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Extra resources for Images of Development: Environmental Causes in Ontogeny
Infinitely many mathematical relations are possible, of widely different form. Clearly, 63 Images of Development Explanations in Their Theoretical Context mathematics, like symbolic logic, is a developed, flexible, and precise means of expressing relations. An emphasis on process is inherent, for example, in differential equations, which describe rates of change of a particular process in relation to a set of variables and parameters. One point of caution is that mathematical equations as such have no causal significance.
Hempel and Oppenheim's (1 936) Der TypusbegriJf im Lichte der Neuen Logik focused attention on some philosophically and practi cally important reasons for replacing monadic predicates by relations. " This gives unavoidable trouble in cases where differences are gradual (such as when Mary is taller than John, who is in turn taller than Paul) . In such cases, concepts are needed that can generate gradual orderings. Comparative concepts like "is x-er than" (where x may be any characteristic) are relations that do the work in these cases.
Let us turn to the pragmatics of theories. approach tries to maximize realism at the molecular level, downplay ing the need for general laws. Structuralism aims to maximize lawful generality, downplaying the need for molecular detail; constructionism can probably be said to aim at realism on the level of interactive causation, sacrificing biological generality. Trade- Offs Linguistic Choices: Metaphors There are many requirements for an ideal theory of the Railton Salmon type: it should be precise, realistic, coherent, general, well confirmed, comprehensive, and so forth.
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