This book -which initiates the collection "Philosophy and Science" of the National University of Quilmes Publishing House- contains almost all the papers presented at the I International Meeting "Current Perspectives of Metatheoretical Structuralism", which, with the purpose of gathering a small group of distinguished Spanish-speaking philosophers interested in discussing the epistemological and methodological problems of science from the perspective of the structuralist view, was held in Zacatecas, Mexico, from February 16 to 20, 1998.
Different forms and transformations of philosophy in the modern world are analyzed according to the view of the Croatian philosopher Vanja Sutlić (1925-1989). A key aspect is the "realization of philosophy" in "work science", which encompasses the entire "world of work" established in modern times. This universal and real science is also an important precondition for "historical thinking". The uniformity of this science, problematized by Sutlić, can be found today in refined logical and semantic structures, which allow for a renewed (...) and richer articulation of philosophical concepts than was traditionally possible. (shrink)
In some German-language contributions to the debate on free will, it is assumed or claimed that determinism is not an empirically verifiable thesis. Peter Bieri, for example, thinks that one must presuppose determinism in order to understand the world as a conceivable world. Determinism would then not be an empirical thesis, but rather a condition without which the conceivability of the world cannot be thought (Bieri 2001, 15/16). Geert Keil writes that determinism "can neither be verified nor falsified experimentally and (...) therefore determinism [is] a metaphysical thesis, not a scientific one" (Keil 2018, 58). In contrast to these two claims, I will argue that determinism is most usefully conceived as an empirical thesis whose verification faces many difficulties. These difficulties, however, are not fundamentally different from those faced by other empirical theses. (shrink)
This paper analyses the similarities and connections between philosophy of science and causal layered analysis. The paper points out that philosophy of science can be understood as a kind of causal layered analysis of science. These similarities and connections mean that the insights in philosophy of science can be used to investigate the important but neglected topic of possible futures of science. The connections make it possible (i) to open up the present and past to create alternative futures of science, (...) and (ii) to reveal deep worldview commitments behind surface phenomena in science-related discourses. (shrink)
This essay argues that, despite the failure of demarcation criteria for separating science from non-science, the mathematics of design and design-theoretic inferences nonetheless satisfy all the criteria of various competing theories of scientific explanation.
There is an argument for the existence of God from the incompleteness of nature that is vaguely present in Plantinga’s recent work. This argument, which rests on the metaphysical implications of quantum physics and the philosophical deficiency of necessitarian conceptions of physical law, deserves to be given a clear formulation. The goal is to demonstrate, via a suitably articulated principle of sufficient reason, that divine action in an occasionalist mode is needed (and hence God’s existence is required) to bring causal (...) closure to nature and render it ontologically functional. The best explanation for quantum phenomena and the most adequate understanding of general providence turns out to rest on an ontic structural realism in physics that is grounded in the immaterialist metaphysics of theistic idealism. (shrink)
The scientific community takes for granted a view of science that may be called standard empiricism. This holds that the basic intellectual aim of science is truth, nothing being presupposed about the truth, the basic method being to assess theories with respect to evidence. A basic tenet of the view is that science must not accept any thesis about the world as a part of scientific knowledge independent of evidence, let alone in violation of evidence. But physics only accepts unified (...) theories, and persistently rejects infinitely many ad hoc rivals that fit the phenomena even better. In persistently rejecting these infinitely many empirically more successful rival theories, physics thereby makes a substantial assumption about the universe – it is such that all ad hoc theories are false – an assumption that is accepted implicitly independently of evidence, even in a sense against the evidence. That contradicts standard empiricism. The scientific community needs to adopt a new conception of science that represents the assumption of physics as a hierarchy of assumptions, thus facilitating the improvement of the assumption that is made, as science proceeds. (shrink)
