Dr Alan Chalmers, (BSc Bristol, MSc Manchester, PhD London) Visiting scholar
The Flinders University of South Australia
Sturt Rd, Bedford Park
Adelaide, SA 5042

Ph: (08)8 201 5092
Fax: (08)8 201 2784
Email: chalmers_alan@hotmail.com

Primary Research Interests: Philosophy of Science.

Alan Chalmers has taught at the University of Sydney since 1971, first in the School of Philosophy, and from 1987 at the Unit for the History and Philosophy of Science. He attained a B.Sc. in physics at the University of Bristol, and his M.Sc. in physics from the University of Manchester. His Ph.D. on the electromagnetic theory of J.C. Maxwell was granted by the University of London. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Humanities in 1997. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Flinders Philosophy Department since 1999.



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, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Portuguese, Polish and Danish, Greek and Estonian.)

What Is This Thing Called Science?, 3rd revised edition, University of Queensland Press, Open University press, Hackett,1999

Science and Its Fabrication, Open University Press and University of Minnesota Press, 1990, pp. 142+xii.
(Translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Korean and Chinese )

Chapters in Books

with J. Bishop, ‘Rationalism, Empiricism and Beyond’ in The Search for the Human World, Deakin University Press, 1980, pp. 49 - 145.

‘James Clerk Maxwell’ in Makers of Nineteenth Century Culture, Ed., J. Wintle, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983, pp. 411-2.

‘Methodological Individualism: An Incongruity in Popper’s Philosophy’ in Popper and the Human Sciences, eds. G. Currie and A. Musgrave, Martinus Nijhoff, 1985, pp. 73-87.

‘The Galileo That Feyerabend Missed: An Improved Case Against Method’ in J. A. Schuster and R. R. Yeo (eds), The Politics and Rhetoric of Scientific Method, Dordrecht: Reidel, 1986, pp. 1-31.

‘Social Science and Politics: A Philosopher’s Perspective’ in The Social Sciences and Health Research, eds J. Daly and E. Willis, Public Health Association of Australia, 1990, pp. 50-52.

‘Galilean Relativity and Galileo’s Relativity’ in Correspondence, Invariance and Heuristics, Ed. S. French and H. Kaminga, Kluwer, 1993, pp. 189-205.

‘Making Sense of Laws of Physics’ in H. Sankey (ed.), Causation and Laws of Nature, Dordrecht, Kluwer 1999, pp. 3-16.

with N. Rasmussen, ‘The Role of Theory in the Use of Instruments’ in J. Buchwald and A. Warwick (eds) , Histories of the Electron: The Birth of Microphysics. MIT Press, 2001, pp. 467-502.

‘Experiment and the Growth of Scientific Knowledge’ in P. Gardenfors, J. Wolenski and K. Kijania-Placet (eds), In the Scope of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Vol., 1, Dordrecht: Kluwer. 2002, pp. 157-169

‘Why Alan Musgrave Should become an Essentialist’ in C. Cheyne and J. Worrall, Rationality and Reality: Conversations with Alan Musgrave, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2006, pp. 1-17.

Articles in Refereed Journals

‘Curie’s Principle’ , British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 21, 1970, 133-48.

‘Maxwell’s Methodology and His Application of it to Electromagnetism’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 4, 1973, 107-64.

‘The Limitations of Maxwell’s Electromagnetic Theory’, Isis, 64, 1973, 469-83.

‘On Learning From Our Mistakes’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 24, 1973, 164-73.

‘Maxwell and the Displacement Current’, Physics Education, 1975, 45-9.

‘The Extraordinary Pre-History of the Law of Refraction’, Australian Physicist, Vol. 12, 1975, 85-8.

‘Towards an Objectivist Account of Theory Change’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 30, 1979, 227-33.

‘A Critique and an Improvement of Lakatos’s Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes’, Methodology and Science, 13, 1980, 2-27.

‘Rationality is Wonderful: Lakatos’s Half-Theory of the History of Science’, Erkenntnis, 16, 1981, 167-76.

