Summary Class notes - Philosophy of Science

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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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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.