I wanted to learn philosophy of science and started with reading A historical introduction to the philosophy of science but found it surprisingly hard because a lot of concepts were unfamiliar to me. So I read a few books about Epistemology, and general philosophy, and used Plato encyclopedia of philosophy . However, now that six months passed, I made no progress: I couldn't fully understand it when I read it second time.

The question is:

  • Is it okay to study philosophy of science with no Philosophical background? if so, can you recommend an easy introductory book? if not, what are the branches that I should study before approaching Philosophy of science? Where should I start? (and please recommend me books for this as well).

Thank you for your feedback.

  • 1
    It is ok to pursue philosophy of science and get the necessary background along the way. But perhaps you need a less demanding introduction, see Daily Idea for some book recommendations, Okasha's and Smith's texts are more elementary. It is generally good to have multiple reading sources, as some may explain different topics better than others. It also helps to have a mentor and/or a group of like-interested people to exchange ideas and discuss difficulties.
    – Conifold
    Jul 16, 2020 at 20:54
  • thank you very much, that was really helpful.
    – taha fen
    Jul 16, 2020 at 22:41
  • "to learn philosophy of science" seems quite ambitious, so it's normal to get overwhelmed. Start from something simpler and shorter, while googling for the elementary philosophical concepts. Once done, you'll get in better shape to address deeper and larger works. Moreover, you will know if you need to.
    – RodolfoAP
    Jul 17, 2020 at 12:29
  • Ask yourself if you can describe the history of science in simple language from the big bang up until now. Ask yourself how much you know about the earliest developments in chemistry, physics, biology, etc. Examine the theories which support science and each one's history, like empiricism, positivism, newton's laws, Einstein, etc. While doing this begin to ask yourself what is your own personal take on each of these items. For example, ask yourself if the idea that the universe began in one tremendous explosion and that prior to that there was nothing. Does this make sense? And have fun!
    – user37981
    Jul 17, 2020 at 15:23
  • Study science first so that you have some idea what you're talking about.
    – user4894
    Jul 17, 2020 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


Good news: One may start studying philosophy of science without being familiar with other branches of philosophy.

Bad news: One will not have any benefit from studying philosophy of science without an education in science before. I recommend at least a bachelor in physics or mathematics. Without doing science oneself one cannot judge or asset philosophical statements of other persons about science.

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