The areas of research represented here cover a wide spectrum of sciences, from mathematics and physics to the life sciences, as well as linguistics and economics. This selection is a showcase of French philosophy of science, illustrating the different methods employed: logico-linguistic analysis, rational reconstruction and historical inquiry. These participants have the ability to relate their research both to the French tradition and current discussions on the international scene. Also included is a substantial historical introduction, explaining the development of philosophy of science in France, the various schools of thought and methods as well as the major concepts and their significance.
Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a glossary intending to provide the reader with some sense of the terms and the concepts as they were understood by Plato’s immediate audience.
An especially important result of the contemporary study concerns the availability of (descriptive and normative) models for explaining discoveries and creative processes. Descriptive models mainly aim at explaining the origin of novel products; normative models moreover address the question how rational researchers should proceed when confronted with problems for which a standard procedure is missing. The present book provides an overview of these models and of the important changes they induced within methodology. As appears from several papers, the methodological study of discovery and creativity led to profound changes in our conceptions of justification and acceptance, of rationality, of scientific change, and of conceptual change. The book contains contributions from both historians and philosophers of science. All of them, however, are methodological in the contemporary sense of the term. The central values of this methodology are empirical accurateness, clarity and precision, and rationality. The different contributions realize these values by their interdisciplinary nature. Some philosophically oriented papers rely on historical case studies and results from the cognitive sciences, others on recent results from the computer sciences and/or non-standard logics. The historically oriented papers address central philosophical questions and hypotheses.
The book is wide-ranging. The theories of method of Quine, Kuhn, Feyerabend (amongst others) are discussed and related to the views of Marx, Foucault, Wittgenstein and Nietzsche as well as sociologists of science such as Mannheim and Bloor. The author provides a wide interpretative framework which links the doctrines espoused by many of these authors; it is argued that they inherit many of the difficulties in the Strong Programme in the sociology of "knowledge", and that they fail to reconcile the normativity of knowledge with their naturalism. It is argued that neither relativists, sceptics, nihilists, sociologists of "knowledge" nor the postmodernists successfully debunk the claims of rational explanation, far from it: these theorists presuppose much of the theory of methodology they deny.
This volume deals with a variety of moments in the history of mechanics when conflicts arose within one textual tradition, between different traditions, or between textual traditions and the wider world of practice. Its purpose is to show how the accommodations sometimes made in the course of these conflicts ultimately contributed to the emergence of modern mechanics.
The first part of the volume is concerned with ancient mechanics and its transformations in the Middle Ages; the second part with the reappropriation of ancient mechanics and especially with the reception of the Pseudo-Aristotelian Mechanica in the Renaissance; and the third and final part, with early-modern mechanics in specific social, national, and institutional contexts.
The editor’s introductions to each section provide a broader perspective informed by contemporary research in each area, including related topics. Each introduction furnishes proposals, including thematic bibliographies, for innovative research questions and projects in the classroom and in the field.