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  1. added 2019-04-09
    Re-Re-Reconciling the Epistemic and Ontic Views of Explanation: A Reply to Wright and van Eck.Benjamin Sheredos - manuscript
    In a recent article published in Ergo and entitled "Ontic explanation is either ontic or explanatory, but not both," Cory Wright and Dingmar van Eck have sought to undermine any ontic approach to explanation, providing three arguments to show that an epistemic approach is "the only game in town." I show that each of their arguments is straightforwardly question-begging. For brevity, I make my counter-arguments by showing how the claims of Sheredos (2016)-whom Wright & van Eck cite as an ally-undermine (...)
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  2. added 2018-12-12
    Suppressed Subjectivity and Truncated Tradition: A Reply to Pablo Schyfter.Jeff Kochan - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (12):15-21.
    Author's response to: Pablo Schyfter, 'Inaccurate Ambitions and Missing Methodologies: Thoughts on Jeff Kochan and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge,' Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7, no. 8 (2018): 8-14. -- Part of a book-review symposium on: Jeff Kochan (2017), Science as Social Existence: Heidegger and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (Cambridge UK: Open Book Publishers).
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  3. added 2018-09-16
    Criticizing a Difference of Contexts: On Reichenbach’s Distincition Between “Context of Discovery” and “Context of Justification”.Gregor Schiemann - 2002 - In Schickore J. & Steinle F. (eds.), Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook. Max-Planck-Institut. pp. 237-251.
    With his distinction between the "context of discovery" and the "context of justification", Hans Reichenbach gave the traditional difference between genesis and validity a modern standard formulation. Reichenbach's distinction is one of the well-known ways in which the expression "context" is used in the theory of science. My argument is that Reichenbach's concept is unsuitable and leads to contradictions in the semantic fields of genesis and validity. I would like to demonstrate this by examining the different meanings of Reichenbach's context (...)
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  4. added 2018-05-13
    Specialisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Incommensurability.Vincenzo Politi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):301-317.
    Incommensurability may be regarded as driving specialisation, on the one hand, and as posing some problems to interdisciplinarity, on the other hand. It may be argued, however, that incommensurability plays no role in either specialisation or interdisciplinarity. Scientific specialties could be defined as simply 'different' (that is, about different things), rather than 'incommensurable' (that is, competing for the explanation of the same phenomena). Interdisciplinarity could be viewed as the co- ordinated effort of scientists possessing complemetary and interlocking skills, and not (...)
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  5. added 2018-04-27
    hacia una filosofía de la ciencia centrada en prácticas.Sergio F. Martinez - 2015 - Mexico: UNAM-Bonilla Artigas.
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  6. added 2018-02-08
    Models in the Geosciences.Alisa Bokulich & Naomi Oreskes - 2017 - In Lorenzo Magnani & Tommaso Wayne Bertolotti (eds.), Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science. Springer. pp. 891-911.
    The geosciences include a wide spectrum of disciplines ranging from paleontology to climate science, and involve studies of a vast range of spatial and temporal scales, from the deep-time history of microbial life to the future of a system no less immense and complex than the entire Earth. Modeling is thus a central and indispensable tool across the geosciences. Here, we review both the history and current state of model-based inquiry in the geosciences. Research in these fields makes use of (...)
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  7. added 2017-11-13
    In Defense of Methodological Mechanism: The Case of Apoptosis.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (6):601-619.
    This paper advances the thesis of methodological mechanism, the claim that to be committed to mechanism is to adopt a certain methodological postulate, i.e. to look for causal pathways for the phenomena of interest. We argue that methodological mechanism incorporates a minimal account of understanding mechanisms, according to which a mechanism just is a causal pathway described in the language of theory. In order to argue for this position we discuss a central example of a biological mechanism, the mechanism of (...)
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  8. added 2017-09-07
    Science as Social Existence: Heidegger and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.Jeff Kochan - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers.
    Review: 'Half an original interpretation of Heidegger's early work and half an attempt to buttress the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) with a more philosophically rigorous grounding, Science as Social Existence will be of interest not only to Heidegger scholars but to anyone engaged in science and technology studies. [...] This is an informative and original book. Kochan should be praised for his clear, pleasant-to-read prose.' (Michael Butler, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, for CHOICE).
