David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology is the study of life, psychology is the study of mind, and medicine is the investigation of the causes and treatments of disease. This chapter describes how the central concepts of life, mind, and disease have undergone fundamental changes in the past 150 years or so. There has been a progression from theological, to qualitative, to mechanistic explanations of the nature of life, mind and disease. This progression has involved both theoretical change, as new theories with greater explanatory power replaced older ones, and emotional change as the new theories brought reorientation of attitudes toward the nature of life, mind, and disease. After a brief comparison of theological, qualitative, and mechanistic explanations, I will describe how shifts from one kind of explanation to another have carried with them dramatic kinds of conceptual change in the key concepts in the life sciences. Three generalizations follow about the nature of conceptual change in the history of science: there has been a shift from conceptualizations in terms of simple properties to ones in terms of complex relations; conceptual change is theory change; and conceptual change is often emotional as well as cognitive. The contention that historical development proceeds in three stages originated with the nineteenth-century French philosophers, Auguste Comte, who claimed that November 9, 2006 human intellectual development progresses from a theological to a “metaphysical” stage to a “positive” (scientific) stage (Comte, 1988). The stages I have in mind are different from Comte’s, so let me say what they involve. By the theological stage I mean systems of thought in which the primary explanatory entities are supernatural ones beyond the reach of science, such as gods, devils, angels, spirits, and souls. For example, the concept of fire was initially theological, as in the Greek myth of Prometheus receiving fire from the gods..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
P. Thagard (1996). The Concept of Disease: Structure and Change. Communication and Cognition 29:445-478.
Paul R. Thagard (1990). Concepts and Conceptual Change. Synthese 82 (2):255-74.
Paul Thagard (2003). Conceptual Change. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group.
Nancy J. Nersessian (1989). Conceptual Change in Science and in Science Education. Synthese 80 (1):163 - 183.
Darrin W. Belousek (1998). Husserl on Scientific Method and Conceptual Change: A Realist Appraisal. Synthese 115 (1):71-98.
Marjorie Rhodes & Henry Wellman (2013). Constructing a New Theory From Old Ideas and New Evidence. Cognitive Science 37 (3):592-604.
Brendan Clarke (2012). Causation in Medicine. In Wenceslao J. Gonzalez (ed.), Conceptual Revolutions: from Cognitive Science to Medicine. Netbiblo.
Mark Bevir (2003). Notes Toward an Analysis of Conceptual Change. Social Epistemology 17 (1):55 – 63.
Ingo Brigandt, An Alternative to Kitcher's Theory of Conceptual Progress and His Account of the Change of the Gene Concept.
Harold I. Brown (1986). Sellars, Concepts, and Conceptual Change. Synthese 68 (August):275-307.
Xiang Chen & Peter Barker (2000). Continuity Through Revolutions: A Frame-Based Account of Conceptual Change During Scientific Revolutions. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):223.
Ingo Brigandt (2004). Conceptual Role Semantics, the Theory Theory, and Conceptual Change. In Proceedings First Joint Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology and the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Barcelona, Spain.
Peter Gärdenfors & Frank Zenker (2013). Theory Change as Dimensional Change: Conceptual Spaces Applied to the Dynamics of Empirical Theories. Synthese 190 (6):1039-1058.
Ingo Brigandt (2006). A Theory of Conceptual Advance: Explaining Conceptual Change in Evolutionary, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads15 ( #104,489 of 1,096,954 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #106,891 of 1,096,954 )
How can I increase my downloads?