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The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Januar 1979


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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 640 Seiten
  • Verlag: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc; Auflage: 2 Rev ed. (1. Januar 1979)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0915144719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915144716
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 3,8 x 14 x 21,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 223.301 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Ernest Nagel's work, The Structure of Science , has earned for itself the status of an outstanding standard work in its field. It offers an exceptionally thorough and comprehensive methodological and philosophical exploration encountered in those diverse fields. Nagel's discussion is distinguished by the lucidity of its style, the incisiveness of its reasoning, and the solidity of its grounding in all the major branches of scientific inquiry. The Structure of Science has become a highly influential work that is widely invoked in the methodological and philosophical literature. Recent controversies between analytics and historic-sociological approaches to the philosophy of science have not diminished its significance; in fact, it seems to me that the pragmatist component in Nagel's thinking may be helpful for efforts to develop a rapprochement between the contending schools. --Carl G. Hempel

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10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Dr. Horst Wolfgang Boger am 26. September 2003
Format: Taschenbuch
Dieses im Jahre 1961 erschienene Buch hat leider ein unverdientes Schicksal erfahren, zumindest in Deutschland, wo es niemals übersetzt worden ist und nur von Eingeweihten rezipiert wurde.

Und in den USA hatte es gegenüber Thomas S. Kuhns The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (deutsch: Suhrkamp Taschenbücher Wissenschaft, Nr.25, Die Struktur wissenschaftlicher Revolutionen) von 1962 eindeutig einen publizistischen Malus: Kuhn galt mit seinen Schlagworten "paradigm shift" und "incommensurability" als aufregend und revolutionär, Nagel (1901-1985) dagegen als betulich und konservativ.

Dessen ungeachtet und trotz seines Alters ist Nagels Buch immer noch lesenswert, zumindest so lesenswert wie das von Kuhn. Man erfährt sehr viel darüber, wie richtige, große Wissenschaft tatsächlich betrieben wird. Das Wissen des Autors ist äußerst beeindruckend. Es reicht von Mathematik, Philosophie und Logik über Physik und Biologie bis zu Geschichte und den Sozialwissenschaften. Das Inhaltsverzeichnis macht dies sofort klar:

1. Introduction: Science and Common Sense
2. Patterns of Scientific Explanation
3. The Deductive Pattern of Explanation
4. The Logical Character of Scientific Laws
5. Experimental Laws and Theories
6. The Cognitive Status of Theories
7. Mechanical Explanations and the Science of Mechanics
8. Space and Geometry
9. Geometry and Physics
10. Causality and Indeterminism in Physical Theory
11.
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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Dr. Horst Wolfgang Boger am 7. Januar 2009
Format: Taschenbuch
Dieses Buch hat leider ein unverdientes Schicksal erfahren, zumindest in Deutschland, wo es niemals übersetzt worden ist und nur von Eingeweihten rezipiert wurde.

Und in den USA hatte es gegenüber Thomas S. Kuhns The Structure of Scientific Revolutions von 1962 eindeutig einen publizistischen Malus: Kuhn galt mit seinen Schlagworten "paradigm shift" und "incommensurability" als aufregend und revolutionär, Nagel (1901-1985) als betulich und konservativ.

Dessen ungeachtet und trotz seines Alters ist Nagels Buch immer noch lesenswert, zumindest so lesenswert wie das von Kuhn. Man erfährt sehr viel darüber, wie richtige, große Wissenschaft tatsächlich betrieben wird. Das Wissen des Autors ist äußerst beeindruckend. Es reicht von Mathematik, Philosophie und Logik über Physik und Biologie bis zu Geschichte und den Sozialwissenschaften. Das Inhaltsverzeichnis macht dies sofort klar:

1. Introduction: Science and Common Sense
2. Patterns of Scientific Explanation
3. The Deductive Pattern of Explanation
4. The Logical Character of Scientific Laws
5. Experimental Laws and Theories
6. The Cognitive Status of Theories
7. Mechanical Explanations and the Science of Mechanics
8. Space and Geometry
9. Geometry and Physics
10. Causality and Indeterminism in Physical Theory
11. The Reduction of Theories
12. Mechanistic Explanation and Organismic Biology
13. Methodological Problems of the Social Sciences
14. Explanation and Understanding in the Social Sciences
15. Problems in the Logic of Historical Inquiry

