In recent years, many members of the intellectual community have embraced a radical relativism regarding knowledge in general and scientific knowledge in particular, holding that Kuhn, Quine, and Feyerabend have knocked the traditional picture of scientific knowledge into a cocked hat. Is philosophy of science, or mistaken impressions of it, responsible for the rise of relativism? In this book, Laudan offers a trenchant, wide-ranging critique of cognitive relativism and a thorough introduction to major issues in the philosophy of knowledge.
Charles Babbage, considered the founding father of the computer, published widely on theoretical and practical science and social reform. In this book, Anthony Hyman (the acknowledged expert on Babbage's life and work) has selected passages from many publications which reflect his innovative scientific work and his thoughts on such subjects as taxation, abolition of life peerage and the assurance of lives. Addressed to students (both serious and casual) of the philosophy of science, the book--formatted as the a 3-day meeting in which a relativist, a pragmatist, a positivist and a realist (each fictitious) met to discuss relativism, especially with respect to scientific knowledge field, with notes and references. (NW) Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)