Whenever science operates at the cutting edge of what is known, it invariably runs into philosophical issues about the nature of knowledge and reality. Scientifc controversies raise such questions as the relation of theory and experiment, the nature of explanation, and the extent to which science can approximate to the truth. Within particular sciences, special concerns arise about what exists and how it can be known, for example in physics about the nature of space and time, and in psychology about the nature of consciousness. Hence the philosophy of
science is an essential part of the scienti“c investigation of the world.
In recent decades, philosophy of science has become an increasingly central part of philosophy in general. Although there are still philosophers who think that theories of knowledge and reality can be developed by pure re”ection, much current philosophical work “nds it necessary and valuable to take into account relevant scienti“c “ndings. For example, the philosophy of mind is now closely tied to empirical psychology, and political theory often intersects with economics.
Thus philosophy of science provides a valuable bridge between philosophical and scienti“c inquiry. More and more, the philosophy of science concerns itself not just with general issues about the nature and validity of science, but especially with particular issues that arise in speci“c sciences. Accordingly, we have organized this Handbook into
many volumes re”ecting the full range of current research in the philosophy of science. We invited volume editors who are fully involved in the speci“c sciences, and are delighted that they have solicited contributions by scienti“cally-informed philosophers and (in a few cases) philosophically-informed scientists. The result is the most comprehensive review ever provided of the philosophy of science.
Via John Symons, António F Fonseca, NESS, Eugene Ch'ng