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What Is This Thing Called Science?

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,149 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
This indispensable new edition brings Chalmers' popular text up to date with contemporary trends and confirms its status as the best introductory textbook on the philosophy of science.

Over the last 25 years this account to dethrone empiricist thought has become both a bestseller and a standard university text with translations into fifteen languages.

This revised and extend
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Paperback, Third edition, 266 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Open University Press (first published January 1976)
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Chris Fellows
You may be familiar with the quote from Richard Feynman, ‘philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds’. This is entirely correct if understood sufficiently pedantically. Ornithology is of no use to birds, as birds; but birds are part of a larger world in which they are subject to forces outside their control. The actions of humans, an important part of the world birds live in, are informed to an extent by ornithology. Good ornithology will suggest, inter ali ...more
Z Nayebi
Oct 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
كتاب ظاهرا يكي از مهم ترين هاي فارسي در فلسفه علمه، من كه تا الان حداقل سه بار اين كتابو تو كلاس هاي مختلف امتحان دادم :\
نيمه اول كه بيشتر در مورد پوزيتيويسم و ابطال گرايي توضيح ميده به نظرم در كل خوبه اما نيمه دوم اگرچه من به شخصه انتقادات زيادي مي تونم بهش بكنم و نظر خود چالمرز رو هم نمي پذيرم و چندان نظريه چشمگيري نمي دونم، اما به نظرم در كل اين بخش ميتونه بينش هاي فلسفي خيلي جدي ودقيقي رو به خواننده نه چندان حرفه اي فلسفه علم بده.
به علاوه توضيحاتش در مورد فيزيك و علوم طبيعي براي من علوم انسا
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Ali Momeni
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
تفاوت فسلفه ی علم و چیستی علم را باید از متخصصین این عرصه جویا شد اما کتاب مورد نظر در هر یک از دو حوزه که باشد باز هم در تحقق رسالت خود بسیار موفق است و با ترجمه ی قابل قبول سعیدزیباکلام،خواننده پس از خواندن آن حس "بیشتر دانستن" را به شکل ملموسی دریافت خواهد کرد.کتاب سوال می پرسد،پاسخ هم میدهد اما باز هم خواننده را درگیر نگه می دارد.درگیر با پاسخ هایی که خود زاینده ی پرسش های دیگرند و این درگیری ادامه دار همان شیرینی شک است.شکی که به این سوال مهم آغاز می شود:
به راستی "علم" چیست؟
Laura LVD
Leí gran parte de este libro en un curso de Epistemología de las Ciencias Naturales en la facultad. Ahora lo releo para ver si es un material adecuado para mis estudiantes de secundaria. es bastante completo y claro para mí y bastante esclarecedor en cuanto al enfoque bayesiano del cual sabía poco y nada. Algunas diferenciaciones y definiciones son muy útiles; pero igual creo que es un poco elevado y áspero para dárselo a mis estudiantes.
Puede ser útil como referencia, para elaborar mapas conce
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Mehdi
Feb 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
با زجر خوندم. چقدر ترجمه بدی بود و چقدر مفاهیم مزخرف در کنار هم جمع شده بود
Isis
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I highly doubt this man wrote something we didn't already know. Boring, obvious,and his examples are pretty much for children =(
Duygu
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
(Except the chapter on Kuhn, I read the book. I will turn back the chapter but now, I consider as I have read. Anyway.)

