This text focuses on two major issues: the nature of scientific inquiry and the relations between scientific disciplines. Designed to introduce the basic issues and concepts in the philosophy of science, Bechtel writes for an audience with little or no philosophical background.
The first part of the book explores the legacy of Logical Positivism and the subsequent post-Positivistic developments in the philosophy of science. The second section examines arguments for and against using a model of theory reduction to integrate scientific disciplines. The book concludes with a chapter describing non-reductionist approaches for relating scientific disciplines using psycholinguistic and cognitive neuroscience models.
"Although the topics dealt with throughout are complex, Bechtel handles them with a minimum of technical jargon, presenting his exposition so lucidly that his overview may serve as an introduction for the lay public as well as academic researchers."
—Science Books & Films
"…a remarkably clear and compact history of major philosophical positions over the last 60 years concerning the general nature of science and of scientific explanation: logical positivism and the challenges to it…"
"…of value to students of the philosophies of science and mind."
—The European Journal of Cognitive Psychology
Contents: The Locus of Philosophy of Science. Logical Positivism: The Received View in Philosophy of Science. Challenges to Logical Positivism. Post-Positivist Philosophy of Science. Theory Reduction as a Model for Relating Disciplines. An Alternative Model for Integrating Disciplines.