Philosophy and the Front Line of Science

The Quarterly Review of Biology 83 (1):29-36 (2008)
According to one traditional view, empirical science is necessarily preceded by philosophical analysis. Yet the relevance of philosophy is often doubted by those engaged in empirical sciences. I argue that these doubts can be substantiated by two theoretical problems that the traditional conception of philosophy is bound to face. First, there is a strong normative etiology to philosophical problems, theories, and notions that is difficult to reconcile with descriptive empirical study. Second, conceptual analysis (a role that is typically assigned to philosophy) seems to lose its object of study if it is granted that terms do not have purely conceptual meanings detached from their actual use in empirical sciences. These problems are particularly acute to the current naturalistic philosophy of science. I suggest a more concrete integration of philosophy and the sciences as a possible way of making philosophy of science have more impact.
Keywords conceptual analysis  fallibilism  metaphilosophy  naturalism  normativity  semantics  theories of reference
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,470
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Nicholas Binney (2015). Nosology, Ontology and Promiscuous Realism. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 21 (3):391-397.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Brian Leiter (2008). Naturalism in Legal Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Justin Sytsma (2010). The Proper Province of Philosophy. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):427-445.
L. A. Whitt (1988). Conceptual Dimensions of Theory Appraisal. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 19 (4):517-529.
Dimitri Ginev (2005). Against the Politics of Postmodern Philosophy of Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):191 – 208.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

43 ( #112,849 of 1,925,574 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

19 ( #30,766 of 1,925,574 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.