How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully “objective?” What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of the contemporary philosophy of science. He investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these.
Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to how scientific ideas change over time and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science.