Samenvatting Class notes - Wetenschapsfilosofie

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Samenvatting - Class notes - Wetenschapsfilosofie

  • 1447023600 Hoorcollege 1: Inleiding, rationalisme & empirisme in de anieke tijd, Francis Bacon

  • Epistemologie
    Wat is zekere kennis?
  • Rationalism
    The view that knowledge results from the proper use of human reasoning abilities (intellect, reason or ratio). Rationalists argue that our capacity to think generates ideas and concepts which we cannot arrive at by using our sensory capacities. This position is based on the work of Plato.
  • Empiricism
    The view that knowledge is generated by our sensory capacities. The idea that for knowledge one must rely on empirical facts goes back to Plato's pupil Aristotle.
  • Scepticisme
    Stelt vraagtekens bij de gevestigde opvattingen (Socrates). Rationalisten en empiristen zijn het hier niet mee eens. "Perhaps the conclusion must even be that we do not know anything at all, and never will."
  • Socrates
    Teacher of Plato. He often claimed that his not knowing was his only certainty. Socrates examined instances of concepts like beauty, justice, courage, love, truth, and knowledge to determine their essences, their unique identifying properties, shared by all instances.
  • Metaphysics
    The branch of philosophy that asks and tries to answer the pre-eminent philosophical questions: Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the world made of? The investigation of such questions is also called ontology, after the Greek to on, the English translation of which is to be.

    The discussion between Parmenides and Heraclites is a metaphysical (or ontological) discussion.
  • Heraclites
    He was convinced that change - or flux - is at the heart of exitence. We can only truthfully claim that nothing is; everything bcomes. This view is sometimes captured in the form of the aphorism panta rei - everything flows.

    'You cannot step twic into the same river; for fresh waters are ever flowing upon you'. So Heraclites says that nothing is, everything changes

    Cratylus outdid his teacher by aruging that one cannot step in the same river once
  • Parmenides
    Argued against the view that change is the essence of reality. For Parmenides, it is their senses that mislead human beings into thinking that things are changing all the time. For instance, the water that feels hot to me is lukewarm to you. Appearances are deceptive. The reality is indivisible, immutable and imperishable. Nothing ever really changes: if something changes, it no long is.
  • Plato
    Plato supported the claim of Heraclites that the world of the senses is in perpetual flux, our perceptions, and hence our knowledge, will vary from moment to moment, from person to person. Conclusion: for knowledge we cannot appeal to the evidence of observation. 

    Plato also sided with Parmenides; the world cannot be the ever-changing world of appearances, but a supernatural realm which contains the eternal and perfect Forms (also called Ideas).

    The universal Forms are the ultimate realities that ground true knowledge. People mistake appearances for realtity (prisoners shadows). People mistake appearance for reality (prisoners shadows). Hence, the operation of the senses results in mere belief (doxa) not knowledge (epistèmè).

    We can gain knowledge through our capacity for reasoning (rationalism).
  • Nativism
    The doctrine (closely associated with rationalism) that human beings possess innate ideas. Plato said that we are all born possessing all knowledge. This knowledge was lost at birth, but we are able to remember it all, if we only use our reason correctly (learning-by-recolection: anamnèsis). This makes Plato's theory about reincarnation relevant (Socrates, Meno & Meno's slave example).
  • Aristotle's empiricism
    The empiricists argue that the source of knowledge is not reason but sensory experience. Aristotle dismissed Plato's Forms/Ideas.  For him, there is only one world and that is the natural world we inhabit. All knowledge comes ultimately from observing nature. There can be no such a thing as inborn knowledge; we are born with no knowledge at all (tabula rasa).
  • Inductive argument Aristotle
    From particular knowledge to general knowledge. The principles on which scientific knowledge rests must be causative, immediate, and true according to Aristotle. But here is a problem: no matter how large our collection of observations is, we may have missed one that is different from others (black swan).
  • Deductive argument Aristotle
    To explain something, we must construe a so-called syllogism, a deductive argument (in which we move from an unrestrictedly true law to a particular case). Until the end of the 16th century, this duductive logic was firmly in place.
  • Intuitive induction
    (or insight) by the mind (nous) guarantees the truth of the empirically acquired correlations. It is our intellect that produces the insight. Dit is een rationalistisch element in Aristotles epistemologie). So induction as Aristotle understands it is not exclusively observational.
  • Aristotle's doctrine of four causes
    Aristotle argued that we only have scientific knowledge of an object if we have grasped its cause. The four causes Aristotle distinguished are (with example of the making of a marble statue of Apollo):
    (1) the formal cause (shape statue)
    (2) the material cause (marble)
    (3) the efficient cause (the primary source of change or its absence, stasis: the sculptor)
    (4) the final cause (the sake of which something is done)

    According to Aristotle, to have an explanation of something, hence to have knowledge of something is to have knowledge of these four causes. After the Scientific Revolution, only Aristotle's efficient cause is accepted as a real and scientifically interesting cause.
  • Let us conclude that Aristotle took empeiria to be the primary source of knowledge, and that he can therefore justifiably be seen as the founding father of empiricism.
  • Empiristisch is niet gelijk aan empirisch !!!
    Empiristisch: kennis door zintuiglijke waarnemingen
    Empirisch: Wetenschappelijke methode gebruiken
  • Peripatisch principe
    Wandelend lesgeven. Thomas van Aquino deed dit omdat hij dacht dat alles kennis vanuit (zintuiglijke) waarnemingen kwamen. Hij probeerde ook  het Christendom en De Filosoof (Aristotle) te verenigen.
  • Process van ontstaan en vergaan
    Aristotle over stof en vorm, dingen veranderen (Aquino zei dat dit door God komt). Aristotle zei dat dit kwam door de onbewogen beweger, de eerste oorzaak.
  • Francis Bacon
    The father of experimental philosophy. He himself could boast no scientific achievements, but with his great literary gifts, he was an extremely important propagandist and spokesman for the spirit of the new experimental science.
  • The Aristotelian-medieval worldview
    The cosmos was thought to be composed of concentric, crystalline spheres to which the planets and stars were attached. The earth was heavy and immobile and was located at the centre of the universe.

    From earth to moon: sublunary, terrestrial realm (move in straight lines and then die or decay)
    From moon and beyond: superlunary, celestial region (here is everything perfect, move in circles forever)
  • Copernicus
    He was the first to radically undermine the earth-centred and human-centred view of the cosmos. The earth and all of the other planets revolve around the sun (heliocentrism instead of geocentrism).
  • Bacon's new methodology
    Bacon saw intellectual history as a history of endless and pointless debates. Progress would only be possible if the classical-medieval monopoly on science were finally broken. Truth does not come from contemplation and authority, but relies on the testimony of the senses.

    Bacon was not a naive empiricist though, as he famously warned against the 'idols' that warp perception.
  • Bacon's idols
    In order to establish a science based on accurate knowledge of reality, one must first purge the mind of its ídols' - characteristic errors, deceptions, or sources of misunderstanding - that stand in the way of respectable science. 

    (1) idols of the tribe (vooroordelen die we als mens hebben; menselijke fouten; bv visuele illusies)
    (2) idols of the cave (vooroordelen omdat we tot een bepaalde groep horen; o.a. inschattingsfouten. They refer to the peculiarities of individuals which are due to their upbringing and training.)
    (3) idols of the marketplace (idola fori) (vooroordelen omdat we erover kunnen praten. People are often inclined to think that words used in language refer to things that really exist; words like luck and fortune are entirely disconnected from reality. Words like confused and ill-defined lead to empty disputes and word-play)
    (4) idols of the theatre (vooroordelen omdat autoriteiten zeggen dat ze kloppen, bijvoorbeeld Aristotle)
  • Bacon's new method to gain knowledge
    Universal statements can never be the starting point of scientific inquiry --> deductive arguments are useful only to the extent that they are adequately supported by empiricial facts. Therefore Bacon came up with a new methodical recourse to sensory experience; induction. According to Bacon, scientists must gather as much empirical data as possible as the basis for proceeding to formulate of theories.  

    Bacon: however, science is not only about the careful, inductive collection of data, but needs interpretation through theories as well.
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