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Hardcover | Out of Print | 257 pp. | 6 x 9 in | April 1988 | ISBN: 9780262200684
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Computational Philosophy of Science


By applying research in artificial intelligence to problems in the philosophy of science, Paul Thagard develops an exciting new approach to the study of scientific reasoning. This approach uses computational ideas to shed light on how scientific theories are discovered, evaluated, and used in explanations. Thagard describes a detailed computational model of problem solving and discovery that provides a conceptually rich yet rigorous alternative to accounts of scientific knowledge based on formal logic, and he uses it to illuminate such topics as the nature of concepts, hypothesis formation, analogy, and theory justification.

About the Author

Paul Thagard is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He is the author of The Cognitive Science of Science (MIT Press, 2012) and many other books.


“The writing reflects an enviable clarity of thought and economy of expression. Thagard has a remarkable ability to reduce complicated philosophical positions to their essential simplicity and state them in clear, flowing arguments.... To say that I liked this book would be an egregious understatement. Indeed, I read it twice and enthusiastically underlined nearly half of it in the process.... The must-read book of the year.”
J.M. Artz, Computing Reviews