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Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science Paperback – October 4, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1405195638 ISBN-10: 1405195630 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (October 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405195630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405195638
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book has great merits and is very readable, and beginners in history of science and philosophy of science will appreciate the wealth of information that it offers." (Aestimatio: Critical Reviews in the History of Science, 2011)

"Written in clear and comprehensible prose and supplemented by effective diagrams and examples, Worldviews is an ideal text for anyone new to the history and philosophy of science. As the reader will come to find out, DeWitt is a gifted writer with the unique ability to break down complex and technical concepts into digestible parts, making Worldviews a welcoming and not overwhelming book for the introductory reader." (History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, vol. 28-2)

"The author is to be commended for the rare clarity of his writing, and for the truly impressive, most useful diagrams exemplifying many abstruse concepts and theses of quantum and relativistic theories. Unlike many other introductions to philosophy of science, DeWitt's book is at once historically informative and philosophically thorough and rigorous. Chapter notes, suggested readings, and references enhance its value". (Choice)

"This is a brilliantly clear introduction (and indeed reframing) of the history and philosophy of science in terms of world-views and thier elements.... In addition, the book is incredibly well-informed from both a scientific and philosophical angle. Highly recommended." (Scientific and Medical Network)

Review

"Quite simply, this is one of the most accessible – and teachable – introductions to the history and philosophy of science I've seen in over two decades of teaching. DeWitt's exposition and discussion – manifestly honed by extensive classroom teaching experience – are exceptionally clear, and helpfully complimented by some of the best diagrams I've seen. DeWitt thus makes complex ideas and developments cogent and straightforward, especially for undergraduates and those approaching the history and philosophy of science for the first time."
Charles Ess, Drury University

"Richard DeWitt's Worldviews is a splendid introductory text. It is organized around themes – traditions and their overthrow – geared to engage undergraduates. It is historically informed and philosophically sensible. Best of all, it abounds in examples skillfully drawn from the physical sciences and made accessible to the non-specialist. The philosophy of science students encounter through Worldviews will strike them as the philosophy of real science – the science of Newton, Einstein, Copernicus, and Aristotle – and not some denatured surrogate for science concocted by philosophers so that it might succumb to the tools of their trade."
Laura Ruetsche, University of Pittsburgh


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Understand that "science" really means "knowledge."
Matthew H. Jones
I read this book as a university student and Imwould have loved to have had this book at my History of Science lectures.
Miguel Arturo Vélez G.
This book certainly explains complex ideas in an easily accessable manner.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Long a fan of history, science, and philosophy, I often have my eye out for books on these topics, and especially their crossovers or intersections. This book certainly explains complex ideas in an easily accessable manner. It does, however, so much more. In addition to giving a deeper understanding of the philosphy of science, it gives a very nice history of the evolution of our modern scientific worldview. The book makes clear why Newton came up with his laws of motion. The world was primed for such an idea by the prior discoveries of Galileo and Kepler. The latters' discoveries placed the Aritotian worldview in crisis which Newton helped resolve. I highly recommend this book for advanced high schoolers on up, with an interest in philosophy, or science, or history, or especially their interactions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By scootsy on October 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
Didn't purchase DeWitt's book here on Amazon, but I wanted to review the product for potential buyers. I loved this book; it is a textbook that I struggled to put down (I didn't know such a thing existed). DeWitt does a fantastic job examining scientific thought over the course of history, but what I loved the most is that he removed the naivete of ancient thinkers. I know many people currently think people were deluded historically for believing things such as, the earth is the center of the universe. Ancient thinkers had very compelling reasons for believing the things they did. You will come to understand not only what people discovered or theorized, but why they believed it and how it fit into their larger system of belief.

In another review by Wade, he mentioned the redundancy of the book. I can attest to this, however, I believe it makes any section of the book readable independently. If there is a particular person or topic that interests you, from Aristotle, to Ptoelmy, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton and many others, it is easy to pick up that section of the book and read it apart from any other chapter. It will lengthen the book if you read it cover to cover, but I certainly didn't mind refreshers on terminologies or concepts.

Five of five stars.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Michalski on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author correctly argues that philosophy is not dead. The philosophy of science is still dealing with issues of what is truth, fact, and reality. There are still ongoing debates between realists, positivists, and historicists within the scientific community. This is truely an eye opening book on the philosophy of science.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miguel Arturo Vélez G. on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book contains all the elements young and curious mind would be looking for. The concepts are presented in a very straight forward and structured way, while providing enough dept. the analogies used to present the concepts are well thought and easy to understand. I read this book as a university student and Imwould have loved to have had this book at my History of Science lectures.

If you were looking for a book that would present an introduction to the philosophy of science and an overview of the history of science from the ancient Greeks to the 20th century in plain and understandable language, this is a must have.
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