Philosophy of Science

Science and the Self

For some brilliant video interviews with specialists in this area, see the following sections of the website Closer to Truth:

An article by renowned physicist Carlo Rovelli on why Philosophy and Physics need each other.

Methodologies Unit

Required reading:

James Ladyman’s Understanding Philosophy of Science provides an excellent commentary which covers most of the “Nature & Methodologies of Science” unit syllabus. It is (superbly) pitched at the VI form / undergraduate reader with no previous experience of the subject.

Karl Popper’s Logic of Scientific Discovery sets out his idea of falsification, which has had a profound impact upon scientific practice.

Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the most influential books in philosophy of science; he argues that science proceeds by paradigms which eventually undergo crises in explanation and are replaced through scientific revolution.

Full list of references:

Al-Khalili, Jim, Pathfinders, Penguin, London, 2012

Aristotle, Organon (C4th BCE):

Aronson, Jarrod, A Realist Philosophy of Science:

Ayer, A.J. Language, Truth & Logic, OUP, 1936

Ayer, A.J. The Problem of Knowledge, Macmillan, London, 1956

Bacon, Francis Novum Organum, (Ed. Joseph Devey, Collier, NY, (1620) 1902):

BBC Radio 4 debate, “The Logical Positivists” (45 mins), with Barry Smith, Professor of Philosophy at the University of London; Nancy Cartwright, Professor of Philosophy at the London School of Economics; and Thomas Uebel, Professor of Philosophy at Manchester University:

BBC Radio 4 debate, “The Scientific Method”, (45mins) with Simon Schaffer, Professor of the History of Science at the University of Cambridge; John Worrall, Professor of the Philosophy of Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science; Michela Massimi Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy of Science at University College London:


Bird, Alexander, Philosophy of Science, Routledge, London, 2002

Butts, Robert E., William Whewell’s Theory of Scientific Method, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, 1968:;view=toc;idno=31735057892626

Chalmers, A.F., What is This Thing Called Science? UOP, Buckingham, 1992

Fiegl, Herbert & Brodbeck, May, Readings in the Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota, New York:

Hempel, Carl: “Two Models of Scientific Explanation”:

Hume, David, extract from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, (1748):,%20David%20-%20The%20Problem%20of%20Induction.pdf

Hume, David An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, (1748) [full text]:

Kahn, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, (1962) 1996.

Ladyman, James, Understanding Philosophy of Science, Routledge, London, 2002

Okasha, Smair, Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction, OUP, Oxford, 2002

Massimi, Michaela (Ed.), Philosophy & the Sciences, Routledge, Abingdon, 2015

“Newton’s 4 Rules of Scientific Reasoning from Principia Mathematica” (University of Alabama factsheet):

Popper, Karl, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Routledge, London, (1959) 1992

van Frassen, Bas “Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism”: