Is Water H2O?

Evidence, Realism and Pluralism

Author: Hasok Chang

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 940073932X

Category: Science

Page: 316

View: 6955

This book exhibits deep philosophical quandaries and intricacies of the historical development of science lying behind a simple and fundamental item of common sense in modern science, namely the composition of water as H2O. Three main phases of development are critically re-examined, covering the historical period from the 1760s to the 1860s: the Chemical Revolution (through which water first became recognized as a compound, not an element), early electrochemistry (by which water’s compound nature was confirmed), and early atomic chemistry (in which water started out as HO and became H2O). In each case, the author concludes that the empirical evidence available at the time was not decisive in settling the central debates and therefore the consensus that was reached was unjustified or at least premature. This leads to a significant re-examination of the realism question in the philosophy of science and a unique new advocacy for pluralism in science. Each chapter contains three layers, allowing readers to follow various parts of the book at their chosen level of depth and detail. The second major study in "complementary science", this book offers a rare combination of philosophy, history and science in a bid to improve scientific knowledge through history and philosophy of science.
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Is Water H2O?

Evidence, Realism and Pluralism

Author: Hasok Chang

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9789400796461

Category: Science

Page: 316

View: 1543

This book exhibits deep philosophical quandaries and intricacies of the historical development of science lying behind a simple and fundamental item of common sense in modern science, namely the composition of water as H2O. Three main phases of development are critically re-examined, covering the historical period from the 1760s to the 1860s: the Chemical Revolution (through which water first became recognized as a compound, not an element), early electrochemistry (by which water’s compound nature was confirmed), and early atomic chemistry (in which water started out as HO and became H2O). In each case, the author concludes that the empirical evidence available at the time was not decisive in settling the central debates and therefore the consensus that was reached was unjustified or at least premature. This leads to a significant re-examination of the realism question in the philosophy of science and a unique new advocacy for pluralism in science. Each chapter contains three layers, allowing readers to follow various parts of the book at their chosen level of depth and detail. The second major study in "complementary science", this book offers a rare combination of philosophy, history and science in a bid to improve scientific knowledge through history and philosophy of science.
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Is Water H2O?

Author: N.A

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9789400739338

Category:

Page: 340

View: 2461

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Inventing Temperature

Measurement and Scientific Progress

Author: Hasok Chang

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199883696

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 927

What is temperature, and how can we measure it correctly? These may seem like simple questions, but the most renowned scientists struggled with them throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In Inventing Temperature, Chang examines how scientists first created thermometers; how they measured temperature beyond the reach of standard thermometers; and how they managed to assess the reliability and accuracy of these instruments without a circular reliance on the instruments themselves. In a discussion that brings together the history of science with the philosophy of science, Chang presents the simple eet challenging epistemic and technical questions about these instruments, and the complex web of abstract philosophical issues surrounding them. Chang's book shows that many items of knowledge that we take for granted now are in fact spectacular achievements, obtained only after a great deal of innovative thinking, painstaking experiments, bold conjectures, and controversy. Lurking behind these achievements are some very important philosophical questions about how and when people accept the authority of science.
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Unsimple Truths

Science, Complexity, and Policy

Author: Sandra D. Mitchell

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226532658

Category: Science

Page: 160

View: 4480

The world is complex, but acknowledging its complexity requires an appreciation for the many roles context plays in shaping natural phenomena. In Unsimple Truths, Sandra Mitchell argues that the long-standing scientific and philosophical deference to reductive explanations founded on simple universal laws, linear causal models, and predict-and-act strategies fails to accommodate the kinds of knowledge that many contemporary sciences are providing about the world. She advocates, instead, for a new understanding that represents the rich, variegated, interdependent fabric of many levels and kinds of explanation that are integrated with one another to ground effective prediction and action. Mitchell draws from diverse fields including psychiatry, social insect biology, and studies of climate change to defend “integrative pluralism”—a theory of scientific practices that makes sense of how many natural and social sciences represent the multi-level, multi-component, dynamic structures they study. She explains how we must, in light of the now-acknowledged complexity and contingency of biological and social systems, revise how we conceptualize the world, how we investigate the world, and how we act in the world. Ultimately Unsimple Truths argues that the very idea of what should count as legitimate science itself should change.
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The Philosophy of Cosmology

