Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||The main claim of this paper is that the boundary between scientific and non scientific knowledge does exist -- which means several things. First, it's not the case that anything goes: some irrationalists have been mistaken into acceptance of that wrong conclusion because they have remarked that, however the boundary might be drawn, some important scientific developments would fall afoul of the standards entitling a research practice to count as scientific. Second, the boundary is not an imaginary one, that is to say besides what is scientific and what is unscientific there also is what lies at the boundary, certain research practices which are neither wholly scientific nor fully unscientific. Third, studying what is science is itself a kind of research belonging to the boundary, since the methods available in that research are not as strictly rigorous as those used in science proper; in fact, all of philosophy is included in the boundary in question. Fourth, the boundary (and in fact science itself) displays a characteristic structure pertaining to what are by now usually called «non wellfounded sets» -- sets, that is, which are somehow or other involved in themselves, whether as members, or as members of members or so on; the significance of the last thesis is that the best way of approaching philosophy of science is not standard set theory, but theories allowing non wellfounded sets are preferable. Fifth, and last, admission of the boundary's existence compels us to go beyond standard classical logic and to look for a more suitable logic, as for instance some kind of fuzzy paraconsistent logic.|
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