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Worldviews
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Table of Contents

List of Figures xv Acknowledgments xix Introduction 1 Part I: Fundamental Issues 5 1 Worldviews 7 Aristotle's Beliefs and the Aristotelian Worldview 7 Aristotle's beliefs 8 The Aristotelian worldview 12 The Newtonian Worldview 12 Concluding Remarks 13 Evidence 13 Common sense 14 2 Truth 17 Preliminary Issues 17 Clarifying the Question 18 Correspondence Theories of Truth 19 Coherence Theories of Truth 20 Different versions of coherence theories 20 Problems/Puzzles about Correspondence Theories of Truth 22 Assessing the accuracy of representations 23 The Total Recall scenario 24 A word of caution 26 Problems/Puzzles for Coherence Theories of Truth 26 Philosophical Reflections: Descartes and the Cogito 28 Concluding Remarks 29 3 Empirical Facts and Philosophical/Conceptual Facts 31 Preliminary Observations 31 A Note on Terminology 34 Concluding Remarks 34 4 Confirming and Disconfirming Evidence and Reasoning 36 Confirmation Reasoning 36 Disconfirmation Reasoning 37 Inductive and Deductive Reasoning 37 Concluding Remarks 42 5 The Quine-Duhem Thesis and Implications for Scientific Method 43 The Quine-Duhem Thesis 43 Bodies of beliefs and the tribunal of experience 44 Crucial experiments 45 The underdetermination of theories 46 Implications for Scientific Method 47 Aristotle's axiomatic approach 48 Descartes' axiomatic approach 51 Popper's falsificationism 51 The hypothetico-deductive method 52 Concluding Remarks 53 6 A Philosophical Interlude: Problems and Puzzles of Induction 54 Hume's Problem of Induction 54 Hempel's Raven Paradox 57 Goodman's Gruesome Problem 59 Concluding Remarks 60 7 Falsifiability 61 Basic Ideas 61 Complicating Factors 62 Concluding Remarks 64 8 Instrumentalism and Realism 66 Prediction and Explanation 66 Instrumentalism and Realism 67 Concluding Remarks 70 Part II: The Transition from the Aristotelian Worldview to the Newtonian Worldview 73 9 The Structure of the Universe on the Aristotelian Worldview 75 The Physical Structure of the Universe 75 Conceptual Beliefs about the Universe 77 Concluding Remarks 80 10 The Preface to Ptolemy's Almagest: The Earth as Spherical, Stationary, and at the Center of the Universe 81 The Earth as Spherical 82 The Earth as Stationary 84 Common-sense arguments 84 The argument from objects in motion 86 The argument from stellar parallax 88 The Earth as the Center of the Universe 90 Concluding Remarks 91 11 Astronomical Data: The Empirical Facts 92 The Movement of the Stars 93 The Movement of the Sun 94 The Movement of the Moon 95 The Movement of the Planets 95 Concluding Remarks 98 12 Astronomical Data: The Philosophical/Conceptual Facts 99 A Scientific Problem with the Motion of the Heavenly Bodies 99 Three cautionary notes 102 Could This Account Be Used for a Moving Earth? 103 Concluding Remarks 104 13 The Ptolemaic System 106 Background Information 106 A Brief Description of the Components of Ptolemy's Treatment of Mars 107 The Rationale behind These Components 108 Concluding Remarks 114 14 The Copernican System 115 Background Information 115 Overview of the Copernican System 116 Comparison of the Ptolemaic and Copernican Systems 117 Respecting the facts 117 Complexity 118 Retrograde motion and other more "natural" explanations 118 From a realist standpoint, which system is the more plausible model of the universe? 120 What Motivated Copernicus? 121 Neoplatonism 121 Copernicus' commitment to uniform, circular movement 122 The Reception of the Copernican Theory 123 Concluding Remarks 124 15 The Tychonic System 125 16 Kepler's System 128 Background Information 128 Tycho Brahe's empirical observations 128 Tycho and Kepler 129 Kepler's System 130 What Motivated Kepler? 131 Kepler's desire to read the mind of God 132 Concluding Remarks 136 17 Galileo and the Evidence from the Telescope 138 Background Information 138 Galileo and the Catholic church 138 A note on the nature of the evidence from the telescope 139 Galileo's Evidence from the Telescope 141 Mountains on the moon 141 Sunspots 142 The rings, or "ears," of Saturn 142 The moons of Jupiter 143 The phases of Venus 144 The stars 148 The Reception of Galileo's Discoveries 148 Falsifiability issues 149 Concluding Remarks 152 18 A Summary of Problems Facing the Aristotelian Worldview 154 Problems for the Aristotelian Worldview 154 The Need for a New Science 157 Concluding Remarks 157 A word of caution 158 19 Philosophical and Conceptual Connections in the Development of the New Science 159 The Size of the Universe 159 Concluding Remarks 162 20 Overview of the New Science and the Newtonian Worldview 164 The New Science 164 The three laws of motion 165 Universal gravitation 165 Overview of the Newtonian Worldview 166 Philosophical Reflections: Instrumentalist and Realist Attitudes Toward Newton's Concept of Gravity 168 Concluding Remarks 170 21 Philosophical Interlude: What Is a Scientific Law? 171 Scientific