Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 405–408 | Cite as

Peter Achinstein: Evidence and Method: Scientific Strategies of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell

Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013, 177 pp, $24.95, ISBN: 978-0199921850
  • Helge Kragh
Book review

The distinguished philosopher of science Peter Achinstein has in several previous books and articles dealt in detail with the methods of science and the nature and use of evidence. For example, these subjects are studied from a philosophical as well as historical perspective in his monographs The Book of Evidence (2001) and Evidence, Explanation, and Realism(2010). The present book, based on a series of lectures he gave at Seoul National University in 2011, follows up on his previous studies by applying his preferred concept of evidence—or, more generally, scientific strategy—to two important cases in the history of science, the methodologies of Newton and Maxwell. In both cases he argues that the methods applied by the two giants of natural philosophy are not only reasonable but also superior to the standard hypothetical-deductive method that he associates with Carl Hempel. Apart from the first chapter, which is a summary account of Achinstein’s ideas of evidence, the book contains...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark

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