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  9. added 2017-09-04
    Natur und Labor: Über die Grenzen der Gültigkeit von Naturgesetzen.Andreas Hüttemann - 2000 - Philosophia Naturalis 37 (2):269-285.
    The paper analyses how knowledge claims can be extrapolated from laboratory situation to more complex situations. It argues that claims by Tetens, Knorr-Cetina and Cartwright that put doubts on extrapolation are unwarrented.
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  10. added 2017-09-01
    Recipes for Science: An Introduction to Scientific Methods and Reasoning.Angela Potochnik, Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    There is widespread recognition at universities that a proper understanding of science is needed for all undergraduates. Good jobs are increasingly found in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine, and science now enters almost all aspects of our daily lives. For these reasons, scientific literacy and an understanding of scientific methodology are a foundational part of any undergraduate education. Recipes for Science provides an accessible introduction to the main concepts and methods of scientific reasoning. With the help of (...)
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  11. added 2017-08-07
    Who's Afraid of Charles Sanders Peirce? Knocking Some Critical Common Sense Into Moral Philosophy.Cornelis de Waal - 2012 - In Cornelis De Waal & Krysztof Piotr Skowronski (eds.), The Normative Thought of Charles S. Peirce. Fordham University Press. pp. 83-100.
    In this essay I explore the potential contribution of Peirce's theory of scientific inquiry to moral philosophy. After a brief introduction, I outline Peirce's theory of inquiry. Next, I address why Peirce believed that this theory of inquiry is inapplicable to what he called "matters of vital importance," the latter including genuine moral problems. This leaves us in the end with two options: We can try to develop an alternative way of addressing moral problems or we can seek to reconcile (...)
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  12. added 2017-03-10
    Is Defining Life Pointless? Operational Definitions at the Frontiers of Biology.Leonardo Bich & Sara Green - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    Despite numerous and increasing attempts to define what life is, there is no consensus on necessary and sufficient conditions for life. Accordingly, some scholars have questioned the value of definitions of life and encouraged scientists and philosophers alike to discard the project. As an alternative to this pessimistic conclusion, we argue that critically rethinking the nature and uses of definitions can provide new insights into the epistemic roles of definitions of life for different research practices. This paper examines the possible (...)
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  13. added 2017-02-15
    On the Limits of Causal Modeling: Spatially-Structurally Complex Biological Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):921-933.
    This paper examines the adequacy of causal graph theory as a tool for modeling biological phenomena and formalizing biological explanations. I point out that the causal graph approach reaches it limits when it comes to modeling biological phenomena that involve complex spatial and structural relations. Using a case study from molecular biology, DNA-binding and -recognition of proteins, I argue that causal graph models fail to adequately represent and explain causal phenomena in this field. The inadequacy of these models is due (...)
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  14. added 2016-12-08
    Thinking From Things: Essays in the Philosophy of Archaeology.Alison Wylie - 2002 - University of California Press.
    In this long-awaited compendium of new and newly revised essays, Alison Wylie explores how archaeologists know what they know. -/- Preprints available for download. Please see entry for specific article of interest.
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  15. added 2016-08-15
    Visual Information and Scientific Understanding.Nicola Mößner - 2015 - Axiomathes 25 (2):167-179.
    Without doubt, there is a widespread usage of visualisations in science. However, what exactly the _epistemic status_ of these visual representations in science may be remains an open question. In the following, I will argue that at least some scientific visualisations are indispensible for our cognitive processes. My thesis will be that, with regard to the activity of _learning_, visual representations are of relevance in the sense of contributing to the aim of _scientific_ _understanding_. Taking into account that understanding can (...)
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  16. added 2016-03-11
    Mathematical Modelling and Contrastive Explanation.Adam Morton - 1990 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 20 (Supplement):251-270.
    Mathematical models provide explanations of limited power of specific aspects of phenomena. One way of articulating their limits here, without denying their essential powers, is in terms of contrastive explanation.
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  17. added 2016-01-08
    A Sense So Rare: Measuring Olfactory Experiences and Making a Case for a Process Perspective on Sensory Perception.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (3):258-268.