‘Epidemiology and the Scientific Method’, Community Health Studies, 6, 1980, 36-40, reprinted in International Journal of Health Studies, 12, 1982, 659-66.

‘Planetary Distances in Copernican Theory’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 32, 1983, 374-5.

‘The Primacy of Practice: A Reply to Mervyn Susser’, International Journal of Health Studies, 13, 1983, 329-31.

with R. Nicholas, ‘Galileo on the Dissipative Effect of a Rotating Earth’, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 14, 1983, 315-40.

‘Planetary Distances and Copernican Theory: A Reply’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 34, 1983, 372-74.

‘A Non-Empiricist Account of Experiment’, Methodology and Science, 17, 1984, 95-114.

‘The Case Against a Universal, A-Historical Scientific Method’, Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 5, 1985, 555-67.

‘Galileo’s Telescopic Observation’s of Venus and Mars’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 36, 1985, 555-67.

‘Scientific Realism without Dogmatism’, Methodology and Science, 18, 1985, 48-61.

‘The Heuristic Role of Maxwell’s Mechanical Model of Electromagnetism’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 17, 1986, 415-27.

‘Bhaskar, Cartwright and Realism in Physics’, Methodology and Science, 20, 1987, 77-96.

‘The Sociology of Knowledge and the Epistemological Status of Science’, Thesis XI, 21, 1988, 82-102.

‘Is Bhaskar’s Realism Realistic?’ , Radical Philosophy, 49, 1988, 18-23.

‘Realism in Physics: A Reply to Suchting’, Methodology and Science, 21, 1988, 296-9.

‘How to Defend Science against Skepticism’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 40, 1989, 249-53.

‘Is a Law Reasonable to a Hume?’, Cogito, 6, 1992, 125-9.

‘Wisdom and the Epistemological Defence of Science’, Metascience, 1, 1992, 57-71.

‘So the Laws of Physics Needn’t Lie’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 71, 1993, 96-205.

‘The Lack of Excellency of Boyle’s Mechanical Philosophy’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 24, 1993, 541-64.

‘Maxwell’s Electromagnetism’, Metascience, 4, 1993, 17-27.

‘Theory Change and Theory Choice’ , Methodology and Science, 27, 1994, 161-5.

‘Ultimate Explanation in Science’, Cogito, 9, 1995, 141-5

‘Cartwright on Fundamental Laws’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy , 74, 1996, 150-52

‘Did Democritus Ascribe Weight to Atoms?’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 75, 1997, 279-287.

‘Retracing the Ancient Steps to Atomic Theory’, Science and Education, 7, 1998, 69-84

‘’Twenty Years On: Adding the Cat’s Whiskers’, Science and Education, 8, 1999, 327-338.

‘What Can Particle Physicists Count On?’, Essay Review of P. Gallison, Image and Logic in Metascience, 8, 1999, 388-392.

 ‘What Is This Thing Called Philosophy of Science?’, response to reviewers of What Is Thing Called Science?, 3rd Edition, in Metascience, 9, 2000, 198-203.

‘Maxwell, Mechanism and the Nature of Electricity’, Physics in Perspective, 3, 2001, 425-438

‘Experiment versus mechanical philosophy in the work of Robert Boyle’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 33, 2002, 191-97.

‘The theory-dependence of the use of instruments in science’, Philosophy of Science,70, 2003, 493-509

‘Introduction’ to P. O’Grady, Meet the Philosophers of Ancient Greece, Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2005, pp. 3-7.

‘Democritus’ in P. O’Grady, Meet the Philosophers of Ancient Greece, Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2005, 117-122.

"Atomism from the 17th to the 20th Century", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2005 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2005/entries/atomism-modern/

‘The status of Dalton’s atomic theory’ in The Rutherford Journal, 1, 2005, http://www.rutherfordjournal.org 

Article in Non-Refereed Journal

‘Two Myths Concerning the Scientific Method’, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Marine Science Association, 1982, 659 - 66.