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A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable Hardcover – November 5, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0521876490 ISBN-10: 0521876494 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (November 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521876494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521876490
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,244,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The level of ambition is high, and in my opinion Chakravartty achieves what he aims at....Regardless of whether one is ultimately persuaded by the arguments presented in this book, it is a must-buy for anyone who is serious about the realist/anti-realist debate, as well as for anyone interested in the issue of the metaphysics of science."
--Jacob Busch, University of St Andrews, The Philosophical Quarterly


"Chakravartty embraces parts of entity realism and structural realism, but this is only the beginning. The justification for his semirealism includes a big dose of metaphysics, namely his accounts of causation and of natural kinds, among other things. Much of the book is given over to very detailed discussion of these issues. In a short review, I cannot hope to do justice to the full richness of Chakravartty's subtle and highly original treatment of these matters. Let me close with a simple recommendation to any who want to read the last word on scientific realism - this is it."
--James Robert Brown, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences


"Chakravartty is clear and engaging in his writing, and charitable and judicious in his arguments with other philosophers. His book is essential reading for those interested in scientific realism or the metaphysics of science."
--James Ladyman, University of Bristol, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Book Description

Anjan Chakravartty traces the contemporary evolution of realism by examining the most promising strategies adopted by its proponents in response to the forceful challenges of antirealist sceptics. His book offers a compelling vision of how realism can provide an internally consistent and coherent account of scientific knowledge.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Monton on October 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book provides an up-to-date look at the scientific realism/anti-realism debate, and provides a new take on that perennial philosphical issue. Specifically, Chakravartty is interested in defending a form of scientific realism, but not a naive sort of scientific realism. He develops a version of scientific realism that is, in part, informed by the new work being done on structural realism (while nevertheless remaining critical of a lot of the structural realists' arguments.) He's also interested in providing a metaphysics for scientific realism, but he tries to provide a metaphysics that the scientific anti-realist would be happy with (or at least, would be more sympathetic to than a standard metaphysics). For example, he believes in natural kinds, but he doesn't think that there's a single correct division of the world into natural kinds.

This novel, well-thought-out, and well-written take on these various issues leads me to recommend this book to anyone interested in current debates in philosophy of science or metaphysics.
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