Synopses & Reviews
Could all or part of our taken-as-established scientific conclusions, theories, experimental data, ontological commitments, and so forth, have been significantly different? Science as It Could Have Been focuses on a crucial issue that contemporary science studies have often neglected: the issue of contingency within science. It considers a number of case studies, past and present, from a wide range of scientific disciplinesandmdash;physics, biology, geology, mathematics, and psychologyandmdash;to explore whether components of human science are inevitable, or if we could have developed an alternative successful science based on essentially different notions, conceptions, and results. Bringing together a group of distinguished contributors in philosophy, sociology, and history of science, this edited volume offers a comprehensive analysis of the contingency/inevitability problem and a lively and up-to-date portrait of current debates in sciences studies.
andldquo;This is an absorbingly interesting symposium on the question of, in Ian Hackingand#39;s phrase, how inevitable the results of successful science are. The issues in play are as important as they are difficult, benefiting from the kind of unhurried, expert but often unorthodox examination they receive over the course of this volume. Science as It Could Have Been
will establish itself straightaway as defining the state of the art, and will surely become a necessary reference point for all future work.andrdquo;
andmdash;Gregory Radick, University of Leeds
andldquo;Contingency is an important topic that deserves far more attention from philosophers of science and other science studies experts than it has so far received.and#160;Science as It Could Have Been
and#160;is the most comprehensive treatment of the central issues concerning contingency and inevitability to date. Anyone curious about this ongoing debate in science and mathematics should begin here.andrdquo;
andmdash;Thomas Nickles, University of Nevada, Reno
About the Author
is associate professor of philosophy of science at the University of Lorraine. She is the author of Introduction andagrave; landrsquo;andeacute;pistandeacute;mologie
and editor of Science after the Practice Turn in the Philosophy, History, and Social Studies of Science
Emiliano Trizio is an instructor of philosophy at Seattle University.
Andrew Pickering is professor of sociology and philosophy at the University of Exeter. He is the author of Constructing Quarks, The Mangle of Practice, and The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future.