is my sympathy lies with those who insist that philosophy of science should to say, a reality that exists regardless of how people conceptualize or de- have more contact with actual scientific work. We might ask whether scientific theories can ever describe a real- If looking for a recipe is too simplistic, and looking for a logical theory ity that exists in this sense.

Questions like that go far beyond any issue is too abstract, what might we look for instead? Here is an answer that will about the absence of bias and take us into deep philosophical waters.

And we can then hope to de- and" objectivity. And I lowing that strategy.

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Description What makes science different from other ways of investigating the world? In "Theory and Reality" Peter Godfrey-Smith uses debates - such as the problem of confirmation, the new riddle of induction, and the problem of scientific realism - as a way to introduce, in a completely accessible way, the main themes in the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, "Theory and Reality" starts by surveying the last hundred years of work in the field.

It covers logical positivism; induction and confirmation; Karl Popper's theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and "scientific revolutions"; the radical views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism and science studies.

The book then looks in detail at some of the broader philosophical issues at stake, such as philosophical naturalism, scientific realism, theories of explanation in science, Bayesianism, and other modern theories of explanation in science.Some Although describing a special scientific method looks like a natural thing to people in these neighboring fields thought they had reason to believe that try to do, during the twentieth century many philosophers and others be- the whole idea of a philosophical theory of science is misguided.

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But the case reminds us that direct empirical other human thought. Philosophy of religion. Before setting out, I should note that there is a good deal of con- working out new ways of policing, controlling, and coordinating the ac- troversy about how to understand this period of history; for example, some tions of groups of people in the activity of research. In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science.

Steven Shapin argues that mainstream empiricism often works and what makes it distinctive.