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About this book
When, after the agreeable fatigues of solicitation, Mrs Millamant set out a long bill of conditions subject to which she might by degrees dwindle into a wife, Mirabell offered in return the condition that he might not thereby be beyond measure enlarged into a husband. With age and experience in research come the twin dangers of dwindling into a philosopher of science while being enlarged into a dotard. The philosophy of science, I believe, should not be the preserve of senile scientists and of teachers of philosophy who have themselves never so much as understood the contents of a textbook of theoretical physics, let alone done a bit of mathematical research or even enjoyed the confidence of a creating scientist. On the latter count I run no risk: Any reader will see that I am untrained (though not altogether unread) in classroom philosophy. Of no ignorance of mine do I boast, indeed I regret it, but neither do I find this one ignorance fatal here, for few indeed of the great philosophers to explicate whose works hodiernal professors of phil osophy destroy forests of pulp were themselves so broadly and specially trained as are their scholiasts. In attempt to palliate the former count I have chosen to collect works written over the past thirty years, some of them not published before, and I include only a few very recent essays.
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