Download Biophilosophy: Analytic and Holistic Perspectives by R Sattler PDF

By R Sattler

This e-book is an advent to biophilosophy, written essentially for the scholar of biology, the training biologist, and the expert layperson. It doesn't presuppose technical wisdom in biology or philosophy. in spite of the fact that, it calls for a willingness to envision the main simple foundations of biology that are so usually taken without any consideration. in addition, it issues to the bottomlessness of those foundations, the secret of existence, the Unnamable .,. i've got attempted to additional the notice that organic statements are in line with philosophical assumptions that are found in our minds even ahead of we input the laboratory. those assumptions, which regularly harbor powerful commitments, are uncovered through the publication. i've got attempted to teach how they impression concrete biolog­ ical learn in addition to our own lifestyles and society. therefore, emphasis is put on the relationship among biophilosophy and organic learn at the one hand, and biophilosophy and the human situation at the other.

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Extra resources for Biophilosophy: Analytic and Holistic Perspectives

Sample text

According to this postulate or philosophy (which is also referred to as justificationism) we may write the scheme of the hypothetico-deductive method as follows (Fig. , meaning absolute truth, final proof and disproof, and absolute certainty. It might be objected that this is contrary to common usage. I am not convinced of that. For example, when someone says "It is true that it rained on the other side of the mountain," we normally understand this statement in the absolute sense. If we were not (absolutely) certain, we would say: Probably (or most probably) it rained on the other side of the mountain.

Even if there are times in which progress is slow or lacking, we shall not despair because we know that we have at least an unshakable foundation of proven hypotheses on which we can stand with certainty when new proofs will enable us to continue the construction of the great edifice of truth. Scientific revolutions that may suddenly demolish our present knowledge are impossible according to this view because knowledge once proven is established forever. If one wants to use the term of scientific revolutions at all in this context, its only meaning can be a sudden and considerable increase of scientific knowledge which would amount to an enormous breakthrough of a fundamental nature.

This conclusion need not lead to pessimism and resignation. Regardless of whether progress beyond paradigms is possible or not, we can learn much from scientific research. The development of a new paradigm can be a major enrichment of science and society. We have to accept, however, that such a development does not necessarily supersede completely existing paradigms. It presents a new perspective which, if not more comprehensive than previous ones, is complementary to them. Adding a complementary paradigm may also constitute progress, though progress in a different sense from that of improvement of a paradigm.

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