Book Book

How Scientists Explain Disease

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 09 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1431
  1. Julia Lowe, director of general medicine
  1. John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

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    Paul Thagard

    Princeton University Press, £11.50, pp 268

    ISBN 0 691 05083 X

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    Why do scientists acquire new beliefs, sometimes abandoning old ones? For anyone who has practised medicine long enough to wonder how and why some theories become fashionable and others fail to thrive, this book will make an interesting read. Paul Thagard finds both the traditional view of science as logic and the postmodern view of science as power inadequate for understanding how science develops.

    He starts his exploration by considering various explanatory …

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