The more than 40 readings in this anthology cover the most important developments of the past six decades, charting the rise and decline of logical positivism and the gradual emergence of a new consensus concerning the major issues and theoretical options in the field. The editors have included articles on all of the major special sciences and emphasize the relation between the more theoretical and applied questions.
Part One deals with basic theoretical issues: confirmation, semantics, and the interpretation of theories; causation and explanation; and reductionism and the unity of science. In Part Two, these relatively abstract themes are illustrated and examined further in light of issues in the various special sciences such as physics, biology, psychology, and social science.
"Sober is a philosopher who studies biology, and be brings a rare skill to bear upon the philosophical arguments with which biologists (and others) have tried to justify parsimony." Mark Ridley , Nature
" Reconstructing the Past is full of valuable clarifications, methodological insights, and rigorous argumentation. It is an excellent contribution to philosophy of biology and philosophy of science generally." Philip Kitcher , University of California, San Diego