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I found this to be a wonderfully cogent introduction to the philosophy of science and the major debates within it. It made no assumptions about the background that a listener would have, providing short explanations of major concepts without patronizing or pandering. The whole series is excellent, so I'm not surprised.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Excellent broad coverage. Hard to believe the reader is human. One must concentrate to imagine the book's text and read it in your head -- translating the monotone into something meaningful. If this is a test for a computer reader, it fails and amounts to deception.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
I bought this book as a science pleb and expected it to broaden my horizon in the science field. The book only reminded me that I don't get philosophy.
While some scientific theories can sound far fetched, adding esoteric philosophic discussions to the stew doesn't really help.
That does not mean I did not enjoy the book. The book is short and to the point objectively pointing out the different sides to discussions in the scientificmilieu.
The reason I called the book a sleeper hit is that if you are troubled by insomnia this is the book for you. I have nights where I have had problems falling to sleep while listening to fictional books. Switching to this book set my brain in shutdown mode in under 5 minutes. The reason is partly that the narrator, Peter Ganim, seems a bit unfocused.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I found this a very good guide to many of the concepts and debates that underpin Science, as practiced today. Popper and demarcation of Science from Pseudoscience; Kuhn and the nature of paradigm shifts in science; Realism vs. Antirealism; Hempel and the covering law model of explanations, and Hume's problems of Induction and Causation are all covered, along with much else.
I would have like to have seen Baysianism covered in the chapter on probability, and Lakatos as a synthesis of the opposing theses of Kuhn and Popper, as well as Feyerabend on the "Scientific method" (or lack of it), but hey! It's supposed to be a very brief guide!
I also thought the chapter on Realism/Antirealism kind of slightly missed the point, which IMHO is more to do with Scientific Realism vs. Social Constructivism, and Relativism, (or as a compromise Hawking's "Theory Dependant Realism"), than the difference between observables/unobservables.
The readers voice is slightly lacking in inflection, almost mechanical at times, however, that suited the topic... But I can see why another review said it sent them to sleep!
Overall, really useful book, a "must read" if you are involved with Science, but some important concepts and people are left out. However, for £3.99 (which was the price when I got it), it's a very good bargain!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful