This Hackett edition, first published in 1981, is an unabridged and unaltered republication of the seventh edition as published by Macmillan and Company, Limited. From the forward by John Rawls: In the utilitarian tradition Henry Sidgwick has an important place. His fundamental work, The Methods of Ethics, is the clearest and most accessible formulation of what we may call 'the classical utilitarian doctorine.' This classical doctrine holds that the ultimate moral end of social and individual action is the greatest net (...) sum of the happiness of all sentient beings. Happinesss is specified by the net balance of pleasure over pain, or, as Sidgwick preferred to say, as the net balance of agreeable over disagreeable consciousness.... (shrink)
The use of “levels of abstraction” in philosophical analysis (levelism) has recently come under attack. In this paper, I argue that a refined version of epistemological levelism should be retained as a fundamental method, called the method of levels of abstraction. After a brief introduction, in section “Some Definitions and Preliminary Examples” the nature and applicability of the epistemological method of levels of abstraction is clarified. In section “A Classic Application of the Method ofion”, the philosophical (...) fruitfulness of the new method is shown by using Kant’s classic discussion of the “antinomies of pure reason” as an example. In section “The Philosophy of the Method of Abstraction”, the method is further specified and supported by distinguishing it from three other forms of “levelism”: (i) levels of organisation; (ii) levels of explanation and (iii) conceptual schemes. In that context, the problems of relativism and antirealism are also briefly addressed. The conclusion discusses some of the work that lies ahead, two potential limitations of the method and some results that have already been obtained by applying the method to some long-standing philosophical problems. (shrink)
Introduction -- Ethics and politics -- Ethical judgments -- Pleasure and desire -- Free will -- Ethical principles and methods -- Egoism and self-love -- Chapter viii-intuitionism -- Good -- Book II: Egoism -- The principle and method of egoism -- Empirical hedonism -- Empirical hedonism (continued) -- Objective hedonism and common sense -- Happiness and duty -- Deductive hedonism -- Book III: Intuitionism -- Intuitionism -- Virtue and duty -- The intellectual virtues -- Benevolence -- Justice -- Laws (...) and promises -- Classification of duties. truth -- Other social duties and virtues -- Self-regarding virtues -- Courage, humility, etc. -- Review of the morality of common sense -- Motives or springs of action as subjects of moral judgment -- Philosophical intuitionism -- Ultimate good -- Book IV: Utilitarianism -- The meaning of utilitarianism -- The proof of utilitarianism -- The relation of utilitarianism to the morality of common sense -- The method of utilitarianism -- The method of utilitarianism (continued) -- Concluding chapter: The mutual relations of the three methods. (shrink)
One of the most influential of the Victorian philosophers, Henry Sidgwick also made important contributions to fields such as economics, political theory, and classics. An active promoter of higher education for women, he founded Cambridge's Newnham College in 1871. He attended Rugby School and then Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained his whole career. In 1859 he took up a lectureship in classics, and held this post for ten years. In 1869, he moved to a lectureship in moral philosophy, the (...) subject where he left arguably his greatest mark when he produced this work, regarded as his masterpiece. Published in 1874, the book argues the utilitarian approach to ethics, and a systematic and historically sensitive approach to ethical research that influenced utilitarian philosophers well into the twentieth century. It remains a valuable introduction to the philosophy, practice and history of ethics. This reissue includes the 1877 supplement. (shrink)
1. Overview and organizing themes 2. Historical Review: Aristotle to Mill 3. Logic of method and critical responses 3.1 Logical constructionism and Operationalism 3.2. H-D as a logic of confirmation 3.3. Popper and falsificationism 3.4 Meta-methodology and the end of method 4. Statistical methods for hypothesis testing 5. Method in Practice 5.1 Creative and exploratory practices 5.2 Computer methods and the ‘third way’ of doing science 6. Discourse on scientific method 6.1 “The scientific method” in (...) science education and as seen by scientists 6.2 Privileged methods and ‘gold standards’ 6.3 Scientific method in the court room 6.4 Deviating practices 7. Conclusion Bibliography Academic Tools Other Internet Resources Related Entries . (shrink)
This paper provides a systematic literature review, analysis and discussion of methods that are proposed to practise ethics in research and innovation. Ethical considerations concerning the impacts of R&I are increasingly important, due to the quickening pace of technological innovation and the ubiquitous use of the outcomes of R&I processes in society. For this reason, several methods for practising ethics have been developed in different fields of R&I. The paper first of all presents a systematic search of academic sources that (...) present and discuss such methods. Secondly, it provides a categorisation of these methods according to three main kinds: ex ante methods, dealing with emerging technologies, intra methods, dealing with technology design, and ex post methods, dealing with ethical analysis of existing technologies. Thirdly, it discusses the methods by considering problems in the way they deal with the uncertainty of technological change, ethical technology design, the identification, analysis and resolving of ethical impacts of technologies and stakeholder participation. The results and discussion of our literature review are valuable for gaining an overview of the state of the art and serve as an outline of a future research agenda of methods for practising ethics in R&I. (shrink)
The Methods of Science and Religion is a philosophical analysis of the conflict between science and religion, which challenges the popular, contemporary view that science and religion are complementary worldviews. It exposes their methodological incompatibility and concludes that religious modes of investigation are unreliable.
Pluralism about scientific method is more-or-less accepted, but the consequences have yet to be drawn out. Scientists adopt different methods in response to different epistemic situations: depending on the system they are interested in, the resources at their disposal, and so forth. If it is right that different methods are appropriate in different situations, then mismatches between methods and situations are possible. This is most likely to occur due to method bias: when we prefer a particular kind of (...)method, despite that method clashing with evidential context or our aims. To explore these ideas, we sketch a kind of method pluralism which turns on two properties of evidence, before using agent-based models to examine the relationship between methods, epistemic situations, and bias. Based on our results, we suggest that although method bias can undermine the efficiency of a scientific community, it can also be productive through preserving a diversity of evidence. We consider circumstances where method bias could be particularly egregious, and those where it is a potential virtue, and argue that consideration of method bias reveals that community standards deserve a central place in the epistemology of science. (shrink)
Experimental emotion inductions provide the strongest causal evidence of the effects of emotions on psychological and physiological outcomes. In the present qualitative review, we evaluated five common experimental emotion induction techniques: visual stimuli, music, autobiographical recall, situational procedures, and imagery. For each technique, we discuss the extent to which they induce six basic emotions: anger, disgust, surprise, happiness, fear, and sadness. For each emotion, we discuss the relative influences of the induction methods on subjective emotional experience and physiological responses. Based (...) on the literature reviewed, we make emotion-specific recommendations for induction methods to use in experiments. (shrink)
Argumentation, which can be abstractly defined as the interaction of different arguments for and against some conclusion, is an important skill to learn for everyday life, law, science, politics and business. The best way to learn it is to try it out on real instances of arguments found in everyday conversational exchanges and legal argumentation. The introductory chapter of this book gives a clear general idea of what the methods of argumentation are and how they work as tools that can (...) be used to analyze arguments. Each subsequent chapter then applies these methods to a leading problem of argumentation. Today the field of computing has embraced argumentation as a paradigm for research in artificial intelligence and multi-agent systems. Another purpose of this book is to present and refine tools and techniques from computing as components of the methods that can be handily used by scholars in other fields. (shrink)
Among Plato's works, the Statesman is usually seen as transitional between the Republic and the Laws. This book argues that the dialogue deserves a special place of its own. Whereas Plato is usually thought of as defending unchanging knowledge, Dr Lane demonstrates how, by placing change at the heart of political affairs, Plato reconceives the link between knowledge and authority. The statesman is shown to master the timing of affairs of state, and to use this expertise in managing the conflict (...) of opposed civic factions. To this political argument corresponds a methodological approach which is seen to rely not only on the familiar method of 'division', but equally on the unfamiliar centrality of the use of 'example'. The demonstration that method and politics are interrelated transforms our understanding of the Statesman and its fellow dialogues. (shrink)
In this volume, the authors discuss what practical contributions ecology can and can't make in applied science and environmental problem solving. In the first section, they discuss conceptual problems that have often prevented the formulation and evaluation of powerful, precise, general theories, explain why island biogeography is still beset with controversy and examine the ways that science is value laden. In the second section, they describe how ecology can give us specific answers to practical environmental questions posed in individual case (...) studies, and argue for a new way to look at scientific error. A case study using the Florida panther is examined in the light of these findings. (shrink)
Devitt has developed an interesting defense of realism against the threats posed by the Pessimistic Induction and the Argument from Unconceived Alternatives. Devitt argues that the best explanation for the success of our current theories, and the fact that they are superior to the theories they replaced, is that they were developed and tested with the aid of better methods than the methods used to develop and test the many theories that were discarded earlier in the history of science. It (...) is no surprise that theories developed earlier in the history of science needed to be replaced. But our current theories are different, having been developed and tested with the aid of these more recently developed superior methods. I critically analyze Devitt’s defense of realism. I argue that recent developments in methodology cannot support the claims Devitt makes. I present an argument I call the “Argument from Unconceived Methods.” Given the history of science, it seems likely that scientists will continue to develop new methods in the future. And some of these methods will enable scientists to generate data that cannot be reconciled with the currently accepted theories. Consequently, it seems that our current best theories are not immune from being replaced in the future by radically different theories. (shrink)
In the process of implementing an ethical code of conduct, a business organization uses formal methods. Of these, training, courses and means of enforcement are common and are also suitable for self-regulation. The USA is encouraging business corporations to self regulate with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG). The Guidelines prescribe similar formal methods and specify that, unless such methods are used, the process of implementation will be considered ineffective, and the business will therefore not be considered to have complied with (...) the guidelines. Business organizations invest enormous funds on formal methods. However, recent events indicate that these are not, by themselves, yielding the desired results. Our study, based on a sample of 812 employees and conducted in an Israeli subsidiary of a leading multinational High-Tech corporation headquartered in the US, indicates that, of the methods used in the process of implementation, one of the informal methods (namely, the social norms of the organization) is perceived by employees to have the most influence on their conduct. This result, when examined against employee tenure, remains relatively stable over the years, and stands in contradistinction to the formalistic approach embedded in the FSG. We indirectly measure the effectiveness of the percieved most influential implementation process methods by analyzing their impact on employee attitudes (namely, personal ethical commitment and employees'' commitment to organizational values). Our results indicate that the informal methods (manager sets an example or social norms of the organization) are likely to yield greater commitment with respect to both employee attitudes than the formal method (training and courses on the subject of ethics). The personal control method (my own personal values) differs significantly from all the other methods in that it yields the highest degree of personal ethical commitment and the lowest degree of employees'' commitment to organizational values. (shrink)
