Here’s another rendition of the philosophy of science book talk; this one was delivered 9 March 2009 at Johns Hopkins University. I think this version has a bit too much set-up and not enough punchline, but it did serve to spark a great post-presentation discussion, so I consider it a success.
This may have been one of those talks that was more useful for me to give than for anyone else to listen to — the “poetry” comment and brief riff that occurs at about 18:04 and runs for about thirty seconds, for example, was literally an instance of me thinking out loud, and in the ensuing discussion I basically took that whole point back and replaced it with the notion that the thing that distiguishes science from poetry is the notion that science proceeds by replacing an existing account with another that is by some standard a superior account: “progress,” broadly understood, and not necessarily asymptotically approaching some definitive and final account of The World As A Whole As It Really Is In Itself. All of that will end up in the final chapter, so it was very useful for me to go through it, but again, I’m not sure how useful it is for everyone else. Caveat downloader.