Charting new territory in the interface between science and ethics, this monograph is a study of how the scientific mentality can affect the building of character, or the attainment of virtue by the individual. Drawing on inspiration from virtue-ethics and virtue-epistemology, Caruana argues that science is not just a system of knowledge but also an important factor determining a way of life. This book goes beyond the normal strategy evident in the science-ethics realm of examining specific ethical dilemmas posed by (...) scientific innovations. Here Caruana deals with more fundamental issues, uncovering morally significant tendencies within the very core of the scientific mentality and explaining how science, its method, history, and explanatory power can shape a conception of the good life. This book has been translated into Italian: Scienza e Virtù: uno studio sull’impatto della mentalità scientifica sul carattere morale, trad. L. Di Gioia, Roma: G&B Press, 2021. (shrink)
The paper entitled "Knowledge, Science, and Science of Knowledge" uses two relevant texts from German idealism to ask whether philosophy is a science. It is first argued that science presupposes knowledge, but that the concept of knowledge has long been subject to strong scepticism due to Fitch's paradox of knowability and especially the Gettier problem. Only in recent years have historians of philosophy made it clear that the so-called standard analysis of knowledge was not even advocated by many classical authors. (...) This is also the case with the texts under investigation: Fichte's early Wissenschaftslehre and Schopenhauer's Berlin Lectures. Both texts argue for a very different concept of knowledge, which then also determines the concept of science and philosophy. Fichte argues that philosophy must be founded from axioms and is therefore a subordinating science. Schopenhauer argues against this and points out that philosophy can only be a coordinating science. The last part of the paper argues that Fichte's and Schopenhauer's definitions of philosophy as a coordinating or subordinating science can still be applied today. (shrink)
In his magnum opus, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (first published in German in 1934, English translation, 1959), Karl Popper make two fundamental philosophical moves. First, he relocates the center of gravity of the philosophical treatment of science around what he calls the problem of demarcation. This is the problem of distinguishing between science, on the one hand, and everything else on the other. (By contrast, his contemporaries of the Vienna Circle, whose positivism would prove the most influential brand of (...) empiricism of the day, located the center of gravity around the problem of linguistic meaning, and use a criterion according to which a statement is meaningful to the extent that one can identify verification conditions for it.) Popper excludes from science such things as logic, metaphysics, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Marx’s theory of history. Second, Popper propounds the doctrine of falsification, which handles the problem of demarcation, as well as answers David Hume’s shattering attack on science as the premier form of knowledge centuries before. The arguments he mounts for falsification would function also as an attack on any account of the scientific enterprise that, like positivism, adheres to the idea that science progresses logically from instances (given in observation or experience) to the high-order generalizations characteristic of mature scientific theory. In this small space I shall undertake neither to illuminate the nuances of Popper’s position, nor to trace the (numerous) lines of criticism that have accumulated against it some seventy years later. I shall busy myself instead with tracing a trajectory of thought on the subject of scientific reasoning and its relation to individual decision-making, reflecting on Popper’s contribution and on how his legacy might be further enlarged. (shrink)
Like Husserl, the young Heidegger was preoccupied with the a-priority of phenomenology. He also incorporates hermeneutics into phenomenology, though Husserl was convinced that the a-priority of phenomenology removed all interpretation from its analyses. This paper investigates how the early Heidegger is able to make hermeneutics a general condition of understanding while maintaining, in line with Husserl, that phenomenology is an a-priori science. This paper also provides insight into key debates in the history of phenomenology. I examine two places in which (...) Heidegger departs from Husserl’s phenomenology – the doctrine of categorial intuition and the “as-structure” of understanding – to show that a-priority and hermeneutic understanding come together, ontically, in facticity as the only possible starting point for phenomenology. Ontologically, however, a-priority and hermeneutics come together in the co-affection of Dasein as understanding and being as pre-given. This co-affection is itself dependent on Temporality as “the condition of any possible earlier”. (shrink)
