Synopses & Reviews
This concise book provides an introduction to the scientific method of inquiry. This book not only presents not only a methodical approach to the proper conduct of science but also contains comprehensive coverage of pseudoscience and fallacies. Compact enough to be used as a supplementary book, yet comprehensive enough in its coverage to be used as a core text, this text assists students in using the scientific method to design and assess experiments.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -138) and index.
About the Author
Stephen Carey received his Ph.D. in logical theory and the history of logic from the University of Oregon. In addition to A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SCIENTIFIC METHOD, he has also written THE USES AND ABUSES OF ARGUMENT. He currently teaches logic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of religion at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. He is an avid tennis and pickleball player, and runs a marathon every year.
Table of Contents
Preface. 1. SCIENCE. Just What Is Science? Asking Why. Scientific Method. The Consequences of Science. Scientific Method in Daily Life. Exercises. 2. OBSERVATION. Making Accurate Observations. Anomalous Phenomena. Observation and Anomalous Phenomena. The Burden of Proof. Summary. Exercises. 3. PROPOSING EXPLANATIONS. Explanation. Causes. Correlation. Causal Mechanisms. Underlying Processes. Laws. Function. The Interdependence of Explanatory Methods. Rival Explanations and Ockhams Razor. Explanation and Description. Summary. Exercises. 4. TESTING EXPLANATIONS. The Basic Method. How to Test an Explanation. How Not to Test an Explanation. Testing Extraordinary Claims. Summary. Exercises. 5. ESTABLISHING CAUSAL LINKS. Causal Studies. Limited Effect Levels. Multiple Causal Factors. Bias and Expectation. Types of Causal Study. Reading Between the Lines. Summary. Exercises. 6. FALLACIES IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE. What Is a Fallacy? False Anomalies. Questionable Arguments by Elimination. Illicit Causal Inferences. Unsupported Analogies and Similarities. Untestable Explanations. Redundant Predictions. Ad Hoc Rescues. Science and Pseudoscience. The Limits of Scientific Explanation. Summary. Exercises. Further Reading. Index.