Philosophy of Science Summary

Part I: Philosophy of knowledge
Chapter 1: Rationalism vs. Empiricism
Socrates Plato: Rationalism, to gain true knowledge, we have to rely on our reasoning capacities. Rationalism beliefs in nativism: there are inborn ideas. Aristotle Empiricism, gain true knowledge true empirically observations. Scientific knowledge depends ultimately on induction. Doctrine of the four causes: formal, material, efficient and final cause. No such thing as inborn knowledge.

Chapter 2: The Scientific Revolution, new methods rationalism & empiricism
Ptolemy: Copernicus: geocentric, earth centered view. heliocentric, disagreed with the earth centered view, daily rotation of the earth on its axis. Planets move in elliptical trajectories rather than circles.


Galileo Galilei: Many empirical observations in contrast with Aristotle, moon surface not smooth more than 7 bodies in the universe Newton: Newton s mechanics provided a universal and mathematical account of physical phenomena occurring anywhere.

The scientific revolution: (essential characteristics of the new sciences) 1. The observational method in science (Method) 2. Universal mechanics (What do we see? Ask how, not why) 3. Universal mathematics (discriptions, math as a tool for building models, stimulate exp.) Petrarca: The development of the idea of the critical reader .

Francis Bacon: Francis Bacon s Inductivism replaced Aristotle s methodology.

Chapter 3: Descartes vs. Locke, Berkeley & Hume (reason vs. senses)
Descartes: A rationalist who believs one needs firm foundations to counter scepticism. It is not perception but human reason that grounds knowledge. Method of Doubt: anything doubtful should not be regarded as knowledge. Only certainty is cogito ergo sum , I think, therefore I am. According to Descartes there are 2 substances: res extensa (material) and res cogitans (mental) which can exist independently. (Dualism) He was a materialist.

And empiricists believe all analytic statements are a priori and all synthetic statements are a posteriori. He was a immaterialist. Reason comes to judgments that bring higher level of unity. Distinction between primary and secondary qualities. . universal. yet that knowledge is confined to the world as in appears to us. priority and constant conjunction. Kant agrees with Hume that we can only see contiguity. Kant synthesizes rationalism and empiricism: we need both reason and experience. and causal knowledge. Esse est percipe (to be is to be perceived). Everybody agrees on the fact that analytic a posteriori is impossible. Impressions become appearances by the power of imagination 3. We only see contiguity. he argues that humans do have necessary. Primaries will always exist. Limit the scope of science. Science discovers the necessary structure of the phenomenal world. Science is our best guess . Reception of impressions or stimulations 2. necessity of lawful knowledge. but only through its representations in our mind (a veil of ideas). Hume: Copy Principle: ideas are copies of our impressions so knowledge is derived from impressions received through our senses. Problem with this is principle is the missing shade of blue-problem : how can you solve a problem without the impression of the solution? Hume has devastating critique of science that we do not have knowledge. Hume says it is human habit formation and our passionate imagination that drives us towards postulating a causal nexus in the world. exists because it is being perceived. they resemble material reality while the secondary are dependent on the mind. Like Hume. (the Enlightment. not adding knowledge adding knowledge dependent on reason (independent of sense experience) dependent on sense experience (independent on reason) Analytic Synthetic A priori A posteriori Kant argues that universal knowledge is simply synthetic a priori. Kant says there are 4 stages of knowledge: 1. priority and constant conjunction. We cannot se causality (billiard balls). The problem of induction Chapter 4: The limits of science: Hume and Kant on human knowledge Hume: Kant: See above. the science of man) Limits of knowledge. Even Newtonian mechanics might not embody knowledge. Berkeley argued for idealism: there is no material substance. Berkeley: Descartes. Ideas are derived from simple impressions. and everything that exists. Appearances become experiences 4. Locke and Berkeley all agreed with the idea : Human beings do not know the world as it is. Rejected the idea of primary and secondary qualities.Locke: There are no inborn ideas. Our knowledge does not deal with the world as it is in itself. Nevertheless. Kant draws out the limits of science and human knowledge.