This collection of essays deals with three clusters of problems in the philo sophy of science: scientific method, conceptual models, and ontological underpinnings. The disjointedness of topics is more apparent than real, since the whole book is concerned with the scientific knowledge of fact. Now, the aim of factual knowledge is the conceptual grasping of being, and this understanding is provided by theories of whatever there may be. If the theories are testable and specific, such as a theory of (...) a particular chemical reaction, then they are often called 'theoretical models' and clas sed as scientific. If the theories are extremely general, like a theory of syn thesis and dissociation without any reference to a particular kind of stuff, then they may be called 'metaphysical' - as well as 'scientific' if they are consonant with science. Between these two extremes there is a whole gamut of kinds of factual theories. Thus the entire spectrum should be dominated by the scientific method, quite irrespective of the subject matter. This is the leitmotiv of the present book. The introductory chapter, on method in the philosophy of science, tackles the question 'Why don't scientists listen to their philosophers?'. (shrink)
The four principles approach to medical ethics plus specification is used in this paper. Specification is defined as a process of reducing the indeterminateness of general norms to give them increased action guiding capacity, while retaining the moral commitments in the original norm. Since questions of method are central to the symposium, the paper begins with four observations about method in moral reasoning and case analysis. Three of the four scenarios are dealt with. It is concluded in the (...) “standard” Jehovah’s Witness case that having autonomously chosen the authority of his religious institution, a Jehovah’s Witness has a reasonable basis on which to refuse a recommended blood transfusion. The author’s view of the child of a Jehovah’s Witness scenario is that it is morally required—not merely permitted—to overrule this parental refusal of treatment. It is argued in the selling kidneys for transplantation scenario that a fair system of regulating and monitoring would be better than the present system which the author believes to be a shameful failure. (shrink)
In a criminal trial, a judge or jury needs to reason about what happened based on the available evidence, often including statistical evidence. While a probabilistic approach is suitable for analysing the statistical evidence, a judge or jury may be more inclined to use a narrative or argumentative approach when considering the case as a whole. In this paper we propose a combination of two approaches, combining Bayesian networks with scenarios. Whereas a Bayesian network is a popular tool for analysing (...) parts of a case, constructing and understanding a network for an entire case is not straightforward. We propose an explanation method for understanding a Bayesian network in terms of scenarios. This method builds on a previously proposed construction method, which we slightly adapt with the use of scenario schemes for the purpose of explaining. The resulting structure is explained in terms of scenarios, scenario quality and evidential support. A probabilistic interpretation of scenario quality is provided using the concept of scenario schemes. Finally, the method is evaluated by means of a case study. (shrink)
This forward-looking resource offers readers a modern contextual framework for conducting social science research with indigenous peoples. Foundational chapters summarize current UN-based standards for indigenous rights and autonomy, with their implications for research practice. Coverage goes on to detail minimally-invasive data-gathering methods, survey current training and competency issues, and consider the scientist’s role in research, particularly as a product of his/her own cultural background. From these guidelines and findings, students and professionals have a robust base for carrying out indigenous research (...) that is valid and reliable as well as respectful and ethical. Among the topics covered: -/- · Cultural theories and cultural dominance. -/- · The legal framework of research in indigenous contexts. -/- · The role of language within indigenous peoples’ cultural rights. -/- · Methodology: how to optimally collect data in the field. · Researchers’ influence and philosophy of science. -/- · Learning how to prepare research in indigenous contexts. -/- Research Methods in Indigenous Contexts is an important reference benefitting a wide audience, including students and researchers in the social sciences, humanities, and psychology; decision-makers of NGOs and GOs that act with regard to humanitarian aid, for tourism projects, or any other contingency with indigenous contexts; and policymakers interested in the aspects of human activity upon which indigenous cultural concerns are based. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe acquisition of a skill, or knowledge-how, on the one hand, and the acquisition of a piece of propositional knowledge on the other, appear to be different sorts of epistemic achievements. Does this difference lie in the nature of the knowledge involved, marking a joint between knowledge-how and propositional knowledge? Intellectualists say no: All knowledge is propositional knowledge. Anti-intellectualists say yes: Knowledge-how and propositional knowledge are different in kind. What resources or methods may we legitimately and fruitfully employ to adjudicate (...) this debate? What is the right way to show the nature of the knowledge knowers know? Here too there is disagreement. I defend the legitimacy of the anti-intellectualist appeal to cognitive neuroscientific findings against a recent claim that anti-intellectualists conflate the scientific categories of procedural and declarative knowledge with the mental kinds of skill and propositional knowledge, respectively. I... (shrink)
During the past decade ethical theory has been in a lively state of development, and three basic approaches to ethics - Kantian ethics, consequentialism, and virtue ethics - have assumed positions of particular prominence.
This comprehensive text shows how various notions of logic can be viewed as notions of universal algebra providing more advanced concepts for those who have an introductory knowledge of algebraic logic, as well as those wishing to delve into more theoretical aspects.
Reliabilism is an intuitive and attractive view about epistemic justification. However, it has many well-known problems. I offer a novel condition on reliabilist theories of justification. This method coherence condition requires that a method be appropriately tested by appeal to a subject’s other belief-forming methods. Adding this condition to reliabilism provides a solution to epistemic circularity worries, including the bootstrapping problem.
