Some Concluding Thoughts
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All our knowledge is hypothetical and provisional. However, we need not be pessimistic about the status of our knowledge. Although our explanations require the agreement of a complex network of theories and observations, we can still confidently trace the patterns of evidence that provide the justifications for our beliefs. Such beliefs provide a powerful basis for understanding and manipulating the world.
KeywordsPowerful Basis Robust Experimental Design Account Biases Acceptable Justification Ideological Pressures
Hopefully you will have been persuaded to read more on the philosophy of science, and on critical thinking. There is a wide literature that discusses the philosophy of science from a layman’s perspective and also from a standpoint that assumes a professional knowledge of the field. Within the physical and biological sciences, a number of researchers have considered their fields from a philosophical perspective and provide clear, practical advice on how to do research. A few of the most useful are listed below.
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- Giere RN (1979) Understanding scientific reasoning. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Grinnell F (1992) The scientific attitude, 2nd edn. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Grinnell F (2009) Everyday practice of science: where intuition and passion meet objectivity and logic. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Medawar P (1979) Advice to a young scientist. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation SeriesGoogle Scholar
- Medawar P (1969) Induction and intuition in scientific thought. American Philosophical Society, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
- Moore BN, Parker R (2009) Critical thinking, 9th edn. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar