A practical philosophy for the life sciences by Wim J. van der Steen

By Wim J. van der Steen

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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.

Circle in definition. Example 3. Rapoport and Rapoport (1960, p. 6 and p. 10) define 'biogenerative system' and 'living matter' as follows. "... " These definitions are inadequate because they are circular. Example 4. ). It has been recognized since long that precise definitions of taxa names are impossible. Organisms show much variability. Therefore we can at best characterize a taxon by 'defining features' which many (not all) of its members have. Members of a taxon will have many Page 20 (not all) of these features.

The first few chapters of this book introduce the logic of concepts and arguments. Subsequently I consider topics such as hypothesis testing and explanation, which are more obviously in the domain of philosophy of science. In chapters 9 and 10 the focus is on relations between science and the domain of the normative. These chapters put science, philosophy and ethics in a broader perspective. Throughout the book, the emphasis is on applications in the life sciences. 1. The Logical and The Empirical Concepts are the subject of this chapter.

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