On a traditional view, the primary role of a mathematical proof is to warrant the truth of the resulting theorem. This view fails to explain why it is very often the case that a new proof of a theorem is deemed important. Three case studies from elementary arithmetic show, informally, that there are many criteria by which ordinary proofs are valued. I argue that at least some of these criteria depend on the methods of inference the proofs employ, and that (...) standard models of formal deduction are not well-equipped to support such evaluations. I discuss a model of proof that is used in the automated deduction community, and show that this model does better in that respect. (shrink)
While introspective methods went out of favour with the decline of Titchener’s analytic school, many important questions concern the rehabilitation of introspection in contemporary psychology. Hatfield rightly points out that introspective methods should not be confused with analytic ones, and goes on to describe their “ineliminable role” in perceptual psychology. Here I argue that certain methodological conventions within psychophysics reflect a continued uncertainty over appropriate use of subjects’ perceptual observations and the reliability of their introspective judgements. My first claim is (...) that different psychophysical methods do not rely equally on the introspective capabilities of experimental subjects. I contrast “minimally-introspective” tasks with “introspection-heavy” ones. It is only in the latter, I argue, that introspection can be said to have a non-trivial role in the subjects’ performance. My second claim is that my rough-and-ready distinction maps onto a number of important “dichotomies” in vision science. Not coincidentally, the introspection-heavy categorisation captures many of the tasks typically considered less able to yield useful information regarding the processes underlying visual sensation. (shrink)
Judgment aggregation theory, which concerns the translation of individual judgments on logical propositions into consistent group judgments, has shown that group consistency generally cannot be guaranteed if each proposition is treated independently from the others. Developing the right method of abandoning independence is thus a high-priority goal. However, little work has been done in this area outside of a few simple approaches. To ﬁll the gap, we compare four methods based on distance metrics between judgment sets. The methods generalize (...) the premise-based and sequential priority approaches to judgment aggregation, as well as distance-based preference aggregation. They each guarantee group consistency and implement a range of distinct functions with different properties, broadening the available tools for social choice. A central result is that only one of these methods (not previously considered in the literature) satisﬁes three attractive properties for all reasonable metrics. (shrink)
This article focuses on the main methods used in analytic metaphysics. It first considers five important sources of constraints on metaphysical theorizing: linguistic and conceptual analysis, consulting intuitions, employing the findings of science, respecting folk opinion, and applying theoretical virtues in metaphysical theory choice such as preferring simpler theories, or preferring more explanatory theories. It then examines the role of formal methods in metaphysics as well as the role of metaphysical communities, traditions, and the place of the history of metaphysics (...) in contemporary work. It also discusses the issue of whether metaphysics should be seen as an enterprise that will yield knowledge of metaphysical matters or whether it should have more modest epistemic goals. Finally, it explores the question of how much of metaphysics is a priori. (shrink)
Spiritualism designates a philosophy that lays claim to the separation of mind and body and the ontological and epistemological primacy of the former. In France, it is associated with the names of Victor Cousin and René Descartes, or more precisely with what Cousin made of Descartes as the founding father of a brittle rational psychology, closed off from the positive sciences, and as a critic in respect to the empiricist legacy of the idéologues. Moreover, by considering merely the end result, (...) severed from its polemical genesis, we are prevented from understanding how the category of experience constituted a crucial question for spiritualism itself. Through returning to the origin of these discussions in the 1826 preface to