The central idea behind this volume is that this distinctive field is both historical and philosophical at the same time. Good history and philosophy of science is not just history of science into which some philosophy of science may enter. On the other hand, it is neither philosophy of science into which some history of science may enter. The founding insight of this modern research discipline is that history and philosophy have a special affinity and one can effectively advance both simultaneously.The selection of contributions collected in this volume are good examples and best practices for these claims. In addition, it includes illuminating case studies. It will appeal to scholars in the history of and philosophy of science, especially history and philosophy of physics and biology, as well as economics, extended evolution, and the history of knowledge.
Contrary to the widespread opinion, the book argues that scientific change is indeed a law-governed process and that there can be a general descriptive theory of scientific change. It does so by first presenting meta-theoretical issues, divided into chapters on the scope, possibility and assessment of theory of scientific change. It then builds a theory about the general laws that govern the process of scientific change, and goes into detail about the axioms and theorems of the theory.
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.
From distorted graphs and biased samples to misleading averages, there are countless statistical dodges that lend cover to anyone with an ax to grind or a product to sell. With abundant examples and illustrations, Darrell Huff’s lively and engaging primer clarifies the basic principles of statistics and explains how they’re used to present information in honest and not-so-honest ways. Now even more indispensable in our data-driven world than it was when first published, How to Lie with Statistics is the book that generations of readers have relied on to keep from being fooled.