Thursday, October 9, 2014

544: First steps in the philosophy of science

As we observed before, in several cultures homo sapiens began to think about thinking, which led to the discovery of certain properties of thinking.

One of the fundamental properties of thinking is that we require of our thoughts that they be logical.

The basic principles of logic center on the law of contradiction, which states that a statement cannot be both true and false, 

and the law of the excluded middle, which stresses that a statement must be either true or false.

This is not our invention. In india they thought of this much earlier already.  Then there was China and the Arabic world.

But even though the science of logic was derived from mathematics, logic eventually came to be considered as a study independent of mathematics yet applicable to all reasoning.

And just at one moment in history in the educated world, as far as we know, there was only one person who took this step: Aristotle(384 - 322 BC)

I don’t think he was the only one in his time, but he left us his  “Posterior Analytics”, his principal work on the philosophy of science,

in addition, the “Physics” and the “Metaphysics”, which contain discussions of certain aspects of scientific method.

Aristotle was the first philosopher of science. He created the discipline by analyzing certain problems that arise in connection with scientific explanation.

He viewed scientific inquiry as a progression from observations to general principles and back to observations. 

He maintained that the scientist should induce explanatory principles from the phenomena to be explained, 

and then deduce statements about the phenomena from premisses which include these principles.

Here are coined the basic principles of scientific method, according to Aristotle’s ideas: INDUCTION and DEDUCTION.

Aristotle believed that scientific inquiry begins with knowledge that certain events occur, or that certain properties coexist. 

Scientific explanation is achieved only when statements about these events or properties are deduced from explanatory principles. 

Scientific explanation thus is a transition from knowledge of a fact - point 1 in the diagram behind me - to knowledge of the reasons for the fact - point 3.

According to Aristotle, every particular thing is a union of matter and form, or as we would say it, an object is as it is by the configuration of its atoms.

Matter is what makes the particular a unique individual, and form is what makes the particular a member of a class of similar things. 

To specify the form of a particular is to specify the properties it shares with other particulars.

And thus Aristotle formulated the basic principles of our scientific thinking. We live in a word of individual objects,

which share properties with other individual objects, thus creating a set or class.

This line of thinking has shaped our world. And although it all may look so obvious, it isn’t, for then all cultures would have developed science in the same way.

To be continued…
Thank you… ^_^

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, John Losee (2001)

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, T. Kuhn (1962)

Gilbert Ryle, ‘Systematically Misleading Expressions’, in A. Flew, ed., Essays on Logic and Language—First Series (Oxford: Blackwell, 1951), 11–13.

