Foundations of Chemistry 4 (2):97-125 (2002)

Abstract
This paper investigates the interface between philosophy and biochemistry. While it is problematic to justify the application of a particular philosophical model to biochemistry, it seems to be even more difficult to develop a special “Philosophy for Biochemistry”. Alternatively, philosophy can be used in biochemistry based on an alternative approach that involves an interdependent iteration process at a philosophical and (bio)chemical level (“Exeter Method”). This useful iteration method supplements more abstract approaches at the interface between philosophy and natural sciences, and serves the biochemical community to systematically locate logical inconsistencies that arise from more theoretical aspects of the scientific process. Initial cycles of this iteration process identify the in vitro–in vivo problem as a central epistemological difficulty in biochemical research. While previous attempts have generated ad hoc rules to mend the gap between chemistry, biochemistry and biology in order to justify in vitro experimentation, this paper concludes that in vitro experimentation is heavily based on chemistry and cannot derive definite statements about biological processes. It can, however, generate results that will influence the direction of future biological research. The consequence is that the relationship between in vitro and in vivo experimentation is more of a psychological or social one than of a logical nature. Apart from highlighting these inconsistencies in biochemical thinking (“problem awareness”), the Exeter Method demands an improvement of biochemical terminology that contains separate and unequivocally defined terms for in vitro and in vivo systems.
Keywords Philosophy   Chemistry/Food Science, general   Physical Chemistry   Philosophy of Science   History
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1016052605025
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,975
External links

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

The Philosophy of Biology.David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.) - 1973 - London: Oxford University Press.
Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave - 1972 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 3 (1):158-162.
On the Neglect of the Philosophy of Chemistry.J. van Brakel - 1999 - Foundations of Chemistry 1 (2):111-174.
The Emergence of the Philosophy of Chemistry.Lee McIntyre - 1999 - Foundations of Chemistry 1 (1):57-63.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
36 ( #313,471 of 2,498,260 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #426,910 of 2,498,260 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes