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Laws and Symmetry (Clarendon Paperbacks) 1st Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0198248606
ISBN-10: 0198248601
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Editorial Reviews


"The most readable of the recent literature in the emerging field....This book might be the exemplar chosen by faculty of introductory philosophy of science programs. Highly recommended for all library collections in the philosophy of science."--Choice

"A fundamentally important contribution to philosophy. It is van Fraassen's finest book. With tight, careful arguments he demolishes the more prominent philosophical analyses of laws of nature. His definitive attack on inference to the best explanation leaves that notion thoroughly discredited and without a shred of credibility....In a pioneering discussion he also shows that symmetry considerations cannot provide that 'something more' philosophers demand of laws. The book further advances van Fraassen's own epistemological views and enhances our understanding of the Semantic Approach to philosophy and its superiority to earlier syntactical approaches. Laws and Symmetry is one of the best works in philosophy of science this century."--Frederick Suppe, University of Maryland

About the Author

Bas C. van Fraassen is at Princeton University.

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More About the Author

I am a philosopher, and in recent years I have been preoccupied with two philosophical questions, one about philosophy itself, and one about science,
"What Is Empiricism, and What Could It Be?" and "What is Scientific Representation?" I've offered an answer to the first in my book The Empirical Stance, and tackled the second in a book I finished anno 2008, Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective.

Most of my work as a philosopher has been in philosophy of science and in philosophical logic, but with occasional forays into philosophy of literature and the connections between art, literature, and science. Like most philosophers (I think) I began with the ambition to arrive at a coherent view of everything -- some day, within my lifetime -- and I am still cherishing that idea ...

Is there a general basic empiricist position within which I address philosophical questions? I have tried to address this (admittedly many-sided) question in various places, but if I am to indicate just one, it should be "Literate Experience: The [De-, Re-] Construction of Nature" (2000), which is available on the abstracts & manuscripts page on my website

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