CAMILO, Bruno. O anarquismo e o estímulo à inovação científica. In: SOUZA, Poliana Mendes de. (org.). Inovação na educação superior brasileira: metodologia e casos. Recife: Even3 Publicações, 2021. p. 57-73. -/- Este trabalho, inserido na subárea da filosofia da ciência, possui como tema principal o “anarquismo metodológico” tal como é apresentado pelo filósofo da ciência Paul Feyerabend. O objetivo geral é apresentar o modo como o “anarquismo metodológico”, tal como exposto em Feyerabend (2007), pode contribuir para resolver o problema da (...) “educação científica” e estimular a inovação ou mudança, para em seguida refletir sobre a possibilidade de aplicar o “anarquismo metodológico” nas escolas do Brasil. Tal reflexão será pertinente se consideradas as dificuldades que afligem a “educação científica” no Brasil, sobretudo aquelas que dizem respeito a falta de desenvolvimento da inovação científica e tecnológica do país. (shrink)
The scientificity of the research should be evaluated according to the methodology used in the study. However, these are usually the research areas or the institutions that are classified as scientific or non-scientific. Because of various reasons, it may turn out that the scientific institutions are not producing science, while the “non-scientists” are doing real science. In the extreme case, the official science system is entirely corrupt, consisting of fraudsters, while the real scientists have been expelled from academic institutions. Since (...) 2016-2017, there has been much talk about the “post-truth era” and the politicians who are “denying science”. However, simultaneously, many complaints about the corruption of science appeared. The outsider cannot tell who is telling the truth as it may be the case that the science fraudsters are defending themselves and these politicians are aware of the corruption. It is also untrue that the censoring or suppression of science started from 2016-2017. Suppression of science because of political and ideological reasons was present already long ago, and during the last few years, it has been increasing. The picture is highly complicated as there are many pretenders, false accusations, etc. For example, because of political reasons, someone may be set up as a pseudoscientist, the real scientist may be expelled using political accusations, justified criticism may be labelled as political pressure, etc. There is something like an inner information war ongoing in and around science. The classical philosophy of science seems unable to handle it because every formal rule can be misapplied. Science, as a whole, may be unable to persist. (shrink)
Science is an entity and a process, comprised of many sub-entities and processes. There is a co-dependent relationship between entity and process, in (as) science, and otherwise, where entity and process (form and substance) cannot occur without each other.
Scientific knowledge is the most solid and robust kind of knowledge that humans have because of its inherent self-correcting character. Nevertheless, anti-evolutionists, climate denialists, and anti-vaxxers, among others, question some of the best-established scientific findings, making claims unsupported by empirical evidence. A common aspect of these claims is reference to the uncertainties of science concerning evolution, climate change, vaccination, and so on. This is inaccurate: whereas the broad picture is clear, there will always exist uncertainties about the details of the (...) respective phenomena. This book shows that uncertainty is an inherent feature of science that does not devalue it. In contrast, uncertainty advances science because it motivates further research. This is the first book on this topic that draws on philosophy of science to explain what uncertainty in science is and how it makes science advance. It contrasts evolution, climate change, and vaccination, where the uncertainties are exaggerated, and genetic testing and forensic science, where the uncertainties are usually overlooked. The goal is to discuss the scientific, psychological, and philosophical aspects of uncertainty in order to explain what it really is, what kinds of problems it actually poses, and why in the end it makes science advance. Contrary to public representations of scientific findings and conclusions that produce an intuitive but distorted view of science as certain, people need to understand and learn to live with uncertainty in science. This book is intended for anyone who wants to get a clear view of the nature of science. (shrink)
Often denied scientific status, Völkerpsychologie was set forth as a psychological program endeavoring to find insights into the structure and content of the ‘mind’ of social groups, especially ‘peoples’, which were regarded as the prototypical manifestation of those groups. This article examines how Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal’s nineteenth-century Völkerpsychologie came to be regarded as having the status of a science, by analyzing its scientific program. I claim that these founders of Völkerpsychologie developed a moderate methodological materialism by embracing a (...) historical turn in psychology, which—to a degree—enabled a synthesis of the methodologies of the social and the natural sciences. This approach is correlated with their modus operandi, collaboration through the medium of a journal. (shrink)
