How to test normative theories of science

In this paper I discuss how descriptive studies of science, increasingly emphasised by philosophers of science, can be used to test normative theories of science. I claim that we can use cases of scientific practice as counter examples; if the practice of a given scientist can be shown to be justified and it diverges from the prescriptions of a scientific theory then the theory should be rejected. This approach differs from those offered by previous philosophers of science and at the same time brings the philosophy of science more into line with other areas of philosophy.
Keywords normative  descriptive studies of science  naturalism
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DOI 10.1023/A:1026544921593
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