Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (1):93-105 (1986)
The contributions that the philosophy of medicine can make to both the philosophy of science and the practice of science have been obscured in recent years by an overemphasis on personalities rather than critical themes. Two themes have dominated general discussion within contemporary philosophy of science: methodological essentialism and dynamic gradualism. These themes are defined and considered in light of Kenneth Schaffner's argument that theories in biomedicine have a structure and logic unlike that found in theories of the natural sciences. Schaffner's arguments are suggestive but not definitive as a refutation of methodological essentialism. I argue that a primary reason for differences in the logic and structure of theories in biomedicine is not, as some philosophers have suggested, a product of ontological differences, but rather a product of the practical and pragmatic concerns of scientific theorizing in many areas of science, such as medicine. Keywords: philosophy of medicine, philosophy of science, logic of medicine, medical theory, methodological essentialism, dynamic gradualism CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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