Cousin’s Fragments philosophiques, this essay pursues a threefold path: to show that the public birth of Cousinian spiritualism coincides with the affirmation of applying the experimental method, issuing from Bacon, to the study of facts of consciousness; that Cousin’s later evolution follows a process of radicalization—that is, in this context, of ontologization and of reduction; and that by recovering this genesis, we can distinguish many forms of spiritualisms committed to the experimental method, both in alliance with the early Cousin and against the later Cousin. In this way, we can rediscover the interwoven philosophical links, lost in the process of institutionalization, between metaphysical demands and empiricist concerns, or between “French” philosophy and the legacy of Condillac. (shrink)
In The Methods of Ethics, Sidgwick took seriously egoism, utilitarianism, and commonsense morality. Virtue ethics was treated as part of commonsense morality. Three Methods, reflecting recent tastes, considers Kant, consequentialism, and virtue ethics. Oddly, it does not reflect the major development since Sidgwick—the revival of contractualism.
This paper reports on the development of a research instrument designed to explore ethical reasoning in a tax context. This research instrument is a version of the Defining Issues Test (DIT) originally developed by Rest [1979a, Development in Judging Moral Issues (Univer sity of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN); 1979b, Defining Issues Test (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN)], but adapted to focus specifically on the environment encountered by tax practitioners. The paper explores reasons for developing a context-(and profession-) specific test, (...) and details the manner in which this was undertaken. The study on which it is based aims to compare the reasoning of tax practitioners in the taxspecific context and in the general social context covered by the original DIT, and to compare this with the reasoning of non-specialists in these two contexts. The paper therefore also considers the issues that arise when using such tests to compare reasoning in different domains or to compare groups. The focus on instrument development to measure ethical reasoning in a specific domain will contribute to the literature on research methods in the area of the DIT and will facilitate cross-study comparisons. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a wealth of literature arguing the need for empirical and interdisciplinary approaches to bioethics, based on the premise that an empirically informed ethical analysis is more grounded, contextually sensitive and therefore more relevant to clinical practice than an ‘abstract’ philosophical analysis. Bioethics has (arguably) always been an interdisciplinary field, and the rise of ‘empirical’ (bio)ethics need not be seen as an attempt to give a new name to the longstanding practice of interdisciplinary collaboration, but (...) can perhaps best be understood as a substantive attempt to engage with the nature of that interdisciplinarity and to articulate the relationship between the many different disciplines (some of them empirical) that contribute to the field. It can also be described as an endeavour to explain how different disciplinary approaches can be integrated to effectively answer normative questions in bioethics, and fundamental to that endeavour is the need to think about how a robust methodology can be articulated that successfully marries apparently divergent epistemological and metaethical perspectives with method. This paper proposes ‘Reflexive Bioethics’ (RB) as a methodology for interdisciplinary and empirical bioethics, which utilizes a method of ‘Reflexive Balancing’ (RBL). RBL has been developed in response to criticisms of various forms of reflective equilibrium, and is built upon a pragmatic characterization of Bioethics and a ‘quasi-moral foundationalism’, which allows RBL to avoid some of the difficulties associated with RE and yet retain the flexible egalitarianism that makes it intuitively appealing to many. (shrink)
In recent years, the debate over the merits of the qualitative method versus the quantitative method has dominated social science. Until the postmodernist theory appeared on the scene, challenging all our preconceptions about research methods, the debate appeared to have been won by those promoting the qualitative approach. The implications of this change are show in this book, essential reading for those undertaking their own research.