    Philosophical discussion about the reality of sensory perceptions has been hijacked by two tendencies. First, talk about perception has been largely centered on vision. Second, the realism question is traditionally approached by attaching objects or material structures to matching contents of sensory perceptions. These tendencies have resulted in an argumentative impasse between realists and anti-realists, discussing the reliability of means by which the supposed causal information transfer from object to perceiver takes place. Concerning the nature of sensory experiences and their (...)
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  18. added 2015-11-11
    Grand Challenges and Small Steps. Introduction to the Special Issue 'Interdisciplinary Integration: The Real Grand Challenge for the Life Sciences?'.Giovanni De Grandis & Sophia Efstathiou - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:39-47.
    This collection addresses two different audiences: 1) historians and philosophers of the life sciences reflecting on collaborations across disciplines, especially as regards defining and addressing Grand Challenges; 2) researchers and other stakeholders involved in cross-disciplinary collaborations aimed at tackling Grand Challenges in the life and medical sciences. The essays collected here offer ideas and resources both for the study and for the practice of goal-driven cross-disciplinary research in the life and medical sciences. We organise this introduction in three sections. The (...)
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  19. added 2015-09-11
    SUSY in the Sky of Diamonds.Rinat M. Nugayev - 2001 - In Michael Ciaran Duffy & Mogens True Wegener (eds.), Recent Advances in Relativity Theory. Hadronic Press. pp. 193-195.
    The host of SUSY(supersymmetry) based string theories is considered. Superstrings are comprehended as possible candidates on Quantum Gravity basic objects. It is argued that superstring theories constitute mainly mathematical progress and can reconcile general relativity with quantum field theory at best. Yet they cannot provide the genuine synthesis. Superstring unification of all the four forces at hand is a formal one . It is contended that genesis and proliferation of superstrings can better be described not by philosophy of science models (...)
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  20. added 2015-08-24
    The Practical Value of Biological Information for Research.Beckett Sterner - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (2):175-194,.
    Many philosophers are skeptical about the scientific value of the concept of biological information. However, several have recently proposed a more positive view of ascribing information as an exercise in scientific modeling. I argue for an alternative role: guiding empirical data collection for the sake of theorizing about the evolution of semantics. I clarify and expand on Bergstrom and Rosvall’s suggestion of taking a “diagnostic” approach that defines biological information operationally as a procedure for collecting empirical cases. The more recent (...)
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  21. added 2015-07-07
    Circles of Scientific Practice: Regressus, Mathēsis, Denkstil.Jeff Kochan - 2015 - In Dimitri Ginev (ed.), Critical Science Studies after Ludwik Fleck. St. Kliment Ohridski University Press. pp. 83-99.
    Hermeneutic studies of science locate a circle at the heart of scientific practice: scientists only gain knowledge of what they, in some sense, already know. This may seem to threaten the rational validity of science, but one can argue that this circle is a virtuous rather than a vicious one. A virtuous circle is one in which research conclusions are already present in the premises, but only in an indeterminate and underdeveloped way. In order to defend the validity of science, (...)
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  22. added 2014-03-26
    Modeling and Experimenting.Isabelle Peschard - 2009 - In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge.
    Experimental activity is traditionally identified with testing the empirical implications or numerical simulations of models against data. In critical reaction to the ‘tribunal view’ on experiments, this essay will show the constructive contribution of experimental activity to the processes of modeling and simulating. Based on the analysis of a case in fluid mechanics, it will focus specifically on two aspects. The first is the controversial specification of the conditions in which the data are to be obtained. The second is conceptual (...)
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  23. added 2014-03-23
    Scientific Practice and the Disunity of Physics.Andreas Hüttemann - 1998 - Philosophia Naturalis 35 (1):209-222.
    It is my aim in this paper to look at some of the arguments that are brought forward for or against certain claims to unity/disunity (in particular to examine those arguments from science and from scientific practice) in order to evaluate whether they really show what they claim to. This presupposes that the concept or rather the concepts of the unity of physics are reasonably clear. Three concepts of unity can be identified: (1) ontological unity, which refers to the objects (...)
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  24. added 2014-03-19
    Parts and Theories in Compositional Biology.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):471-499.
