Explaining Science's Success
Understanding How Scientific Knowledge Works
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Series: Acumen Research Editions
Author(s): John Wright  
ISBN: 1844655326
ISBN-13: 9781844655328
Publication Date: 29 Nov 2012
Pages: 256 (234 x 156mm)
Format: Hardback
Published Price: £40.00
Discount Price: £32.00
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Paul Feyeraband famously asked, what’s so great about science? One answer is that it has been surprisingly successful in getting things right about the natural world, more successful than non-scientific or pre-scientific systems, religion or philosophy. Science has been able to formulate theories that have successfully predicted novel observations. It has produced theories about parts of reality that were not observable or accessible at the time those theories were first advanced, but the claims about those inaccessible areas have since turned out to be true. And science has, on occasion, advanced on more or less a priori grounds theories that subsequently turned out to be highly empirically successful. In this book the philosopher of science, John Wright delves deep into science’s methodology to offer an explanation for this remarkable success story.

"Formulated with great clarity and supported by well-developed arguments, and the historical case studies provide helpful illustrations. . . warmly recommended." – Dialectica

"Wright is to be applauded for tackling some of the most difficult and neglected problems in the philosophical study of scientific explanation. Recommended." – Choice

John Wright is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

1. Some surprising phenomena
2. Some unsatisfactory explanations of the phenomena
3. A defeasible a priori justification of induction
4. The independence of theory from data
5. Some more success-conducive properties of theories
6. Newton’s law of motion and law of gravitation
7. Special relativity
8. Mendelian genetics
9. Conclusion