throughout history. Positivists like Mill & Comte are methodological monists: there is only one scientific method that should be used in both the natural and the social sciences. Actions of human beings are not merely driven by objectively describable outside forces. Metaphysical Stage 3. social sciences are idiographic. Naturals sciences are nomothetic. One finds explanations through general laws. The method of Verstehen can be used to predict human behavior. Positive Stage combining reason and observation ( how? ) The combination of observation and theorizing is what makes for good science. His famous Law of the Tree Stages: 1. Verstehen is the foundation for the social sciences. theology and speculative metaphysics are gradually replaced by knowledge based on experiential facts. . Hermeneutics: Argues for Dualism. You have to threat them separately. Mill: Fruitful physical/natural methods should be generalized to fit them to the uses of the social sciences. The social sciences and natural sciences differ fundamentally in both their subject matter and their methodology. He is not able to obtain absolute. Erklaren is the method for the natural sciences. The Law of the Three Stages describes how. Argues for a kind of Dualism. Comte: Dilthey: Verstehen: Erklaren: Windelband: Habermans & Gadamers: Criticised Dilthey hermeneutics for it ignores the interpreter preconceptions. thoughts. Hermeneutics Positivism: Social sciences differ from natural sciences only in degree not in kind. but are motivated by desires. Dilthey and Windelband. Theological Stage: why? 2. He isolates himself from his own horizon. Opposite of Verstehen. Uniform manner of reasoning . objective truth. The same mechanisms can be applied. emotions. feelings and intentions.Part II: Philosophy of Science Chapter 5: Understanding humans: Positivism vs. Verstehen: the skill to project oneself imaginatively in other people s shoes and to relive their experiences.

Leader of the other group. And he wrote Der Aufbau der Welt. They argue that the indubitable statements are impossible. or intersubjectivity without certainty. 1922: three major claims of his were adopted by the logical positivists: 1. It made communication Schlick: Neurath: Carnap: . The other. They share Comte s hig regard for science. factual and the fictional. Schlick s(Wittgenstein & Mach) phenomenalism defended the view that science hits rock bottom in the so-called protocol sentences . 2. The view that science hits rock bottom in the so called protocol sentences. Chairmen. and founder of the Wiener Kreis. But the logical positivists were more radical. the group of physcalism. Scientists should tie theoretical statements as close as possible to protocol sentences about sensory experiences. This implies that such statements can no longer be considered absolutely certain. LP sought to provide science with unshakable foundations on which to build the edifice of knowledge. Philosophy as logical analysis. However. Later leader of the group of physicalism. Scientific statements must always be open to verification. 3. They argued that the source of knowledge is science. logical positivism seemed to offer two options: certainty without intersubjectivity. Kuhn) He says there are no private games and private languages. They wanted to develop a new science that would be strong enough to purge all irrational (metaphysical) thought. Wiener Kreis (Vienna Circle) (founder was Schlick) grew into an international movement known as logical positivism. The distinction between formal and factual statements.Chapter 6: Logical Positivism: the formal. Important logical positivists are Wittgenstein and Schlick. Physicalism had obvious advantages over phenomenalism. Protocol statements are about things in space and time. Carnap & Mach) Wittgenstein: Tractatus Logico. Mach: he helped to explain what it means that a statement can be brought in immediate contact with reality. the protocol sentence debate marked a dividing line between two groups in the Wiener Kreis over the nature of the empirical basis. Logical Positivism: 20th century. Great admirer of Witgenstein. physicalist wing (led by Neurath and later Carnap) denied that such indubitable statements were possible. He was the one who invented the phenomenalism. The foundations of science are shaky and are built and rebuilt all the time. (relativistic view on language. Murdered. (Neurath. The verification theory of meaning. Thus. Later on he stopped defending that language depicts reality and developed the idea of a language game. The Viennese positivists claimed that the dismissal of synthetic a priori knowledge lay at the heart of logical positivism.

