This book is a result from a collective study on philosophy of scientific practice (PSP), which began around 2002 and still ongoing. There is an apparently increasing interest in scientific practice, influenced by the historicistic philosophy of science and the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK). Prof. WU Tong and his research group believe that it is necessary for PSP to turn from the theory-dominant position to the practice dominance. PSP has also put forward the possibility of reinterpreting the epistemic status of local knowledge in Chinese tradition, which provides the most significant motivation to participate this study.
In this book, we have selected three main cases – namely, Chinese medicine, Fengshui, and Ethnobotany – to examine the effect of PSP. The aim of our collective study is not merely on theoretical construction of PSP, but also to consider the various applications of PSP, especially for re-interpreting and demonstrating the variety of local knowledge from traditional China, which seems to be a genuine contribution to the international enterprise of philosophy of science, particularly made by Chinese scholars.
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Introduction: towards philosophy of scientific practice
1 The origin of the concept of practice
2 Scientific practice: significance, types, and scopes
3 The nature of scientific practice
4 The nature of knowledge: local knowledge
5 Knowledge and power
6 The contextual normativity of scientific practice
7 Philosophy of scientific practice and naturalism (I)
8 Philosophy of scientific practice and naturalism (II)
9 Philosophy of scientific practice and relativism
10 Partnering the philosophy of scientific practice: the philosophy of scientific experimentation
11 New empiricism: a close relative of the philosophy of scientific practice
12 The starting point of scientific research: opportunity, question, or observation?
13 A new solution for an old problem: the relationships of observation, experiment, and theory
14 New studies on replicability of scientific experiments
15 Local knowledge (I): traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
16 Local knowledge (II): Chinese theory of Fengshui
17 Local knowledge (III): ethnobotany
18 Conclusion: scientific practice in ongoing and unlimited process