A Philosopher Looks at Science


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What is science and what can it do?

Nancy Cartwright here takes issue with three common images of science: that it amounts to the combination of theory and experiment; that all science is basically reducible to physics; and that science and the natural world which it pictures are deterministic. The author's innovative and thoughtful book draws on examples from the physical, life, and social sciences alike, and focuses on all the products of science - not just experiments or theories - and how they work together. She reveals just what it is that makes science ultimately reliable, and how this reliability is nevertheless still compatible with a view of nature as more responsive to human change than we might think. Her book is a call for greater intellectual humility by and within scientific institutions. It will have strong appeal to anyone who thinks about science and how it is practiced in society.

Paperback, 150 pages.
Measures 12.9 x 19.8 cm.