Author: Khalil Chamcham,Joseph Silk,John D. Barrow,Simon Saunders

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107145392

Category: Science

Page: 544

View: 3492

Following a long-term international collaboration between leaders in cosmology and the philosophy of science, this volume addresses foundational questions at the limit of science across these disciplines, questions raised by observational and theoretical progress in modern cosmology. Space missions have mapped the Universe up to its early instants, opening up questions on what came before the Big Bang, the nature of space and time, and the quantum origin of the Universe. As the foundational volume of an emerging academic discipline, experts from relevant fields lay out the fundamental problems of contemporary cosmology and explore the routes toward finding possible solutions. Written for graduates and researchers in physics and philosophy, particular efforts are made to inform academics from other fields, as well as the educated public, who wish to understand our modern vision of the Universe, related philosophical questions, and the significant impacts on scientific methodology.
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A Companion to Intellectual History

Author: Richard Whatmore,Brian Young

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118508157

Category: History

Page: 472

View: 2918

A Companion to Intellectual History provides an in-depth survey of the practice of intellectual history as a discipline. Forty newly-commissioned chapters showcase leading global research with broad coverage of every aspect of intellectual history as it is currently practiced. Presents an in-depth survey of recent research and practice of intellectual history Written in a clear and accessible manner, designed for an international audience Surveys the various methodologies that have arisen and the main historiographical debates that concern intellectual historians Pays special attention to contemporary controversies, providing readers with the most current overview of the field Demonstrates the ways in which intellectual historians have contributed to the history of science and medicine, literary studies, art history and the history of political thought Named Outstanding Academic Title of 2016 by Choice Magazine, a publication of the American Library Association
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Before Nature

Cuneiform Knowledge and the History of Science

Author: Francesca Rochberg

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022640627X

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 2896

In the modern West, we take for granted that what we call the “natural world” confronts us all and always has—but Before Nature explores that almost unimaginable time when there was no such conception of “nature”—no word, reference, or sense for it. Before the concept of nature formed over the long history of European philosophy and science, our ancestors in ancient Assyria and Babylonia developed an inquiry into the world in a way that is kindred to our modern science. With Before Nature, Francesca Rochberg explores that Assyro-Babylonian knowledge tradition and shows how it relates to the entire history of science. From a modern, Western perspective, a world not conceived somehow within the framework of physical nature is difficult—if not impossible—to imagine. Yet, as Rochberg lays out, ancient investigations of regularity and irregularity, norms and anomalies clearly established an axis of knowledge between the knower and an intelligible, ordered world. Rochberg is the first scholar to make a case for how exactly we can understand cuneiform knowledge, observation, prediction, and explanation in relation to science—without recourse to later ideas of nature. Systematically examining the whole of Mesopotamian science with a distinctive historical and methodological approach, Before Nature will open up surprising new pathways for studying the history of science.
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Philosophical Chemistry

Genealogy of a Scientific Field

Author: Manuel DeLanda

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472591852

Category: Science

Page: 208

View: 6419

Philosophical Chemistry furthers Manuel DeLanda's revolutionary intervention in the philosophy of science and science studies. Against a monadic and totalizing understanding of science, DeLanda's historicizing investigation traces the centrality of divergence, specialization and hybridization through the fields and subfields of chemistry. The strategy followed uses a series of chemical textbooks, separated from each other by fifty year periods (1750, 1800, 1850, and 1900), to follow the historical formation of consensus practices. The three chapters deal with one subfield of chemistry in the century in which it was developed: eighteenth-century inorganic chemistry, nineteenth-century organic chemistry, and nineteenth-century physical chemistry. This book creates a model of a scientific field capable of accommodating the variation and differentiation evident in the history of scientific practice. DeLanda proposes a model that is made of three components: a domain of phenomena, a community of practitioners, and a set of instruments and techniques connecting the community to the domain. Philosophical Chemistry will be essential reading for those engaged in emergent, radical and contemporary strands of thought in the philosophy of science and for those scholars and students who strive to practice a productive dialogue between the two disciplines.
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Data-Centric Biology

A Philosophical Study

Author: Sabina Leonelli

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022641650X

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 6776

In recent decades, there has been a major shift in the way researchers process and understand scientific data. Digital access to data has revolutionized ways of doing science in the biological and biomedical fields, leading to a data-intensive approach to research that uses innovative methods to produce, store, distribute, and interpret huge amounts of data. In Data-Centric Biology, Sabina Leonelli probes the implications of these advancements and confronts the questions they pose. Are we witnessing the rise of an entirely new scientific epistemology? If so, how does that alter the way we study and understand life—including ourselves? Leonelli is the first scholar to use a study of contemporary data-intensive science to provide a philosophical analysis of the epistemology of data. In analyzing the rise, internal dynamics, and potential impact of data-centric biology, she draws on scholarship across diverse fields of science and the humanities—as well as her own original empirical material—to pinpoint the conditions under which digitally available data can further our understanding of life. Bridging the divide between historians, sociologists, and philosophers of science, Data-Centric Biology offers a nuanced account of an issue that is of fundamental importance to our understanding of contemporary scientific practices.
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The Very Idea of Modern Science

