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Can you point to science?  Philosophy, even from it’s most ancient beginnings, has been keenly interested in the constituents and organization of our.

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Presentation on theme: "Can you point to science?  Philosophy, even from it’s most ancient beginnings, has been keenly interested in the constituents and organization of our."— Presentation transcript:


2 Can you point to science?

3  Philosophy, even from it’s most ancient beginnings, has been keenly interested in the constituents and organization of our world.  Consequently, many philosophers were involved in providing the groundwork and traditions that inform the practices of scientists.  Aristotle is considered the father of biology. He named and constructed the categories of the sciences that are still in use today.  Democritus provided us with the notion of atoms. Pythagoras’ followers formalized early mathematics.

4  The Rationalists: e.g., Descartes considered the developing sciences of his time an important model for an ideal rationality. Using largely deductive inference, he attempted to generalize what he considered the best practices of science in The Methods.  The Empiricist turn, on the other hand, is fully engaged with experience. The position is developed through the works of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. These methods featured inductive inference based on fallible sensory experience.

5  Starting as early as Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum it seemed that the goal of science was a matter of collecting more and more truths about the world. More truths meant more progress.  Isolate a type or category, e.g. heat.  collect all the examples we can find representing the category and it’s contrast set to form a muster, e.g. fire|sunshine| vs. ice|wind,  make a list of hypotheses, pick the hypothesis that makes the best fit.

6  Goal: the elimination of Metaphysics  Method: Analysis of statements & definition. Two classes of statements, Observation statements and Theory statements.  Principle: Verifiability, Unless you can point to a perceptual difference that a propositions being true or false makes, it is meaningless.  Variations: Accept only statements that are in principle confirmable or disconfirmable.  Variations: Phenomenalist vs.Physicalist  Was the criteria of meaning itself testable?

7  logical positivists and empiricists tried to account for success of science by appeal to the objectivity and accessibility of observation reports, and the logic of theory testing.  If inferential relations hold only between sentences or propositions, then, theories must be tested, not against observations or things observed, but against sentences used to report observation.

8 Collections of sentences, propositions, statements or beliefs, etc., and their logical consequences expressing maximally general explanatory and predictive laws along with lesser auxiliary hypotheses.  Models of collections of physical or phenomenal systems and laws specifying relations over states & behaviors of systems.

9  Observations are used in testing generalizations.  Observation reports describe the observer’s perception experiences. So, experimental data might be conceived as being of sensations, perceptions, and similar immediate experience.

10  A naive view of science sees it as a process of continued inductive confirmation of Theory through observation.  enumerative induction or universal inference ; inference from particular instances:  a 1, a 2, …, a n are all F s that are also G, to a general law or principle  All F s are G.  Faces the Humean problem of induction.

11  Freudian Psychotherapy is pseudo science because it is immune from critical tests.  Every genuine test of a scientific theory is logically an attempt to refute or to falsify it,  one genuine counter-instance falsifies the whole theory.  It is logically impossible to conclusively verify a universal proposition by inductive reference to experience (as Hume saw clearly), but a single counter-instance conclusively falsifies the corresponding universal law. An exception conclusively refutes a rule.

12  The existence of anomalies is not usually taken by the working scientist as an indication that the theory in question is false; on the contrary, he will usually, and necessarily, assume that the auxiliary hypotheses which are associated with the theory can be modified to incorporate, and explain, existing anomalies.  A settled core and a penumbra of doubt.

13  any scientific theory is underdetermined by any empirical evidence we can offer in its favor.  Theory1 = H1, H2, H3, depends on B1,B2, etc.  Theory1 explains E1, E2, E3, E4  Theory2 = H1, H2,H3’  Theory2 explains E1, E2, E3, E4 You can always give up background beliefs

14  Truth  Testing  Observation  Explanation  Simplicity  The move from Prescriptive to Descriptive Philosophy of Science.

15  attacks the idea, prominent among logical positivists and logical empiricists, that comparing theories requires translating their consequences into a neutral observation language  Changes in problems and standards come with corresponding conceptual changes, so that after a scientific revolution, many (though not all) of the older concepts are still used, but in a slightly modified way. Such conceptual changes have both intensional and extensional aspects, which is to say that the same terms take on different meanings and are used to refer to different things when used by proponents of competing incommensurable theories.

16  the Strong Programme (Bloor 1976) in the sociology of knowledge has argued that rationality plays no explanatory role whatsoever.  No doubt, the arguments of the Strong Pogramme are at least slightly overblown, but they do show that there is no guaranteed role for rationality within naturalism.

17  (R1) If actions of a particular sort, m, have consistently promoted certain  cognitive ends, e, in the past, and rival actions, n, have failed to do so, then  assume that future actions following the rule “if your aim is e, you ought to do m”  are more likely to promote those ends than actions based on the rule “if your aim  is e, you ought to do n” (Laudan 1987 p. 25.).6

18  Thagard Theorizes that brains, under the influence of massively parallel processing, organize theory appraisal according to basic principles consistent with a coherence theory of explanation.  He asserts that his models of these processes demonstrate that there is always a rational way to accomplish theory comparison and incommensurability never obtains.  Angelette shows that Thagard’s methods can result in undecidablity best accounted for by incommensurability in special cases.

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