Haack classifies Spengler’s views on the end of science as what she terms annihilationist in that he forecasts the absolute termination of scientific activity as opposed to its completion or culmination. She also argues that in addition to his externalist argument that Western science, as cultural product, cannot survive the demise of Western Culture, Spengler also puts forward an internalist argument that science, regardless of the imminent demise of Western Culture, is in terminal decline as evidenced by its diminishing returns. (...) I argue against Haack that Spengler’s argument for the diminishing returns of modern science is in fact an externalist one, in that he locates the sources of science’s current decline outside the discipline of science itself, attributing them to a change in cultural attitude towards scientific endeavours. I further argue that Spengler’s prediction of the imminent end of science was directed specifically at pure science, and that he in fact held that applied science would continue to develop. I also take issue with Haack’s suggestion that Spengler’s views on science were outmoded at the time that he wrote them. (shrink)
Democracy hinges on the personal and civic decision-making capabilities of publics. In our increasingly technoscientific world, being well-informed requires an understanding of science. Despite acknowledging public understanding of science as an important part of being well-informed, publics’ engagement with science remains limited. I argue that part of publics’ disengagement with science is because information transmitted about science, like science itself, has been decontextualized. Though there are many ways to decontextualize information, obscuring values in science is a popular means of doing (...) so. Due to the ubiquitous nature of values, science misrepresented as ‘value-free’ will be the focus of my decontextualization critique. Epistemic values and non-epistemic values are the sorts of values that have been misrepresented by views like the value-free ideal. The VFI is the idea that non-epistemic values should not play a role in the evaluation of evidence and has been heavily criticized on practical and normative grounds. This has led to alternatives to the VFI being proposed, including ways for non-epistemic values to be included in the evaluation of evidence. In a yet to be explored implication of the VFI, I argue that models of science education and communication that accommodate the VFI have been popularized as a way to reinforce decontextualization. These models describe science and publics with only a minimal account of values, leading me to challenge them on practical and normative grounds since communicating science as ‘value-free’ is misrepresentative, and from a normative perspective undesirable, especially as including values can help engage publics. In response, I advocate for value-conscious descriptions of science instead. To catalyze this contextualization, I introduce key aspects for understanding values in science and call them the ‘KAUVIS’. By using a basis of transparency between scientists and publics, the KAUVIS provides a means to describe how values interact with science without dictating which values are the correct ones. The KAUVIS includes descriptions of the roles values take on, how values relate to the goals of research, and considers epistemic and ethical values. Hence, the KAUVIS can more accurately represent science than the VFI, and in so doing, contextualizes information about science in relation to research goals and social needs, making science more engaging. By developing the KAUVIS to describe values, I also show that traditional information transmission models are maladapted to conveying the true value- laden nature of science. As a consequence, I examine more value-conscious communication models which I show to be enhanced by the descriptive detail of the KAUVIS. However, unveiling the inner workings of values in science may also have negative consequences for how publics interpret and engage with science. After all, exposing values in science can lead to further dispute about science. Hence, the KAUVIS opens up questions like, what is lost by divulging values in science? My initiatory examination of the drawbacks of being explicit about values will uncover that even though there is a risk that publics may reject scientific claims, an understanding of values in science is desirable for decision-making and deliberation. In other words, a description of values can serve to clarify how they are being used, and help define what it is we are in disagreement about. Thus, by more accurately representing science and values, we might strengthen democracy by better providing publics the contextualized information they need for science to be of service. (shrink)
In this dialogue the view of Paul Hoyningen-Huene as defended in Systematicity. The Nature of Science is presented and criticized. The approach is developed dialectically by the two interlocutors, a series of critical points are debated and an alternative view is introduced. The dialogical form is intended to honor the general philosophical approach of the author summarized in the last sentence of the book, where he states that he sees philosophy as an ongoing, open-ended dialogue.
