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New book about philosophy of science

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PHILOSOPHY BOWLING RESULTS

• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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Julian Baggini reviews it here. Most books on the subject don’t engage the social dimension of science – it looks like this one is an important exception. Excerpt:

While it is central to science that its theories are based on evidence and can be tested, there is a great deal of judgment required when deciding which experiments are critical or what evidence is decisive. There is no method you can simply follow that will determine these issues for you. Breakthroughs often occur because scientists are too bloody-minded to give up on their ideas in the face of unpromising results. As Lewens writes: “Sometimes scientists, like horses, progress best when their blinkers are on.”

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