Book ID: CBB354002504

Idealization and the Aims of Science (2017)


Potochnik, Angela (Author)

University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: 288 pp.
Language: English

Science is the study of our world, as it is in its messy reality. Nonetheless, science requires idealization to function—if we are to attempt to understand the world, we have to find ways to reduce its complexity. Idealization and the Aims of Science shows just how crucial idealization is to science and why it matters. Beginning with the acknowledgment of our status as limited human agents trying to make sense of an exceedingly complex world, Angela Potochnik moves on to explain how science aims to depict and make use of causal patterns—a project that makes essential use of idealization. She offers case studies from a number of branches of science to demonstrate the ubiquity of idealization, shows how causal patterns are used to develop scientific explanations, and describes how the necessarily imperfect connection between science and truth leads to researchers’ values influencing their findings. The resulting book is a tour de force, a synthesis of the study of idealization that also offers countless new insights and avenues for future exploration. (Summary from the University of Chicago Press)

Reviewed By

Review N. Emrah Aydinonat (2019) Review of "Idealization and the Aims of Science". Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (pp. 257-260). unapi

Review Federico Boem (2019) Review of "Idealization and the Aims of Science". History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (p. 44). unapi

Essay Review Kevin McCain (2018) Indispensable Falsehoods. Science and Education (pp. 547-550). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Wehrens, Rik
McCain, Kevin
Elliott, Kevin C.
Widmalm, Sven
Tucker, Aviezer
Toader, Iulian D.
Science studies, theoretical works
Philosophy of science
Methodology of science; scientific method
Experiments and experimentation
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
20th century, early
19th century
Great Britain

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