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The Documentation of the Nature of Science 12. Juli 2008
Von Scholastic Reader - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
There's lots of talk over what "science" really is and what constitutes "scienticity". Despite the fact that the word science comes from the Latin word "scientia" (literally meaning "knowledge"), it seems many have idealized or reified versions of it in mind, not a realistic version. Some seem to blindly and ignorantly assume that science is "empirical" or "conclusive" or "objective" or "strictly observationally based" or "skeptical" or "exclusively inductive" or "not deductive" other simplified maxims popularized by popular science magazines, books, and channels [National Geographic, Discovery, Scientific American, etc]. Research journals and academic writings, on the other hand, generally show more realistic complexities that are common among scientists and science. In reality, science really is all over the place and cannot be purged of emotions, humanity, or bias. Basic things people do inevitably play key roles in science like inquiry, thought, and reasoning as the basis of investigations of nature. These are also the basis for investigating local events, picking a car insurance wisely, managing ones own money, and solving personal problems. This work describes with heavy detail the very "nature" of science and Ernest Nagel does a phenomenal job of putting science where it belongs implicitly - as philosophy. Not only that but the fact that he includes discourse on the social sciences is worth getting the book. Many times when people or the media talk about science they seem to ignore or downplay the social sciences as if they were not sciences or treat them as weak/soft sciences. This is erroneous in my view as even ideas like natural selection were partially derived or inspired from the social sciences (Wallace and Darwin acknowledged inspiration from Thomas Malthus' work on human populations in their writings, for instance).

"Natural Philosophy" was the common name of what we call "science", up to the 19th century. For example, Newton's famous 17th century work was called "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy". In the 19th century, Lord Kelvin's text in Physics was called "Treatise on Natural Philosophy". Interestingly, the term "scientist" emerged in 1834, not before, by William Whewell who was an Anglican priest and naturalist. Before this, it was very common for people who studied nature to be called "Natural Philosopher". The 'Structure of Science' does a good job of making the distinction that science is not nature and that nature is not science. The study and attempt of simulation of nature is what leads to any science, whether it be a superstitious science, statistical science, an abstract science, a true science, or a false science. For a general history of "Natural Philosophy" one can check out A History of Natural Philosophy: From the Ancient World to the Nineteenth Century.

Indeed, the philosophical nature of science is seen in the highest title of nearly every scientific field - "Ph.D". It stands for "Doctor of Philosophy". Also in science media, philosophers of science like Karl Popper or Thomas Khun are used and referenced perpetually to define what "is" and what "is not" science (aka the Demarcation Problem), not scientists per se. The fact that today most scientists have very narrow and specialized training in very few fields in the sciences (Simonton, Dean. "Scientific genius is extinct". Nature. January 2013 493(7434):602), not the whole enterprise of the sciences, means that most scientists would normally not be aware of research or methodology across disciplines and limits their knowledge of how research is done on most other fields. Understanding very few parts does not necessarily mean an understanding of the whole. Each field has its limits and degrees of precision within the context of the topics that are studied. Physicists do not focus much on biological issues for instance and vice versa. Perhaps this is why philosophers, and historians too, have become the go-to people for much of the modern discourse of what makes science. Philosophers of science and historians of science tend to traverse through many disciplines and get a general sense of science in many fields as opposed to a few. For instance, this book surveys science from diverse major disciplines (mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, social sciences, etc).

Empiricism and physical evidence do constitute a decent chunk of "science", but overall, after reading the book one will notice more that metaphysical aspects like: imagination, creativity, experimental and general methodologies, knowledge, understanding, ideas, thinking, reasoning, verification, clarification, assumption, inquiring (what, when, where, how, why), explanation, validation, prediction, modeling, numerical analysis, truth seeking, theories, mathematical rigor, basic common logic, laws, models, good faith, and "certainty"; and serendipity (see The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity: A Study in Sociological Semantics and the Sociology of Science) make up the vast majority of what is called "science". We all gather information from nature all the time (empirical data), but it's what we do with the gathered information that makes up science. I know that some people think that science and philosophy are different, but the evidence speaks volumes to the contrary and the history of science testifies to this very well. For an excellent resource that uses position documents from scientific organizations like AAAS, National Science Foundation, and National Academy of Sciences on what science is and its foundations one can check out Scientific Method in Brief. It provides one of the best discussions on the scientific method in practice today.

Note: The words "Nature", "Science", and "Technology" are not the same thing and should NOT be used interchangeably due to their separate spheres of occurrence: what physically exists (Nature), assumption and modeling (Science), and application of and enhancement of science (Technology).

I will write the Chapter titles and give some objects of discussion found in these chapters.