    I analyze the importance of parts in the style of biological theorizing that I call compositional biology. I do this by investigating various aspects, including partitioning frames and explanatory accounts, of the theoretical perspectives that fall under and are guided by compositional biology. I ground this general examination in a comparative analysis of three different disciplines with their associated compositional theoretical perspectives: comparative morphology, functional morphology, and developmental biology. I glean data for this analysis from canonical textbooks and defend the (...)
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  25. added 2014-03-18
    The Epistemic Significance of Collaborative Research.K. Brad Wray - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (1):150-168.
    I examine the epistemic import of collaborative research in science. I develop and defend a functional explanation for its growing importance. Collaborative research is becoming more popular in the natural sciences, and to a lesser degree in the social sciences, because contemporary research in these fields frequently requires access to abundant resources, for which there is great competition. Scientists involved in collaborative research have been very successful in accessing these resources, which has in turn enabled them to realize the epistemic (...)
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  26. added 2014-03-07
    Constructive Empiricism: Normative or Descriptive?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):604-616.
    In this paper, I argue that Constructive Empiricism (CE) is ambiguous between two interpretations: CE as a normative epistemology of science and CE as a descriptive philosophy of science. When they present CE, constructive empiricists write as if CE is supposed to be more than a normative epistemology of science and that it is meant to be responsible to actual scientific practices. However, when they respond to objections, constructive empiricists fall back on a strictly normative interpretation of CE. This ambiguity (...)
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  27. added 2013-11-27
    History and Scientific Practice in the Construction of an Adequate Philosophy of Science: Revisiting a Whewell/Mill Debate.Aaron D. Cobb - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):85-93.
    William Whewell raised a series of objections concerning John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of science which suggested that Mill’s views were not properly informed by the history of science or by adequate reflection on scientific practices. The aim of this paper is to revisit and evaluate this incisive Whewellian criticism of Mill’s views by assessing Mill’s account of Michael Faraday’s discovery of electrical induction. The historical evidence demonstrates that Mill’s reconstruction is an inadequate reconstruction of this historical episode and the scientific (...)
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  28. added 2013-11-13
    The Limited Effectiveness of Prestige as an Intervention on the Health of Medical Journal Publications.Carole J. Lee - 2013 - Episteme 10 (4):387-402.
    Under the traditional system of peer-reviewed publication, the degree of prestige conferred to authors by successful publication is tied to the degree of the intellectual rigor of its peer review process: ambitious scientists do well professionally by doing well epistemically. As a result, we should expect journal editors, in their dual role as epistemic evaluators and prestige-allocators, to have the power to motivate improved author behavior through the tightening of publication requirements. Contrary to this expectation, I will argue that the (...)
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  29. added 2013-10-31
    Diagrams as Locality Aids for Explanation and Model Construction in Cell Biology.Nicholaos Jones & Olaf Wolkenhauer - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):705-721.
    Using as case studies two early diagrams that represent mechanisms of the cell division cycle, we aim to extend prior philosophical analyses of the roles of diagrams in scientific reasoning, and specifically their role in biological reasoning. The diagrams we discuss are, in practice, integral and indispensible elements of reasoning from experimental data about the cell division cycle to mathematical models of the cycle’s molecular mechanisms. In accordance with prior analyses, the diagrams provide functional explanations of the cell cycle and (...)
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  30. added 2013-10-29
    The Minimal Method of Descartes.Marco Aurelio Sousa Alves - 2012 - Metatheoria 3 (1):1-18.
    What is, after all, the famous method of Descartes? The brief and vague passages devoted to this subject in Descartes’ corpus have always puzzled his readers. In this paper, I investigate not only the two essays in which it is directly addressed (the Regulae ad Directionem Ingenii, and the Discours de la Méthode), but also his scientific works and correspondence. I finally advocate an interpretation that makes the best sense of his overt comments as well as of his actual scientific (...)
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  31. added 2012-12-18
    Theory-Laden Experimentation.Samuel Schindler - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):89-101.