This study examines the methods students use to cheat on class examinations and suggests ways of deterring using an international sample from Australia, China, Ireland, and the United States. We also examine the level of cheating and reasons for cheating that prior research has highlighted as a method of demonstrating that our sample is equivalent to those in prior studies. Our results confirm the results of prior research that primarily employs students from the United States. The data indicate that (...) actions such as having multiple versions of the examination and scrambling the questions on these versions would deter cheating. In addition, given the increased level of cheating and students' increased perception of the social acceptability of cheating in college, the data provided by our international sample also suggest that some relatively simple precautions by instructors could dramatically reduce the level of cheating on in-class examinations. (shrink)
Presupposition, vagueness, and oddness can lead to some sentences failing to have a clear truth value. The homogeneity property of plural predication with definite descriptions may also create truth-value gaps: The books are written in Dutch is true if all relevant books are in Dutch, false if none of them are, and neither true nor false if, say, half of the books are written in Dutch. We study the projection property of homogeneity by deploying methods of general interest to identify (...) truth-value gaps. Method A consists in collecting both truth judgments and, independently, falsity judgments. The second method, employed in experiment series B and C, is based on one-shot ternary judgments: completely true vs. completely false vs. neither. After a calibration of these methods, we use them to demonstrate that homogeneity projects out of negation, the scope of universal sentences and the scope of non-monotonic quantifiers such as exactly two, to some extent. We assess our results in light of different theoretical approaches to homogeneity—approaches based on presuppositions, scalar implicatures, and something like supervaluations, respectively. We identify free parameters in these theories and assess various variants of them based on our results. Our experimental paradigms may be of broader significance insofar as they can be applied to other phenomena which result in the failure of a sentence to have a definite truth value. (shrink)
Robert Brandon is one of the most important and influential of contemporary philosophers of biology. This collection of his recent essays covers all the traditional topics in the philosophy of evolutionary biology and as such could serve as an introduction to the field. There are essays on the nature of fitness, teleology, the structure of the theory of natural selection, and the levels of selection. The book also deals with newer topics that are less frequently discussed but are of growing (...) interest, for example the evolution of human language and the role of experimentation in evolutionary biology. A special feature of the collection is that it avoids jargon and is written in a style that will appeal to working evolutionary biologists as well as philosophers. (shrink)
Originally published in 1963. Can one discern certain regularities in the manoeuvrings and techniques employed by scientists and can these be formulated into the methodological principles of science? What is the origin and basis of such principles? Are they imposed by objective realities, do they derive from conceptual necessities or are they rooted in our own deep seated predilections? This volume investigates these questions and sheds light on the growth mechanism of the evolving structure of science itself.
It is a common view that arguments from analogy can only be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, while this reflects an important insight, I propose instead a relatively simple method for their evaluation based on just (i) their general form and (ii) four core questions. One clear advantage of this proposal is that it does not depend on any substantial (and controversial) view of similarity, unlike influential current alternative methods, such as Walton’s. Following some initial clarification of the (...) notion of analogy and similarity, I demonstrate the strength of this method by analysing and evaluating three prominent arguments from analogy. (shrink)