There is a need to bring about a revolution in the philosophy of science, interpreted to be both the academic discipline, and the official view of the aims and methods of science upheld by the scientific community. At present both are dominated by the view that in science theories are chosen on the basis of empirical considerations alone, nothing being permanently accepted as a part of scientific knowledge independently of evidence. Biasing choice of theory in the direction of simplicity, unity (...) or explanatory power does not permanently commit science to the thesis that nature is simple or unified. This current ‘paradigm’ is, I argue, untenable. We need a new paradigm, which acknowledges that science makes a hierarchy of metaphysical assumptions concerning the comprehensibility and knowability of the universe, theories being chosen partly on the basis of compatibility with these assumptions. Eleven arguments are given for favouring this new ‘paradigm’ over the current one. (shrink)
Gegenstand dieses Beitrags ist eine Auseinandersetzung mit der Wissenschaftlichkeit der Medizin. Den Leitfaden der Analyse bildet dabei ein jüngerer Ansatz in der analytischen Wissenschaftstheorie, wonach Systematizität als zentrales Kriterium von Wissenschaft anzusehen ist (Hoyningen-Huene 2013). Ich werde im Detail zeigen, dass die Medizin dieses mehrdimensionale Kriterium insgesamt erfüllt, dass aus der Wissenschaftlichkeit der Medizin aber gleichwohl normative Konsequenzen folgen, die beispielsweise zur Abgrenzung von der Homöopathie und einer kritischen Bewertung des biopsychosozialen Modells führen. Zudem resultieren der Anwendungscharakter der Medizin und (...) die zentrale Bedeutung des Arzt-Patienten-Verhältnisses nicht in einer Schwächung des Anspruchs der Medizin als Wissenschaft. (shrink)
The sciences are characterized by what is sometimes called a “methodological naturalism,” which disregards talk of divine agency. In response to those who argue that this reflects a dogmatic materialism, a number of philosophers have offered a pragmatic defense. The naturalism of the sciences, they argue, is provisional and defeasible: it is justified by the fact that unsuccessful theistic explanations have been superseded by successful natural ones. But this defense is inconsistent with the history of the sciences. The sciences have (...) always exhibited what we call a domain naturalism. They have never invoked divine agency, but have always focused on the causal structure of the natural world. It is not the case, therefore, that the sciences once employed theistic explanations and then abandoned them. The naturalism of the sciences is as old as science itself. (shrink)
Summary One â Sided understanding of Aristotle led to the view that the principal aim of science is general knowledge. In modern times this view must be extended: also particular knowledge of concrete situations and objects has considerable validity for science. This kind of knowledge the author calls diagnostic. In all empirical sciences diagnostic studies form their necessary part. There are two poles in sciences concerning reality â the more and more developed general knowledge and the specialized knowledge about concrete (...) situations, persons and their cultural and technical products. These two poles are joined in a new model of science which the author presents. Between these poles there exists a mutual independence: diagnostic studies constitute a firm basis for new generalisations and the existing knowledge of laws helps towards a better understanding of concrete situations and their diagnoses. (shrink)
The traditional sciences have always had trouble with ambiguity. To overcome this barrier, ‘science’ has imposed “enabling constraints”—hidden assumptions which are given the status of ceteris paribus. Such assumptions allow ambiguity to be bracketed away at the expense of transparency. These enabling constraints take the form of uncritically examined presuppositions, which we refer to throughout the article as “uceps.” The meanings of the various uceps are shown via their applicability to the science of climate change. Second order science examines variations (...) in values assumed for these uceps and looks at the resulting impacts on related scientific claims. Second order science reveals hidden issues, problems and assumptions which all too often escape the attention of the practicing scientist. This article lays out initial foundations for second order science, its ontology, methodology, and implications. (shrink)
