The Nature of Scientific Explanation
In his newest work, distinguished philosopher Jude P. Dougherty challenges contemporary empiricisms and other accounts of science that reduce it to description and prediction. Dougherty argues that a philosophy of science is but a part of one's overarching metaphysical outlook, itself painstakingly derived from considerations of nature, law, intelligibility, causality, and inference.
This book critically examines several well-known philosophical positions from a time-transcending Aristotelian point of view. It defends an Aristotelian or "realist" interpretation of science, employing the textual Aristotle as commented upon and amplified through the centuries. The book shows that although modernity has offered a significant challenge, only a realist interpretation of science is compatible with the advances made in theoretical physics since the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. Dougherty discusses the so-called "sciences of man," their starting points, and limitations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jude P. Dougherty, dean emeritus of the School of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, is author of The Logic of Religion, Jacques Maritain, and Western Creed, Western Identity, editor of the Review of Metaphysics, and general editor of the Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy series published by CUA Press.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
"A broad, wide-ranging approach that covers and ably defends a time-transcending Aristotelian understanding of the nature of science."—Louis Groarke, associate professor of philosophy, St. Francis Xavier University
"Nothing today so powerfully shapes the mind of man as the spirit of positive science. Against this backdrop it takes a critic respectful of the achievements of positive science to expose its conceptual foundations in the thought of Aristotle and his commentators. Jude Dougherty is ideally suited to undertake this task. He is a modern philosopher firmly grounded in classical philosophy, respectful and informed in modern science, and its cultural heritage. Dougherty writes clearly and gets to the ancient conceptual foundations of science with learned candor."—Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics, Georgetown University
"Few if any contemporary intellectuals could duplicate Dougherty's effort. Considered in it itself the book constitutes a masterful example of its chief topic of consideration: how to give a scientific explanation. As such, it is a pearl of great price from which any contemporary thinker who professes to be a philosopher or scientist can learn much." -International Philosophical Quarterly
"[Dougherty's] work represents an extensive knowledge of both science and philosophy. And he shows, with meticulous care, how modern science, in disregarding metaphysics has reduced science to mere description and prediction, thereby omitting important realities that transcend empirical observation." -The Wanderer
About the Author
"His work represents an extensive knowledge of both science and philosophy. And he shows, with meticulous care, how modern science, in disregarding metaphysics has reduced science to mere description and prediction, thereby omitting important realities that transcend empirical observation."—Donald DeMarco, The Wanderer
"I have only one quarrel with Dougherty's excellent book. On the opening page, he disavows 'that nay part of this book is especially profound or original.' Therin, as best I can tell, is the book's only mistake."—Curtis L. Hancock, Rockhurst Univ, Mary Elizabeth Tetzlaff and Staff
""A broad, wide-ranging approach that covers and ably defends a time-transcending Aristotelian understanding of the nature of science. Jude Dougherty's general knowledge of modern philosophy and the Thomistic and Aristotelian tradition is put on display. Specialists will appreciate more subtle points, but there is something on every page for the more general reader as well."—Louis Groarke, associate professor of philosophy, St. Francis Xavier University"—
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