Discuss the Key Arguments That Have Been Made Against Logical Empiricism”

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What is Science?
There is much controversy over what really is science and what does it consists of. The literature on this area is enormous and philosophy of science is a whole academic discipline in itself, which tries to answer the above question. It also addresses the question of how knowledge is acquired and which methods of research are ‘’scientific’’. How can we distinguish between legitimate science and astrology? Much relevant question is in what sense is psychoanalysis a science, or psychology in general?

In recent times science is widely regarded as that there is something special about it and its methods. But what is so special about science and what is the basis of this authority? It is simply not possible to give a neat definition, which will separate all the things that have ever been called ‘science’. Science is a phenomenon that has developed through the ages. Science’s most distinguishing feature is that it is an empirical enterprise about the real world of sensation. Science attempts to understand this empirical world. Bodies of science known as ‘theories’ or ‘paradigms’ or ‘set of models’, are collections of laws. In Newtonian physics we find Newton’s three laws of physics, Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, and so forth. A major part of science involves the use of law to effect explanation. The other side of explanation is prediction. Closely connected comes the notion of testability. Furthermore, a genuine scientific theory leaves itself open to check against the real world. Testability is a two way process. The researcher looks for positive evidence, and for confirmation. Also a body of science must be falsifiable. A scientist must be prepared to reject his theory. Some other features of science are the urge for simplicity and unification. Finally, a scientist should not cheat or falsify data.

In this essay an early offered account from philosophers of science of what is science and where scientific knowledge



References: Chalmers, A. F. (1982) W hat is this thing called science: an assessment of the nature and status of science and its methods. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Kuhn, T. S. (1970) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (2nd edn). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Lakatos, I. (1970) Falsification and the methodology of scientific research programmes. In I. Lakatos & A. Musgrave (Eds), Criticism and the growth of knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lakatos, I. & Musgrave, A. (Eds) (1970) Criticism and the growth of knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lambie, J. (1991) The misuse of Kuhn in Psychology. The psychologist, 4, 6-11. Popper, K. R. (1970) The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Hutchinson. Popper, K. R. (1963) Conjecture and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Wittgenstein, L. (1921/1961) Tractatus logico-philosophicus. London:Routledge.

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