“We Ourselves Are Both Actors and Spectators”

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In general, naturalistic philosophy deals with concepts that relate to the world as expressed in natural language, as it has evolved from a finite stock of root words substantially derived (in European languages) from Latin and Greek. In that sense naturalistic philosophy occupies an intermediate position between natural language and the appropriation of that language for uses in science. Our aim is to show that naturalistic philosophy is neither dead, nor is it to be found residing exclusively in a separate discipline named “philosophy of science”. We maintain that although science and naturalistic philosophy have some methodologically distinct aspects, when properly described, science includes naturalistic philosophy. Naturalistic philosophy is entailed in activities from conceptualization and theorization to interpretation of the products of science. We provide examples of the process of argumentation said to characterize naturalistic philosophy, as an integral part of the work of eminent scientists. This more complete view of what constitutes the doing of science has implications for the teaching of science, suggesting that at least some emphasis is required on the conjectural and creative aspects of science, as well as the purely methodological.