Is there anything you know that was not arrived at scientifically?

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Aedes
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 08:02 am
@Theaetetus,
I think I made this point earlier in the thread, but it's been a while. Virtually everything we know is known empirically. You know your name because you heard your parents calling you by it and eventually identified with it, for example.

Scientific knowledge differs only in that the empirical process is open and controlled -- so that the "empirical experience" is available to everyone. That's what makes it credible beyond being an anecdote.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 08:06 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
But the term, "discovering something scientifically" is very vague.


... yep - not everyone has the same concept of "science" ... for example, in Karl Popper's philosophy, science cannot identify "truth" - science is a series of conjectures and refutations that can only lead us in that general direction ... and if at some point we were to propose a conjecture that was the "truth", science could not indicate it as such - we'd just continue chugging along looking for a refutation to our latest conjecture.

And so in a Popperian sense, the question "Is there anything you know that was not arrived at scientifically?" seems to be overshadowed by the question "Is there anything you know that was arrived at scientifically?" Wink
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 08:24 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Scientific knowledge differs only in that the empirical process is open and controlled -- so that the "empirical experience" is available to everyone.


... which illuminates the type of knowledge that science deals with ... science does not deal with "skills knowledge" (I know how to read the Sunday paper); nor does science deal with "propositional knowledge" (My Sunday paper has a Sports section) ... what science deals with is first-order conjectures (Every Sunday paper has a Sports section), as it's the only "empirical experience" that is available to everyone ...
 
Aedes
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 10:01 am
@paulhanke,
paulhanke wrote:
science does not deal with "skills knowledge" (I know how to read the Sunday paper)
It certainly can deal with this kind of knowledge. All you need to do is pick study questions (like reading on the couch or at the table, before or after drinking coffee, etc), stratify based on things like primary language and level of education, and then pick an outcome measure -- like reading comprehension, or various measures of relaxation (subjectively stated or objectively measured). And thus you can write a scientific paper about how people read the Sunday paper and how it affects their acquisition of knowledge from it and how it affects them as a relaxing pastime.

Quote:
nor does science deal with "propositional knowledge" (My Sunday paper has a Sports section)
How do you distinguish something propositional from the root of all science, i.e. the hypothesis?
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 10:17 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
... And thus you can write a scientific paper about how people read the Sunday paper and how it affects their acquisition of knowledge from it and how it affects them as a relaxing pastime.


... and at that point, it's no longer knowledge about my personal ability to read the paper, but a first-order conjecture about how all people read the paper Wink ...

Aedes wrote:
How do you distinguish something propositional from the root of all science, i.e. the hypothesis?


... for the purposes of this conversation, I'm borrowing the distinction from logic: propositional logic has no universal/existential quantifiers; first-order logic does ... scientific conjectures (i.e., conjectures that can be independently tested by anyone) are (always? typically?) of the universal/existential quantifier kind ...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 10:19 am
@paulhanke,
paulhanke wrote:
... nor does science deal with "propositional knowledge" (My Sunday paper has a Sports section) ... .


That water is H20 is propositional knowledge.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 10:42 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
That water is H20 is propositional knowledge.


... or is it? ... isn't "water" in the context of molecular composition really plural for "water molecule" ... so the statement "water is H2O" is actually shorthand for "all water molecules are H2O", which is first-order (a propositional form would be "this water molecule is H2O") ... but either way, your point still stands - propositional knowledge that is logically derived from first-order scientific conjectures (e.g., "all water molecules are H2O therefore this water molecule is H2O") was arrived at scientifically :a-ok:
 
Aedes
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 12:30 pm
@paulhanke,
paulhanke wrote:
... and at that point, it's no longer knowledge about my personal ability to read the paper, but a first-order conjecture about how all people read the paper Wink ...
Well, that's not entirely true either. Remember that my background is in medicine. How do I know that you individually have pneumonia? Because pneumonia has been scientifically studied in thousands of people, and I know from my clinical assessment of you that you fit that diagnosis. (And I can go further with well-studied things like the Pneumonia Severity Index and the APACHE score).

So my assessment of you is based on an individual application of more generally aggregated scientific knowledge. One can never claim that that general knowledge is 100% perfectly universalizable -- but then again I'm not sure that point really matters outside of pure philosophical discussions anyway.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 12:53 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Well, that's not entirely true either.


... agreed (see previous response to kennethamy).

Aedes wrote:
-- but then again I'm not sure that point really matters outside of pure philosophical discussions anyway.


... that's why we're here, isn't it? Wink
 
Aedes
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 01:04 pm
@paulhanke,
paulhanke wrote:
... that's why we're here, isn't it? Wink
Heh, maybe -- but what does any of it matter then? :sarcastic:
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 01:24 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Heh, maybe -- but what does any of it matter then? :sarcastic:


... sometimes you do things simply because they make life worth living :bigsmile: ...
 
BrightNoon
 
Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 12:23 am
@Aedes,
re original question question:

Yes, that there is nothing to know.
 
iconoclast
 
Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 02:26 am
@Theaetetus,
the price of eggs.

iconoclast.
 
 

 
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