Contestant l’opinion commune selon laquelle le problème de la démarcation, contrairement au problème de l’induction, est relativement anecdotique, l’article soutient que le critère poppérien de falsifiabilité donne une réponse irrésistible à la question de savoir ce qui peut être appris d’une investigation empirique. Tout découle du rejet de la logique inductive, joint à la reconnaissance du fait que, avant d’être investiguée, une hypothèse doit être formulée et acceptée. Les hypothèses scientifiques n’émergent ni a posteriori comme les inductivistes le soutiennent, ni (...) de quelque immaculée source a priori : elles sont des conjectures pures et simples. Les empiristes qui rejettent l’apriorisme ont donc rejoint trop rapidement les rangs non philosophiques du naturalisme épistémologique. L’article conclut par un résumé de l’objectivisme popperien et par de brèves réponses à certains arguments à la mode selon lesquels la vérité objective n’est pas un objectif atteignable. (shrink)
Recent debates about the values and virtues of the sciences have been marked by philosophical errors and misunderstandings among both the supporters and the critics of the value of science. Some authors, such as Wilson defending the ultimate value of science and Appleyard decrying the influence of scientific modes of thinking, both assume the positivistic stance to understanding science. Others, such as Dawkins, Maddox and Wolpert, come through as scientific realists, celebrating the power of science to reach beyond what can (...) be perceived. Yet all three neglect the role of instruments and apparatus and miss the importance of the part that social forces play in the creation of belief. Finally Maddox slips into assuming that the only truly scientific approach to understanding human life scientifically is to follow the pattern of realism and model making as it is exemplified in the physical sciences. Psychology can be scientific without being reductionist. (shrink)
The paper is a response to William Newman’s rebuttal of a critique of his account of the origins of modern chemistry by Alan Chalmers. A way in which the nature of science can be illuminated by history of science is identified and an account of how this can be achieved in the context of a study of the work of Boyle defended in the face of Newman’s criticism. Texts from the writings of Boyle that are cited by Newman as posing (...) problems for Chalmers’ thesis are interpreted as in fact supporting it. (shrink)
Science is studied in very different ways by historians, philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists. Not only do researchers from different fields apply markedly different methods, they also tend to focus on apparently disparate aspects of science. At the farthest extremes, we find on one side some philosophers attempting logical analyses of scientific knowledge, and on the other some sociologists maintaining that all knowledge is socially constructed. This paper is an attempt to view history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology of science from a (...) unified perspective. (shrink)
Tryon advises psychologists to construct theories as physicists do, and claims that a theory of physics is a system of algebraic relations which constitute the definitions of new concepts and their units of measurement in terms of existing ones, at least two basic units being initially adopted. He says that these algebraic relations create a knowledge hierarchy, which he considers a theory. In reality, only some of the mathematical relations of physics are definitions, which introduce new tools, while the rest (...) of them express the "laws of nature," the discovery of which is the primary objective of science. Tryon also says that these algebraic relations express quantitative, logical, and conceptual equivalences. He is wrong again, because only the relations that constitute definitions express conceptual equivalences, while the laws of nature are discovered either by making measurements or by constructing theories. Tryon says nothing about the discovery of the laws of nature either way, and appears to consider the concept of "law of nature" as unscientific. He also believes that measurements serve only to determine the characteristic properties of substances. In this article, the usefulness of the concept of "law of nature" is illustrated, and more importantly, the method of theory construction used in physics and the way in which it can be adapted to psychology are explained. (shrink)
The paper analyses not well known beginning of Cracow philosophy of nature originating from the 19th century. A selected number of issues formed by two founders of Cracow philosophical centre – W. Heinrich and M. Straszewski are presented. Finally, the author tries to refl ect on modern nature philosophy in the context of its relations with tradition lasting over the centuries.
