The Importance of Understanding the Nature of Scientific Knowledge

  • Kevin McCain
Part of the Springer Undergraduate Texts in Philosophy book series (SUTP)


This chapter explains and motivates the importance of understanding the nature of scientific knowledge. The chapter begins by briefly exploring some of the recent science education literature and some of the ways that the literature might benefit from stronger philosophical foundations. Roughly, it will be noted that since scientific knowledge is just a special instance of knowledge, understanding the nature of knowledge in general can provide key insights into the nature of scientific knowledge. These insights into knowledge in general and scientific knowledge in particular seem to hold promise for bolstering the effectiveness of the science education literature on the nature of science. It is because of this that it is important to understand the basics of key debates in epistemology. Also, it is noted that challenges to our general knowledge of the world around us are equally challenges to our scientific knowledge. After briefly explaining the relevance of understanding scientific knowledge this chapter provides an overview of the remaining chapters of the book.


Science Education Scientific Knowledge Family Resemblance Adequate Understanding Consensus View 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin McCain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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