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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A paragon of scientific philosophy, November 3, 2001
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Amazon Customer (Medellín, Colombia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scientific Realism: Selected Essays of Mario Bunge (Hardcover)
Mario Bunge (McGill, Montreal) has contructed an entire philosophical system that espouses a consistently realist, materialist-emergentist, and science-oriented outlook.
His chef d'oeuvre is the monumental 8-volume Treatise on Basic Philosophy (1974-1989), in which he treats semantics, ontology, epistemology and ethics from a unified and unique perspective.
In order to present a panorama of such a system, Martin Mahner has collected in Scientific Realism, 30 articles that illustrate most aspects of Bunge's thought, from metaphysics and epistemology, to moral, social and political philosophy.
This book will be of great interest for anyone who shares a scientific, realist, materialist, naturalist and humanist outlook.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive breadth, January 8, 2009
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Ove (Sweden, Europe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scientific Realism: Selected Essays of Mario Bunge (Hardcover)
An introduction by Martin Mahner and several essays written especially for this collection makes the book feel like a whole.

The breadth is impressive:

Part 1, Metaphysics
Realism and materialism (and absence of dialectics) in science, critique of the subjective idealism of George Berkely, what is energy, causality, the mind-body problem, the conception of abstract objects, critique of Popper's idealist World 3.

Part 2, Methodology and Philosophy of Science
Methods in the philosophy of science: order in increasing value: apriorism, preface analysis, textbook analysis, historico-philosophical analysis, isolated item analysis, and systematic analysis. Critique of the grue-bleen nonproblem.
Induction in science: contributes modestly of framing scientific hypotheses, but indispensible for their test.
The General System Theories challenge to classical philosophies of science.
The power and limits of reduction: reduction should be pushed as far as possible, but its limit should be realized. Moderate reductionism is more realistic than radical reductionism. Antireductionism has only little power.

Part 3, Philosophy of Mathemathics
Moderate mathematical fictionism.
The gap between mathematics and reality.
Three interpretations of probability: subjectivist/Bayesian (untenable), frequency (untenable), and propensity (works).

Part 4, Philosophy of Physics
Philosophical problems raised by the special and general theories of relativity.
Hidden variables, seperatebility, and realism.
Critique of the Schrödinger cat thought experiment.

Part 5, Philosophy of Psychology
Scientific approaches to psychology: behaviorism (protoscientific, simplistic), substantialistic mentalism (ghost in the machine, unscientific), functionalistic mentalism (mind as a program, unscientific), and neuropsychology (scientific and promising). The Churchland's neurophilosophy is the right camp.
Explaining creativity

Part 6, Philosophy of Social Science
The systematic approach as an Alterntive to Holism and invidualism.
A critique of rational choice theory.
Realism and antirealism in social science: critique of subjectivism, conventionalism, social constructivism, relativism, and hermeunetics.

Part 7, Philosophy of Technology
Nature of applied science and technology. Bunge was the first to study the philosophy of technology.
The technology-science-philosophy triangle in its social context.
The technologies in philosophy. The author identifies the following: moral philosophy, praxiology, methodology, and political philosophy.

Part 8, Moral Philosophy
Bunge argues for and defines an ethical realism.
There are moral truths.
Moral facts are for real. Moral facts are social.
Metaethical maxim (agathonism): Enjoy life and help live (enjoyable lives)

It is possible and desirable to construct a moral theory such that the following conditions are met.
1. Realism: adjustment to the basic needs and legitimate aspirations of people placed in concrete social situations
2. Social utility: inspire prosocial conduct and progressive social polices, as well as to discourage the antisocial ones.
3. Flexibility: adaptability to new personal and social circumstances
4. Equity: decrease social inequalities
5. Compatibility with best available knowledge of human nature and society.

Moral rights and moral duties are both needed.
Rights implies duties.

Part 9, Social and Political Philosophy
Morality is the basis of legal and political legitimacy.
Technoholydemocracy: An Alternative to Capitalism and Socialism
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Scientific Realism: Selected Essays of Mario Bunge
Scientific Realism: Selected Essays of Mario Bunge by Mario Bunge (Hardcover - August 1, 2001)
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