Laudan's normative naturalism

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Unlike more standard non-normative naturalizations of epistemology and philosophy of science, Larry Laudan's naturalized philosophy of science explicitly maintains a normative dimension. This paper critically assesses Laudan's normative naturalism. After summarizing Laudan's position, the paper examines: (1) Laudan's construal of methodological rules as 'instrumentalities' connecting methodological means and cognitive ends; (2) Laudan's instrumental conception of scientific rationality; (3) Laudan's naturalistic account of the axiology of science; and (4) the extent to which a normative philosophy of science can be naturalized. It is concluded that Laudan's normative naturalism is as problematic as its non-normative naturalist cousins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-313
Number of pages19
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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