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THE PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE This book contains the substance of the course of lectures which I

This book contains the substance of the course of lectures which I
delivered as Tarner Lecturer of Trinity College Cambridge in the Easter
Term 1938. The lectures have afforded me an opportunity of
developing more fully than in my earlier books the principles of
philosophic thought associated with the modern advances of physical
It is often said that there is no "philosophy of science", but only the
philosophies of certain scientists. But in so far as we recognize an
authoritative body of opinion which decides what is, and what is not
accepted as present-day physics, there is an ascertainable present-day
philosophy of physical science. It is the philosophy to which those who
follow the accepted practice of science stand committed by their
practice. It is implicit in the methods by which they advance science,
sometimes without fully understanding why they employ them, and in
the procedure which they accept as giving assurance of truth, often
without examining what kind of assurance it can give.
There should be no conflict between the claim that a philosophy is
scientifically grounded and the claim that it is, so far as it goes, a true


Source: Henry, Richard C.- Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University


Collections: Physics