In the present article, working from within the framework of critical rationalism and focusing mostly on the views developed by some Iranian writers, I argue that the programmes of producing ‘Islamic Science’ and ‘Islamisation of Science/Knowledge’ are doomed to failure. I develop my arguments in three parts. I start by explaining that the advocates of the programmes of producing cIS or IoK subscribe to mistaken images of science that are shaped by either a positivist or outmoded culturalist/interpretivist theories of science. (...) I shall then focus on the similarities and differences of ‘science’ and ‘technology’, arguing that despite close interconnection between the two it is of utmost importance, for analytical purposes, to keep these two socially constructed entities apart. Drawing on the above distinction, I argue that while creating ‘Islamic’ or ‘indigenous’ sciences is impossible, constructing ‘Islamic’ or ‘indigenous’ technologies is, in principle, feasible. Lastly, I turn to some of the... (shrink)
This book offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the epistemology of science. It not only introduces readers to the general epistemological discussion of the nature of knowledge, but also provides key insights into the particular nuances of scientific knowledge. No prior knowledge of philosophy or science is assumed by The Nature of Scientific Knowledge. Nevertheless, the reader is taken on a journey through several core concepts of epistemology and philosophy of science that not only explores the characteristics of the (...) scientific knowledge of individuals but also the way that the development of scientific knowledge is a particularly social endeavor. The topics covered in this book are of keen interest to students of epistemology and philosophy of science as well as science educators interested in the nature of scientific knowledge. In fact, as a result of its clear and engaging approach to understanding scientific knowledge The Nature of Scientific Knowledge is a book that anyone interested in scientific knowledge, knowledge in general, and any of a myriad of related concepts would be well advised to study closely. (shrink)
In speaking of empirical science as a self-correcting process one implies that a proposition accepted in accordance with the rules of procedure may have to be eliminated later according to these very rules. Taking this for granted one realizes that a particular empirical science, say physics, should be defined in terms of rules of method rather than as a system of propositions representing our knowledge at a given time. Obviously both the science of Galileo and Newton and the science of (...) Einstein and Bohr are called ''physics'' and we do not regard this as a mere equivocation. It may, however, be objected that a definition of a science in terms of rules of method is incompatible with the view that a science consists of a set of propositions. To meet this objection I propose that we distinguish between the structure of a science as defined in terms of the rules of method and the corpus of this science at a given time, i.e., the set of propositions accepted at this time in accordance with the rules of method of this science. The relation between the structure of a science and the corpus of a science is similar to that obtaining between the structure of a legal order, e.g., American law, which is defined by the rules of the process of legislation in the broadest sense and the legal norms which are the corpus of law at a given time. It should then be noted that the assertion that a certain proposition belongs to a given science is incomplete without a time-index. The scientist changes the corpus of his science either by introducing new propositions to it or by eliminating propositions which were previously accepted and did not stand further control. The significance of whatever else he does in the course of his inquiry can be determined only in the light of this selection. There are two stages in this process of selection. The first is exclusively concerned with meanings as such. The scientist has to ascertain that a given aggregate of words represents a proposition, that this proposition contains only objective meanings, that it is not self-contradictory, that it belongs to the subject-matter of the particular science. The second phase of the selection, exhibited in scientific procedure in the strict sense, applies only to such propositions which have passed this preexamination. We shall call those rules of method in terms of which the first stage of selection is defined rules of the language of science and those rules in terms of which the second stage is defined rules of the procedure of science. In this paper I shall try to show how important it is to distinguish clearly between these two types of rules. I shall first deal with the rules of the language of science and confine myself to sciences dealing with the physical world. (shrink)
A renewed interest in the old problem of the relationship between science and metaphysics has been fuelled by the ongoing debate between naturalistic metaphysicians and non-naturalistic metaphysicians. However, I maintain that this debate is missing the mark because it is focused on the problem of the credibility of a metaphysics that is not scientific, instead of focusing on the presence of metaphysics in science. In order to show that metaphysics pervades all stages of scientific inquiry, and after analysing the distinction (...) between presuppositions and assumptions, I address the complex problem of the relation of metaphysics to truth and to experience. I advocate that there is an indirect relation of metaphysics to experience and that it is possible to choose between rival metaphysical theories. But metaphysics, according to my view, is not present in science merely as a background of presuppositions and assumptions. It is present at every step of the scientific inquiry and also in a later moment: the interpretation of the findings of science and the elaboration of unifying theories. Keywords: science, metaphysics, presuppositions, truth, experience, unification. (shrink)