Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Philosophy of Science

A Contemporary Introduction, 3rd Edition

By Alex Rosenberg


308 pages

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Any serious student attempting to better understand the nature, methods and justification of science will value Alex Rosenberg’s updated and substantially revised Third Edition of Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction. Weaving together lucid explanations and clear analyses, the volume is a much-used, thematically oriented introduction to the field.

New features of the Third Edition include more coverage of the history of the philosophy of science, more fully developed material on the metaphysics of causal and physical necessity, more background on the contrast between empiricism and rationalism in science, and new material on the structure of theoretical science (with expanded coverage of Newtonian and Darwinian theories and models) and the realism/antirealism controversy. Rosenberg also divides the Third Edition into fifteen chapters, aligning each chapter with a week in a standard semester-long course. Updated Discussion Questions, Glossary, Bibliography and Suggested Readings lists at the end of each chapter will make the Third Edition indispensable, either as a comprehensive stand-alone text or alongside the many wide-ranging collections of articles and book excerpts currently available.

Read our interview with Alex Rosenberg, What exactly is philosophy of science – and why does it matter? here:


"Written with verve and panache, Alex Rosenberg's Third Edition is a great introduction to perennial questions in the philosophy of science. For students, Rosenberg's book will be an accessible and thought-provoking guide; for their teachers, it will be an indispensable resource." Marc Lange, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"Alex Rosenberg's Third Edition has been completely reorganized and augmented with lots of fascinating new material emphasizing the connections between philosophy of science and the rest of philosophy. Challenging and insightful, this is one of the best single-author texts in the field. I'm sure it will be even more successful than its predecessor."Martin Curd, Purdue University

Table of Contents

Preface 1. Philosophy and Science 2. Why is Philosophy of Science Important? 3. Scientific Explanation 4. Why Do Laws Explain? 5. Causation, Inexact Laws and Statistical Probabilities 6. Laws and Explanations in Biology and the “Special Sciences” 7. The Structure of Scientific Theories 8. Epistemic and Metaphysical Issues about Scientific Theories 9. Theory Construction v. Model Building 10. Induction and Probability 11. Confirmation, Falsification, Underdetermination 12. Challenges from the History of Science 13. Naturalism in the Philosophy of Science 14. The Contested Character of Science 15. Science, Relativism and Objectivity

About the Author

Alex Rosenberg is R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy at Duke University.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy

An innovative, well structured series, the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy are designed for students who already have completed an introductory-level course in philosophy.  Each book introduces a core general subject in contemporary philosophy and offers students an accessible but substantial transition from introductory to higher-level college work in that subject.  The series is accessible to non-specialists and each book clearly motivates and expounds the problems and positions introduced.  An orientating chapter briefly introduces its topic and reminds readers of any crucial material they need to have retained from a typical introductory course.  Considerable attention is given to explaining central philosophical problems of a subject and the main competing solutions and arguments for those solutions.  The primary aim is to educate students in the main problems, positions and arguments of contemporary philosophy rather than to convince students of a single position.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Philosophy & Social Aspects

Author's Website

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