Summary Class notes - Philosophy of Science

- Philosophy of Science
- Gervais
- 2015 - 2016
- Tilburg University (Tilburg University, Tilburg)
- Econometrie en Operationele Research
213 Flashcards & Notes
2 Students
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Summary - Class notes - Philosophy of Science

  • 1444082400 1. Rationalism & Empiricism in Antiquity

  • Definition Rationalism:
    true knowledge about reality derives from the proper use of our reasoning capacities.
  • Definition Empiricism:
    sense experience is ultimate source of knowledge.
  • By who and for what is Socrates accused?
    Meletus accused Socrates as being a wrong-doer in not recognizing the Gods which teh city recognizes, and introducing other new divinities.
  • What is the only certainty of Socrates?
    Not knowing.
  • Why are most people not able to attain knowledge according to Heraclitus?
    Due to the ever changing nature of appearances. Nothing is, everything becomes.
  • What is the motto of Heraclitus & Protagoras:
    Truth is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Definition Theory of Forms:
    Reality is not the changing world of appearances, but something unchangeable. We can gain knowledge about this reality through our capacity for reasoning.
  • Main point Parmenidus:
    Underlying all the changes we pick up with our senses, there is an unchanging reality. As the senses are deeply misleading guides to reality, we must rely on reason to discover the unchanging truths about reality.
  • Definition Nativism:
    Doctrine that human beings posses innate ideas.
  • Definition Reincarnation according to Plato:
    Immortal soul belongs to world of Forms.
  • What must we do for scientific progress to be made possible according to Aristotle?
    Leave abstract theorizing and turn to the empirical facts of nature.
  • Definition Peripatetic Axiom (Aquinas):
    Nothing is in the intellect which was not first found in the senses.
  • Definition Deduction:
    From a law, we infer a statement about particular instances of that law. Absolute certainty if premises are true.
  • What is the problem of induction?
    Certainty never attainable, since we cannot observe all particulars.
  • What apprehends the first principles according to Aristotle?
    Intuition (nous)
  • What are the four causes?
    1. Formal cause.
    2. Material cause.
    3. Efficient cause.
    4. Final cause.
  • 1444168800 2. A new (philosophy of) science

  • What are the two forms of experiment?
    1. Observing nature.
    2. Intervene in nature; hold all variables fixed but 1.
  • Where would science rely on according to Bacon?
    No longer on faith, tradition and church authority, but would instead be guided by observation & experiment.
  • What are the 3 different views of the position of the earth?
    1. Aristotle: earth immobile, located at centre universe.
    2. Ptolemeus: earth sits motionless in centre universe, with all planets circling around it.
    3. Copernicus: Revolution Heavenly Spheres: earth and other planets revolve around sun.
  • What must one do to establish a science based on accurate knowledge according to Bacon?
    One must purge the mind of its Idols.
  • What are the 4 categories of idols?
    1. Idols of the Tribe.
    2. Idols of the Cave.
    3. Idols of the Marketplace.
    4. Idols of the Theatre.
  • Definition Idols of the Tribe:
    Our senses are prone to make mistakes and we tend to postulate more regularity in nature than actually is.
    --> jump to premature conclusions.
    --> we stick to them, come what may.
  • Definition Idols of the Cave:
    Refers to pecularities of individuals, which are due to their upbringing & training.
  • Definition Idols of the Marketplace:
    People are often inclined to think that words used in language refer to things that really exist, where this need not necessarily be the case.
  • Definition Idols of the Theatre:
    Includes the accepted dogmas and methods of old schools of thought.
  • What makes good science according to Bacon?
    Combination of observation and reason.
  • Scientific Revolution: discovery Copernicus?
    Movements in heavens based on perfect circles.
  • Scientific revolution: discovery Kepler?
    Planets orbit the sun in elliptical trajectories.
  • Scientific revolution: discovery Lippershey?
    Invention telescope.
  • Scientific revolution: discoveries Newton?
    Three laws of motion & law of gravitation which explained in precise mathematical terms the behaviour of all objects, both terrestrial & celestial.
  • What are the characteristics of the Scientific Revolution?
    1. Commitment to observational method.
    2. Universal mechanics.
    3. Universal mathematics.
  • Definition Final cause:
    Purpose for which a thing exists, the cause of its behaviour --> objects are treated as if they have a soul.
  • Why is the final cause of Aristotle discredited by Mechanical Philosophers?
    To invoke final causes is to invoke occult/magical powers.
  • Definition Enlightment:
    Man's emergence from his self-imposes nonage.
  • Definition Nonage:
    The inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance.
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Summary - Class notes - Philosophy of Science

