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By Marie I. Kaiser

This e-book develops a philosophical account that unearths the main features that make an evidence within the lifestyles sciences reductive and distinguish them from non-reductive motives. realizing what reductive motives are allows one to evaluate the stipulations less than which reductive reasons are sufficient and therefore complements debates approximately explanatory reductionism. The account of reductive rationalization provided during this publication has 3 significant features. First, it emerges from a severe reconstruction of the explanatory perform of the lifestyles sciences itself. moment, the account is monistic because it specifies one set of standards that follow to causes within the existence sciences usually. eventually, the account is ontic in that it lines the reductivity of a proof again to sure family that exist among gadgets on the earth (such as part-whole relatives and point relations), instead of to the logical kinfolk among sentences. starting with a disclosure of the meta-philosophical assumptions that underlie the author’s research of reductive clarification, the e-book leads into the talk approximately reduction(ism) within the philosophy of biology and maintains with a dialogue at the views on explanatory aid which have been proposed within the philosophy of biology thus far. the writer scrutinizes how the problem of relief turns into entangled with clarification and analyzes options, the idea that of a organic half and the concept that of a degree of association. the result of those 5 chapters represent the floor on which the writer bases her ultimate bankruptcy, constructing her ontic account of reductive explanation.

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3, descriptive accounts in philosophy of science should emerge from a detailed investigation of current scientific practice. But how do we get, for instance, from particular examples of reductive explanations and from biologists’ discussions about the limits of reductionism to a general account of reductive explanations in biology – do we describe all available cases and perhaps generalize them? In this section, I argue that the process of developing a philosophical account of science is to be characterized as an active, critical reconstruction19 or “explication” (Carnap 1950) rather than as a passive description of how science is done.

Likewise, Woodward claims that they are “interrelated in complicated ways”, “mutually inform each other”, and, thus, “should be pursued together” (2003, 7f). , Mühlhölzer 2005; Janich 2005). According to their view, an account is normative if it not only includes the justification of epistemic norms but also justifies such norms that are external to actual science, that is, not (yet) accepted in current scientific practice. Hence, they seem to detach the project of justifying epistemic norms completely from the project of making explicit those norms that are currently accepted in science.

Rather, the project they pursue is primarily descriptive and the claim is that this descriptive project involves also normative theses or is “the first step in a normative project” (Craver 2007a, viii). These kind of 5 Philosophy of Science: Descriptive and Normative at Once? 29 descriptive-normative projects thus seem to lie in the middle between descriptive projects and normative projects (recall Sect. 2, Fig. 2). Jointly descriptive and normative projects seem to differ from descriptive projects in so far as they contain these additional normative claims.

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