A Practical Philosophy for the Life Sciences

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SUNY Press, Jul 1, 1993 - Philosophy - 208 pages
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This book integrates philosophy of biology and philosophy of medicine with the purpose of making philosophy practical for students and scientists. It contains many exercises and examples from live science. Much attention is given to the translation of scientific reasoning into the language of philosophy. The author shows that philosophical models can be used to evaluate science, if the limitations of the models are recognized so they can be applied in the proper context. On the other hand, some philosophical views of science need to be corrected by science.

The book puts philosophy and science in a broader perspective. It integrates practical philosophy and ethics in applications to live science and uncovers limitations of current ethical theory.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Concepts
9
22 Definitions
16
23 Empirical Reference Operationality and Coherence
21
24 Concepts and Classifications
24
25 Hard Cases
26
26 Afterthoughts
31
Arguments and Fallacies
33
64 Controlled Experimentation
95
Laws and Theories
101
72 Generality
103
73 Coherence
113
74 Concepts Revisited
118
75 Afterthoughts
123
Explanation
125
82 Causation Prediction and Alternative Explanations
132

32 Evaluating Arguments
37
33 Fallacies
40
34 More on Induction
44
35 Afterthoughts
47
Elements of Formal Logic
49
42 Predicate Logic
55
43 Inductive Logic
61
44 Asides on Causation
64
45 Afterthoughts
66
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER 4
69
Scientific Research An Overview
73
Hypotheses
79
62 Testability and The Process of Testing
84
63 Alternative Hypotheses
92
83 Special Cases
139
84 Afterthoughts
145
Facts and Values
147
92 Distinguishing Facts and Values
149
The Use of Methodology
151
94 Deplorable Gaps
153
Miscellaneous Examples
156
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER 9
158
Disciplines and Dutch Dikes
173
Answers to Exercises
179
Bibliography
189
References
193
Index
203
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Wim J. van der Steen is Professor of Philosophy of Biology at the Free University in Amsterdam.

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