Erkenntnis 87 (2):933-952 (2022)

Authors
Samuel Schindler
Aarhus University
Abstract
Philosophers use historical case studies to support wide-ranging claims about science. This practice is often criticized as problematic. In this paper we suggest that the function of case studies can be understood and justified by analogy to a well-established practice in biology: the investigation of model organisms. We argue that inferences based on case studies are no more problematic than inferences from model organisms to larger classes of organisms in biology. We demonstrate our view in detail by reference to a case study with a long history: Semmelweis’s discovery of the cause of childbed fever.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-020-00224-5
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421-423.

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