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Henk Zandvoort

Abstract

In this paper I present my reflections on the ethics of science as described by Merton and as actually practiced by scientists and technologists. This ethics was the subject of Kuipers’ paper “‘Default norms’ in Research Ethics” (Kuipers 2001). There is an implicit assumption in this ethics, notably in Merton’s norm of communism, that knowledge is always, or unconditionally good, and hence that scientific research, and the dissemination of its results, is unconditionally good. I will give here reasons why scientists are not permitted to proceed, as they actually do, on the basis of this assumption. There is no factual or other binding justification for this assumption, and the activities it gives rise to frequently conflict with the broadly accepted ethical principle of restricted liberty. A recent discussion on the risks and hazards of science and on the issue of relinquishment is presented. What is shown in this paper is that the scientists and technologists participating in this discussion frequently violate core values of science relating to logical and empirical scrutiny and systematic criticism, as mentioned in Merton’s norms of universalism, organized skepticism, and disinterestedness. It is concluded that, in order to live up to these values and in order to operate in agreement with broader ethical principles, science should stimulate open and critical discussion on the hazards and negative effects of science and technology, and on the present failure on the part of law and politics to control those hazards and negative effects. Science should also take the possibility of relinquishing certain themes of research seriously as long as such flaws in the systems of law and political decision-making persist.

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Robert L. Causey

Abstract

In Structures in Science, Theo A. F. Kuipers presents a detailed analysis of reductive, including microreductive, explanations. One goal of a microreduction is to explain the laws governing a structured object in terms of laws about its parts, plus a description of its structure. Kuipers refers to structures in his book, and uses the idea of a “structure representation function,” but does not characterize the relevant concept of structure. To characterize microreductions fully, we need an adequate characterization of the relevant sense of “structure.” After discussing examples, I present general analyses of bonds and of structured wholes. My analyses apply from physics to the social sciences, the latter illustrated by a hypothetical robotic social structure. Since Kuipers’ philosophical position appears to be generally compatible with my own, I do not critique of any part of his work. Instead, this article is intended to fill in a gap in his presentation.

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Edited by Jacek Malinowski and Andrzej Pietruszczak

The aim of this book is to present essays centered upon the subjects of Formal Ontology and Logical Philosophy. The idea of investigating philosophical problems by means of logical methods was intensively promoted in Torun by the Department of Logic of Nicolaus Copernicus University during last decade. Another aim of this book is to present to the philosophical and logical audience the activities of the Torunian Department of Logic during this decade. The papers in this volume contain the results concerning Logic and Logical Philosophy, obtained within the confines of the projects initiated by the Department of Logic and other research projects in which the Torunian Department of Logic took part.

Talking about Health

A Philosophical Dialogue

Series:

Lennart Nordenfelt

This book is a scholarly treatise on the nature of health presented in the form of a dialogue between an inquirer and a philosopher. It attempts to do two things: first, to introduce modern philosophy of health to non-philosophers, in particular to people with a professional relation to health care; and second, to elaborate and specify in some detail the author's holistic theory of health. According to this theory, a person is completely healthy if, and only if, she or he is able to realize all her or his vital goals given reasonable circumstances. This theory is presented by the philosopher in the book, but it is at the same time scrutinized and criticized by the inquirer. Some of the criticisms presented, and to which the philosopher responds, have been put forward in published reviews of the author's earlier works. Towards the end of the book the author demonstrates how his philosophy of health can be applied to related areas, such as the theory of disability, and to modern ethical discussion, such as that concerning prioritization in health care. The book is supplemented with a list of definitions of central concepts and with an annotated bibliography.

Confirmation, Empirical Progress, and Truth Approximation

Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers. Volume 1

Series:

Edited by Roberto Festa, Atocha Aliseda and Jeanne Peijnenburg

This book is the first of two volumes devoted to the work of Theo Kuipers, a leading Dutch philosopher of science. Philosophers and scientists from all over the world, thirty seven in all, comment on Kuipers' philosophy, and each of their commentaries is followed by a reply from Kuipers. The present volume focuses on Kuipers' views on confirmation, empirical progress, and truth approximation, as laid down in his From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism (Kluwer, 2000). In this book, Kuipers offered a synthesis of Carnap's and Hempel's confirmation theory on the one hand, and Popper's theory of truth approximation on the other. The key element of this synthesis is a sophisticated methodology, which enables the evaluation of theories in terms of their problems and successes (even if the theories are already falsified), and which also fits well with the claim that one theory is closer to the truth than another. Ilkka Niiniluoto, Patrick Maher, John Welch, Gerhard Schurz, Igor Douven, Bert Hamminga, David Miller, Johan van Benthem, Sjoerd Zwart, Thomas Mormann, Jesús Zamora Bonilla, Isabella Burger & Johannes Heidema, Joke Meheus, Hans Mooij, and Diderik Batens comment on these ideas of Kuipers, and many present their own account. The present book also contains a synopsis of From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism. It can be read independently of the second volume of Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers, which is devoted to Kuipers' Structures in Science (2001).

Cognitive Structures in Scientific Inquiry

Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers. Volume 2

Series:

Edited by Roberto Festa, Atocha Aliseda and Jeanne Peijnenburg

This book is the second of two volumes devoted to the work of Theo Kuipers, a leading Dutch philosopher of science. Philosophers and scientists from all over the world, thirty seven in all, comment on Kuipers’ philosophy, and each of their commentaries is followed by a reply from Kuipers. The present volume is devoted to Kuipers’ neo-classical philosophy of science, as laid down in his Structures in Science (Kluwer, 2001). Kuipers defends a dialectical interaction between science and philosophy in that he views philosophy of science as a meta-science which formulates cognitive structures that provide heuristic patterns for actual scientific research, including design research. In addition, Kuipers pays considerable attention to the computational approaches to philosophy of science as well as to the ethics of doing research. Thomas Nickles, David Atkinson, Jean-Paul van Bendegem, Maarten Franssen, Anne Ruth Mackor, Arno Wouters, Erik Weber & Helena de Preester, Eric Scerri, Adam Grobler & Andrzej Wisniewski, Alexander van den Bosch, Gerard Vreeswijk, Jaap Kamps, Paul Thagard, Emma Ruttkamp, Robert Causey, Henk Zandvoort comment on these ideas of Kuipers, and many present their own account. The present book also contains a synopsis of Structures in Science. It can be read independently of the first volume of Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers, which is devoted to Kuipers’ From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism (2000).

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Edited by Niall Shanks

Here is presented for the first time a comprehensive review and analysis of the several roles played by idealization procedures in the logic, mathematics and models that lie at the heart of modern, twentieth century physics. It is only through idealization of one form or another that the objects and processes of modern physics become tractable. The essays in this volume will be of interest to all those who are concerned with the uses of models in physics, and the relationships between models and the real world. The essays in this volume cover the role of idealization in all the main areas of modern physics, ranging from quantum theory, relativity theory and cosmology to chaos theory.

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Edited by Władysław Krajewski

The volume is a collection of essays about prominent Polish 20th century philosophers of science and scientists who were concerned with problems in the philosophy of science. The contribution made by Polish logicians, especially those from the Lvov-Warsaw School, like Łukasiewicz, Kotarbiński, Czeżowski or Ajdukiewicz, is already well known. One of the aims of the volume is to offer a broader perspective. The papers collected here are devoted to the work of such philosophers as Zawirski, Metallmann, Dąmbska, Mehlberg, Szaniawski and Giedymin as well as to the work of such scientists as Smoluchowski, Fleck, Infeld and Chyliński. The introduction to the volume, written by the editor and Jacek Jadacki, presents an overview of the history of the Polish philosophy of science from the foundation of the Cracow Academy (in 1364) to the present.

Series:

Jacek Malinowski

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the Strawson’s notion of presupposition proposed in his book Introduction to Logical Theory. Strawsonian notion of presupposition is dependent on the notion of logical entailment. We make use of the theory of logical consequence operation as a general framework to show that it is impossible to find a logical consequence operation which mirrors the philosophical intuitions of the Strawson’s notions of presupposition. The aim of this paper is to present in details the philosophical backgrounds of the formal analysis presented in the author’s paper “Strawsonian presuppositions and logical entailment”.

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Joke Meheus

Abstract

In this paper, I present two ampliative adaptive logics: LA and LAk. LA is an adaptive logic for abduction that enables one to generate explanatory hypotheses from a set of observational statements and a set of background assumptions. LAk is based on LA and has the peculiar property that it selects those explanatory hypotheses that are empirically most successful. The aim of LAk is to capture the notion of empirical progress as studied by Theo Kuipers.