however falsificationism compels us to classify astrology as scientific. and came up with a whole new theory by looking to the history of science instead of looking for another demarcation criterion because this turned out to be failed. Searchlight. Chapter 7: Critical rationalism: Popper Popper: A critical rationalist who was not a member of the Wiener Kreis. This argument is called incommensurability. He attacked the logical positivists. Chapter 8: Language games and paradigms: Kuhn. Observations are theory-laden. rationalists) Kuhn: Influenced by Kant (Kant categories are Kuhn s paradigms). theory always comes before. which we would prefer to exclude from science. Crucial year 1919. Kuhn says there is specific pattern in the dynamics of science: pre-scientific period normal science crisis scientific revolution/ (irrational) paradigm shift new period of normal science. There are no neutral observations. Carnap s project failed. If one has adapted a new paradigm. (Aufbau Problem) Carnap also comes up with another demarcation criterium: confirmabiltiy. So . Searchlight Bucket. And different paradigms are incomparable. education is very important. Popper s theory seems to be slightly better that the LP. According to Kuhn. not after. falsifiability. Carl Hempel is a LP and involved in the problem of Realism & Verification. Bucket vs. So there is no distinction between science and non-science. Furthermore. observations first (logical positivists. (All ravens are black) Popper also criticizes Kant for his absolutism. relativism.and cooperation (and unification) possible. According to Popper. science does not employ the inductive method. observation. empiricists). hypothesis first (popperians. the Aufbau-Problem and the problem of Verification. Problems with the Logical Positivism are the problem of Realims. but a method that proceeds in the opposite direction: deductive reasoning. though he thinks it s a good approximation to the truth and that it is sufficiently near to the truth. Popper admits that the Rationality principal seems clearly false to him. Popper s rejection of the inductive method is as controversial. one cannot switch back. Popper came with a third way to distinguish science from non-science. After Hume rejected verifiability as a demarcation criterion (too strong) and Carnap came up with a too weak demarcation criterion: confirmability. For Popper. You cannot switch between paradigms. But the main weakness of this theory is that it gives up on certainty and truth. Relativism is the notion that the truth of a claim depends on some kind of framework in which the claim has its proper place. So the Vienna Circle leaves us with a dilemma.

One important aspect of science according to Kuhn (and contra Popper) is that scientists are often uncritical to the point of being dogmatic. and nor therefore does the incommensurability of paradigms (conceptual schemes). paradigm fails new paradigm. modifying the protective belt guides us towards new hypotheses. which one to choose? The most progressive theory. falsifications play an important role. he argues that untranslatability does not make rational comparison between the two paradigms can be made. Research programmes differ from paradigms. only the protective belt. Farewell to science? Feyerabend goes too far. The truth?! We don t know! Progress?! We don t know. He agreed with Popper that science is a rational enterprise and that it is normative. Only under certain conditions. We don t falsify the hard core. into a degenerative or progressive programme. He argues that we should use a plethora of methods. Anything Goes not accepting one theory or method over another. Feyerabend is against method (rules) and against Galileo Galilei. Only truth and progress within a paradigm. He also offer 3 types of falsificationism: dogmatic. Chapter 9: Research programmes & methodological anarchy: Lakatos & Feyerabend. It s you to choose your pair of glasses. methodological and sophisticated falsificationism. In the progressive one. which he called research programmes. He agreed with Kuhn that scientists work with something like paradigms. if you fail to educate young people the paradigm. Lakatos argues that falsification can occur only when an alternative theory is present and when the empirical content of this alternative theory is corroborated. Another critique comes from the proponents of the strong programme who argue that Kuhn s views are not radical enough. He defends the radical freedom of thoughts. (which is rational) States that a degressive (dead) SRP can become (over time) alive by a generous who fixes the SRP. Lakatos looks to science as more of a network with a hard core and a protective belt around it. (then there is change in science) We need to balance relativism and the scientific view. His solution to the problem of demarcation in short is that we need a list of criteria: a cocktail that may at last enable us to separate science from pseudoscience. Lakatos: Tries to combine a revised version of falsificationism with the theory of Thomas Kuhn. in that they can exist alongside each other and in that there is no scientific revolution if a programme is revised and altered. Kuhn says there is no progress in science. It can be modified in two ways. Feyerabend: . Davidson: Critics Kuhn. thus challenging the monopoly of the scientific method. Normal scientists are locked in their own paradigm. to gain insight and knowledge about the world.He offers a variety of relativism in which he argued that there is one rule that holds in science: there are no rules.

