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Published: 11 April 2013

192 Pages


ISBN: 9780199921850

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Evidence and Method

Scientific Strategies of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell

Peter Achinstein

  • The book offers a new interpretation of Newton's inductive scientific method, and argues that, depending on one's aim, it is a good empirical strategy to use in defending a law or theory
  • Achinstein here proposes the idea, suggested by James Clerk Maxwell in developing his electrical and molecular theories that various different scientific methods are appropriate when the evidence does not establish a theory or even when there is no theory to be established.
  • The book defends the idea that, contrary to what many philosophers and scientists believe, there is no universal scientific method; there are many, and which is to be utilized depends on the aim of the scientific inquiry and on the data at hand
  • It also defends the idea that whether a given method has been followed in a manner that is justified is an empirical question, not an a priori one.
  • Selling point: The book suggests a new way of dealing with Hume's skeptical doubts about inductive reasoning.

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