Saturday, 9 July 2016

ATTP: The Scientific Method

A comment I put at

The article's two examples are flawed.

> When Socrates asked “What is justice?” there was never any doubt that his listeners knew what the word “justice” meant.

This isn't true; different participants to the dialogue have different views. One proposes "might is right" and "Socrates" (really Plato) has no coherent answer to that viewpoint. Interestingly, Justice is indeed very hard to define, unless you accept Hobbes's version, which is to define it as "all that is not unjust", and define *that* as breaking covenants, which I think is an excellent approach ( This inversion is reminiscent of Popper's.

Meanwhile, the bit about Kepler is over-simplified at best, since motion around the orbit not just its shape was very important.

As to your question, do scientists need to study philosophy of science, I think I'd go for a Kuhn-like paradigm-type answer: 95%+ of scientists are doing factory-science and don't need that kind of stuff; its the 5% who are in some sense thought-leading and truely innovating who need it; but then again, they've already got it, or they wouldn't be there.

[See-also my: Science]