A Realistic Theory of Science

By C. A. Hooker

Subjects: Philosophy Of Science
Paperback : 9780887063169, 491 pages, February 1987
Hardcover : 9780887063152, 491 pages, February 1987

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Table of contents



Chapter 1. Statement

Chapter 2. Systematic Realism

Chapter 3. Philosophy and Meta-Philosophy of Science:Empiricism, Popperianism and Realism

Chapter 4. On Global Theories

Chapter 5. Methodology and Systematic Philosophy

Chapter 6. Surface Dazzle, Ghostly Depths: An Exposition and Critical Evaluation of van Fraassen's Vindication of Empiricism Against Realism

Chapter 7. Understanding and Control: An Essay on the Structural Dynamics of Human Cognition

Chapter 8. Evolutionary Naturalist Realism: Circa 1985



Index of Names

Subject Index


This book presents a clear and critical view of the orthodox logical empiricist tradition, pointing the way to significant developments for the understanding of science both as research and as culture. It summarizes the present confused and highly polarized status of the orthodox philosophy of science. It exhibits clearly the fundamental metaphysical and global presuppositions and confusions that have led to this status. It provides a positive point of view from which progress can be made toward understanding science as research done by real scientists rather than science as exemplifying some prior epistemological program created by philosophers. And it leads directly to an understanding of science as a dynamic force within our society with consequences for the environment and public policy.

C. A. Hooker is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. A preeminent philosopher of science, he has published widely in his field. He is the co-author of Energy and the Quality of Life: Understanding Energy Policy with R.M. McDonald, P. Victor and R. van Hulst, and Images of Science with Paul M. Churchland.


"Hooker brings a depth and breadth of vision to the standard issues in his field that far surpass any of his competitors, even the few who have larger reputations. Anyone who reads this book will have his conception of the field permanently changed." — Paul M. Churchland

"Hooker presents a unified and powerful argument for realism, taking into account the major recent critiques of this position. Hooker also develops this view, and its consequences for philosophy of science, epistemology, science policy, and social and political philosophy to a degree that no one else has approached." — Harold I. Brown