1. "Introduction: Science and Common Sense"
What makes science different from common sense, specificity of systematic explanations, the rise of science from practical advantages, systematic configuration of information, specificity of "scientific" languages as explanations of explanations

2. "Patterns of Scientific Explanation"
The place of the explandum in statements of explanations for "why" questions, illustrations of scientific explanation, 4 types of explanation (with corresponding problems in their usage as explanations): Deductive Model of Explanation, Probabilistic Explanations, Teleological or "Functional" Explanations, and Genetic Explanations. Lack of explanations for the "necessity" of the ontology of natural phenomena

3. "The Deductive Pattern of Explanation"
Problems and insights explanation, applications of explanations on the conformity of natural laws, explanations applied on individual events, common emergence of generality found in explanations, epistemic requirements for Deductive Explanation including the Aristotelian view of appropriate adequacy for premises in Deductive Explanation

4. "The Logical Character of Scientific Laws"
Accidental and Nomic universality, difficulties of arguing of laws as necessary constructs of reality, the nature of nomic universality, contrary-to-fact universals, critiques of Hume's nomic universality, causal laws, locus of inference; multiple historical examples emphasizing the significance of these issues

5. "Experimental Laws and Theories"
Distinctions between experimental laws and theories, descriptions as non-logical constructs in experimental laws, the 3 major components of theories (Physical and Chemical mostly): 1. abstract calculus, 2. rules that reference empirical content, and 3. interpretation that unites the abstractions and references; Lack of direct empirical evidence for many aspects of theories, vagueness of some theoretical language

6. "The Cognitive Status of Theories"
Analogy as basis for theories, "Descriptive" view of theories; translatability, or lack thereof, of theoretical languages among theories and other theories, "Instrumentalist" view of theories, abstractive and hypothetical theories, theories based on "Ideal" conditions, parameters, and shapes

7. "Mechanical Explanations and the Science of Mechanics"
What a Mechanical Explanation is, the history of Mechanics - Statics and Dynamics, detailed discussion over Newton's 3 Laws of Motion and their significance, limits of using mathematics for deriving laws, ideal state problems as a guide to Mechanics, the logical status of mechanical science

8. "Space and Geometry"
Classical Mechanics and Euclidean (pure) Geometry

9. "Geometry and Physics"
Inadequacy of Classical Mechanics and the rise of Relativity and 2 Non-Eucladian Geometries: 1. Lobachewskian Geometry and 2. Reimannian Geometry

10. "Causality and Indeterminism in Physical Theory"
Deterministic structure of Classical Mechanics, alternate descriptions of physical states, atomic statistically properties of substances, lack of empirical evidence for components of statistical hypotheses, Probabilistic Explanations, language of Quantum Mechanics, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, problems and misinterpretations of uncertainties, dual nature subatomic constructs, Psi functions as statistical magnitude measurements, indeterminism in Quantum Theory, principle of causality, Chance as meaning scientific ignorance

11. "Reduction of Theories"
Autonomy of sciences, reduction of sciences, reductive explanations, reduction of the thermodynamics to statistical mechanics, formal conditions for reduction, non-formal conditions for reduction, borrowing of theories and laws by other sciences, doctrine of emergence, possible changing of laws of nature, wholes, sums, and organic unities

12. "Mechanical Explanations and Organismic Biology"
Objections to Biology being absorbed or reduced to Physics, structure of Teleological Explanations, "design" or "functional" language almost impossible to avoid in biological and physiological systems (some examples I have heard of are God-of-the-Gaps fallacy and the Evolution/Chance-of-the-Gaps fallacy), spatial and temporal organization statements as implying a "final end or purpose", standpoint of organismic biology, reduction and "primary sciences" and "secondary sciences", lack of complete autonomy of Biology as of yet

13. "Methodological Problems of the Social Sciences"
Objections to social sciences (Anthropology, Social Science, Political Science, Economics, Psychology, etc) as being true "sciences", controlled inquiry as a core method, difficulties in controlled experiments, problems with social relativity and social laws, bias, knowledge of social phenomenon as social variables, subjective nature of social subject matter, "behaviorism", "value-oriented" bias of social inquiry

14. "Explanation and Understanding of the Social Sciences"
Statistical generalizations, "functionalism" and teleological and causal explanations, methodical individualism and social interpretations

15. "Problems in the Logic of Historical Inquiry"
Reliability of sources, the focus of historical inquiry, Probabilistic and Genetic Explanations, recurrent issues in historical inquiry, and Determinism in history (read Historians' Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought for an excellent look at fallacies in the science of history)

This book is 600 pages of rigor and is very dense in content. A prior background in Physics or Chemistry and Calculus will be helpful. I think that this book is better than Popper's works and that this book deserves a wide audience. After reading this and the Christian lawyer Francis Bacon's The New Organon and Related Writings which is to be the foundational text on the modern "Scientific Method" and it's variants, you will know what science truly is.

