The Politics and Rhetoric of Scientific Method

Author: J. Schuster
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400945604
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The institutionalization of History and Philosophy of Science as a distinct field of scholarly endeavour began comparatively earl- though not always under that name - in the Australasian region. An initial lecturing appointment was made at the University of Melbourne immediately after the Second World War, in 1946, and other appoint ments followed as the subject underwent an expansion during the 1950s and 1960s similar to that which took place in other parts of the world. Today there are major Departments at the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales and the University of Wollongong, and smaller groups active in many other parts of Australia and in New Zealand. "Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science" aims to provide a distinctive publication outlet for Australian and New Zealand scholars working in the general area of history, philosophy and social studies of science. Each volume comprises a group of essays on a connected theme, edited by an Australian or a New Zealander with special expertise in that particular area. Papers address general issues, however, rather than local ones; parochial topics are avoided. Further more, though in each volume a majority of the contributors is from Australia or New Zealand, contributions from elsewhere are by no means ruled out. Quite the reverse, in fact - they are actively encour aged wherever appropriate to the balance of the volume in question.

A Scientist s Voice in American Culture

Author: Albert E. Moyer
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520076893
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In late nineteenth-century America, Simon Newcomb was the nation's most celebrated scientist and—irascibly, doggedly, tirelessly—he made the most of it. Officially a mathematical astronomer heading a government agency, Newcomb spent as much of his life out of the observatory as in it, acting as a spokesman for the nascent but restive scientific community of his time. Newcomb saw the "scientific method" as a potential guide for all disciplines and a basis for all practical action, and argued passionately that it was of as much use in the halls of Congress as in the laboratory. In so doing, he not only sparked popular support for American science but also confronted a wide spectrum of social, cultural, and intellectual issues. This first full-length study of Newcomb traces the development of his faith in science and ranges over topics of great public debate in the Gilded Age, from the reform of economic theory to the recasting of the debate between science and religion. Moyer's portrait of a restless, eager mind also illuminates the bustle of late nineteenth-century America.

From Discrete to Continuous

Author: K. Neal
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 940170077X
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In the early modern period, a crucial transformation occurred in the classical conception of number and magnitude. Traditionally, numbers were merely collections of discrete units that measured some multiple. Magnitude, on the other hand, was usually described as being continuous, or being divisible into parts that are infinitely divisible. This traditional idea of discrete number versus continuous magnitude was challenged in the early modern period in several ways. This detailed study explores how the development of algebraic symbolism, logarithms, and the growing practical demands for an expanded number concept all contributed to a broadening of the number concept in early modern England. An interest in solving practical problems was not, in itself, enough to cause a generalisation of the number concept. It was the combined impact of novel practical applications together with the concomitant development of such mathematical advances as algebraic notation and logarithms that produced a broadened number concept.

Tools and Modes of Representation in the Laboratory Sciences

Author: U. Klein
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781402001000
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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constitutive of reference in laboratory sciences as cultural sign systems and their manipulation and superposition, collectively shared classifications and associated conceptual frameworks,· and various fonns of collective action and social institutions. This raises the question of how much modes of representation, and specific types of sign systems mobilized to construct them, contribute to reference. Semioticians have argued that sign systems are not merely passive media for expressing preconceived ideas but actively contribute to meaning. Sign systems are culturally loaded with meaning stemming from previous practical applications and social traditions of applications. In new local contexts of application they not only transfer stabilized meaning but also can be used as active resources to add new significance and modify previous meaning. This view is supported by several analyses presented in this volume. Sign systems can be implemented like tools that are manipulated and superposed with other types of signs to forge new representations. The mode of representation, made possible by applying and manipulating specific types of representational tools, such as diagrammatic rather than mathematical representations, or Berzelian fonnulas rather than verbal language, contributes to meaning and forges fine-grained differentiations between scientists' concepts. Taken together, the essays contained in this volume give us a multifaceted picture of the broad variety of modes of representation in nineteenth-century and twentieth-century laboratory sciences, of the way scientists juxtaposed and integrated various representations, and of their pragmatic use as tools in scientific and industrial practice.

Essays on the Philosophy and Science of Ren Descartes

Author: Stephen Voss
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 019507551X
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These essays by leading Descartes scholars, previously unpublished in English, represent an overview of contemporary research on Descartes' philosophy and science.

Science in the Public Sphere

Author: Richard R. Yeo
Publisher: Variorum
ISBN:
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The common focus of these essays is the debate on the nature of science - often referred to by contemporaries as 'natural knowledge' - in Britain during the first half of the 19th century. A study of these debates allow us to see how British science of this period began to cast loose some of its earlier theological supports, but still relied on a moral framework to affirm its distinctive method, ethos and cultural value.

Conjectures and Refutations

Author: Karl Popper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135971374
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Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.