The Nature of Scientific Explanation

Jude P. Dougherty
ISBN:
0813220130

In his newest work, distinguished philosopher Jude P. Dougherty challenges contemporary empiricisms and other accounts of science that reduce it to description and prediction. Dougherty argues that a philosophy of science is but a part of one's overarching metaphysical outlook, itself painstakingly derived from considerations of nature, law, intelligibility, causality, and inference. This book critically examines several well-known philosophical positions from a time-transcending Aristotelian point of view. It defends an Aristotelian or 'realist' interpretation of science, employing the textual Aristotle as commented upon and amplified through the centuries. The book shows that although modernity has offered a significant challenge, only a realist interpretation of science is compatible with the advances made in theoretical physics since the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. Dougherty discusses the so-called 'sciences of man,' their starting points, and limitations.

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