By Wim J. van der Steen
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Additional info for A practical philosophy for the life sciences
Scientists elaborate theories by testing hypotheses. The theories are used to explain and predict phenomena. Methodology characterizes the nature of theories, tests, and so forth, in general terms, and formulates criteria they must satisfy. Methodology, like logic, is indispensable in science. Page 5 Logical criteria such as validity are relatively straightforward. Methodological criteria are more elusive. By way of an example, I will briefly consider the nature of scientific theories and the criteria they must satisfy.
For example, fish, amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals jointly constitute the extension of 'vertebrate'. The presence of a vertebral column is commonly regarded as a feature which belongs to the intension of 'vertebrate'. The next example illustrates the distinction of defining and accompanying features. Example 5. ) show rhythms with a period of 24 hours, which are associated with rhythms in environmental factors such as light and temperature. Under artificial conditions without periodicities in the environment, the period of these rhythmsbarring coincidencedeviates from 24 hours.
107) criticizes strong versions of normativism in medicine. At the end of the passage, he defends a weaker form of normativism. Would his argument suffice as a defence of this view? Together, the nature of medicine and the nature of language make normativism extremely attractive, though not necessarily right, as a program for the analysis of medicine. Why, then, do particular normativist theses fate so poorly? One reason is that the fight normative concepts have not been deployed, but the main reason is that there has been a too limited conception of how medical concepts could connect to normative ones.
A practical philosophy for the life sciences by Wim J. van der Steen