No truth. but not believed. van Fraassen holds that theories have a truth value. we only accept frameworks for pragmatic reasons. we simply do not know (agnosticism). Therefore we need constructive empiricism. but we also lose our morality. although such unobservables are currently postulated by our best scientific hypotheses. Famous monetarist. Questions about the existence of certain entities are internal and external questions are concerning the existence of the framework itself. A hypothesis is empirically adequeate if all phenomena agree with it. He wrote an important essay about economics as a science. According to Carnap. He is a new (liberal) empiricist. we returned to the question: what are the limits of science? It is about a debate on scientific realism (to believe in science). won the nobel price for economics. Brief history of scientific realism: Duhem: Schlick: Science is instrumentalism Also a scientific realist. Anti-realist. He distinguishes internal from external questions. Scientific realists do believe unobservable entities and processes do really exist. We are capable to penetrate the underlying structures of the world. only implications need to be true. Philosophers seem to be divided over the issue of whether science gives us access to the unobservable parts of the world. Internal questions interpreted as external are pseudo-science. (looks like Fraassen s view) Carnap: v. we not only lose science. and this would mean a severe limitation on the usual pretensions of science. In contrast to instrumentalism. (= anti-realist view) Fraassen is charmed of Feyerabends theory. He believes that there is an objective reality with objective facts and the aim of science is to find these facts. Sokal argued that if we lose the facts. Fraassen: Friedman: . Since we cannot observe the unobservables. He makes a distinction between assumptions & implications of a theory are not true. The aim of science: it s not the truth we are after. Everything realism can explain. it is empirical adequacy. Scientific knowledge has limits determined by the physiological facts of human bodies (something that we can t observe). Anti-realist. Chapter 10: Scientific Realism vs. This shifts the discussion towards thinking about the rationality of scientific beliefs: are scientists rational in sticking to their belief in unobservables? It looks as though science does not have the resources to determine our beliefs about the world after all. On the other hand you have the constructive empiricism of Bas van Fraassen who opts for a revamping of empiricism according to which one is not compelled to believe in unobservabels. for we cannot hold anyone responsible for certain facts. but without implying any metaphysical theories. Constructive Empiricism In this chapter.Sokal: The Sokal Hoax. empiricism can explain too. Detecting something unobservable is the same as believing a theory to be adequate: it is accepted. not for epistemic reasons. only thing that is important are its implications. Sokal defended scientific realism.

Giere can t find any evidence whether realism or empiricism is better justified. discussed in part III. Since empiricism doesn t allow for unobservables. it does not present the whole truth). Classical empiricism argues that the underdetermination makes it impossible to have good reasons to believe hypothesis postulating unobservables to be true: there is simply never enough empirical evidence. many believe it is not a good philosophy of science. The terms observable vs. detectable is an important difference between empiricists and realists.Science seems to be a tool . and that science is not veridical (that is. believing is crucial to an empiricist. = F-TWIST. Accepting vs. Defending scientific realism needs a philosophy of inquiry. Fraassen: observable respects. Giere: detectable respects. since many scientists hold these affirmative beliefs. . Underdetermination might be a reason for thinking that human factors systematically are irremediably point science away from certain kinds of truths or toward certain kind of falsehoods. Believing is accepting a theory is true with regard to the observable and unobservable. Giere: A constructive realist who opposes to van Fraassen. we are only interested if the model can get us where we want to go (our goal).

