Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science

2016.10.19 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews J.D. Trout, Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science, Oxford University Press, 2016, 241pp., $29.95 (hbk), ISBN
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2016.10.19 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews J.D. Trout, Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science, Oxford University Press, 2016, 241pp., $29.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780199385072. Reviewed by Mark Newman, Rhodes College The principal idea of this short but entertaining popular book is that the standard narrative about how science arose across Europe, the one that tells us progress in scientific discovery during the seventeenth century was the result of the inevitable march of scientific method, is incorrect. Rather than being the result of sustained and diligent application of method, successful science is a consequence of hitting upon correct theories through a mixture of accident, luck, geography, and personal idiosyncrasy. Trout makes this rather dramatic claim because he sees a problem with scientific method's single common rule of inference, inference to the best explanation (IBE). The problem is that this rule is subject to evaluative. . .

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