The Discussion

[13:20] herman Bergson: If you have any question or remark...plz feel free...the floor is yours :-)
[13:20] Dawn Rhiannyr: Thank you Herman :)
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:20] Gemma Cleanslate: good old Aristotle
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: interesting
[13:20] Merlin Saxondale: quite tough today imho
[13:20] herman Bergson: But I must admit....this time it all isn’t that controverisal :-)
[13:21] Gemma Cleanslate GIGGLES!!
[13:21] Gemma Cleanslate: ...LOL...
[13:21] Gemma Cleanslate: right back to the very beginning
[13:21] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma...amazing to see how one individual had such a huge influence on the cultural development of whole Europe and more
[13:22] Merlin Saxondale: A lot of people say Aristotle started it all
[13:22] Beertje Beaumont: most of the time the ideas start with one individual
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:22] herman Bergson: In a way he did Merlin....
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: in many cases at least
[13:22] Merlin Saxondale: Even though I still get mixed up with Archimedes :P
[13:23] herman Bergson: But there is one interesting historical issue here...
[13:23] herman Bergson: We link a lot of special developments and events to ONE person.....
[13:24] herman Bergson: But from a philosophy of science point of view this is already questionable....
[13:24] herman Bergson: I mean....
[13:24] herman Bergson: In Greece in Aristotle's time were dozens of teachers like him
[13:24] herman Bergson: So his ideas didn’t come out of the blue sky....
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: all passing ideas around
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes...
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: at their forums
[13:25] herman Bergson: Like the ideas of Einstein weren't unique either...
[13:25] herman Bergson: others had the same for instance Lorenz...
[13:26] Merlin Saxondale: Its probably true of a lot of people... Newton... Darwin
[13:26] herman Bergson: But it is just the guy who steps forward first who is remembered
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:26] herman Bergson: Oh yes Merlin.....
[13:26] Merlin Saxondale smiles
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: well that is how it is the scientists like to share and build on each others ideas
[13:26] herman Bergson: So , history is not a history of individuals...
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: except
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: now in many areas they are prohibited
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: fro m sharing
[13:27] herman Bergson: oh yes patents all over the place :-)
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: yes and also some governments forbid it
[13:27] herman Bergson: patents are a huge blockade of scientific development
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: true
[13:28] herman Bergson: But there is no patent on Induction and deduction :-))
[13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: good thing
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: i guess so
[13:28] herman Bergson: I'll get into that in a next lecture :-))
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: indeed esp the us patent system is nuts
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: Apple is a good example of that, basically using it to become the one and only smartphone manufacturer in the world
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: not fair play at all
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: : [Posted 1:22 PM PDT, 7 October 2014] We are performing unscheduled maintenance at this time. During this time, some residents may experience login issues, and Residents in-world may also be logged off or experience degraded performance. Please refrain from rezzing no-copy objects and making L$ transactions during this maintenance. On the website, please also avoid using any financial services until the all clear is given. Please check back here for updates.
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: just got that
[13:29] herman Bergson: uh oh....
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: no wonder nothing is working right
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: aah
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: maybe thunderstorms there too
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: they have problems at the accelerators at cern now due to storms
[13:30] Gemma Cleanslate: oh?
[13:30] Gemma Cleanslate: thought it was still closed
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: and here it rains like hell
[13:30] herman Bergson: Here too......:-)
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: the LHC is off but all other machines have started up
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: ah ok
[13:31] herman Bergson: I guess we are done for today with Aristotle's first steps in philosophy of science?
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: there is science sharing going on there with all the countries involved
[13:31] herman Bergson: Unless one of you still has a burning question or remark?
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: shall wait til the answer of that issue
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate GIGGLES!!
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: ...LOL...
[13:32] Bejiita Imako:
[13:32] Beertje Beaumont: how could people get notice of the ideas of Aristoteles ?
[13:32] Beertje Beaumont: they couldn't read his books, could they?
[13:32] herman Bergson: time I'll dig in deeper in Aristotle's ideas ....
[[13:32] Beertje Beaumont: lol..I couldn't type any faster...
[13:32] Gemma Cleanslate: I think there was a lot of oral passing of his works
[13:33] herman Bergson: They could read Beertje...
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: at that time was common to talk and tell lots of stories
[13:33] herman Bergson: The "books" of Aristotle for instance are not really written by himself....
[13:33] Beertje Beaumont: o?
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: like all the other things
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:33] herman Bergson: They seem to be mainly notes from his lectures collected by his students
[13:34] herman Bergson: The amazing thing is that they were written down!!!....and copied...and copied..and that such copies survived all these centuries
[13:34] Merlin Saxondale: Well Thanks Herman and bye everyone
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: like the bible i say
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: interesting
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: Bye, Bye   
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: merlin
[13:35] herman Bergson: Ok Merlin :-)
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: bye merln
[13:35] Dawn Rhiannyr: bye Merlin
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: hope i will be here Thursday
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: will try
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma and a lot of other books.....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:35] Beertje Beaumont: but a copy can be rewritten by another person with a lot of fantasy
[13:35] Beertje Beaumont: fantasy
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: right
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: i guess so¨
[13:35] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes Beertje
[13:35] herman Bergson: Oh yes Beertje....
[13:36] Beertje Beaumont: like the bible...
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: like the bible yes
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: or quoran
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: lots of books left out
[13:36] herman Bergson: That is why these manuscripts are subject to thorough analysis....
[13:36] herman Bergson: It is a science....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: sh
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:36] herman Bergson: Sometimes they even recognize the person who made copies
[13:36] Beertje Beaumont:
[13:37] herman Bergson: By handwriting or systematic errors, spelling mistakes and so on
[13:37] Dawn Rhiannyr: amazing that
[13:37] Gemma Cleanslate: interesting
[13:37] herman Bergson: a complete science
[13:37] Bejiita Imako:
[13:37] Gemma Cleanslate: looks forward to thursday
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: cu then
[13:37] Gemma Cleanslate: Bye, Bye   
[13:37] Gemma Cleanslate: for now :-)
[13:37] Bejiita Imako:
[13:37] herman Bergson: Ok Gemma...take care !
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:38] Dawn Rhiannyr: bye Gemma
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: bye
[13:38] Beertje Beaumont: bye Gemma
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: cu thursday then
[13:38] herman Bergson: Ok Bejiita :-))
[13:38] Bejiita Imako:
[13:38] herman Bergson: be well and enjoy
[13:39] Beertje Beaumont: well I have to go too, tomorrow will be a very busy day for me
[13:39] herman Bergson: YEs indeed :-))
[13:39] Beertje Beaumont: grins...
[13:39] Dawn Rhiannyr: Thank you again Herman... will have lots to think again
[13:40] herman Bergson: Keeps you healthy Dawn...
[13:40] Beertje Beaumont: thank you for the lecture Herman
[13:40] herman Bergson: My pleasure Beertje
[13:40] Beertje Beaumont: have a goodnight
[13:40] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes that's what I always say - thinking and laughing ;)
[13:40] herman Bergson: it is true....
[13:41] herman Bergson: best way to keep your brain in shape is intellectual activity and physical exersice..
[13:41] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes very true so
[13:41] Dawn Rhiannyr: and a positive way of living

