What is Scientific Knowledge? is a much-needed collection of introductory-level chapters on the epistemology of science. Renowned historians, philosophers, science educators, and cognitive scientists have authored 19 original contributions specifically for this volume. The chapters, accessible for students in both philosophy and the sciences, serve as helpful introductions to the primary debates surrounding scientific knowledge.First-year undergraduates can readily understand the variety of discussions in the volume, and yet advanced students and scholars will encounter chapters rich enough to engage their many interests. The variety and coverage in this volume make it the perfect choice for the primary text in courses on scientific knowledge. It can also be used as a supplemental book in classes in epistemology, philosophy of science, and other, related areas.
* Is an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the epistemology of science for a wide variety of students (both undergraduate- and graduate-level) and researchers
* Written by an international team of senior researchers and the most promising junior scholars
* Addresses several questions that students and lay people interested in science may already have, including questions about how scientific knowledge is gained, its nature, and the challenges it faces
Notes on Contributors ix
Part I: How is scientific knowledge generated?
1 How many scientists does it take to have knowledge?
Jeroen de Ridder
2 What attitude should scientists have? Good academic practice a precondition for the production of knowledge
3 How do medical researchers make causal inferences?
Olaf Dammann, Ted Poston, and Paul Thagard
4 How do explanations lead to scientific knowledge?
5 What is scientific understanding and how can it be achieved?
Henk W. de Regt and Christoph Baumberger
Part II: What is the nature of scientific knowledge?
6 What are scientific concepts?
7 How can we tell science from pseudoscience?
8 How do we know that 2+2=4?
9 Is scientific knowledge special? Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
10 Can scientific knowledge by measured by numbers?
Part III: Does bias affect our access to scientific knowledge?
11 Why do logically incompatible beliefs seem psychologically compatible? Science, pseudoscience, religion, and superstition
Andrew Shtulman and Andrew Young
12 Do our intuitions mislead us? The role of human bias in scientific inquiry
Susan A. Gelman and Kristan A. Marchak
13 Can scientific knowledge sift the wheat from the tares? A brief history of bias (and fears about bias) in science
Erik L. Peterson
14 What grounds do we have for the validity of scientific findings? The new worries about science
15 Is science really value free and objective? From objectivity to scientific integrity
Matthew J. Brown
Part IV: Is scientific knowledge limited?
16 Should we trust what our scientific theories say?
Dana Tulodziecki and Martin Curd
17 What are the limits of scientific explanation?
Sara Gottlieb and Tania Lombrozo
18 Should we accept scientism? The argument from self-referential incoherence
19 How are the uncertainties in scientific knowledge represented in the public sphere? The genetics of intelligence as a case study