Flashcards in Philosophy of Science Exam Deck (54):
Defininition of science
A systematic collecting endeavour that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
The three pillars of science
Naturalism, Empiricism & Theory
Takes account only the natural elements and forces, excluding the supernatural. Only the the scientific method should be used to investigate all areas of reality.
Hypothesis and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world rather than relying on prior reasoning.
Putting data together coherently in a model to explain causal relations and to gain new knowledge by prediction.
The three scientific methods
Deduction, Induction & Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE)
Valid inference from more general principles to a more specific conclusion. Always 100% certain but only in closed systems. If the premises are true, then the conclusion must be too.
Problems with deduction
Finding the basic premises to make the deduction.
Logical reasoning which derives general laws from specific facts or examples - going from premises of objects we have examined to conclusions about objects of the same sort we haven't examined. Capabe of taking us from a true premise to a false conclusion.
Problems with induction
Assumes the uniformity of nature and under-determination (available evidence is unsufficient)
Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE)
An educated guess based on the available evidence - searching for the most plausible explanation.
Problems with IBE
Although the inference is a reasonable one, we cannot be certain it is true as the premise does not entail the conclusion (non-deductive).
Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected - proceeding to simpler theories until simplicity can be traded for a greater explanation.
Poppers hypothesis that a theory has to be falisfiable to be science.
When you try to falsify something but it cannot be found to be false.
The scale of ontology (metaphysics of the nature of being)
Logically impossible (God) - Logically possible (ghosts) - Physically possible (unicorns) - Physical reality (humans)
Forms of formal logic (how to get 100% certainty)
Syllogism (Aristotle) or Propositional Logic (Frege)
An axiomatic deductive system (things that are self evident to be true).
Things that are self evident to be true.
Propositional Logic (Frege) - the three types
Modus ponens, Modus tollens & Fallact of affirming the consequent
"If it rains, the street gets wet" - "It rains" = therefore the street gets wet. Only works when you have a premise to work with.
"If it rains, the street gets wet" - "The streets are not wet" = therefore, it does not rain.
Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent
"If it rains, the street gets wet" - "The streets are wet" = therefore, it rains. Invalisd as there are other reasons for the premise.
What is the question of Realism-Antirealism?
Do things that are unobservable really exist?
The physical world exists independantly from human thought and perception.
The physical world is in some way dependent on conscious human activity.
Ther are no absolute truths - truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference.
Scientific revolution (Kuhn)
Paradigm shift - a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science.
Radical skepticism. Everything is clear and distinct to everyone is true - "I think, therefore I am".
Scientific theories should be falsifiable
Scientific revolution/paradigm - shifting from one scientific theory to another, overlapping or incommensurable.
Different subjects should be studied seperatley within their own paradigm.
If subjects were studies within their own paradigm, they would end up in competition with eachother for the most successful research programme - becoming either progressive or degenerative.
Social constructivism - identifying the difference between the context of discovery and the context of justification - reality is a social construct.
Post 9-11 form of athiesm describing why religion is dangerous to society - applying demarcation criteria to religion and making ethical arguments against it.
The teapot theory - in order to believe in something you need to have positive evidence to prove it.
The purpose of critical thinking?
Strive towards more knowledge of the world and fewer incorrect beliefs about the world.
The tension that arises when someone tries to combine incompatible beliefs such as science and religion.
Inherent thinking errors that humans make when processing information to accuratley understand reality, even when confronted with all needed data and evidence.
Cognative bias: transcendental temptation
Magical thinking and belief that people or events have access to an unseen and hidden realm of power.
Cognative bias: confirmation bias
Tendency to only seek out information that confirms pre-existing viewpoints and subsequently ignoring information that goes against it
Cognative bias: teleological temptation
The belief that final causes exist in nature - human actions are inherent and found in the rest of nature.
Cognative bias: creduality
Willingness to believe in the absence of reasonable proof.
Implying something is true, because many individuals say so.
Attacking the speaker instead of the arguments.
Implying something is true because it is an old belief.
Threatening with violence or sanctions to make a point.
A clue which is misleading or distracting from the actual issue.
Misinterpreting the opponents poition to create an illusion of having refuted the proposition by replacing it with another and refuting that instead.
Falsum in uno, falsum in omnibus
False in one thing, false in everything
Begging the question - a statement that refers to itself to prove the assertion.
Believing that temporal succession implies a causal relation.
Fallacy of false case - incorrectly assuming one thing flows on from another.