By Wim J. van der Steen
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Additional info for A practical philosophy for the life sciences
Example 5. Consider the following definition. 'Area of distribution of species x' =df 'set of places where members of speciesxoccur'. There are problems with this definition but it is not problematic because the expression 'species x' occurs on both sides. The definiendum is 'area of distribution' rather than the whole expression at the left hand side; the meaning of 'species' is presupposed by the definition. So there is no circle. An ecologist who investigates competition between two species A and B will do an analysis of distribution at a 'fine-grained' scale of space.
B. 'Organism' =df 'system characterized by physiological processes', Would you allow the concepts so defined to play a role in one theory? 3. The toxicity of chemical compounds is often determined by a cruel test in which the LD50 is determined. 'LD' stands for lethal dosage; the LD50 is the Page 21 dosage at which 50% of the animals studied die as a result of exposure. Consider the following definition of 'LD50'. 'LD50 of compoundxfor species y' =df 'dosage ofxwhich leads to 50% mortality in y'.
Its form is 'p or not-p' Any statement with this form must be true. Likewise the form 'p and not-p' will always yield false statements. The truth or falsity of analytic statements can be determined by logical analysis, that is an analysis of meanings or of logical form. Because the concept of analyticity is seldom used outside logic and philosophy, I will speak of logical statements instead of analytic statements. Notice that I am using this expression for two categories of statements, those which are true or false in virtue of meanings, and those which are true or false in virtue of logical form.