  • 1536098400 Lecture 1

  • What strong intuitions about human intentions and behaviour do we hold?
    1. That we have free will (metaphysics)
    2. That we are uniquely endowed with reason 3. That we are morally responsible for our own acts (under normal conditions)
  • What is determinism?
    The ontology that if we would know all applicable laws of nature as well as the initial conditions, we can perfectly predict what will happen in the future
  • What is an ontology?
    A theory about reality, and what reality is really like
  • What is the double hermeneutic?
    You make true what you believe to be true, even if it's not initially true.
  • What does the Chicago agenda entail?
    1. Morals are matters for individuals
    2. Behavioural assumption of self-interest
    3. Focus on human imperfections
  • What is positive theory?
    1. Theory that has the ambition to explain the world as it is
    2. Makes explicit positive expectations towards the world
    3. Has a theory-to-world direction of fit
  • What is normative theory?
    1. Has the ambition to justify the world as it ought to be
    2. Makes explicit normative expectations towards the world
    3. Has world-to-theory direction of fit
  • 1536184800 Lecture 2

  • What is pretense of knowledge?
    Management science creates absolute science in a way that natural science does, thereby shirking moral responsibility
  • What is the double hermeneutic?
    Our understanding of the world changes our actions, and our actions changes the world.
  • What is epistemology?
    The branch that concerns itself with the question what knowledge is
  • What are the 3 big theories of knowledge?
    1. Rationalism
    2. Empiricism
    3. Idealism
  • What is rationalism?
    Thinking is the basis of all knowledge, observation is unrealiable
  • What is epistemological empiricism?
    Says that all knowledge stems from observations
  • What is the flaw in empiricism?
    Unless the think up connections between our observations, there is no use in the observations an sich
  • What is the linguistic turn?
    Logic that we could impose to organise experience. Because language could structure them. Rather than investigating the link between the object and reality, we look at the link between language and reality
  • What is epistemological idealism?
    A mix between rationalism and empiricism, that basically states that there is some ability to understand the links behi
  • What are analytical statements?
    Statements of which can be determined whether they are true or false through analysis. Truth of statement depends on the logical structure of a statement
  • What are metaphysical questions?
    Questions that can only be answered through observations, but observation is impossible
  • What are empirical truths/ synthetic statements?
    Questions that you can verify through observation: truth of a statement depends on matter of fact
  • What are the 2 building blocks of logical positivism?
    Using both:
    1. Synthetic statements
    2. Analytic statements
  • What is the requirement of logical reducibility?
    You have to be able to reduce the statement through logic into observations
  • What is the unity of science ideal?
    All knowledge in a single system that is based on observations and logic
  • What are the 2 big problems in logical positivism?
    1. Theoretical concepts
    2. Problem of induction
  • What is the theoretical concept problem of logic positivism?
    Certain concepts cannot be reduced to observations alone (democracy, consciousness, etc.)
  • What are the 2 types of meaning of concepts?
    1. Intension (theoretical meaning) - the conjunction of general properties that together define a concept (we want to have an intension that defines a certain object, and with that ALL and ONLY that object)
    2. Extension (empirical meaning) - the set of all real life phenomena that the concept refers to
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Ad baculum
Threaten the opponent with force if he does not recant.
Tu queque
Appeal to hypocrisy. Discredit the opponent's position by pointing out that he does not act in accordance with that position.
Nirvana fallacy
Rejecting a solution to a problem because it is not perfect.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
Argue that because one event was followed by another, it must be the cause of it.
Appeal to consequences
Argue for a truth of a statement by pointing out perceived positive consequences of it is true, or negative consequences if it is false.
Argument from authority
Appeal to authority
Straw man
Misrepresenting the position of your opponent, and then attacking that misrepresentation rather than the original position.
Slippery slope
Asserts that a relatively small first step leads to further steps, culminating in a situation that is undesirable.
Begging the question
Assumes the (truth of the) conclusion in the premises - a species of circular reasoning.
Argument Ad Hominem
Asserts that a statement is false, by slandering the person defending it.