Read e-book online A realistic theory of science PDF

By Clifford Alan Hooker

ISBN-10: 0887063152

ISBN-13: 9780887063152

ISBN-10: 0887063160

ISBN-13: 9780887063169

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And the Scientific Realist must admit that the reality which he claims science intends to accurately describe is known only through these attempts at theoretical description; there is no independent access. Thus one must face each theory with a degree of critical or sceptical distrusta generalized agnosticism is the order of the day. Let us face his bogey right here. According to the Realist, every time one does serious science one sticks one's philosophical and scientific neck out, one runs the risk of being wrong (without, I think, knowing what the odds of error are).

Concepts putatively descriptive of the world) be analyzable without remainder in terms of the class of simple, ostensively defined concepts given directly in observation. These latter two doctrines, which state the semantical core of P-Empiricism, then serve as the foundation of the epistemological Core of P-Empiricism, namely (fourth doctrine) that all empirical knowledge is grounded in indubitable, simple observational claims and all analytic knowledge a priori. It is an immediate consequence of these doctrines, especially of dogma 2, that inductive support is a purely logical relation holding between evidence and hypothesis.

It is no use pointing to that conclusion expecting the Realist to capitulate in horror and stomach ulcers once it is clear how wide the scope of his agnosticism must be. ) For the Realist revels in this situation! Remember Popper's dictum: the more risks you run, the more interesting and imaginative your theory is, the more you stand to learn through its failure. On the other hand, in the face of these uncertainties many philosophers turned away to look for more comfortable truths. Various shades of Empiricism, of Instrumentalism, of Phenomenalism offer to take the uncertainty out of epistemic life by reducing theories to harmless parasitic nonentities of convenience, or by reducing them away altogether.

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A realistic theory of science by Clifford Alan Hooker

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