365 pages, 4 line illus, 1 tab
What is science? How is scientific knowledge affected by the society that produces it? In this book the author addresses questions such as these using a technique of `cognitive play', which creates and explores new links between the ideas and results of contemporary history, philosophy and sociology of science.
'I would need at least ten times this space even to mention the numerous ... questions that this admirable book gently provokes. Reading it would be a wonderful cure for anyone suffering from the complacent delusion that they knew all the answers.' John Ziman, Endeavour '! would provide the foundation for an extremely rewarding course.' New Scientist 'In an easy-paced way, with appeal to genuine examples from the sciences, Dolby takes us through facts, frameworks, rationality, knowledge, pathological science, feminism and artificial intelligence to his evolutionary conclusions ! his book will be more accessible to scientists than many philosophical texts are.' David Knight, Chemistry and Industry '! this is a very attractive and potentially useful tool for the analysis of modern science development.' Nicholas P. Edwards, Ambix 'What distinguishes this book is the richness of its multilevel description of science and the erudition with which Dolby illustrates the account given with a broad range of historical examples of science and pseudoscience ! the author's account of the changing aspect of science and its entanglement with broad socio-historical developments is highly illuminating. This makes the book a very worthwhile read.' Finn Collin, Centaurus
Preface; 1. Introduction; Part I. The Nature of Science: 2. Levels of cognitive activity; 3. Facts in frameworks; 4. Rationality, irrationality and relativism; 5. Knowledge and reality; 6. A new account of the scientific process; Part II. Does Science Have Distinctive Qualities?: 7. What, if anything, is distinctive about science?; 8. How is good science distinguished from bad science?; 9. A theory of the pathologies of science; Part III. Changing Science in a Changing World?: 10. What are acceptable variations of present science?; 11. And in the long term?; Appendix; References.
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