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Philosophies 2017, 2(4), 25; doi:10.3390/philosophies2040025

Evolutionary Philosophy of Science: A New Image of Science and Stance towards General Philosophy of Science

Department of Philosophy, One Bear Place #97273, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
Received: 13 August 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meta-Philosophy of Science)
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Abstract

An important question facing contemporary philosophy of science is whether the natural sciences in terms of their historical records exhibit distinguishing developmental patterns or structures. At least two philosophical stances are possible in answering this question. The first pertains to the plurality of the individual sciences. From this stance, the various sciences are analyzed individually and compared with one another in order to derive potential commonalities, if any, among them. The second stance involves a general philosophy of science in which a thorough theory of the natural sciences is developed. The latter stance strives to account for more than possible commonalities among the sciences but also to provide a broad-spectrum philosophical framework to account for, or to explicate, the nature of science itself and its progress. In this paper, the second stance is taken in which an evolutionary philosophy of science is proposed. To that end, Thomas Kuhn’s evolutionary philosophy of science is initially discussed and critiqued. An evolutionary philosophy of science is then proposed based on a revision of Kuhn’s evolutionary philosophy of science in terms of George Gaylord Simpson’s various tempos and modes for biological evolution. Next, two historical case studies from the biological sciences are reconstructed to illustrate the robustness of the proposed evolutionary philosophy of science for explicating the progress of the natural sciences. A concluding section discusses the proposed evolutionary philosophy of science with respect to providing a broad-spectrum framework or general philosophy of science for understanding the nature and progress of the natural sciences. View Full-Text
Keywords: evolutionary philosophy of science; general philosophy of science; George Gaylord Simpson; microbiological sciences; pluralistic philosophy of science; Thomas Kuhn evolutionary philosophy of science; general philosophy of science; George Gaylord Simpson; microbiological sciences; pluralistic philosophy of science; Thomas Kuhn
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Marcum, J.A. Evolutionary Philosophy of Science: A New Image of Science and Stance towards General Philosophy of Science. Philosophies 2017, 2, 25.

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