Posts tagged with empiricism

[In] Against Method … [Paul] Feyerabend divides his argument into an abstract critique followed by a number of historical case studies.

The abstract critique is a reductio ad absurdum of … the belief that a single methodology can produce scientific progress. Feyerabend … identifies four features of methodological monism: the principle of falsification, a demand for increased empirical content, the forbidding of ad hoc hypotheses and the consistency condition.

He then demonstrates that these features [together would] imply that science could not progress….


(Source: Wikipedia)

[T]he implication of authority in science is rather odd given that the fifteenth-century revival of science in western Europe was a reaction against argument from authority.

…Precisely what “science” denotes is … unclear, but the present mental associations of objectivity and progress ensure that … using this prestigious epithet confers an air of authority; … would anyone attend the London School of Economics and Political Alchemy?

Highlights from the episode on Sir Francis Bacon

  • "Male" scientists probe and ravage "female" nature.
  • Christian radicals funded science because of Daniel 12:9. They believed it was Last Days.
  • The New World symbolizes leaving the comfort of the Mediterranean. Aristotelian science = comfort; empirical science = new.
  • Society must “return” from squalid 17th century London to our right and natural state of ease and comfort. In the imagined past food was abundant, disease nonexistent, people happy and well-clothed — and knowledge as in Eden.
  • Science as the path of technological advancement back to Paradise — what Bacon meant by “Knowledge Is Power”

This programme aired on 2 April 2009.

History. The news that’s never too old to be relevant.

(Source: BBC)