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Re: [Phys-L] Recommendation

If you want a good read on Philosophy of Science, then I recommend Peter Godfrey-Smith's Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science.

Andre Adler
NYU Physics Department

On Dec 10, 2012, at 10:22 AM, R. W. Tarara wrote:

For those of you, like me, who either didn't take (or didn't pay attention) to anything like Philosophy of Science during College and have a 'spare' 18 hours (like in commuting back and forth to campus), I'd like to recommend the following:

From The Great Courses by The Teaching Company

Course #4100: Philosophy of Science, Professor Jeffrey L. Kasser, North Carolina State University

Current Price is about $50 for digital, CD, or DVD format.

You can read the course description at

I've found it very interesting in terms of the various contentious discussions we've had here (usually punctuated by some 'pontifical' offerings). Things like cause/effect, asking why?, metaphysics, and the very nature of physics and science are long standing and equally contentious debates in Philosophy (with no consensus winners). It would seem that consciously or not, we all seem to have chosen a philosophical school of thought on science and defend those thoughts vigorously. It might be instructive to better flesh out just what those views actually are.

Anyway, worth a listen (yes it is PURE LECTURE) and Kasser is very good at avoiding most 'philosophy speak' and apologizes when he can't avoid doing so. Plenty of examples from physics so at least for physicists, he is easy to follow. This is 20th Century thought on the topic--so the Geeks not the Greeks.

Rick Tarara

Richard W. Tarara
Professor of Physics
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, Indiana

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