    The thesis of theory-ladenness of observations, in its various guises, is widely considered as either ill-conceived or harmless to the rationality of science. The latter view rests partly on the work of the proponents of New Experimentalism who have argued, among other things, that experimental practices are efficient in guarding against any epistemological threat posed by theory-ladenness. In this paper I show that one can generate a thesis of theory-ladenness for experimental practices from an influential New Experimentalist account. The notion (...)
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  32. added 2012-02-05
    Is Simulation a Substitute for Experimentation?Isabelle Peschard - manuscript
    It is sometimes said that simulation can serve as epistemic substitute for experimentation. Such a claim might be suggested by the fast-spreading use of computer simulation to investigate phenomena not accessible to experimentation (in astrophysics, ecology, economics, climatology, etc.). But what does that mean? The paper starts with a clarification of the terms of the issue and then focuses on two powerful arguments for the view that simulation and experimentation are ‘epistemically on a par’. One is based on the claim (...)
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  33. added 2012-01-10
    Intervention, Causal Reasoning, and the Neurobiology of Mental Disorders: Pharmacological Drugs as Experimental Instruments.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (2):542-551.
    In psychiatry, pharmacological drugs play an important experimental role in attempts to identify the neurobiological causes of mental disorders. Besides being developed in applied contexts as potential treatments for patients with mental disorders, pharmacological drugs play a crucial role in research contexts as experimental instruments that facilitate the formulation and revision of neurobiological theories of psychopathology. This paper examines the various epistemic functions that pharmacological drugs serve in the discovery, refinement, testing, and elaboration of neurobiological theories of mental disorders. I (...)
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  34. added 2011-10-21
    Una Revisión Crítica de Los Estilos de Investigación Científica: Teoría, Práctica y Estilos.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2011 - In Sergio Martínez, Xiang Huang & Godfrey Guillaumin (eds.), Historia, prácticas y estilos en la filosofía de la ciencia. Hacia una epistemología plural. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.
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  35. added 2011-07-20
    Forgery: Prediction's Vile Twin.Joachim L. Dagg - 2003 - Science 302:783-784.
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  36. added 2011-04-25
    Testing Times: Confirmation in the Historical Sciences.Ben Jeffares - 2008 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    In this thesis, I argue that a good historical science will have the following characteristics: Firstly, it will seek to construct causal histories of the past. Secondly, the construction of these causal histories will utilise well-tested regularities of science. Additionally, well-tested regularities will secure the link between observations of physical traces and the causal events of interest. However, the historical sciences cannot use these regularities in a straightforward manner. The regularities must accommodate the idiosyncrasies of the past, and the degradation (...)
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  37. added 2011-03-18
    Wisdom and Curiosity? I Remember Them Well.Nicholas Maxwell - 2001 - The Times Higher Education Supplement (1,488):14.
    Academic inquiry has two basic inter-related aims. One is to explore intellectually aspects of our world of intrinsic interest and value, for its own sake, and to encourage non-academics to participate in such exploration, thus improving our knowledge and understanding. The other is, by intellectual means, to help humanity solve its problems of living, so that a more peaceful, just, democratic and environmentally enlightened world may be attained. Both are at present betrayed.
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  38. added 2011-03-17
    Must Science Make Cosmological Assumptions If It is to Be Rational?Nicholas Maxwell - 1997 - In T. Kelly (ed.), The Philosophy of Science: Proceedings of the Irish Philosophical Society Spring Conference. Irish Philosophical Society.
    Cosmological speculation about the ultimate nature of the universe, being necessary for science to be possible at all, must be regarded as a part of scientific knowledge itself, however epistemologically unsound it may be in other respects. The best such speculation available is that the universe is comprehensible in some way or other and, more specifically, in the light of the immense apparent success of modern natural science, that it is physically comprehensible. But both these speculations may be false; in (...)
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  39. added 2011-03-15
    Articulating the Aims of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 1977 - Nature 265 (January 6):2.
    Most scientists and philosophers of science take for granted the standard empiricist view that the basic intellectual aim of science is truth per se. But this seriously misrepresents the aims of scieince. Actually, science seeks explanatory truth and, more generally, important truth. Problematic metaphysical and value assumptions are inherent in the real aims of science. Precisely because these aims are profoundly problematic, they need to be articulated, imaginatively explored and critically assesseed, in order to improve them, as an integral part (...)
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