Browsing by Subject "Philosophy of Science"

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  • Kemppainen, Teemu; Tiensuu, Paul (2011)
    This article, supported with a translation of a key passage, introduces Georges Canguilhem’s Essai sur quelques problèmes concernant le normal et le pathologique to Finnish readers. It consists of an introduction to Canguilhem's background, a presentation of Essai's main argument and technical remarks on translation. Essai continues to be a thought-provoking text in the history and philosophy of science, in the tradition marked by Bachelard and Cavaillès. Influenced by Alain, Goldstein, and more implicitly Nietszche, Canguilhem defines health not as normality but normativity, i.e. the capacity to institute new vital norms.
  • Niiniluoto, Ilkka (2018)
    The use of idealized scientific theories in explanations of empirical facts and regularities is problematic in two ways: they don't satisfy the condition that the explanans is true, and they may fail to entail the explanandum. An attempt to deal with the latter problem was proposed by Hempel and Popper with their notion of approximate explanation. A more systematic perspective on idealized explanations was developed with the method of idealization and concretization by the Poznan school (Nowak, Krajewski) in the 1970s. If idealizational laws are treated as counterfactual conditionals, they can be true or truthlike, and the concretizations of such laws may increase their degree of truthlikeness. By replacing Hempel's truth requirement with the condition that an explanatory theory is truthlike one can distinguish several important types of approximate, corrective, and contrastive explanations by idealized theories. The conclusions have important consequences for the debates about scientific realism and anti-realism.
  • Niiniluoto, Ilkka (2019)
  • Kaidesoja, Tuukka Juhani (2017)
    This article responds to McWherter’s detailed critique of my assessment of Roy Bhaskar’s method of transcendental argumentation in chapter four of my Naturalizing Critical Realist Social Ontology (2013). I begin by describing some naturalist ontological and epistemological views defended in my book, thereby showing that my naturalist challenge to the original version of critical realism is not only methodological (or metaphilosophical) but also substantial. I also indicate that this point is effectively downplayed in McWherter’s framing of the debate in terms of competing metaphilosophies. I then consider how the doctrine of transcendental idealism is presupposed in Kant’s transcendental deduction and question the consistency of McWherter’s various descriptions of Bhaskar’s transcendental arguments. Finally, I provide detailed responses to McWherter’s objectives to my views. My conclusion is that naturalized critical realism is a more coherent and scientifically viable position than the neo-Kantian version of critical realism defended by McWherter. Nevertheless, I think that there is enough overlap between original and naturalized critical realism to regard the latter as a revised and elaborated version of the former.
  • Carruth, Alex (Routledge, 2019)
    Routledge Handbooks in Philosophy
    This chapter offers some clarification on how the principle ought to be interpreted–presenting causal criteria in the sloganistic manner is somewhat commonplace. It examines the role AD plays in the debate between emergentists and reductionists, the motivations for endorsing AD and some criticisms which AD faces, some responses to these criticisms. The chapter explores some wider consequences of giving causal powers a central role in the debate between emergentists and reductionists. S. Alexander’s dictum provides an attractive standard by which to assess putative cases of reduction or emergence. A consequence of the adoption of Alexander’s dictum has been outlined: parties to the debate may need to engage explicitly with questions concerning the nature of powers in order to avoid prejudicing the debate or talking past one another. There are a number of compelling reasons to adopt AD within the emergence debate, and thus to frame strong metaphysical emergence in terms of the possession of distinct, novel causal powers.
  • Hartonen, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The thesis examines various claims about value-ladenness of the medical concept of disease. The focus is on the discussion about the boundaries of normality originating in the controversies around psychiatry in the 1960s and 1970s and currently still active. Primarily, the analysis is centered upon Christopher Boorse’s Biostatistical Model (BST) which aims at setting the boundaries between health and disease. The BST is a naturalist account portraying health and disease as scientific and value-free concepts. The critics of the BST either view health and disease as essentially normative concepts or just provide claims about the BST’s covert normativity ignoring the question of the correct account of the concepts. The main question considered is whether the BST or the concept of disease it analyzes are value-laden. Secondly – but even more importantly – it is assessed what it means for a scientific concept such as disease to be value-laden and what might be the implications of such value-ladenness. Conceptual analysis is applied throughout the thesis. The validity of different arguments for and against the value-freeness of disease and the BST is assessed. The primary argument is that disease as defined by the BST is value-laden even though the concept may be given a description in value-free terms. The values enter on the level of choice of either the goals of biological organisms or the reference classes applied in the BST. Given different values, alternative goals or reference classes could have been chosen. Choosing alternative goals or reference classes would lead to a different concept of disease. Hence, values affect the concept of disease that results from the BST and thus disease may be considered value-laden. The secondary argument is that while disease as defined by the BST may be considered value-laden, the value of this consideration is rather limited in the absence of further elaboration. From the observation that disease is value-laden in the way described above, it does not follow that the concept is not scientific or that the medical science and the concepts it applies are flawed. Moreover, the sort of value-ladenness in question does not necessarily imply any normative flaws in medical theory, the BST or the concept of disease. It is concluded that if the values driving the choices medicine and the BST make are shared enough, then the value-ladenness resulting from those choices may be considered inconsequential. The problematic issues would only arise in contexts where values are diverse and competing. Determining the correct role and meaning of values in construction of medical concepts is still a work in progress.