Nature doesn't advance because nature simply "does" what it can do without thinking or purpose in and of itself. However, science (a.k.a. knowledge), on the other hand, does and can advance because of our own ignorance and failures in our knowledge and understanding of the activities in nature.

For those who are interested in the variant views of nature and naturalism among scientists and other scholars one can check out The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science.

For further reading on types of explanations used in science and also in every day life then please read Theories of Explanation. For further reading on similar issues please read The Structure of Scientific Theories. You'll see that science isn't anything special, but is instead commonly used by the uneducated as well. Since science involves design inevitably, a good summary of universal design principles (modeling, prototyping, chunking information, hierarchies of ideas, etc.) can be found in Systems Engineering and Analysis (5th Edition) (Prentice Hall International Series in Industrial & Systems Engineering) and also Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design.

-----------------------
Interesting issues in recent research: some studies have investigated the assumption of "self-correction" in the sciences. (John Ioannidis. "Why Science Is Not Necessarily Self-Correcting." Perspectives on Psychological Science. November 2012 7: 645-654 ; Stroebe, Postmes, Spears. "Scientific Misconduct and the Myth of Self-Correction in Science". Perspectives on Psychological Science. November 2012 7: 670-688 ; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel. "Secretive and Subjective, Peer Review Proves Resistant to Study". Science. September 2013 341(6152):1331). They are worth looking into.

Interesting fact: Most historical works in science never went through a "peer review" process at all by "impartial" referees. Usually friends or personal peers would comment and review. After World War II, peer reviewing by "impartial" peers before publishing became the norm.

Read Frank Tipler's paper "Refereed Journals: Do They Insure Quality or Enforce Orthodoxy?" for further information on this aspect of modern science. Here are a few sample quotes:

"We first need to understand what the "peer review" process is. That is, we need to understand how the process operates in theory, how it operates in practice, what it is intended to accomplish, and what it actually does accomplish in practice. Also of importance is its history. The notion that a scientific idea cannot be considered intellectually respectable until it has first appeared in a "peer" reviewed journal did not become widespread until after World War II. Copernicus's heliocentric system, Galileo's mechanics, Newton's grand synthesis--these ideas never appeared first in journal articles. They appeared first in books, reviewed prior to publication only by the authors or by the authors' friends. Even Darwin never submitted his idea of evolution driven by natural selection to a journal to be judged by "impartial" referees. Darwinism indeed first appeared in a journal, but one under the control of Darwin's friends. And Darwin's article was completely ignored. Instead, Darwin made his ideas known to his peers and to the world at large through a popular book: On the Origin of Species."

"If one reads memoirs or biographies of physicists who made their great breakthroughs after, say, 1950, one is struck by how often one reads that "the referees rejected for publication the paper that later won me the Nobel Prize." One example is Rosalyn Yalow, who described how her Nobel-prize-winning paper was received by the journals. "In 1955 we submitted the paper to Science[the Journal]. The paper was held there for eight months before it was reviewed. It was finally rejected. We submitted it to the Journal of Clinical Investigations, which also rejected it." (Quoted from The Joys of Research, edited by Walter Shropshire, p. 109). Another example is Günter Blobel, who in a news conference given just after he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, said that the main problem one encounters in one's research is "when your grants and papers are rejected because some stupid reviewer rejected them for dogmatic adherence to old ideas." According to the New York Times (October 12, 1999, p. A29), these comments "drew thunderous applause from the hundreds of sympathetic colleagues and younger scientists in the auditorium."

"And if Annalen der Physik rejected a paper, for whatever reason, any professional German physicist had an alternative: Zeitschrift für Physik. This journal would publish any paper submitted by any member of the German Physical Society. This journal published quite a few worthless papers. But it also published quite a few great papers, among them Heisenberg's first paper on the Uncertainty Principle, a central idea in quantum mechanics. There was no way in which referees or editors could stop an idea from appearing in the professional journals. In illustration of this, the great Danish physicist Niels Bohr said, according to Abraham Pais (The Genius of Science, p. 307), that if a physicist has an idea that seems crazy and he hesitates to publish so that someone else publishes the idea first and gets the credit, he has no one to blame but himself. In other words, it never occurred to Bohr that referees or editors could stop the publication of a new idea."

Investigate the nature of science and see what you find.
Loved it then 23. Dezember 2014
Von James Cavallo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I studied this book many years ago in graduate school. Loved it then; love it now.
2 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
good book 14. Februar 2013
Von catshadow - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
it's the 2nd edition, though i didn't find any difference between them. the new one is not expensive, why not own it?
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