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date: 19 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the general philosophy of science (GPoS) and its significance to the philosophies of various sciences. It is argued that there can be no philosophies of the various sciences without GPoS. However, there is osmosis between GPoS and the philosophies of the individual sciences, which is grounded on two important functions GPoS plays vis-à-vis Science-in-general: an explicative function and a critical function. The chapter first considers debates about the nature of science, particularly how it differs from nonscience or pseudoscience and the issue of what counts as “scientific,” then examines how scientific theories are related to evidence and how theory-appraisal and theory-choice work as a central concern of GPoS. It also describes four dimensions along which the explicative and critical functions of GPoS operate: the epistemic, metaphysical, conceptual, and practical dimensions. Finally, the article turns to the philosophy of X and how it relates to GPoS.

Keywords: general philosophy of science, science-in-general, science, pseudoscience, scientific theories, evidence, theory-appraisal, theory-choice, family resemblance

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