Philosophy of Science : The Great Courses: History of Science

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Jeffrey L. Kasser
  • Series: The Great Courses: History of Science
  • 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

What makes science science? Why is science so successful? How do we distinguish science from pseudoscience? This exciting inquiry into the vigorous debate over the nature of science covers important philosophers such as Karl Popper, W. V. Quine, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Imre Lakatos, Carl Hempel, Nelson Goodman, and Bas van Fraassen.
These thinkers responded in one way or another to logical positivism, the dominant movement influencing the philosophy of science during the first half of the 20th century - a movement whose eventual demise is an object lesson in how truly difficult it is to secure the logical foundations of a subject that seems so unassailably logical: science.
The philosophy of science can be abstract and theoretical, but it is also surprisingly practical. Science plays a pivotal role in our society, and a rigorous study of its philosophical foundations sheds light on the ideas, methods, institutions, and habits of mind that have so astonishingly and successfully transformed our world.
In the course of these 36 stimulating lectures, you will investigate a wide range of philosophical approaches to science, including empiricism, constructivism, scientific realism, and Bayesianism. You'll also examine such concepts as natural kinds, bridge laws, Hume's fork, the covering-law model, the hypothetico-deductive model, and inference to the best explanation (mistakenly called "deduction" in the Sherlock Holmes stories).
Professor Kasser shows how these and other tools allow us to take apart scientific arguments and examine their inner workings - all the while remaining an impartial guide as you navigate the arguments among different philosophers during the past 100 years.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More darn philosophy

This is a book for philosophers by philosophers about why they don't understand science. If you're a scientist, an Engineer or a Doctor, don't buy this book, it'll drive you crazy, as these philosophers grip on reality is fleeting. Buy "Your Deceptive Mind. A scientific guide to critical thinking skills" instead.
Seriously something is wrong with philosophers.
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- Omar

Outstanding presenter.

This was the best series I have listened to of the Great Courses. I usually do not write a comment but felt that Professor Kasser deserved a special mention. He was excellent. The material is very demanding but I learnt so much. I will be revisiting these recordings again and again. Thank you Professor Kasser for a fascinating course.
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- Andrew Sanford

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses