It Started with Copernicus: Vital Questions about Science

Keith Parsons. Prometheus Books, $19.95 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-1-61614-929-1
Parsons, professor of philosophy at the University of Houston–Clear Lake, presents “an expansion and revision” of his 2006 work, Copernican Questions: A Concise Invitation to the Philosophy of Science. Rather than offering a comprehensive overview of the philosophy of science, Parsons invited readers in his earlier work “ to jump into some of the biggest, deepest, and sometimes nastiest controversies that have roiled around the nature, authority, role, extent, and implications of natural science.” He has reworked older material in light of suggestions to remove the “sarcastic or dismissive tone” taken toward some of the writers critiqued, and he has added three chapters on the nature of scientific methodology, the need for a philosophy of science, and the role science plays in defining what it means to be human. The older material offers an engaging exposition of some basic topics; however, the text is fairly dated. The postmodern critique of science, for example, is no longer a burning issue, and creationism, while no more sophisticated than it was years ago, has moved well beyond the early formulation of intelligent design. Parsons cites only seven works produced in the last decade and none more recently than in 2011. Nonetheless, those looking for an introduction to the philosophy of science will find the book useful. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/02/2014
Release date: 08/05/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 429 pages - 978-1-61614-930-7
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