Why It's OK to Trust Science
- Available for pre-order on June 20, 2023. Item will ship after July 11, 2023
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Why trust science? Why should science have more authority than "other ways of knowing?" Is science merely a social construct? Or even worse: a tool of oppression? This book boldly takes on these and other explosive questions—lodged by ideologues on the left and the right—and offers readers a well researched defense of science and a polemic addressed to its detractors.
Why It’s OK to Trust Science critically examines the recent history of critiques of science, including those in academia from scholars like Bruno Latour, Simon Schaffer, and Thomas Kuhn. It then presents case studies drawn from recent advances in the field of dinosaur paleontology, showing how science generates objective knowledge, even during revolutionary episodes. The book next looks at how that same objective knowledge can be gained even when researching extremely complex issues, using climate science to distinguish between genuine skepticism –upon which science depends–from dogmatic denial.
The book is for anyone who needs thoughtful, razor sharp responses to the detractors of science—whether they be anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, profit-seeking businessmen, or published relativists in the knowledge-making industries.
- Highly readable and accessible without oversimplifying the complexities of scientific research
- Exposes the many flaws of the "undertermination thesis"—the argument that indefinitely many hypotheses are compatible with any body of evidence
- Explores whether moral and other value-laden questions can be answered by science
- Includes three appendixes online: (1) Summary of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; (2) Rorty on Losing the World; (3) 21 Facts in Support of Human-Caused Climate Change
Table of Contents
Introduction: What Has Science Done for me Lately?
1: The "Science Wars" and Why They Had to be Won
2: The Facts About Social Constructivism
3: Thomas Kuhn: Foe of Science?
4: Thomas Kuhn: Friend of Science?
5: Can We Have Good Science and the Right Values?
6: Dinosaur Revolutions
7: How We Know About Big, Complex Things
Keith Parsons (Ph.D., U. of Pittsburgh) is a Professor of Philosophy at University of Houston-Clear Lake. He specializes in the areas of philosophy of science, history and philosophy of science and technology, and philosophy of religion. Parsons‘ book publications include, It Started with Copernicus (Prometheus, 2014), which won a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2015, and, co-authored with Robert Zaballa, Bombing the Marshall Islands: A Cold War Strategy (Cambridge UP, 2017). He has also been a blogger at The Huffington Post and The Seculat Outpost.