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Philosophy Of Science

Terms in this set (38)

Concerned about:
- The ways to test scientific hypotheses
- How can you allow creativity in science?
- How does science differ from non-science?

In science, we need to test hypotheses;
⇒ How to test a hypotheses
• Hypotheses itself too general and theoretical therefore check the predictions (observational claims).
• Explanation: hypotheses (H) entails observational claim (O). Checking whether (O) is true or false, this tells us something about (H). Two outcomes:
1. (O) is true
observing that (O) is right does not say that (H) is true. It is still possible that (H) is false since something else could have caused (O).
2. (O) is false
observing that (O) is false gives certainty that (H) is false.
• Popper sees an important asymmetry between these outcomes!
• Example:
you see a white swan and say: the hypotheses is right : NO
you see a black swan and say: the hypotheses is wrong: YES
• Logically invalid deductive argument :
(H) entails (O)
(O)
---------------------------------
Hence, (H)
• Logically valid deductive argument:
(H) entails (O)
Not (O)
--------------------
Hence, not (H)

• Poppers rejection of induction: by rejecting confirmation, Popper rejected induction . Since Popper argued that Hume's problem was unsolvable, he stamp out induction.
⇒ Popper had two possible results of the hypotheses test:
1. Hypotheses is falsified and scientist must abandon it.
2. Hypotheses is not falsified and survives, but receives no confirmation.

Therefore science consist, according to Popper, not of true or highly confirmed findings, but of a set of not yet falsified hypotheses. In other words; not the accumulation of truths, but the elimination of errors.
⇒ Origin of hypotheses:
scientists create hypotheses freely, any source of inspiration- from dreams to observations.
⇒ Demarcation of science:
Since falsification is the scientific method, it also divides science and non- science. Practioners of the discipline must be able to say what would falsify their hypotheses. Astronomy is a pseudo-science since their claims are unfalsifiable.
⇒ Critique of falsification: 4
1. Some valuable scientific hypotheses are not falsifiable.
2. It may eliminate examples of good science.
3. Falsification may be less of importance to scientific practice since people can improve after the hypotheses is falsified.
4. Refutation is less straightforward than popper assumed