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Idealization and the Aims of Science - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Idealization and the Aims of Science

Angela Potochnik


Idealizations are assumptions made without regard for whether they are true and often with full knowledge they are false. This book develops a strong view of idealization’s centrality to science and reconsiders the aims of science in light of that centrality. The starting point is well-accepted ideas about how science is shaped by its human practitioners and by the world's complexity. Together, these ideas inspire a view of science as the search for causal patterns, a search that relies significantly on idealizations. Idealizations contribute to science in a variety of ways, including by playi ... More

Keywords: idealization, understanding, scientific aims, explanation, causation, levels of organization, values in science, pluralism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226507057
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226507194.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Angela Potochnik, author
University of Cincinnati