A pragmatic view can accommodate all kinds of problems of part II: it dissolves the problem of induction. We don t know what science exactly is. and the failure to adequately distinguish between science and non-science. we still do not know what to answer to the question. Real things cause belief. There are 4 methods of belief fixation: 1. Peirce s and Dewey s pragmatism is somewhat different from James pragmatism. and opens up the road towards a more robust realism. Chapter 11: Pragmatism: Philosophy of Science American style American pragmatism. Peirce says knowledge does not progress from inside out. still offer a way to defend the rational belief that science describes the entities. When a firm belief is reached we are entirely satisfied. For the pragmatist. Use science to understand science . As a neo-pragmatist.Part III: New Perspectives / Possible Solutions We have science to do something with science . science and philosophy. This makes it possible to silence the modern sceptic. offers a simple but powerful view on humans. what is knowledge? In this part. In his Fixation of Belief he talks about inquiry. Rorty deviates from the pragmatist idea that. because he doesn t believe that people really have an intuitive power of distinguishing an intuition from another form of cognition. however. whether it s true or false. After more than two millennia. Paper doubt is Cartesian doubt. in many senses. it answers the theory-ladeness of observation and it provides a new look at the debate on scientific realism and thus the status and scope of science itself. James and Dewey. Method of authority. It steers away from relativism. founded by Peirce. A priori method. but from outside in. Peirce rejects Descartes intuitively claires and dinstinctes ideas. . Rorty simply defies the standard discussion on realism. the theory-ladeness of observation. it takes science to be a set op Popperian conjectures and refutations. it seems that the project of elucidating science is doomed to fail. A revamped traditional pragmatism a la Peirce and Dewey might. Peirce: Peirce s pragmatism is a reaction to Descartes Cartesian philosophy. Living doubt is doubt that actually feel uncomfortable. 4. processes and structures of the world. 2. Science is a tool. De Regt beliefs this view. James makes room for a right to believe anything that does not contradict the results of science. science is inquiry under the assumption that there is an external permanency. some new themes in the POS are discussed. Method of tenacity. Method of science: it most effectively keeps us away from living doubt. Having come so far. but this is not important use science as a tool. So many problems haunt the philosophy of science that the doors now seem to be wide open to skepticism: the underdetermination of theories by observational data. Inquiry is the transition form an irritating state of doubt into a reassuring state of belief. it emphasizes the history of science without invoking incommensurability. an instrument. science has a very special status as a source of real knowledge about the world. 3. He is against Borges idea of science/the world as a mirror & scientific maps .

Quine and Carnap met in the 20th century. or b) has no such consequences but belief in it has experiential consequences. This exchange of ideas still largely determines the parameters of contemporary discussion regarding the status of science. For James. Naturalism is a minimal philosophy of science.Dewey: According to Dewey. since it says something about science. Use science to understand science . while James argues that science leaves room for people to differ in their opinion and beliefs. conditional and hypothetical and that agreeing on a statement to be true means we think we will never have a reason grounded in experience to revise that statement. truth and reality. Dewey claims that science copes with reality. for Peirce correspondence. (maybe different incompatable theories that both can work!) Critics came up with the circular argument. thinking that science mirrors reality. Rorty is close to Dewey s pragmatism. Quine uses science to survive the flood. Rorty thinks a combination of rationalism and empiricism doesn t work. For Dewey the aim of science is control. we have a strong contender for a plausible realist philosophy of science. Quine s answer: there is no firm foundation for science! (We are already on the ocean) . Critical stage 3. (To a high degree influenced by Darwin) For Dewey knowledge is simply a complex set of habits that appear successful in dealing with problems up to the present day. because it suggests we must use science to study science and we must leave all other philosophical questions to science itself. This is not a scientific claim. Dewey more Instrumental. He argues that science leaves enough room to disbelieve what science says. Science (makes the unknown known) Dewey: Science = inquiry emancipated whose sole aim and criterion is discovery. Axiomatic phase 4. We try to mirror the structure of the external world and that we can attempt to acquire these representations by engaging in science. Dogmatic phase 2. Rorty: Neo-pragmatism. Dewey identifies 4 stages of belief fixation: 1. The difference is that Peirce and Dewey believe science will give all the belief. While the three agree on the American pragmatist ideas that all our scientific hypotheses are conjectural. In combination with the pragmatic view. James: James view fits the empiricists (Fraassen) well. Peirce appears more realistic. This moves James away from Peirce and Dewey. Science is a Tool (Justification of belief). Rorty claims saying science depicts reality is relapse into an old-fashioned Cartesian and pre-Darwinian philosophy. it s a coping device. while Peirce seems to argue that science copies reality. We tend to classify Peirce s view as better fitting our own intuitions about science. Naturalism unites the best of all worlds. James rejects the search for a rock-bottom foundation of our knowledge. a statement is meaningful if it either a) has experiential consequences. Chapter 12: Naturalism American Pragmatism Naturalism. mind and thinking is a response to the doubtful as such. while Dewey and Peirce argue that science is our best guide as to what to believe.

