Discovery and Explanation in Biology and Medicine

University of Chicago Press (1993)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Kenneth F. Schaffner compares the practice of biological and medical research and shows how traditional topics in philosophy of science--such as the nature of theories and of explanation--can illuminate the life sciences. While Schaffner pays some attention to the conceptual questions of evolutionary biology, his chief focus is on the examples that immunology, human genetics, neuroscience, and internal medicine provide for examinations of the way scientists develop, examine, test, and apply theories. Although traditional philosophy of science has regarded scientific discovery--the questions of creativity in science--as a subject for psychological rather than philosophical study, Schaffner argues that recent work in cognitive science and artificial intelligence enables researchers to rationally analyze the nature of discovery. As a philosopher of science who holds an M.D., he has examined biomedical work from the inside and uses detailed examples from the entire range of the life sciences to support the semantic approach to scientific theories, addressing whether there are "laws" in the life sciences as there are in the physical sciences. Schaffner's novel use of philosophical tools to deal with scientific research in all of its complexity provides a distinctive angle on basic questions of scientific evaluation and explanation.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,649

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Exemplary Reasoning? A Comment on Theory Structure in Biomedicine.Arthur L. Caplan - 1986 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (1):93-105.
Philosophy of Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2011 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Science. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 246-267.
Review of Kitcher. [REVIEW]Robert A. Wilson - 2004 - Human Nature Reviews 4 (1):1-13.
Why Medicine Cannot Be a Science.Ronald Munson - 1981 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (2):183-208.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
70 (#170,238)

6 months
2 (#279,211)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Kenneth Schaffner
University of Pittsburgh

Citations of this work

The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
A Second Rebuttal On Health.Christopher Boorse - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):683-724.

View all 166 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references