A Cognitive Approach
"The writing is delightfully clear and accessible. On balance, few books advance our subject as well."—Paul Teller, Philosophy of Science
1. Toward a Unified Cognitive Theory of Science
What Might a Cognitive Theory of Science Be?
Rationality, Relativism, and Cognition
Representation and Judgment
Can the Philosophy of Science Be Naturalized?
Must the Naturalistic Study of Science Be Viciously Circular?
What Might a Cognitive Theory of Science Be Like?
A Role for History?
Overview of This Book
2. Theories of Science
The Social Structure of Science
Paradigms and Revolutions
Programs and Traditions
The Strong Program
The Sociological Analysis of Scientists' Discourse
3. Models and Theories
The Science Textbook
The Organization of a Mechanics Text
The Linear Oscillator
Interpretation and Identification
The Laws of Motion
Models and Hypotheses
What Is a Scientific Theory?
What about Axiomatic Presentations of Mechanics?
Beyond Classical Mechanics
4. Constructive Realism
Respects of Similarity
Varieties of Empiricism
Laws as Universal Generalizations
Causal Models and Causal Explanations
5. Realism in the Laboratory
Contingency and Negotiation
Experimentation and Realism
The Limitations of Empiricism
The Limitations of Constructivism
Geometrical Cognition in Nuclear Research
The Role of Technology in Scientific Research
6. Scientific Judgment
Scientists as Decision Makers
Basic Decision Models
Bayesian Decision Models
Are Scientists Bayesian Agents?
Scientists as Satisficers
The Role of Probability in Science
7. Models and Experiments
Models of the Nuclear Potential
Background to the Pursuit of Relativistic Dirac Models
Response to the New Data
Why Successful Predictions Matter
The Design and Execution of an Experimental Test
Cognitive Resources and Scientific Interests
An Evolutionary Picture
The Future of Dirac Models in Nuclear Physics
8. Explaining the Revolution in Geology
Wegener and Continental Drift
Oceanography and Paleomagnetism
The Vine-Matthews Hypothesis
The Juan de Fuca Ridge
The Vindication of Seafloor Spreading
Mobilism Becomes a Satisfactory Option
Revolution or Evolution?
Epilogue: Reflexive Reflections