Returning to Scientific Practice: A New Reflection on Philosophy of Science, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Returning to Scientific Practice

A New Reflection on Philosophy of Science, 1st Edition

By Xu Zhu, Wu Tong


328 pages | 29 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138846975
pub: 2019-04-25
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This book is a result from a collective study on philosophy of scientific practice (PSP), which began around 2002 and still in an ongoing process. There is an apparently increasing interest upon scientific practice, influence 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-dominant position. PSP has also put forward some possibility to reinterpret 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 elaborate how PSP could do in that issue. The aim of our collective study is not merely on theoretical construction of PSP, but also on the various applications of the view of PSP, especially for re-interpreting and demonstrating variety of local knowledge from traditional China, which seems to be a genuine contribution for the international enterprise of philosophy of science, particularly made by Chinese scholars.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables *

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: The 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 Practices and Naturalism (II) *

9. Philosophy of Scientific Practice and Relativism *

10. Partner of Philosophy of Scientific Practice: philosophy of scientific experimentation *

11. New Empiricism: Close Relative of Philosophy of Scientific Practice *

12. The starting point of scientific research: opportunity, question, or observation? *

13. New Solution for the Old Problem: The Relationship among Observation, Experiment and Theory *

14. New Studies on Replicability of Scientific Experiment *

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 *

Main references *


About the Authors

XU Zhu, Associate Professor in Department of Philosophy, ECNU. Research interests includes Epistemology, Philosophy of Action, Wittgenstein, and Philosophy of Social Science. The author of Understanding the Social: from normativity to mechanism (Monograph published in Chinese) and several papers published both in Chinese and in English.

WU Tong, Professor of Philosophy of Science and Technology (tenured) in the STS Centre, Tsinghua University. Research interests include philosophy of scientific practice, philosophy of system and complexity, and local knowledge. The author of The Melody of Growth: the self-organizing evolution of science (Monograph published in Chinese) and many influential papers in Chinese philosophy of science and technology.

About the Series

China Perspectives

The China Perspectives series focuses on translating and publishing works by leading Chinese scholars, writing about both global topics and China-related themes. It covers Humanities & Social Sciences, Education, Media and Psychology, as well as many interdisciplinary themes.

This is the first time that any of these books have been translated into English for international readers. The series aims to put forward a Chinese perspective, give insights into cutting-edge academic thinking in China, and inspire researchers globally.


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