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

543: Setting course......

Previous lecture we ran into logic and science as subject. I think it is time dig somewhat deeper now and try to shed light on the question”What IS philosophy of science?

As usual in philosophy there are number of views, depending on the perspective you choose. 

One view is that the philosophy of science is the formulation of world views that are consistent with, and in some sense based on, important scientific theories.

On this view, it is the task of the philosopher of science to elaborate the broader implications of science. 

For instance that we should not talk of ‘substance”, but of “process” or not of “thought” but of “brain-process”as ontological categories. 

A second view is that the philosophy of science is an exposition of the presuppositions and predispositions of scientists. 

The philosopher of science may point out that scientists presuppose that nature is not capricious, 

and that there exist in nature regularities of sufficiently low complexity to be accessible to the investigator. 

In addition, he may uncover the preferences of scientists for deterministic rather than statistical laws, or for mechanistic rather than teleological explanations.

A third view is that the philosophy of science is a discipline in which the concepts and theories of the sciences are analyzed and clarified.

But as Gilbert Ryle in some article has pointed out, there is something pretentious about this view of the philosophy of science,

as if the scientist needed the philosopher of science to explain to him the meanings of his scientific concepts.

A fourth view  is that philosopher of science is a second-order critic. He seeks answers to such questions as:

1. What characteristics distinguish scientific inquiry from other types of investigation?
A detective is not by definition a scientist.

2. What procedures should scientists follow in investigating nature?
Is he allowed to follow his instinct,  or should he use proper measurements.

3. What conditions must be satisfied for a scientific explanation to be correct?
One condition we saw last time: the explanation must at least be logical, that is, use valid reasoning.

4. What is the cognitive status of scientific laws and principles?
This leads to fundamental epistemological considerations.

We’ll adopt this fourth view, the philosopher observing science from a distance. There is a distinction to be made between doing science and thinking about how science ought to be done.

We live in a world of facts and the goal of science is to explain these facts, predict new facts.

By the four questions I mentioned, the philosophy of science tries to come to an analysis of the procedures and logic of scientific explanation.

In other words, how was the human brain capable of getting to understand reality that much as we do now. 

That I hope to clarify in this project. 
Thank you…. ^_^

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, John Losee (2001)

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, T. Kuhn (1962)

Gilbert Ryle, ‘Systematically Misleading Expressions’, in A. Flew, ed., Essays on Logic and Language—First Series (Oxford: Blackwell, 1951), 11–13.

The Discussion

[2014/10/02 13:19]  Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[2014/10/02 13:19]  Dawn Rhiannyr: Thank you Herman ...
[2014/10/02 13:19]  Gemma Cleanslate: makes sense to follow some criteria for sure
[2014/10/02 13:19]  argus Portal: Thank you
[2014/10/02 13:19]  Bejiita Imako:
[2014/10/02 13:19]  argus Portal: [13:18] herman Bergson: In other words, how was the human brain capable of getting to understand reality that much as we do now. 

