This book is a result from a collective study on philosophy of scientific practice (PSP), which began around 2002 and still ongoing. There is an apparently increasing interest in scientific practice, influenced by the historicistic philosophy of science and the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK). Prof. WU Tong and his research group believe that it is necessary for PSP to turn from the theory-dominant position to the practice dominance. PSP has also put forward the possibility of reinterpreting the epistemic status of local knowledge in Chinese tradition, which provides the most significant motivation to participate this study.

In this book, we have selected three main cases – namely, Chinese medicine, Fengshui, and Ethnobotany – to examine the effect of PSP. The aim of our collective study is not merely on theoretical construction of PSP, but also to consider the various applications of PSP, especially for re-interpreting and demonstrating the variety of local knowledge from traditional China, which seems to be a genuine contribution to the international enterprise of philosophy of science, particularly made by Chinese scholars.

chapter |12 pages


Towards a philosophy of scientific practice

chapter |24 pages

The origin of the concept of practice

chapter |24 pages

Scientific practice

Significance, types, and scopes

chapter |21 pages

The nature of scientific practice

chapter |23 pages

The nature of knowledge

Local knowledge

chapter |22 pages

Knowledge and power

chapter |22 pages

Partnering the philosophy of scientific practice

The philosophy of scientific experimentation

chapter |14 pages

New empiricism

A close relative of the philosophy of scientific practice

chapter |16 pages

The starting point of scientific research

Opportunity, question, or observation?

chapter |7 pages

A new solution for an old problem

The relationships of observation, experiment, and theory

chapter |21 pages

Local knowledge (I)

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

chapter |17 pages

Local knowledge (II)

Chinese theory of Fengshui

chapter |14 pages

Local knowledge (III)


chapter |16 pages


Scientific practice in ongoing and unlimited process