What Is This Thing Called Science?
What Is This Thing Called Science? is a best-selling textbook by Dr. Alan Chalmers. It is a guide to the philosophy of science which outlines the shortcomings of naive empiricist accounts of science, and describes and assesses modern attempts to replace them. The book is written with minimal use of technical terms. What Is This Thing Called Science? was first published in 1976, and has been translated into many languages.
Chalmers was a member of the Department of General Philosophy from 1972 to 1986, and from 1986 to 1999 was the head of the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney, where he remains an honorary associate professor. Since 1999 Chalmers has been a visiting scholar at the Flinders University Philosophy Department.
Four editions of the book
- What Is This Thing Called Science?, Queensland University Press and Open University Press, 1976, pp. 157 + xvii. (Translated into German, Dutch, Italian Spanish and Chinese.)
- What Is This Thing Called Science?, Queensland University Press, Open University Press and Hackett, 2nd revised edition (6 new chapters), 1982, pp. 179 + xix. (Translated into German, Persian, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Portuguese, Polish and Danish, Greek and Estonian.)
- What Is This Thing Called Science?, University of Queensland Press, Open University press, 3rd revised edition, Hackett, 1999.
- What Is This Thing Called Science?, University of Queensland Press, Open University press, 4th edition, 2013.
- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn
- The Logic of Scientific Discovery, by Karl Popper
- Rafe Champion: What is this thing called science? review (review of the 1999 edition)
- Alan Chalmers, (BSc Bristol, MSc Manchester, PhD London)
- History & Philosophy of Science - The University of Sydney
- Associate Professor Alan Chalmers (History & Philosophy of Science - The University of Sydney)