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Majdi Rababa_The Historical Development of Scientific Knowledge

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It is a brief summary about the Historical Development of Scientific Knowledge …

It is a brief summary about the Historical Development of Scientific Knowledge

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  • 1. Prepared By: Majdi Rababa BSN, MSN. PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF NURSING SCIENCE 10/30/2013
  • 2. Throughout this course, we have been trying to know whether scientific knowledge provides us with true presentation of the world (the realist position), or only with presentations that are useful for various purposes (the anti-realist position). That’s why we have read many controversy articles and chapters to so solve this question 
  • 3. The history can help us finding out the answer for this question:  If history shows a marked stability in the claim of science realism.  If history tells us a marked instability Anti-realism. Scientific
  • 4. Four models were proposed to explain the scientific development: 1. The Cumulative Model of Scientific Development (Carl Hempel) 2. The Evolutionary Model of Scientific Development (Karl Popper) 3. The Revolutionary Model of Scientific Development (Thomas Kuhn) 4. The Gradualist Model of Scientific Development (Larry Laudan)
  • 5. 1. The Cumulative Model of Scientific Development Carl Hempel (1905-1997) Scientific development is a process like the addition of bricks to a building. Scientists who work with the same methods, aims, and problems as their modern counterparts, and observing the same world are adding another fact, concept, law or theory to the modern body of technical knowledge. The new knowledge at each stage is not only an addition to, but also a unifier of what went before. The new knowledge systemizes the knowledge already accumulated and also moves beyond it.
  • 6. The Cumulative Model of Scientific Development (Hempel )  The main goals of scientific research: predict (and, whenever possible, control), and explain the events that occur in the world.  Explanandum: that which is to be explained, & Explanans: that which explains.  “By the explanandum, we understand the sentence describing the phenomenon to be explained (not that phenomenon itself); by the explanans, the class of those sentences which are adduced to account for the phenomenon.” Hempel and Oppenheim (1948). STUDIES IN THE LOGIC OF EXPLANATION (p. 152)
  • 7. Hempel C. Explain = show how to derive by logical argument Validity = is the special logical relation between premises (= explanans), and conclusion (= explanandum) Deductive arguments: if the premises are true, the arguments logically guarantee the truth of the conclusion. Inductive arguments: if the premises are true, the conclusion is very probably true.
  • 8. Unity of Science as a Working Hypothesis Paul Oppenheim & Hilary Putnam According to Oppenheim and Putnam, an historical analysis of scientific progress would lend itself to one ultimate conclusion: that through a cumulative and progressive development of a true understanding of science, a systematic unification of all the various scientific disciplines would be realized. They argue that one day, all of science will reduce to ONE fundamental entity that will justify and explain the origin of our universe. Moreover, they believe that one day, we will be able to reduce the study of science to ONE entity capable of being described by ONE scientific language “unitary science”.
  • 9. Hilary Putnam: (born July 31, 1926) is an American philosopher, mathematician and computer scientist who has been a central figure in analytic philosophy since the 1960s, especially in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of science. Paul Oppenheim: (b. June 17, 1885 in Frankfurt am Main, d. June 22, 1977 ) was a German chemist, philosopher, independent scholar and industrialist.
  • 10. 2. The Evolutionary Model of Scientific Development Karl Popper “I have always been extremely interested in the theory of evolution and very ready to accept evolution as a fact”. (Popper, 1976) p. 167 “I see in modern Darwinism the most successful explanation of the relevant facts”. (Popper, 1957) p. 106
  • 11. 1 2 • Dominant scientific theories of a field (an inherited structure) used by human beings to adapt to their environment. • Get exposed to an environment of experimental tests. 3 • In response to negative results (challenges from the environment), new tentative theories are produced. 4 • Results from the new tentative theories conflict with those of the original theories (incompatible with the original theories). 5 • A natural selection from the new tentative theories (allowing the more welladapted theories to survive and be transmitted in turn).
  • 12. The Evolutionary Model of Scientific Development (Popper ) Science is a means used by human beings to adapt to their environment. According to this model, the new theories in a field are replacements of, rather than additions to, older theories in the field (not cumulative?!).  The new theories typically preserve the success of their predecessors while adding to them, allowing a closer adaptation to nature (cumulative?!).
  • 13. 3. The Revolutionary Model of Scientific Development Thomas Kuhn
  • 14. The Revolutionary Model of Scientific Development (Kuhn)
  • 15. The Revolutionary Model of Scientific Development (Kuhn)  When theories change, the world of scientists, their methods, and their goals, and thus, the successes these allow, change as well.  The succession of scientific revolution involves radical shifts of theory and associated facts, methods, and goals with no progress toward one complete set of truths about the world, and no progress toward ever more successful accounts of the world (disagrees with the evolutionary model and the cumulative model).
  • 16. 4. The Gradualist Model of Scientific Development Larry Laudan Was born in 1941. Education:  Ph.D. in philosophy, Princeton University.  MA in philosophy, Princeton University.  B.A. in physics, University of Kansas. He works now as a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • 17. The Gradualist Model of Scientific Development (Laudan) Scientific theories, methods, and goals have tended to function as independent elements in the history of science. New theories has given scientists new worlds to investigate. However, these theories have not always given scientists new methods of investigating these new worlds, or new goals to pursue when investigating them.
  • 18. The Gradualist Model of Scientific Development (Laudan) Occasionally one or two of these elements have changed at the same time; but rarely have all three changed at once.
  • 19. The Gradualist Model of Scientific Development (Laudan) This model allows no progress toward one complete set of truths about the world (like the revolutionary model and unlike the cumulative model). This model also allows no progress toward ever more successful accounts of the world (like the revolutionary model and unlike the evolutionary model). On the other hand, this model allows the sort of progress that occurs when a change of one component of a scientific field occurs (unlike the revolutionary model).
  • 20. Summary The cumulative model: a scientific field progresses when it gains new empirical laws to explain its facts, or new theories to explain its empirical laws or other theories, and the typical historical development of a scientific field is a succession of such additions.
  • 21. Summary The evolutionary model: a scientific field progresses when it replaces current theories with new, more successful theories, and the typical historical development of a scientific field is a succession of such replacement.
  • 22. Summary The revolutionary model: a scientific field progresses when it replaces current theories and associated facts, methods, and goals with new theories and associated facts, methods, and goals, and the typical historical development of a scientific field is a succession of such radical replacement.
  • 23. Summary The gradualist model: a scientific field progresses when it justifiably replaces current theories or methods or goals with new theories or methods or goals, and the typical historical development of a scientific field is a succession of such limited replacement.
  • 24. By the way, would you like to see an example of Validation? If yes, you should see this video!
  • 25. References  Kourany, J.A. (Ed.) (1998). Scientific knowledge: Basic issues in the philosophy of science (2nd Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.  Popper, K. R. 1957. The Poverty of Historicism. Boston: The Beacon Press.  Popper, K. R. 1976. Unended Quest. An Intellectual Autobiography. LaSalle, IL: Open Court  Hempel and Oppenheim (1948). Studies In The Logic of Explanation (p. 152)