The Reality and Philosophy of Science

The Reality and Philosophy of Science - Science reality and...

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Science: reality and philosophy Look around the world, explain what you see using a logic progression of steps. The steps need not be reached through any logical order, but such an order must exist when they are used to create a casual, explanatory, predictive, or classifying statement. This is science. If there is anything that could possibly be agreed upon among philosophers of science, this is probably as far as they could get. Science involves so much more than this, but there is virtually nothing else than can be agreed upon (and I hesitate to say that my general and meagre definition would even go unquestioned). Science is essentially a human construct, created by humanity’s need to explain, understand, predict, and classify. We feel encumbered by ignorance and science is one way to combat that (the other major remedy being religion). Over the past millennia, science has (dare I say) surpassed religion as the “better” explanation of almost everything. Though this essay won’t touch on the subject, it seems that although religion and science were created for the same reasons (to answer the question “why?”), science has progressed and adapted its answer, while religion remains steadfast with the answer “because.” Even still, science is as much a human construct as religion, only differing in subject matter and applicability to (relative) reality. Science requires explanations. The definition of a proper explanation is no more apparent than the definition of science itself. But it is generally agreed upon that an explanation must explain why and how some event occurred, and it must explain it correctly and consistently, not simply accidentally. These explanations must follow a logical order as stated above. In essence, if the entirety of the subject matter and the terms is understood, the explanation should be logical. Explanations, obviously, require a certain understanding. Explanation requires understanding, therefore so does science. To explain why ice melts, you need to understand the changing of matter-states and the transfer of thermal energy (I won’t even pretend to understand the details, but suffice to say anyone in university can explain it roughly). Thus, the explanation is dependent upon some level of understanding, and in turn, the explanation creates a further level of understanding. This understanding must be true for the explanation to be proper, but as I will discuss later, an accidentally correct understanding (as with an accidentally correct explanation) can be just as useful in the short run as a consistent and completely correct one. Science also strives to be predictive.
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2008 for the course PHIL 251 taught by Professor Dayton during the Spring '06 term at University of Saskatchewan- Management Area.

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The Reality and Philosophy of Science - Science reality and...

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