Home :: Centripetal Forces in the Sciences, Vol 2

Centripetal Forces in the Sciences, Vol 2

Centripetal Forces in the Sciences, Vol 2
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Edited book , Index , Notes , Bibliography , Illustrations
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$12.95 (9.71)
The unification of knowledge has been a perennial theme throughout history. Einstein, Newton, and even the philosophers of ancient Greece argued that behind nature’s apparent diversity there is just one or a very small number of basic entities or forces.

In this brilliant collection of essays, respected psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, chemists, and physicists explore the concept of scientific unity what it means now and whether it is achievable.

Several of the articles probe the possibilities of reduction-the reduction of chemistry to physics, the reduction of mind (thought processes) to brain (neurological processes). They consider whether there are emergent and irreducible properties of consciousness, such as purpose. In the process, these discussions yield important insights on how biology, the social sciences, and history differ from physics and chemistry in their fundamental notions of what constitutes explanation or what constitutes understanding.

This book is the second volume in a series devoted to the unity of the sciences and the unity of knowledge. Written by leading scholars and researchers, it is a valuable record of reflection on the interface of science and philosophy.

Table of Contents

Alvin M. Weinberg
Gerard Radnitzky

PART I: Problems of the Unification of Science And of Reductionism in the Light of Methodology of Research and of Science Policy
1. Values in Science: Unity as a Value in Administration of Pure Science
Alvin M. Weinberg
2. Is Reductionism the Best Way to Unify Science?
Noretta Koertge
3. Comments on Koertge’s Essay
Walter B. Weimer
4. The Change of the Concept of Reduction in Biology and in the Social Sciences
Werner Leinfellner
5. Between Reductionism and Holism
Larry Briskman

PART II: Reduction and Emergence in Physics And Chemistry
6. Reduction and Emergence in the Unified Theories of Physics
Bernulf Kanitscheider
7. Comments on Kanitscheider’s Essay
Max Jammer
8. Can We Reduce Chemistry to Physics?
Hans Primas
9. Comments on Primas’ Essay with a Rebuttal by Primas
Marcelo Alonso
10. Order and Chaos
Roman Sexl
11. The Evolution of Physics: Comments on Roman Sexl
Erwin Schopper

PART III: Reduction and Explanation in Biology, the Social Sciences, and History
12. Mind and Brain-Reduction or Correlation?
Percy Lowenhard
13. Comments on Lowenhard’s Essay
Franz M. Wuketits
14. The Individualistic Research Program in Sociology
Karl-Dieter Opp
15. Comments on Opp’s Essay
Angelo M. Petroni
16. Explanation, Interpretation, and Understanding in the Social Sciences
Raymond Boudon
17. Comments on Boudon’s Essay
Alain Boyer
18. Explanation in History
Peter Munz
19. Comments on Munz’s Essay
Eileen Barker

20. Explanation, Reduction and the Sociological Turn in the Philosophy of Science or Kuhn as
Ideologue for Merton’s Theory of Science
Ian C. Jarvie
21. The Philosophical Lure of the Sociology of Knowledge
Peter Munz
Notes on Contributors


Alvin M. Weinberg, Institute for Energy Analysis, Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Marcelo Alonso, Florida Institute of Technology Research and Engineering

Eileen Barker, London School of Economics and Political Science

Raymond Boudon, Université de Paris-Sorbonne

Alain Boyer, Université de Clermont-Ferrand

Larry Briskman, University of Edinburgh

Max Jammer, Bar Ilan University, Israel

Ian C. Jarvie, York University, Toronto

Bernulf Kanitscheider, Center for the Philosophy and the Foundations of Science,
University of Giessen, Germany

Noretta Koertge, Indiana University

Werner Leinfellner, University of Nebraska, and Technical University of Vienna

Percy Löwenhard, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Peter Munz, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Karl-Dieter Opp, University of Hamburg

Angelo Maria Petroni, Scientific Board of the Centro Einaude, Turin

Hans Primas, Eidenossische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, Switzerland

Gerard Radnitzky, Professor of the Philosophy of Science
University of Trier, Germany

Erwin Schopper, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Nuclear Physics,
University of Frankfurt

Roman Sexl, deceased, was Director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics
at the University of Vienna

Walter B. Weimer, Pennsylvania State University

Franz Wuketits, University of Vienna

GERARD RADNITZKY is Professor of the Philosophy of Science at the University of Trier, Germany. Among his many publications are The Structure and Development of Science, Centripetal Forces in the Sciences, Vol. I, and Economic Imperialism: The Economic Method Applied Outside the Field of Economics.

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