Article/Publication Details

Scientific Law: On the History of One Concept

(Original title: Vedecký zákon: K histórii jedného pojmu)
Filozofia, 2007, vol. 62, No 9, pp. 801-812.
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The aim of this paper is to show the incompleteness of the exclusively logico-syntactical and logico-semantical approaches to one of the core issues of philosophy of science, namely, scientific laws and scientific explanation in C. G. Hempel’s works. I start with a brief exposition of the main characteristics of Hempel’s approach (labeled „the D-N model“) to deductive explanations based on universal scientific laws and then analyze the problems and paradoxes inherent in this approach. Next, I trace these characteristics back to Hempel’s and Carnap’s attempts to ground the concepts of scientific law and explanation exclusively on logic (i.e. logical syntax and/or logical semantics), which led to a highly normative approach alienated from the practice of real science.

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