The Limits of Science

An Analysis from “Barriers” to “Confines”


The problem of the limits of science is twofold. First, there is the problem of demarcation, i.e., the boundaries or “barriers” between what is science and what is not science. Second, there is the problem of the ceiling of scientific activity, which leads to the “confines” of this human enterprise. These two faces of the problem of the limits — the “barriers” and the “confines” of science — require a new analysis, which is the task of this book. The authors take into account the Kantian roots but they are focused on the current stage of the philosophical and methodological analyses of science. This vision looks to supersede the Kantian approach in order to reach a richer conception of science.
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Biographical Note

Wenceslao J. Gonzalez is Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science (University of A Coruña). He is a Full Member of the International Academy for Philosophy of Sciences. He has been a Team Leader of the ESF program entitled “The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective” (2008-2013). He has been Visiting Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science (Pittsburgh) and a visiting researcher at LSE.

Table of contents

The Problem of the Limits of Science in the Present Context
Wenceslao J. Gonzalez (University of A Coruña)

I) Limits as Frontiers and as Confines
“Rethinking the Limits of Science: From the Difficulties Regarding the Frontiers to the Concern about the Confines,” Wenceslao J. Gonzalez (University of A Coruña)
“The Uncertain Frontier between Scientific Theories and Metaphysical Research Programmes,” Juan Arana (University of Seville).
“Cognitive Problems and Practical Limits: Can Computers Overcome our Limitations?,” Nicholas Rescher (University of Pittsburgh).

II) Two Poles of Analysis: Language and Ethics
“Language and the Limits of Science,” Ladislav Kvasz (University of Prague).
“Ethical Limits of Science, Especially Economics,” Gereon Wolters (University of Konstanz).

III) Epistemological Limits to Science
“Predicting and Knowability: The Problem of Future Knowledge,” Nicholas Rescher (University of Pittsburgh).
“The Limits of Future Knowledge: An Analysis of Nicholas Rescher's Epistemological Approach,” Amanda Guillan (University of A Coruña).
“The Limits of Information Science,” Antonio Bereijo (University of A Coruña)

IV) The Limits from Inside and the Limits from Outside
“Rescher and Gadamer: Two Complementary Views of the Limits of Sciences,” Alfredo Marcos (University of Valladolid).
“The Obstacles to Scientific Prediction: An Analysis of the Limits of Predictability from the Ontology of Science,” Amanda Guillan (University of A Coruña).
Index of Names
Subject Index


Philosophers of science, historians of science, psychologists, sociologists, librarians, scientists of different fields, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Generally: can be of interest of a broad public and not just of post-graduate students.


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