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What Is This Thing Called Science

A ride through the ¡°evolutionary¡± history of science

Alan F. Chalmers

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What Is This Thing Called Science

What Is This Thing Called Science Summary

Hi, welcome to bookey. Most people regard ¡°science¡± as being objective and trustworthy, and perhaps a little mysterious. Some people even like to back their own work or products with science, as this makes them appear more authoritative. For instance, advertisers like to brag about their products in a scientific tone, and some churches even claim that science has proven that the Bible is true. It¡¯s not hard to see that science is highly esteemed and has become synonymous with professionalism and authority. So what is so special about science? Where does its authority come from? What is the ¡°scientific method¡± that everyone celebrates? What are the requirements for a discipline to be called science? And how does one distinguish between science and pseudo-science? The book What is This Thing Called Science, as you will learn in this Bookey, was written to elucidate and answer questions of this kind. The author Alan Chalmers tells us that our understanding of science continues to evolve throughout history, and there is no universal standard that can be applied to all disciplines. As we study the different stages of the development of science, we will realize that the so-called science is just like a primary school student that improves their ability to understand the world by constantly learning from their past mistakes. After all, modern science as we know it today has only developed over the last three to four hundred years. Alan E. Chalmers himself was a scientist. He received a Master¡¯s Degree in physics, and a doctoral degree in the history and philosophy of science. Chalmers spent many years working as a visiting scholar in the Department of Philosophy at Flinders University. Later on, he was appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. As you can see from his educational background and academic appointments, Chalmers was a scholar who established connections between science and philosophy through studying the history of science. This book, What is This Thing Called Science, is the brainchild of his research in this field, and it is widely used by universities around the world as a textbook on the philosophy of science. What can we ordinary people get out from this book? Well, two things at least. First, it teaches us how to learn across disciplines. As you might know, three famous investors, Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Ray Dalio, all have repeatedly emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary learning. If you do study across disciplines, you would know that many disciplines are closely related to the philosophy of science. After reading this book, What is This Thing Called Science, you will have a systematic understanding of science itself, and it will be much easier for you to study other disciplines. Second, this book is also quite useful to our work and daily life. For example, you can identify pseudoscience through the lens of falsificationism, make good investment decisions by using Bayesian approaches, and quickly grasp the core knowledge of a discipline using a structuralist perspective, and the list goes on. Next, we will unlock this book in the following four parts. Part One: A traditional view of science based on observable facts Part Two: A structural view of science based on theoretical frameworks Part Three: An emerging view of science based on the concept of probability and experimentation Part Four: Ontology: how far are we from reality?

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