Science and the World
Philosophical Approaches
  • Publication Date: April 4, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781551116242 / 1551116243
  • 566 pages; 7" x 9"

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Science and the World

Philosophical Approaches

  • Publication Date: April 4, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781551116242 / 1551116243
  • 566 pages; 7" x 9"

This new anthology includes both classic and contemporary readings on the methods and scope of science. Jeffrey Foss depicts science in a broadly humanistic context, contending that it is philosophically interesting because it has reshaped nearly all aspects of human culture—and in so doing has reshaped humanity as well. While providing a strong introduction to epistemological and metaphysical issues in science, this text goes beyond the traditional topics, enlarging the scope of philosophical engagement with science. Substantial introductions and critical questions are provided for each reading.


Science and the World is a very useful two part collection. The first contains classic papers on the philosophy of science (realism, explanation, induction). The second part is devoted to science, religion, and social issues (creationism, Darwin and ethics, and so on). Both sections are worthy in their own right. What makes the volume particularly valuable, and a real service to teaching, is the inclusion of both general topics under one cover. They are equally relevant to a full understanding of the single most important institution in our lives—science.” — James Robert Brown, University of Toronto

“This is a very thoughtful collection that does a great job of laying out the basic nature of science and then connecting our understanding to real world problems. It will be wonderful for students, and general readers will find much of interest and value.” — Michael Ruse, Florida State University

“Foss sets out to achieve a formidable task: to integrate, in a single volume, a collection of seminal articles on the nature of scientific knowledge and methodology with a discussion of the social, ethical, and political implications of science. The result is impressive. The skillful blend of classic and contemporary readings, individually introduced and enriched by an extensive list of study questions, makes this volume a remarkable pedagogical tool.” — Prof, Marco J. Nathan, University of Denver

Science and the World will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in the history and philosophy of science and in science and society. It addresses questions of power, gender, and ethical concerns in scientific theory and practice. Introductions to essay selections are accessible and informative, written in a style that will engage students in philosophy and in other disciplines who are interested in the issues covered in this anthology.” — Suzanne Bailey, Trent University

Introduction for Students
Introduction for Instructors

Science and Method: From Proof to Models


  1. Isaac Newton, Newton on Scientific Method
  2. David Hume, “Skeptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding”
  3. Carl G. Hempel, “Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test”
  4. Israel Scheffler, “Explanation”
  5. Karl Popper, “The Problem of Induction”
  6. Thomas Kuhn, from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  7. Sandra Harding, “Why ‘Physics’ Is a Bad Model for Physics”
  8. Ronald Giere, “The Feminism Question in the Philosophy of Science”
  9. Susan Haack, “Nail Soup: A Brief, Opinionated History of the Old Deferentialism”
  10. Jeffrey Foss, “Science, Maps, and Models”
  11. Bas van Fraassen, “Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism”
  12. Paul Churchland, “Theoretical Science, Creativity, and Reaching behind the Appearances”
  13. Kent A. Peacock, “Realism in a Quantum World”

Science, Religion, and Ethics: Our Relationships to the World


  1. Galileo Galilei, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina
  2. Extracts from The Book of Genesis
  3. Patricia Smith Churchland, “Religion and the Brain”
  4. Henry M. Morris, Extracts from Scientific Creationism
  5. Michael Ruse, “Creationism Considered”
  6. Daniel C. Dennett, Extracts from Darwin’s Dangerous Idea
  7. Edward O. Wilson, “Heredity” and Michael Ruse and Edward O. Wilson, “The Evolution of Ethics”
  8. Steven Pinker, “Psychological Correctness”
  9. Richard Dawkins, “What’s Wrong with Cloning?”
  10. David Tracy, “Human Cloning and the Public Realm: A Defense of Intuitions of the Good”
  11. Philip Kitcher, “Whose Self Is It, Anyway?”
  12. Karen Green and John Bigelow, “Does Science Persecute Women? The Case of the 16th-17th Century Witch-Hunts”



Jeffrey Foss is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Victoria.

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