The empirical character of methodological rules

Philosophy of Science 63 (3):106 (1996)
Abstract
Critics of Laudan's normative naturalism have questioned whether methodological rules can be regarded as empirical hypotheses about relations between means and ends. Drawing on Laudan's defense that rules of method are contingent on assumptions about the world, I argue that even if such rules can be shown to be analytic in principle (Kaiser 1991), in practice the warrant for such rules will be empirical. Laudan's naturalism, however, acquires normative force only by construing both methods and epistemic goals as instrumental to practical concerns, and issues only in context-specific and not general methodological principles
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