I am not a person who is interested in philosophy of science. I am already not interested in science; albeit all of that, Chalmer's introduction book is definetely piquant for me. Vocabulary is clear and connections between basic concepts and scholars on philosophy of science are well-advised and well-organized. This book is not guide and not a kind of 90 minutes for sth book, b
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ثمانه اکوان
اصلا فلسفه رو بهزبان فارسی نمی فهمم . دلیل این همه پیچیدگی در بحث هایی که خود فلاسفه به زیبایی و روانی زیاد توضیحشون دادن، در متون فارسی برام نامفهومه. خود آثار پوپر رو بخونید انقدر گیچ و سر در گم نمیشید که ترجمه های فارسیش رو بخونید. اصلا از ترجمه ش خوشم نیومد. اما در درک فلسفه پوپر کمک خوبی بهم کرد. البته باید هی کلمات کلیدی رو پیدا می کردم و کنارش انگلیسیش رو هم می نوشتم که بفهمم منظور اصلی نویسنده چیه!
Ali Arabzadeh
ترجمه در بعضي فرازها فوق العاده و در برخي مواقع بد بود. اگرچه تقريبا در هيچ كجا آزاردهنده و مخل به فهم مقصود نويسنده نميشد ولي براي مثال برخي از برگردان هاي انتخابي مترجم يا صحيح نبودند و يا گمراه كننده بودند. علاوه بر اين حروفچيني طبق معمول بد و اذيت كننده بود.
خود كتاب در نيمه ي اول بسيار خوب و در نيمه ي دوم كه نويسنده دست به توضيح نظريات خودش ميزد بسيار مبهم بود و از پس اقناع خواننده بر نمي آمد.
به هر حال جزو معدود منابع فلسفه علم به زبان فارسي است و خواندنش براي اهلش واجب.
Maryam Samiei
حقیقتش را بخواهید چالمرز آموزگار خوبی بود و من در زمینه ی فلسفه ی علم چیزی نمی دانستم که بخواهم نقدی بر آن وارد کنم.
نکتهای که در باب کتاب وجود داشت این بود که تماماً مثال های علم فیزیک بررسی شده بود و من از فیزیک هیچ نمی دانم. شاید همین بود که دنبال کردن را قدری برایم دشوار می کرد.
این کتاب را برای درک بهتر فلسفه ی علوم اجتماعی خواندم و نکته ی طنز هم اینجا بود که چالمرز در جای جای کتاب به صورت کلی علوم اجتماعی را به عنوان یک علم نفی می کرد.
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Kirsty
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I read it to get an idea of Science's history. It is really interesting, and has made me realise that Psychology really has to buck its ideas up if it wants to be considered a science.
Shahrzad baderestani
كتاب خوبي بنظر مي امد.
زيادي دقيق و فلسفي نيست. زياد هم علمي نيست.
بنظر براي نوجوانان خوب مي ايد.
قابل فهم و ساده اما ترجمه. امان از ترجمه . با اينكه جملات در درست ترين و قابل فهم ترين حالت دستور زباني بودند اما كلمات بسيار وحشتناك بودند. كلمات عربي و قلمبه و سلمبه. شايد اگر دائره المعارفي در انتهاي كتاب تعبيه شده بود بهتر ميشد!
كتاب تاريخي يا علمي يا فلسفي انچناني نبود. گويي چالمرز سعي داشت صرفا مارا با نظراتش درباره ي يكسري نظريات محدود اشنا كند.
متن تماما بي غرض نوشته نشده بود و خيلي كلي بيان شد
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Phillip
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Alan F. Chalmers introduces his 1982 book What Is This Thing Called Science? with the smilingly discouraging words: “we start off confused and end up confused on a higher level”.
In the end does Chalmers have us more confused on the topic of modern science, than we were in prior to reading his book? Definitely! Readers most probably start to question whether science has the ultimate authority in explaining the world around us. How exactly do scientists obtain their authoritative results that see
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Mim Bazmara
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتابی خوب، با ترجمه ای روان
دانش آموخته ی امروزین حتی اگر با احتیاطی شکاکانه علم را معادل حقیقت نداند، رایج است که متد علمی را راهی به سوی دریافت حقیقت بداند، و این اصلی ست که شاید بسیاری از ما بدون اندیشه پذیرفته باشیم. این کتاب با تکیه بر تاریخ علم و تحلیل دقیق فلسفی در پی دریافتی عمیق از چیستی علم و متد علمی ست. این کتاب می تواند نگاهتان را به علم تغییر دهد
Mathew Walls
Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edutainment
The core message of this book is "Everyone else is wrong, only I am smart." Anything else you get from it is just the disguise that that message is wearing to get you to pay attention.

The one thing I will give it is that Chalmers is pretty good at giving simple summaries of other people's ideas. Unfortunately he only does so in order to argue against them, and having defeated his own oversimplified versions of those ideas, claim victory over the original, more complex idea. His standard method i
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Frank Jude
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
So, you think you know what science is? And how it works? And what it tells us about reality? Chalmers' now classic text that serves as a stellar introduction to the philosophy of science while offering a comprehensive history of the philosophy of science and critical response to the various schools of thought. Chalmers covers all the main approaches of philosophy of science, from induction and falsification to Kuhn's paradigms, Feyerabend's anarchistic theory, and on through Bayesian analysis a ...more
Angel B.A.
Se supone que intenta ser una introducción simple y clara a la filosofía de la ciencia, con un mínimo de términos técnicos. Creo que consigue presentar la problemática del tema y las respuestas que han dado las distintas escuelas de pensadores. Puede que incluso sea cierto que con un mínimo de términos técnicos, pero desde luego no con toda la claridad pretendida. En diversos puntos utiliza una redacción innecesariamente enrevesada que complica seguir los ya de por si abstrusos caminos de los fi ...more
Mohammad
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
i was thinking of two stars until the very last few pages when he says why he even bothered writing this book, when he accepts the fact that philosophy of science is useless to scientists.

he is concerned with the scientific ideology that is catching on. people turning to biologists and astrophysicists to tell them about mysteries of the universe and meaning of life. thinking modern science is the ultimate standard for credibility.