Francis Bacon and Robert Boyle

Author: joseph agassi

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400753519

Category: Science

Page: 318

View: 3902

This book is a study of the scientific revolution as a movement of amateur science. It describes the ideology of the amateur scientific societies as the philosophy of the Enlightenment Movement and their social structure and the way they made modern science such a magnificent institution. It also shows what was missing in the scientific organization of science and why it gave way to professional science in stages. In particular the book studies the contributions of Sir Francis Bacon and of the Hon. Robert Boyle to the rise of modern science. The philosophy of induction is notoriously problematic, yet its great asset is that it expressed the view of the Enlightenment Movement about science. This explains the ambivalence that we still exhibit towards Sir Francis Bacon whose radicalism and vision of pure and applied science still a major aspect of the fabric of society. Finally, the book discusses Boyle’s philosophy, his agreement with and dissent from Bacon and the way he single-handedly trained a crowd of poorly educated English aristocrats and rendered them into an army of able amateur researchers.
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Philosophy of Chemistry

Synthesis of a New Discipline

Author: Davis Baird,Eric Scerri,Lee McIntyre

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9781402032561

Category: Science

Page: 362

View: 3907

This comprehensive volume marks a new standard in scholarship in the emerging field of the philosophy of chemistry. Philosophers, chemists, and historians of science ask some fundamental questions about the relationship between philosophy and chemistry.
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Tools and Modes of Representation in the Laboratory Sciences

Author: U. Klein

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401597375

Category: Philosophy

Page: 264

View: 9314

constitutive of reference in laboratory sciences as cultural sign systems and their manipulation and superposition, collectively shared classifications and associated conceptual frameworks,· and various fonns of collective action and social institutions. This raises the question of how much modes of representation, and specific types of sign systems mobilized to construct them, contribute to reference. Semioticians have argued that sign systems are not merely passive media for expressing preconceived ideas but actively contribute to meaning. Sign systems are culturally loaded with meaning stemming from previous practical applications and social traditions of applications. In new local contexts of application they not only transfer stabilized meaning but also can be used as active resources to add new significance and modify previous meaning. This view is supported by several analyses presented in this volume. Sign systems can be implemented like tools that are manipulated and superposed with other types of signs to forge new representations. The mode of representation, made possible by applying and manipulating specific types of representational tools, such as diagrammatic rather than mathematical representations, or Berzelian fonnulas rather than verbal language, contributes to meaning and forges fine-grained differentiations between scientists' concepts. Taken together, the essays contained in this volume give us a multifaceted picture of the broad variety of modes of representation in nineteenth-century and twentieth-century laboratory sciences, of the way scientists juxtaposed and integrated various representations, and of their pragmatic use as tools in scientific and industrial practice.
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Why More Is Different

Philosophical Issues in Condensed Matter Physics and Complex Systems

Author: Brigitte Falkenburg,Margaret Morrison

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3662439115

Category: Science

Page: 280

View: 9098

The physics of condensed matter, in contrast to quantum physics or cosmology, is not traditionally associated with deep philosophical questions. However, as science - largely thanks to more powerful computers - becomes capable of analysing and modelling ever more complex many-body systems, basic questions of philosophical relevance arise. Questions about the emergence of structure, the nature of cooperative behaviour, the implications of the second law, the quantum-classical transition and many other issues. This book is a collection of essays by leading physicists and philosophers. Each investigates one or more of these issues, making use of examples from modern condensed matter research. Physicists and philosophers alike will find surprising and stimulating ideas in these pages.
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Doing Science: In The Light Of Philosophy

Author: Bunge Mario Augusto

Publisher: World Scientific

ISBN: 9813202793

Category: Science

Page: 244

View: 3669

Nearly all philosophers have dealt with the outcomes of scientific research, and have overlooked its philosophical presuppositions, such as those of rationality and realism. Although these presuppositions are mostly tacit and thus easily overlooked, actually they are supremely important, since some of them favor research whereas others hamper it. For instance, whereas subjectivism leads to navel gazing and uncontrolled fantasy, realism encourages us to explore the world and check our conjectures. This book examines science in the making, a process it illustrates with many examples from the natural, social, and biosocial sciences. Therefore it centers on the research process and its philosophical presuppositions. It claims that the latter constitutes a sort of matrix for conceiving and nurturing scientific projects.
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Matter and Mind

