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The Limits Of Science
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  • Title: The Limits Of Science
  • Author(s) Nicholas Rescherr
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press (December 2, 1999), eBook (2009-12-22)
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • eBook: online
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822957132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822957133
  • ASIN3: B0026IBZPS

Book Description

Perfected science is but an idealization that provides a useful contrast to highlight the limited character of what we do and can attain. This lies at the core of various debates in the philosophy of science and Rescher's discussion focuses on the question: how far could science go in principle-what are the theoretical limits on science? He concentrates on what science can discover, not what it should discover.

He explores in detail the existence of limits or limitations on scientific inquiry, especially those that, in principle, preclude the full realization of the aims of science, as opposed to those that relate to economic obstacles to scientific progress.

Rescher also places his argument within the politics of the day, where "strident calls of ideological extremes surround us," ranging from the exaggeration that "science can do anything"-to the antiscientism that views science as a costly diversion we would be well advised to abandon.

Rescher offers a middle path between these two extremes and provides an appreciation of the actual powers and limitations of science, not only to philosophers of science but also to a larger, less specialized audience.

About the Authors
  • Nicholas Rescher is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh where he served for many years as Director of the Center for Philosophy of Science. A former president of the American Philosophical Association, he is an honorary member of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

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