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Massimi, Michela, Duncan Pritchard. What is this thing called science?
2014, in M. Massimi (ed.), Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Routledge
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Added by: Laura Jimenez

Summary: This chapter offers a general introduction to philosophy of science. The first part of the chapter takes the reader through the famous relativist debate about Galileo and Cardinal Bellarmine. Several important questions on the topic are explored, such as what makes scientific knowledge special compared with other kinds of knowledge or the importance of demarcating science from non-science. Finally, the chapters gives an overview on how philosophers such as Popper, Duhem, Quine and Kuhn came to answer these questions.

Comment: This chapter could be used as in introductory reading to review the nature of scientific knowledge and the most important debates about the scientific method. It is recommendable for undergraduate courses in philosophy of science. No previous knowledge of the field is needed in order to understand the content. The chapter is an introduction to the rest of the book Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Some discussions explored here, such as the problem of underdetermination or Tomas Kuhn's view of scientific knowledge are central to the following chapters in philosophy of cosmology.

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Massimi, Michela. Working in a new world: Kuhn, constructivism, and mind-dependence
2015, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 50: 83-89.
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Added by: Jamie Collin

Abstract: In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn famously advanced the claim that scientists work in a different world after a scientific revolution. Kuhn’s view has been at the center of a philosophical literature that has tried to make sense of his bold claim, by listing Kuhn’s view in good company with other seemingly constructivist proposals. The purpose of this paper is to take some steps towards clarifying what sort of constructivism (if any) is in fact at stake in Kuhn’s view. To this end, I distinguish between two main (albeit not exclusive) notions of mind-dependence: a semantic notion and an ontological one. I point out that Kuhn’s view should be understood as subscribing to a form of semantic mind-dependence, and conclude that semantic mind-dependence does not land us into any worrisome ontological mind-dependence, pace any constructivist reading of Kuhn.

Comment: Useful for undergraduate and postgraduate philosophy of science courses. Helps to clarify key concepts in Kuhn's work.

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