A Philosophical Inquiry

Author: Mario Bunge

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789048192250

Category: Science

Page: 322

View: 8109

This book discusses two of the oldest and hardest problems in both science and philosophy: What is matter?, and What is mind? A reason for tackling both problems in a single book is that two of the most influential views in modern philosophy are that the universe is mental (idealism), and that the everything real is material (materialism). Most of the thinkers who espouse a materialist view of mind have obsolete ideas about matter, whereas those who claim that science supports idealism have not explained how the universe could have existed before humans emerged. Besides, both groups tend to ignore the other levels of existence—chemical, biological, social, and technological. If such levels and the concomitant emergence processes are ignored, the physicalism/spiritualism dilemma remains unsolved, whereas if they are included, the alleged mysteries are shown to be problems that science is treating successfully.
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Ethics and the Environment

An Introduction

Author: Dale Jamieson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139467883

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 2381

What is the environment, and how does it figure in an ethical life? This book is an introduction to the philosophical issues involved in this important question, focussing primarily on ethics but also encompassing questions in aesthetics and political philosophy. Topics discussed include the environment as an ethical question, human morality, meta-ethics, normative ethics, humans and other animals, the value of nature, and nature's future. The discussion is accessible and richly illustrated with examples. The book will be valuable for students taking courses in environmental philosophy, and also for a wider audience in courses in ethics, practical ethics, and environmental studies. It will also appeal to general readers who want a reliable and sophisticated introduction to the field.
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Explaining the Brain

Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience

Author: Carl F. Craver

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199299315

Category: Philosophy

Page: 308

View: 5283

Carl Craver investigates what we are doing when we use neuroscience to explain what>'s going on in the brain. When does an explanation succeed and when does it fail? Craver offers explicit standards for successful explanation of the workings of the brain, on the basis of a systematic view about what neuroscientific explanations are: they are descriptions of mechanisms.
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The Forgotten Revolution

How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why it Had to Be Reborn

Author: Lucio Russo,Silvio (translator) Levy

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3642189040

Category: Science

Page: 487

View: 9478

The period from the late fourth to the late second century B. C. witnessed, in Greek-speaking countries, an explosion of objective knowledge about the external world. WhileGreek culture had reached great heights in art, literature and philosophyalreadyin the earlier classical era, it is in the so-called Hellenistic period that we see for the ?rst time — anywhere in the world — the appearance of science as we understand it now: not an accumulation of facts or philosophically based speculations, but an or- nized effort to model nature and apply such models, or scienti?ctheories in a sense we will make precise, to the solution of practical problems and to a growing understanding of nature. We owe this new approach to scientists such as Archimedes, Euclid, Eratosthenes and many others less familiar todaybut no less remarkable. Yet, not long after this golden period, much of this extraordinary dev- opment had been reversed. Rome borrowed what it was capable of from the Greeks and kept it for a little while yet, but created very little science of its own. Europe was soon smothered in theobscurantism and stasis that blocked most avenues of intellectual development for a thousand years — until, as is well known, the rediscovery of ancient culture in its fullness paved the way to the modern age.
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Water, Technology and the Nation-State

Author: Filippo Menga,Erik Swyngedouw

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351754734

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 226

View: 8502

Just as space, territory and society can be socially and politically co-constructed, so can water, and thus the construction of hydraulic infrastructures can be mobilised by politicians to consolidate their grip on power while nurturing their own vision of what the nation is or should become. This book delves into the complex and often hidden connection between water, technological advancement and the nation-state, addressing two major questions. First, the arguments deployed consider how water as a resource can be ideologically constructed, imagined and framed to create and reinforce a national identity, and secondly, how the idea of a nation-state can and is materially co-constituted out of the material infrastructure through which water is harnessed and channelled. The book consists of 13 theoretical and empirical interdisciplinary chapters covering four continents. The case studies cover a diverse range of geographical areas and countries, including China, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Nepal and Thailand, and together illustrate that the meaning and rationale behind water infrastructures goes well beyond the control and regulation of water resources, as it becomes central in the unfolding of power dynamics across time and space.
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