if you wanna read something interesting on philosophy of science,
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Noé Ajo caamaño
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La ciencia es en nuestros días una institución de prestigio, ya omnipresente en todos los ámbitos de nuestras vidas. En este libro hay un recorrido sencillo y sumario por las principales cuestiones que debemos plantearnos siquiera para comprender superficialmente que es esa cosa que llamamos ciencia, que pretende y como funciona. No esperen, como en todo lo grande, conclusiones brillantes, sino discusiones interesantes y preñadas de ideas.
Ali
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
تر و تمیز.مختصر ولی مفید.بسیار روشن
Hosein Bitaraf
در کل کتاب خوبی است. البته ترجمه آقای زیبا کلام خوب نیست بسیار ثقیل ترجمه شده است.
Farzaneh Shafah
این کتاب برایم از جمله کتاب های الهام بخش برای گسترش فهم فلسفی و عمق بخشیدن به نگاه انتقادی در باب علم بوده است. بسیار دقیق و اکادمیک مثل همیشه ی دکتر زیبا کلام تدوین شده.
Razieh Shahverdi
خواندش به همه توصیه می شود.و شیوه ی علمی فکر کردن را به خوبی یاد می دهد. اما ترجمه مثل همیشه می لنگد.
Krocht Ehlundovič
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very useful book for these times when everybody thinks that "the one can see a hidden truth", that "the one confidently and radically know"... what a joke! This book portrays how difficult and never-ending is the way for truth and how relative is truth.

I must admit that it is not an easy reading, for me, it means that I have to come back to its pages and read them again, not only to enlighten some parts but also for my teaching issues and needs - there are lot of things I can surely use, and
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Bertrand
Chalmers endeavoured to write an introduction to the philosophy of science that could be read by anyone: you don't need any command of philosophy, and you don't need to know much about science (although some knowledge of its history would probably make the book more valuable, but then again I can't tell you that, as I myself have none!) - 'naive' inductivism, falsificationism, incommensurability, epistemological anarchism, new experimentalism, general laws and in potentia, it's all there, and it ...more
Vanessa Janiszewski
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A frase de Chalmers descreve bem a sensação ao término do livro: 'We start off confused and end up confused on a higher level'. O livro trata de filosofia da ciências. De temas de como a ciências foi produzida ao longo do tempo. Atem-se em especial à Física, mas os grandes pensadores da filosofia são apresentados. O autor é bem didático e levanta bastante dúvidas a respeito do que é ciências, do que difere os demais conhecimentos daqueles científicos. Do que é 'verdade' e de como a produção cien ...more
Adrienne Paynter
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was a good introduction to the philosophy, history, and highly disputed definition of science. Chalmers describes key perspectives thoroughly and clearly, with relatively low bias. My only complaint is that his use of particular examples in the history of physics are unnecessarily tangential. He explains much more detail about the physics theories and experiments than actually needed to make his point. This breaks up the flow of his arguments / descriptions and makes the read more tedi ...more
Ummat
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book takes up interesting aspects of what science is and gets one to think of how people "misuse" the word science and that you can not really determine anything by science.

Chalmers has written the book so it is easy to read and understand the concepts. But I believe this is one book that you can not read from front to back, but have to think a lot and discuss the book with others to see their points of view. I rode the book in a class and we discussed every three chapters for about 3 hours
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Tim Mcleod
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
An overall good intro discussion of major concepts in philosophy of science, though I don't think it's sufficient as a survey text per se. The chapter on Bayesian methods in particular leaves much to be desired- no comparison to frequentist methodology, or even how statistics is used to evaluate findings as evidence. Despite that, I enjoyed the links Chalmers makes between schools of thought and how he pursues their various arguments.
Arun S
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Enjoyed reading this historical/argument review of the philosophy of science. The interesting, historical examples of physics discoveries helped me understand & contrast the fundamental conceptual differences of various philosophies: different ways of approaching knowledge discovery, the limitations of systematic approaches, etc. The discussion of the inherent subjectivity in the process of science is insightful.
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Dr. Alan Chalmers was born in Bristol, UK in 1939. Despite beginning his academic career in Physics, Chalmers is best known for his work on the subject of the Philosophy of Science. He is most noted for his best-selling book "What Is This Thing Called Science?"
“Imagine a skilled botanist accompanied by someone like myself who is largely ignorant of botany taking part in a field trip into the Australian bush, with the objective of collecting observable facts about the native flora. It is undoubtedly the case that the botanist will be capable of collecting facts that are far more numerous and discerning than those I am able to observe and formulate, and the reason is clear. The botanist has a more elaborate conceptual scheme to exploit than myself, and that is because he or she knows more botany than I do. A knowledge of botany is a prerequisite for the formulation of the observation statements that might constitute its factual basis.
Thus, the recording of observable facts requires more than the reception of the stimuli, in the form of light rays, that impinge on the eye. It requires the knowledge of the appropriate conceptual scheme and how to apply it.”
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“The point is that if the knowledge that provides the categories we use to describe our observations is defective, the observation statements that presuppose those categories are similarly defective.” 1 likes
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