So Quine thought of two other ways to elucidate analyticity: interchangeability and semantic rules. One way of starting this argument for restricted pluralism is Lakatos meholdoly of research progrmammes. He believes. Many reject Quine s naturalizing epistemology. Tversky & Kahneman: why are we so bad in calculating probabilities?? We have never been tested! Science can be used to understand to what happens next and map the world empirically. The other is logical positivist version of reductionism: the belief that each meaningful statement is equivalent to some logical construct upon terms which refer to immediate experience. Quine s breaks with the old style epistemology. but doesn t seem to be a realist. prisoners dilemma) Computer Tournament winner: Rapoport s TIT-FOR-TAT. Reductionism is the doctrine that every meaningful statement is translatable into a statement about immediate experience. First instinct is to cooperate. Cola (cold)) Science is not a natural instinct. we are limited bounded rational. (Trust is important. The Social Contract Thomas Hobbes. since the latter might result in relativism and abandoning rationality. while an American pragmatist leads more to realism. it is something you have to learn. Human rationality. Quine is an empiricist. However an empiricist needs this distinction. According to Quine it is simply impossible to distinguish synthetic from analytic. Lakatos says there are several competing research . and Epistemology Naturalized. Quine wants to defend empiricism but he thinks that the form of empiricism inherent in logical positivism (Carnap s Aufbau) suffers from 2 ill-founded dogmas: One is a belief in some fundamental cleavage between truths which are analytic and truths that are synthetic. Chapter 13: Prospects for the social sciences: unification and pluralism It is very difficult to determine what science actually is . This is why we need science!! Restricted pluralism is in many cases better than full pluralism. also a naturalist. Also in thinking in probabilistic terms.Quine: Wrote two important essays: Two Dogmas of Empiricism. just as pragmatists. he says we need to investigate scientifically the relation between experience and science. However. He agrees on this problem with Hume. Quine tends more to relativism. that a hypothesis is nothing more than a hypothesis. they argue NE is to give it up. One problem that Quine didn t solve is the problem of induction. science can be used as an instrument to get a better understanding in making a choice. John Bargh Priming (Coffee (hot) vs. not an empirical science. Game Theory a sort of tool to predict what happens next. Science is a reliable tool/instrument in order to understand what happens next. A discipline containing only analytic statements is a formal science.

Social science must be empirically informed. The homo economicus turns out to be a homo heuristicus. The progress in the social sciences is not heading towards some comprehensive fundamental theory. The logical positivists thought of unification as the end of pluralism. The conclusion for behavioural economics is that conomis can t affor to stay mindless. The case of homo economicus tries to show us that social sciences do-or can. people do not consistently and rationally pursue maximum satisfaction. The quest for unification can be seen as a constraint on pluralism: the ideal of unification places definite limits on the theoretical alternatives that are worth pursuing. in the ddirection of ever more complete and detailed explanations of how people actually come to their decisions. based n empirical evidence. Social sciences entails the problem of imperialism: taking your own image as superior to others.make progress. Social sciences can make progress in a dynamic and convoluted process. rather than unbounded. Scientific progress may be based on a combination between clean models and dirty hands. Their rationality is bounded. Neuroscience findings and methods will play an increasingly prominent role in economics. Co -evolution = theoretical and empirical progress under mutual reinforcement. Economic actors act on the basis of emotions. The main difference between economics and sociology is often described as clean models vs. Rationalists Socrates Plato Descartes Popper both Kant Kuhn Empiricists Aristotle Bacon Locke Burkeley Hume Positivists (logical) Van Fraassen Quine . Reductionism: It seems social sciences are in fact heading downwards. and that they are characterized by integrative pluralism. meaning that in uncertain situations.programmes. as a result new research appears: neuroeconomics. In recent years it has been argued that economics should go deeper in consumer s mind to understand their decision making. Imperialism is misleading and the social sciences are best characterized as being simultaneously pluralistic and unificationist.The behavioural theory argue. dirty hands. Herbert Simon and Daniel Kahneman have won the Nobel Prize on behavioural economics. So our conclusion is that models of decision-making cannot afford to ignore emotion as a vital and dynamic component of our decisions and choices in the real world. people settle for satisfactory solutions r ather than optimal.

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