L1 - Corollaries , or, How to apply the scientific method...

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Science for engineers What do we need to know? (Philosophy in 20 minutes.) How do we know? (epistemology) • Contrast two types of thought: – Plato: internal, rational thought is the only way to discover universal forms . – Hume (empiricists): one can only experience . Knowledge is impossible. • This dichotomy is still basic to many current arguments.
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Related questions: • Is there a difference between opinion & fact? • Can you get from one to the other? • What influences opinions, individual/collective? Scientific method: the cartoon version 1. Make careful/inspired/new/wacky observations of the external universe. 2. Formulate a falsifiable hypothesis (can also be wacky) to explain why #1 exists. 3. Make testable predictions about external universe, based on #2. 4. Test the predictions. Try and break the model. If it breaks, either fix it, or discard it, and try again
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Characteristics of the method • 1. Primary desirable characteristics – (a) Observer-independent – (b) Repeatable – (c) Quantitative •2
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Unformatted text preview: Corollaries , or, How to apply the scientific method to your life for the good and benefit of all. meaningful test must be on a falsifiable theory explanations should lead to further testable predictions Occams razor entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity . 5 minute hypothesis the brain in a vat Oddities the model itself is never really confirmed , although its predictions may be. method is quite odd , and counterintuitive, in that it is not very close to way in which most human units operate, most of the time (inductive inference, associative memory,. ..) it is entirely independent of any particular set of facts, laws, or results. So what? Does it work , or not? Yes, it does. It is the basis of the art of engineering. This course concerns how to practice scientific observations and measurements (#1 of the method) Typically: quantitative estimates of physical phenomena under controlled conditions....
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L1 - Corollaries , or, How to apply the scientific method...

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