 I think, scientists are the only ones, who can find an answer.
[2014/10/02 13:20]  Bejiita Imako: i guess so
[2014/10/02 13:20]  Gemma Cleanslate: or course there is always serendipity in science
[2014/10/02 13:20]  Bejiita Imako: indeed only humans can do things like conduct science, invent and build machines and other things
[2014/10/02 13:20]  Ciska Riverstone: my first question would be : what are proper measurements?
[2014/10/02 13:20]  Gemma Cleanslate: surprise!!!!!!
[2014/10/02 13:20]  herman Bergson: I dont know Argus....
[2014/10/02 13:20]  Bejiita Imako: question is why are we so mych more advanced then other life forms
[2014/10/02 13:20]  argus Portal: All except science is speculation / dreaming
[2014/10/02 13:21]  herman Bergson: That is not what I mean Argus....
[2014/10/02 13:21]  herman Bergson: I mean we are conscious beings....that makes us  so different from all other organisms Bejiita
[2014/10/02 13:21]  Ciska Riverstone: are we Bejiita? or do we just feel we are cause we need more then other life forms?
[2014/10/02 13:22]  Gemma Cleanslate: :-0
[2014/10/02 13:22]  herman Bergson: But we don’t understand consciousness at all....
[2014/10/02 13:22]  Dawn Rhiannyr: true that
[2014/10/02 13:22]  argus Portal: yes, thats the problem
[2014/10/02 13:22]  herman Bergson: Not a problem, Argus...just an observation...:-)
[2014/10/02 13:22]  Ciska Riverstone: (i mean- no dolphin wants an iphone ,) )
[2014/10/02 13:22]  argus Portal: For me it is a problem ;-)
[2014/10/02 13:22]  Gemma Cleanslate: nature follows natures rules ... including lower life forms
[2014/10/02 13:23]  Gemma Cleanslate: Do we ??
[2014/10/02 13:23]  Gemma Cleanslate: I think not
[2014/10/02 13:23]  herman Bergson: No Gemma....
[2014/10/02 13:23]  Gemma Cleanslate: right
[2014/10/02 13:23]  herman Bergson: Because we are the only organisme that can say...
[2014/10/02 13:23]  herman Bergson: that nature’s rule...well..f*** y** is not mine :-))
2014/10/02 13:23]  herman Bergson: no cat can say that :-))
[2014/10/02 13:23]  Ciska Riverstone: well thinking and being curious and creative is part of our nature too
[2014/10/02 13:23]  Gemma Cleanslate: right
[2014/10/02 13:23]  Gemma Cleanslate: and not lower forms
[2014/10/02 13:24]  Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[2014/10/02 13:24]  Bejiita Imako: sort of
[2014/10/02 13:24]  argus Portal: But WHY are we curious ? I think, the answer of that question is very importnat
[2014/10/02 13:24]  Ciska Riverstone: thats in our nature arugs ;)
[2014/10/02 13:24]  Gemma Cleanslate: thank goodness
[2014/10/02 13:24]  Bejiita Imako: ctas can only meow
[2014/10/02 13:24]  argus Portal: Yes, Ciska: but WHY ?
[2014/10/02 13:24]  argus Portal: For me it has to do with consciousness
[2014/10/02 13:24]  herman Bergson: Indeed Gemma because then you had a real problem in the house :-))
[2014/10/02 13:25]  Gemma Cleanslate: I think humans must be curious to progress
[2014/10/02 13:25]  herman Bergson: Why are we curious???
[2014/10/02 13:25]  Gemma Cleanslate: from the first cave man
[2014/10/02 13:25]  argus Portal: Progress for what ?
[2014/10/02 13:25]  Bejiita Imako: why can only we have alanguage and not other life forms, would be much easier to communicate with for ex a dog, a dog barks same way almost no matter if its happy or sad
[2014/10/02 13:25]  Bejiita Imako: or angry
[2014/10/02 13:25]  herman Bergson: Simple...because we want to survive...
[2014/10/02 13:25]  Bejiita Imako: still same sound
[2014/10/02 13:25]  Dawn Rhiannyr: our only way to survive
[2014/10/02 13:25]  Dawn Rhiannyr: yes
[2014/10/02 13:25]  Gemma Cleanslate: better ways to get food... clothing... simple and complex stuff
[2014/10/02 13:25]  Gemma Cleanslate: make life better
[2014/10/02 13:26]  herman Bergson: Bejiita....
[2014/10/02 13:26]  argus Portal: Is it nothing more than that ? here exists the idea, that we with all our ideas and troubles, are nothing more than vehicles for the DNA
[2014/10/02 13:26]  argus Portal: *There
[2014/10/02 13:27]  herman Bergson: Why other organisms are like us....there is no explanation....noting in evolution explains the emergence of self awareness, self consciousness
[2014/10/02 13:27]  Gemma Cleanslate: exploring space for other places to live just in case
