14 - C h. 14 Science and Superstition T heories vs. Me re...

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Ch. 14 Science and Superstition Theories vs. Mere Theories - Modern science is nearly universally regarded as a source of knowledge, and with good reason. Established theories of contemporary science are not mere theories, i.e., conjectures or hypotheses offered for consideration with no support beyond the endorsement of those doing the offering. Rather, such theories enjoy the formidable support of evidence of various sorts, evidence which has accumulated over time and brought with it confirmation of the theories it supports. Superstition (including pseudo-science), on the other hand, is widely regarded as a source of folly or worse. Superstitious hypotheses are typically mere hypotheses. Whatever support they appear to enjoy beyond the endorsement of those who advance them is most times easily seen to be defective in some way. Separating Science from Superstition - Despite all this, it's proved very difficult to draw a hard and fast line between science and superstition. The problem of drawing such a line is known as the demarcation problem. We're not going to solve the demarcation problem. Instead, we're going to learn how to approach the problem of determining whether or not a particular hypothesis one has been presented with should be counted as scientific or superstitious. To this end, Hurley identifies
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14 - C h. 14 Science and Superstition T heories vs. Me re...

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