Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science

The Reality of the Unobservable

Observability, Unobservability and Their Impact on the Issue of Scientific Realism

Editors: Agazzi, Evandro, Pauri, M. (Eds.)

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Observability and Scientific Realism It is commonly thought that the birth of modern natural science was made possible by an intellectual shift from a mainly abstract and specuJative conception of the world to a carefully elaborated image based on observations. There is some grain of truth in this claim, but this grain depends very much on what one takes observation to be. In the philosophy of science of our century, observation has been practically equated with sense perception. This is understandable if we think of the attitude of radical empiricism that inspired Ernst Mach and the philosophers of the Vienna Circle, who powerfully influenced our century's philosophy of science. However, this was not the atti tude of the f ounders of modern science: Galileo, f or example, expressed in a f amous passage of the Assayer the conviction that perceptual features of the world are merely subjective, and are produced in the 'anima!' by the motion and impacts of unobservable particles that are endowed uniquely with mathematically expressible properties, and which are therefore the real features of the world. Moreover, on other occasions, when defending the Copernican theory, he explicitly remarked that in admitting that the Sun is static and the Earth turns on its own axis, 'reason must do violence to the sense' , and that it is thanks to this violence that one can know the tme constitution of the universe.

Table of contents (27 chapters)

Table of contents (27 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $169.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-94-015-9391-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
Hardcover $219.99
price for USA in USD
Softcover $219.99
price for USA in USD
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Reality of the Unobservable
Book Subtitle
Observability, Unobservability and Their Impact on the Issue of Scientific Realism
Editors
  • Evandro Agazzi
  • M. Pauri
Series Title
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
Series Volume
215
Copyright
2000
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-015-9391-5
DOI
10.1007/978-94-015-9391-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-7923-6311-8
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-5458-6
Series ISSN
0068-0346
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 378
Topics