April 4, 2017

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By Wim J. van der Steen

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Sample text

Therefore writing a textbook on applied philosophy is a hard job. Of course one can concentrate on elementary logic and methodology which is relatively uncontroversial in philosophical circles. I will be doing that, but it is not enough. If you want to evaluate scientific theories and explanations with philosophical tools, you will have to address philosophical views on the subject. You would soon find out that there is no consensus in philosophy about the nature of theories and explanations. I have tried to come to grips with this problem by doing philosophy in a style which is more common in science than in philosophy.

The emphasis is on advanced level work. Hence this textbook, which may fill up the lacuna. In philosophy controversies are more prominent than in science. Therefore writing a textbook on applied philosophy is a hard job. Of course one can concentrate on elementary logic and methodology which is relatively uncontroversial in philosophical circles. I will be doing that, but it is not enough. If you want to evaluate scientific theories and explanations with philosophical tools, you will have to address philosophical views on the subject.

Therefore, there is no genetic program for aging. If we use the symbol 'A' for the statement 'All genetic programs have evolved through natural selection', and 'B' for 'There is a genetic program for aging', Hayflick's argument takes the following form. ' This is clearly a valid argument. Notice that validity is wholly determined by form. Whatever statements we care to substitute for 'A' and 'B', we will always get a valid argument. It goes without saying that the premises of Hayflick's argument must themselves be based on arguments.

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