Scientific method and epistemology


Scientific method and epistemology

Abner Shimony

(Search for a naturalistic world view, v. 1)

Cambridge University Press, 1993

  • : hbk
  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references and index



Abner Shimony is one of the most eminent of present-day philosophers of science, whose work has exerted a profound influence in both the philosophy and physics communities. This two-volume 1993 collection of his essays written over a period of forty years explores the interrelations between science and philosophy. Shimony regards the knowing subject as an entity in nature whose faculties must be studied from the points of view of evolutionary biology and empirical psychology. He maintains that the twentieth century is one of the great ages of metaphysics, given the deep implications of quantum mechanics, relativity theory and molecular biology. Nevertheless he rejects the thesis that mentality is entirely explicable in physical terms and argues that mind has a fundamental place in nature. Though distinguishing between values and scientifically established facts, Shimony holds that the sense of wonder cultivated by the natural sciences is one of the noblest of human values.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • 1. Integral epistemology
  • 2. Reality, causality and closing the circle
  • 3. Search for a world view that can accommodate our knowledge of microphysics
  • 4. Perception from an evolutionary point of view
  • 5. Is observation theory-laden? A problem in naturalistic epistemology
  • 6. Coherence and the axioms of confirmation
  • 7. An adamite derivation of the principles of the calculus of probability
  • 8. The status of the principle of maximum entropy
  • 9. Scientific inference
  • 10. Reconsiderations on inductive logic
  • 11. Comments on two epistemological these of Thomas Kuhn
  • 12. Comment on Martin Eger's A Tale of Two Controversies
  • Index.

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