Presentation on theme: "BSC 106 Man and His Environment Spring 2009 Joseph E. Harvey."— Presentation transcript:
BSC 106 Man and His Environment Spring 2009 Joseph E. Harvey
Course Outline The Philosophy of Science Basic Ecology The Theory of Evolution Human Evolution Cultural and Social Evolution Sociobiology Food Production and human hunger Human Impacts: – Atmosphere – Water Resources – Terrestrial Systems – Biological Resources
My Educational Philosophy
Memorization and Critical thinking One cannot create something from nothing; we must have blocks to build with. Have conversations in your mind to have something worth saying Challenge your own ideas Why do I believe this? How do I know this? Am I certain? Is there any chance I may be wrong? Do I know it well enough to explain it?
Modern schooling versus classical schooling When will I ever use this information? The fools refrain Example: The Greek flute player The essence of an educated person: one who cultivates knowledge not directly necessary for survival. Modern trade schools: how to make the perfect servant
The Seven Liberal Arts The Quadrivium Artithmetic: – The Study of number Geometry: – Number in space Music: – Number in time Astronomy: – Number in space and time The Trivium Grammer: – The study of words Rhetoric: – Using language effectively Logic the bridge – The study of good reasoning
How to do Well Gaping electric jaws Writing makes the exact man To be interesting, be interested Hope is not a strategy – Practice taking a test to study for taking a test – In short, by yourself some notecards
The Branches of Philosophy Metaphysics: – The nature of being and the world: Cosmology and Ontology Epistemology: – The nature and scope of knowledge Ethics: – The moral philosophy. The study of how persons should act or if such questions are answerable Politics: – The study of government and the relationship of individuals and communities to the state Aesthetics: – The study of beauty, art, enjoyment, sensory-emotional values, etch. Logic: – The study of patterns of thinking that lead from true premises to true conclusions.
Epistemology In classical thought, two spheres intersect to describe what we know – The sphere of Truth – The sphere of Belief Knowledge lies in between – How do we acquire knowledge? – How do we know what we know?
Internalism and Externalism Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650), an internalist: – Senses are the only means for learning of the outside world – Senses are fallible and limited in scope – Ergo, knowledge acquired through senses is fallible – To arrive at infallible knowledge, we must question all involving the senses – This leaves us with only one infallible truth, Cogito ergo sum.
The Goal – Axiom Axiom: – a proposition that is not susceptible of proof or disproof; its truth is assumed to be self-evident Descartess Method – To arrive at axial truth, he employs a method called hyperbolical/metaphysical doubt, sometimes also referred to as methodological skepticism: he rejects any ideas that can be doubted, and then reestablishes them in order to acquire a firm foundation for genuine knowledgemethodological skepticism
Empiricism a form of externalism The branch of the philosophy of knowledge which deals with knowledge gained through experience. Essentially, that gained through experimentation. Indicates that man begins as a, tabula rasa, learning everything from experience. Denies the validity of innate ideas. Plato argued against the tabula rasa with the idea of anamnesis. Empiricists of note: Aristotle, Locke, Hume
Rationalism a form of internalism Any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification. – Lacy, A.R A system where the criterion of truth is not sensory, but rather intellectual and deductive. The introduction of mathematical methods to natural philosophy; a byproduct of the Renaissance. Rationalists of note: Socrates, Descartes, Leibnitz, Kant
A Mutually Exclusive Dichotomy? The balance of both views Imagination and the spark
The Scientific Method
What distinguishes Scientific Philosophy? Scientific Empiricism: attitude that beliefs are to be accepted and acted upon only if they first have been confirmed by actual experience; we should only trust what we experience personally – defines the limits of scientific knowledge (i.e. our ability to perceive physical phenomena) – subject to change with changes in technology
Philosophy has always investigated qualities. Science distinguishes itself by investigates quantities as well. This philosophy became most formally established in the 16th and 17th centuries through the writings of Francis Bacon and others
The Scientific Method 1.Observation – From surrounding; generates a testable hypothesis 2.Hypothesis – Possible explanations of the phenomena in question – Must be testable – Must generate predications 3.Testing 4.Analysis – evaluation of the information acquired from the experiment in terms of the hypothesis 5.Synthesis – results of the experiment are compared with existing scientific knowledge on the subject – implications of the results are explained 6.Publication – Analysis and synthesis are subjected to review by knowledgeable scientists – if acceptable, are published in a scientific journa l
Testing and Experimentation Experiment – A controlled manipulation of a physical phenomenon They are designed to test predictions of a specific hypothesis Not all experiments are of equal value – Objectivity of tests – Number of samples used (more is better)
Testing is about Control Experimental Groups 1.Experimental Group – Treatment or condition being studied 2.Control Group – No treatment Variables 1.Independent Variable – Manipulated by researcher; treatment or condition under investigation 2.Dependent Variable – Response that is measures 3.Controlled Variables – All other factors kept the same for all groups in the study
Hypotheses, Theories, and Laws Hypothesis: A limited statement regarding cause and effect in specific situations. – It refers to our state of knowledge before experimental work has been performed and even before new phenomena have been predicted Theory or Law: It represents an hypothesis (or a group of related hypotheses), which has been confirmed through repeated experimental tests.
Laws – A model of the Universe Accepted theories and laws become part of our understanding of the universe and become the basis for investigating less well known areas of knowledge New discoveries are first assumed to fit into the existing theoretical framework. Laws are questioned only after repeated experimental tests of a new phenomenon cannot be accommodated. Reevaluations of accepted laws have revolutionized the world – Example: Relativity, the understanding of the origin of all energy.
Problems with Science
Scientific Fallacy – Bacons Idols of the Mind 1.Idols of the Tribe: This is humans' tendency to perceive more order and regularity in systems than truly exists, and is due to people following their preconceived ideas about things. 2.Idols of the Cave: This is due to individuals' personal weaknesses in reasoning due to particular personalities, likes and dislikes. 3.Idols of the Marketplace: This is due to confusions in the use of language and taking some words in science to have a different meaning than their common usage. 4.Idols of the Theatre: This is due to using philosophical systems which have incorporated mistaken methods. Here Bacon is referring to the influence of major philosophers (Aristotle) and major religions on science.
Science doesnt answer all questions The Domain of Religion Who? Why? The Domain of Science When? How?
Example: Ascertaining the meaning of a play. Example: The man who mistook his wife for a hat.
Are we all Scientists? Science deals with quantities and measurable phenomena. Ergo, it cannot prove the absence of something. Logic is only as reliable as the knowledge of its foundation – Example: The sun moving around the earth. Science is often changing its perspectives due to new discoveries. – Example: Quantum physics. Light – it behaves as a wave and particle. It move the same speed despite direction of measurement. The definition of a scientist: a man who knew nothing until there was nothing left to know. The half life of bad ideas Man is a rational animal secondarily to his emotional side