Laws 171 Common features associated with scientific laws 172 Exceptionless regularities 174 Counterfactuals 174 Context dependence 176 Ceteris paribus clauses 177 Concluding Remarks 178 22 The Development of the Newtonian Worldview, 1700-1900 179 Remarks on the Development of the Major Branches of Science, 1700-1900 179 Chemistry 180 Biology 181 Electromagnetic theory 182 General comments 184 Minor Clouds 184 The Michelson-Morley experiment 184 Black body radiation 187 Other issues 188 Concluding Remarks 190 Part III: Recent Developments In Science and Worldviews 191 23 The Special Theory of Relativity 193 Absolute Space and Absolute Time 193 Overview of the Special Theory of Relativity 195 The Irresistible Why Question 201 Is Special Relativity Self-Contradictory? 201 What about their disagreements on what the other clocks read? 204 From Joe's point of view 205 From Sara's point of view 205 Spacetime, Invariants, and the Geometrical Approach to Relativity 206 Concluding Remarks 210 24 The General Theory of Relativity 211 Basic Principles 211 The Einstein Field Equations and Predictions of General Relativity 213 Philosophical Reflections: General Relativity and Gravity 217 Concluding Remarks 218 25 Philosophical Interlude: Are (Some) Scientific Theories Incommensurable? 219 Preliminary Considerations 219 Exploring Incommensurability 221 Terminological incommensurability 222 Methodological incommensurability 224 Different worlds incommensurability 226 Discussion: Incommensurability and Scientific Progress 227 Concluding Remarks 229 26 Introduction to Quantum Theory: Basic Empirical Facts and the Mathematics of Quantum Theory 230 Facts, Theory, and Interpretation 230 The quantum facts 231 Quantum theory itself 231 Interpretations of quantum theory 232 Some Quantum Facts 232 A brief excursion into a reality issue 233 Four experiments 235 Overview of the Mathematics of Quantum Theory 239 Descriptive overview of the mathematics of quantum theory 239 If the mathematics of quantum theory is a familiar sort of wave mathematics, why do we often hear that quantum theory is such an unusual theory? 240 A somewhat more detailed, but still descriptive, overview of the mathematics of quantum theory 242 The evolution of states over time 247 Concluding Remarks 247 27 The Reality Question: The Measurement Problem and Interpretations of Quantum Theory 248 The Measurement Problem 248 What is a measurement? 248 The role of measurement in Newtonian science 250 The role of measurement in quantum theory 250 Schroedinger's cat 253 The Measurement Problem 255 Subjectivity vs. objectivity 255 Measurement contexts vs. nonmeasurement contexts 256 System vs. apparatus; macroscopic vs. microscopic levels 256 Universality 257 Concluding thoughts on the measurement problem 258 Interpretations of Quantum Theory 258 Collapse interpretations 259 Mild measurement-dependent reality 261 Moderate measurement-dependent reality 262 Radical measurement-dependent reality (consciousness-dependent reality) 262 Non-collapse interpretations 263 Einstein's realism 263 Bohm's realism 265 The many-worlds interpretation 267 Observations on the interpretations of quantum theory 268 Concluding Remarks 271 28 Quantum Theory and Locality: EPR, Bell's Theorem, and the Aspect Experiments 272 Background Information 272 The EPR Thought Experiment 273 The argument for (1) 275 Bell's Theorem 276 Aspect's Experiments 280 Locality, Nonlocality, and Spooky Action at a Distance 281 Concluding Remarks 285 29 Overview of the Theory of Evolution 286 Overview of the Basics of Evolutionary Theory 286 Darwin's and Wallace's discovery: Evolution by natural selection 286 A brief overview of evolutionary theory since Darwin and Wallace 288 A word of caution 292 Darwin's and Wallace's Paths to Natural Selection 293 The development of Darwin's views 293 The development of Wallace's views 296 Darwin's On the Origin of Species 297 The reception of the Origin of Species 299 Concluding Remarks 299 30 Reflections on Evolution 300 Implications for Religion 300 Dennett, Dawkins, Weinberg, and others: "no" 301 Haught, process philosophy, and process theology 302 Discussion 305 Morality and Ethics 307 Empirical Studies 310 The iterated prisoner's dilemma 310 The ultimatum game 313 Additional notes on cooperation and altruism 315 The trust game 316 Concluding Remarks 318 31 Worldviews: Concluding Thoughts 320 Overview 320 Reflections on Relativity Theory 322 Reflections on Quantum Theory 324 Reflections on Evolutionary Theory 325 Metaphors 326 Chapter Notes and Suggested Reading 329 References 349 Index 357

About the Author

Richard DeWitt is Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University. His research interests are in the areas of mathematical and philosophical logic and the philosophy of mind. Recent publications include work with infinite valued logics in the Journal of Philosophical Logic and medieval logic in the International Philosophical Quarterly.

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