Chapter 9. Philosophy of Earth Science

  1. Fritz Allhoff Assistant Professor Fellow Director
  1. Maarten G. Kleinhans Lecturer member1,
  2. Chris J. J. Buskes Lecturer2 and
  3. Henk W. de Regt Lecturer in Philosophy member3

Published Online: 15 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444315578.ch9

Philosophies of the Sciences: A Guide

Philosophies of the Sciences: A Guide

How to Cite

Kleinhans, M. G., Buskes, C. J. J. and de Regt, H. W. (2010) Philosophy of Earth Science, in Philosophies of the Sciences: A Guide (ed F. Allhoff), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444315578.ch9

Editor Information

  1. Department of Philosophy, Western Michigan University, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Utrecht, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

  3. 3

    VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2010
  2. Published Print: 4 JAN 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405199957

Online ISBN: 9781444315578



  • philosophy of earth science;
  • philosophical analysis of earth science;
  • theories of earth science - hypotheses about unobservable events or generalized;
  • historical sciences and descriptive aims;
  • nomological sciences - associated with explanatory aims;
  • earth science - sub-disciplines with different aims;
  • autonomy of earth science;
  • correlation of time and length scale of earth-scientific phenomena;
  • explanation in earth science - inference to the best explanation;
  • earth science and predictions of phenomena on earth and earth-like planets


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Object and Aims of Earth Science

  • The Autonomy of Earth Science

  • Explanation in Earth Science

  • Conclusion

  • Acknowledgment

  • References