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A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.
Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was a watershed event when it was published in 1962, upending the previous understanding of science as a slow, logical accumulation of facts and introducing, with the concept of the “paradigm shift,” social and psychological considerations into the heart of the scientific process. More than fifty years after its publication, Kuhn’s work continues to influence thinkers in a wide range of fields, including scientists, historians, and sociologists. It is clear that The Structure of Scientific Revolutions itself marks no less of a paradigm shift than those it describes. In Kuhn’s “Structure of Scientific Revolutions” at Fifty, leading social scientists and philosophers explore the origins of Kuhn’s masterwork and its legacy fifty years on. These essays exhume important historical context for Kuhn’s work, critically analyzing its foundations in twentieth-century science, politics, and Kuhn’s own intellectual biography: his experiences as a physics graduate student, his close relationship with psychologists before and after the publication of Structure, and the Cold War framework of terms such as “world view” and “paradigm.”
"An accessible and engaging overview of anthropological theory that provides a comprehensive history from antiquity through to the twenty-first century. The fifth edition has been revised throughout, with substantial updates to the Feminism and Anthropology section, including more on Gender and Sexuality, and with a new section on Anthropologies of the Digital Age. Once again, A History of Anthropological Theory will be published simultaneously with the accompanying reader, mirroring these changes in the selection of readings, so they can easily be used together in the classroom. Additional biographical information about some of theorists has been added to help students."--
x philosophy when he inaugurated a debate about the principle of methodologi cal individualism, a debate which continues to this day, and which has inspired a literature as great as any in contemporary philosophy. Few collections of material in the general area of philosophy of social science would be considered complete unless they contained at least one of Watkins's many contributions to the discussion of this issue. In 1957 Watkins published the flrst of a series of three papers (1957b, 1958d and 196Oa) in which he tried to codify and rehabilitate metaphysics within the Popperian philosophy, placing it somewhere between the analytic and the empirical. He thus signalled the emergence of an important implica tion of Popper's thought that had not to that point been stressed by Sir Karl himself, and which marked off his followers from the antimetaphysical ideas of the regnant logical positivists. In 1965 years of work in political philosophy and in the history of philosophy in the seventeenth century were brought to fruition in Watkins's widely cited and admired Hobbes's System of Ideas (1965a, second edition 1973d). This book is an important contribution not just to our understanding of Hobbes's political thinking, but, perhaps more importantly, to our understanding of the way in which a system of ideas is constituted and applied. Watkins built on earlier work in developing an account of Hobbes's ideas in which was revealed and clarifled the unity of Hobbes's metaphysical, epistemological and political ideas.
"One of the more momentous books of the decade." -The New York Times Book Review Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of the website FiveThirtyEight. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future. In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science. Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise. With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
These two volumes contain all of my articles published between 1956 and 1975 which might be of interest to readers in the English-speaking world. The first three essays in Vol. 1 deal with historical themes. In each case I have attempted a rational reconstruction which, as far as possible, meets con temporary standards of exactness. In The Problem of Universals Then and Now some ideas of W.V. Quine and N. Goodman are used to create a modem sketch of the history of the debate on universals beginning with Plato and ending with Hao Wang's System :E. The second article concerns Kant's Philosophy of Science. By analyzing his position vis-a-vis I. Newton, Christian Wolff, and D. Hume, it is shown that for Kant the very notion of empirical knowledge was beset with a funda mental logical difficulty. In his metaphysics of experience Kant offered a solution differing from all prior as well as subsequent attempts aimed at the problem of establishing a scientific theory. The last of the three historical papers utilizes some concepts of modem logic to give a precise account of Wittgenstein's so-called Picture Theory of Meaning. E. Stenius' interpretation of this theory is taken as an intuitive starting point while an intensional variant of Tarski's concept of a relational system furnishes a technical instrument. The concepts of model world and of logical space, together with those of homomorphism and isomorphism be tween model worlds and between logical spaces, form the conceptual basis of the reconstruction.
The Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium was launched in the early eighties. It began during a particularly lean period in the American economy. But its success is linked as much to the need to be in touch with the rapidly changing currents of the philosophical climate as with the need to insure an adequately stocked professional community in the Philadelphia area faced, perhaps permanently, with the threat of increasing attrition. The member schools of the Consortium now include Bryn Mawr College, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Villanova University, that is, the schools of the area that offer advanced degrees in philosophy. The philosophy faculties of these schools form the core of the Consortium, which offers graduate students the instructional and library facilities of each member school. The Consortium is also supported by the associated faculties of other regional schools that do not offer advanced degrees - notably, those at Drexel University, Haverford College, La Salle University, and Swarthmore College - both philosophers and members of other departments as well as interested and professionally qualified persons from the entire region. The affiliated and core professionals now number several hundreds, and the Consortium's various ventures have been received most enthusiastically by the academic community. At this moment, the Consortium is planning its fifth year of what it calls the Conferences on the Philosophy of the Human Studies.

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