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Flashcards in Philosophy Of Science Deck (25)
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Describe a priori justification.

If the justification can be deduced without depending on new observations or experiences, associated with rationalism.


Describe a posteriori justification.

If the justification requires new observations, associated with empiricism.


Which style of logic creates an idea which was not in the premises?



What is the key assumption of positivism?

There is a single context free “reality,” allowing for generalisation.


What is the key assumption of logical positivism?

A statement about reality is either true or false, shown by definition or by induction.


Give the stages of the hypothetico-deductive method.

Add ‘new’ idea into premises, deduce a prediction, try to falsify it using empirical observation and try to prove that the conclusion of your deduction was wrong.


Is it logical positivism or Popper’s hypothetico-deductive method that begins with observation, then induced a postulated theory?

Logical positivism.


Is it logical positivism or Popper’s hypothetico-deductive method that begins with a hypothesis,, then deducts a predicted observation?

Popper’s hypothetico-deductive method.


What are the 3 sets of theories in Duhem-Quine hypothesis?

The substantive theory, auxiliary theories required by the substantive theory and auxiliary theories linked to our interpretation of and belief in our results.


Give the formal name for the “truth-likeness” of a theory.



Describe an incomplete theory.

A theory that is true in part but fails some tests.


Describe a false theory.

A theory with no “truth-likeness.”


Summarise Serlin and Lapsley’s “good enough” principle.

Aspects of a theory can be falsified without the whole theory being rejected, particularly is the “good enough” margins were clear a priori.


Describe stage 1 of Kuhnian science.

Pre-science: Many competing schools of thought.


Describe stage 2 of Kuhnian science.

Normal science: A paradigm is accepted and not directly challenged, a ‘puzzle solving’ stage.


Describe the anomalies stage of Kuhnian science.

A build up of data that can’t be explained by the paradigm.


Describe stage 3 of Kuhnian science.

Crisis: Acceptance that the current paradigm is no longer viable and needs to be replaced.


Describe stage 4 of Kuhnian science.

Revolution: Subjective and objecting rules determine which competing, new, incommensurables paradigm dominates.


Briefly describe the structure of Lakatos’ research programme.

A stable core, protected by a changeable auxiliary belt.


Describe the progression of Lakatos’ science.

Several competing programmes, refinement of some and dropping of some, new programmes and further refinement, refinement of some and dropping of some.


Give the main aims of Laudan’s research traditions.

To maximise solved empirical problems and minimise anomalous and conceptual problems.


What does Laudan argue is better than universality of method?

Heterogeneity of method: Use any method or combination thereof that realised the aim.


Give 3 key points about positivist science.

It believes science is objective, cumulative and has only one “truth.”


Give 3 key points about relativist science.

It believes that subjectivity and interpretation in science is inevitable, that science is a project of individual and social influences and that there is no single, absolute truth.


Briefly describe 3 limits of relativistic science.

It is not generalisable, it doesn’t allow for predictions and it invalidates incremental science.