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A philosophy of science


SINCE 1945 one of the features of the scientific life of Great "Britain has been a growing interest in the 'philosophy of science'. The Philosophy of Science Group of the British Society for the History of Science we was formed in 1948 with the express object of bringing together those men of science who wish to study the philosophical aspects either of their own special subjects or of science in general. The term 'philosophy of science', however, is somewhat ambiguous, for it is used to describe two distinct kinds of activity : the first, the study of science in relation to other human activities ; the second, the critical examination of the fundamental presuppositions of particular scientific theories. The first kind of activity is concerned with the function of the various sciences against the background of history, and our attitude towards it depends on our general philosophical outlook. Indeed, in this sense of the term there is, strictly speaking, no 'philosophy of science' ; there are only philosophies of science. The second kind of activity, however, is concerned with fields lying within science itself, and general agreement is a legitimate objective.

The Power and Limits of science

A Philosophical Study. By E. F. Caldin. Pp. ix + 196. (London : Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 1949.) 12s. 6d. net.


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WHITROW, G. A philosophy of science. Nature 164, 1104 (1949).

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