[2014/10/02 13:27]  argus Portal: Why can something are that interested to spread into the universe. For what ?
[2014/10/02 13:27]  argus Portal: This questions touches the core of all questions, i think
[2014/10/02 13:28]  herman Bergson: The idea that something has a purpose...must have a purpose is a product of our brain only...
[2014/10/02 13:28]  argus Portal: yes
[2014/10/02 13:28]  Bejiita Imako: ah
[2014/10/02 13:28]  argus Portal: thats it
[2014/10/02 13:28]  herman Bergson: The only thing we really can say about this planet and us is that we are....
[2014/10/02 13:29]  Bejiita Imako: i guess so
[2014/10/02 13:29]  herman Bergson: Ind I would suggest..let's make the best of it ^_^
[2014/10/02 13:29]  Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[2014/10/02 13:29]  argus Portal: what is the best ? What means to be happy ?
[2014/10/02 13:29]  Dawn Rhiannyr: oh yes :)
[2014/10/02 13:29]  Gemma Cleanslate: not easy these days
[2014/10/02 13:29]  Bejiita Imako: to feel good i guess
[2014/10/02 13:30]  Gemma Cleanslate: media is surrounding us by fear
[2014/10/02 13:30]  herman Bergson: ok...what is the best...:-))
[2014/10/02 13:30]  argus Portal: Bejiita: Thats just another word ;-)
[2014/10/02 13:30]  herman Bergson: What do you think, Phaeton?
[2014/10/02 13:30]  Dawn Rhiannyr: what makes you feel good I guess
[2014/10/02 13:30]  herman Bergson: this isn’t about our subject anymore :-)
[2014/10/02 13:31]  Bejiita Imako: when im happy im at my want to be normal state where all is as i want it to be
[2014/10/02 13:31]  Bejiita Imako: and it just flows on
[2014/10/02 13:31]  herman Bergson: We intend to focus on the questioin what is philsophy of science :-))
[2014/10/02 13:31]  argus Portal: I think, happyness has much to do with "flow"
[2014/10/02 13:31]  Bejiita Imako: you could say that
[2014/10/02 13:32]  Bejiita Imako: thats one way
[2014/10/02 13:32]  herman Bergson: There is no science of happiness, Argus :-)
[2014/10/02 13:32]  herman Bergson: So it is outside oure scope atm :-))
[2014/10/02 13:32]  Gemma Cleanslate: /me GIGGLES!!
[2014/10/02 13:32]  Gemma Cleanslate: ...LOL...
[2014/10/02 13:32]  Gemma Cleanslate: drifting off course
[2014/10/02 13:32]  argus Portal: could be :-)
[2014/10/02 13:32]  Bejiita Imako: hehe
[2014/10/02 13:32]  Gemma Cleanslate: back to the 4 questions
[2014/10/02 13:33]  herman Bergson: Yes, GEmma ..guess we are so far from home that we better can go home all :-))
[2014/10/02 13:33]  herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation again...:-))
[2014/10/02 13:33]  Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[2014/10/02 13:33]  Gemma Cleanslate: the philosopher observes science from a distance
[2014/10/02 13:33]  Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Bejiita Imako: Hooo!!!
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Bejiita Imako: Hoooo!
[2014/10/02 13:34]  argus Portal: Thank you
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Bejiita Imako: whispers: nice Herman!
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Dawn Rhiannyr: thank you Herman :))
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Bejiita Imako:
[2014/10/02 13:34]  herman Bergson: Class dismissed..:-))
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Gemma Cleanslate: see you Tuesday hopefully
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Bejiita Imako: aaa cu
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Bejiita Imako: bye all
[2014/10/02 13:34]  argus Portal: goodnight all
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Gemma Cleanslate: Bye, Bye   
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Gemma Cleanslate: for now
[2014/10/02 13:34]  Dawn Rhiannyr: good night everyone :)
[2014/10/02 13:35]  Ciska Riverstone: good night dawn
[2014/10/02 13:35]  Ciska Riverstone: sleep well
[2014/10/02 13:37]  herman Bergson: and Ciska, what do you think..?
[2014/10/02 13:38]  Ciska Riverstone: i must reread again - i had some wild iming inbetween and lost parts of the discussion - you are at a fundamental point .with this - yes...
[2014/10/02 13:39]  herman Bergson: Well...wild IMing lady...:-))
[2014/10/02 13:39]  herman Bergson: I hope you stil can handle all :-)
[2014/10/02 13:40]  herman Bergson: See you next time again...

[2014/10/02 13:40]  herman Bergson: Bye all