Computational Philosophy of Science


By applying research in artificial intelligence to problems in the philosophy of science, Paul Thagard develops an exciting new approach to the study of scientific reasoning. This approach uses computational ideas to shed light on how scientific theories are discovered, evaluated, and used in explanations. Thagard describes a detailed computational model of problem solving and discovery that provides a conceptually rich yet rigorous alternative to accounts of scientific knowledge based on formal logic, and he uses it to illuminate such topics as the nature of concepts, hypothesis formation, analogy, and theory justification.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. 1. Computation and the Philosophy of Science
  4. 2. The Structure of Scientific Knowledge
  5. 3. Theories and Explanations
  6. 4. Discovery and the Emergence of Meaning
  7. 5. Theory Evaluation
  8. 6. Against Evolution Epistemology
  9. 7. From the Descriptive to the Normative
  10. 8. Justification and Truth
  11. 9. Pseudoscience
  12. 10. The Process of Inquiry: Projects for Computational Philosophy
  13. Appendix 1: Tutorials
  14. Appendix 2: Specification of PI
  15. Appendix 3: Sample Run of PI
  16. References
  17. Index