Genes and generalizations: Darden's strategies and the question of context [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):483-488 (1995)
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In her recent book Lindley Darden has endeavored to reclaim for philosophy an active role in the elaboration of good science. She has done this, not by holding up some set of rational standards derived from outside of scientific practice, but rather by delving into the history of science and coming out with a set of scientific strategies. Unconcerned about whether any particular strategy wasin fact employed in a given historical case her project depends upon two claims, first that these strategiescould have been successfully deployed in the particular cases from which they were construed, and second and more importantly, that these strategies can be generalized beyond any particular context and be put to future use. It will be argued that Darden''s conception of the possible context independence of scientific strategies is based upon an overly cognitivist misconstrual. An alternative account of the relationship of context dependent and context independent aspects of scientific theory formation will be offered as well as its implications for philosophy.



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Lenny Moss
University of Exeter

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The new rhetoric: a treatise on argumentation.Chaïm Perelman - 1969 - Notre Dame, [Ind.]: University of Notre Dame Press. Edited by Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca.
The Shaky Game: Einstein, Realism, and the Quantum Theory.Arthur Fine - 1986 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The New Rhetoric.Charles Perelman & L. Olbrechts-Tyteca - 1957 - Philosophy Today 1 (1):4-10.

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