Kenneth Schaffner
University of Pittsburgh
the structure of medical science with a special focus on the role of generalizations and universals in medicine, and (2) philosophy of medicine's relation with the philosophy of science. I argue that a usually overlooked aspect of Kuhnian paradigms, namely, their characteristic of being "exemplars", is of considerable significance in the biomedical sciences. This significance rests on certain important differences from the physical sciences in the nature of theories in the basic and the clinical medical sciences. I describe those differences and maintain that they are these differentiating features that require the use of more comparative and analogical reasoning in medicine. I suggest that Kitcher's recent introduction of the notion of a ‘practice’ may have similar implications if it is construed to contain more analogical elements than he appears to recognize in his initial formulation. Finally I argue that though Gorovitz and MacIntyre's characterization of medicine as a "science of particulars" bears some similarities with my thesis, I maintain that such a position without careful qualification can lead to ignoring both the nature of generalizations in these sciences and their role as positive analogies tying together a family of overlapping models. Keywords: medical reasoning, biomedical theories/paradigms, science of particulars, philosophy of medicine CiteULike Connotea What's this?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/11.1.63
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,342
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Laws and Natural History in Biology.Wim J. van der Steen & Harmke Kamminga - 1991 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (4):445-467.
Mutant Mice: Experimental Organisms as Materialised Models in Biomedicine.Lara Huber & Lara K. Keuck - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):385-391.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Family Medicine as a Social Science.Barry Hoffmaster - 1981 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (4):387-410.
The Challenge to Biomedicine: A Foundations Perspective.Laurence Foss - 1989 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (2):165-191.
Why Medicine Cannot Be a Science.Ronald Munson - 1981 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (2):183-208.
Medicine as a Form of Practical Understanding.Ineke Widdershoven-Heerding - 1987 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2 (2).
Yearning for Certainty and the Critique of Medicine as “Science”.Mark H. Waymack - 2009 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (3):215-229.
A Science of Individuals: Medicine and Casuistry.Kathryn Montgomery Hunter - 1989 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (2):193-212.
Exemplary Reasoning? A Comment on Theory Structure in Biomedicine.Arthur L. Caplan - 1986 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (1):93-105.


Added to PP index

Total views
64 ( #143,526 of 2,326,055 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #650,227 of 2,326,055 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes