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  1. Why a Hermeneutical Philosophy of the Natural Sciences?Patrick A. Heelan - 1997 - Man and World 30 (3):271-298.
    Why a hermeneutical philosophy of the natural sciences? It is necessary to address the philosophic crisis of realism vs relativism in the natural sciences. This crisis is seen as a part of the cultural crisis that Husserl and Heidegger identified and attributed to the hegemonic role of theoretical and calculative thought in Western societies. The role of theory is addressed using the hermeneutical circle to probe the origin of theoretic meaning in scientific cultural praxes. This is studied in Galileo's discovery (...)
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  • The Discovery That Water is H2O.Paul Needham - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):205 – 226.
    What are the criteria determining the individuation of chemical kinds? Recent philosophical discussion, which puts too much emphasis on microstructure, seems to presuppose a reductionist conception not motivated by the scientific facts. The present article traces the development of the traditional notion of a substance with the rise of modern chemistry from the end of the 18th century with a view to correcting this speculative distortion.
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  • Transient Things and Permanent Stuff.Paul Needham - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):147 – 166.
    A view of individuals as constituted of quantities of matter, both understood as continuants enduring over time, is elaborated in some detail. Constitution is a three-place relation which can't be collapsed to identity because of the place-holder for a time and because individuals and quantities of matter have such a radically different character. Individuals are transient entities with limited lifetimes, whereas quantities are permanent existents undergoing change in physical and chemical properties from time to time. Coincidence, considered as a matter (...)
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  • Rumos da Epistemologia V. 11.Luiz Dutra & Alexandre Meyer Luz (eds.) - 2011 - Núcleo de Epistemologia e Lógica.
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  • Duhem's Physicalism.Paul Needham - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (1):33-62.
    Duhem is often described as an anti-realist or instrumentalist. A contrary view has recently been expressed by Martin (1991) (Pierre Duhem: Philosophy and History in the Work of a Believing Physicist (La Salle, IL: Open Court)), who suggests that this interpretation makes it difficult to understand the vantage point from which Duhem argues in La science allemande (1915) that deduction, however impeccable, cannot establish truths unless it begins with truths. In the same spirit, the present paper seeks to establish that (...)
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  • Substance and Time.Paul Needham - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):485-512.
    ‘Water is H 2 O’ is naturally construed as an equivalence. What are the things to which the two predicates ‘is water’ and ‘is H 2 O’ apply? The equivalence presupposes that substance properties are distinguished from phase properties. A substance like water (H 2 O) exhibits various phases (solid, liquid, gas) under appropriate conditions, and a given (say liquid) phase may comprise several substances. What general features distinguish substance from phase properties? I tackle these questions on the basis of (...)
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  • The Scope of Hermeneutics in Natural Science.Patrick A. Heelan - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (2):273-298.
    Hermeneutics, or interpretation, is concerned with the generation, transmission, and acceptance of meaning within the lifeworld, and was the original method of the human sciences stemming, from F. Schleiermacher and W. Dilthey. The `hermeneutic philosophy' refers mostly to Heidegger. This paper addresses natural science from the perspective of Heidegger's analysis of meaning and interpretation. Its purpose is to incorporate into the philosophy of science those aspects of historicality, culture, and tradition that are absent from the traditional analysis of theory and (...)
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