P160 Kuhn and his Critics
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P160 Kuhn and his Critics

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P160 Kuhn and his Critics P160 Kuhn and his Critics Presentation Transcript

  • PHIL 160 "Kuhn and his Critics: Theory-laden Observations and the Question of Progress"
  • PHIL 160 LEARNING OBJECTIVES: PHIL 160
    • How are observations theory-laden?
    • What kind of progress can science make?
    • Responses to Kuhn’s account from Lakatos, Laudan, and Feyerabend.
  • PHIL 160 NORMAL SCIENCE Shared PARADIGM Puzzle-solving Solved puzzles CRISIS ANOMALIES Resistant Puzzles
  • Paradigm Comparison Shopping PHIL 160 Relative importance of :
    • Unsolved puzzles?
    • Solved puzzles?
    • Fit with data?
    • Puzzle-solving power?
    Answers depend on which paradigm you’re in!
  • PHIL 160 Choice between paradigms subjective, not objective!
  • PHIL 160 Choose paradigm which best fits data Paradigm determines what the data are! Paradigm Comparison Shopping
  • Theory influences what you see! PHIL 160 Theory influences what you look for Observation is Theory-laden
  • PHIL 160 Don’t notice problem with card! Observation is Theory-laden Don’t expect black eight of hearts Theory of deck: ranks: 2-10, J, Q, K, A black suits: clubs, spades red suits: hearts, diamonds
  • PHIL 160 Inverting goggles experiment:
  • PHIL 160 What you’re looking at:
  • PHIL 160 What you see (wearing the goggles):
  • PHIL 160 But, after wearing the goggles long enough…
  • PHIL 160 … see the world right-side up again!
  • PHIL 160 Then, upon removing the goggles …
  • PHIL 160 Things look upside down again!
  • WORLD + SENSE ORGANS EXPERIENCE PHIL 160 Challenges our straightforward assumptions about observation:
  • SAME EXPERIENCE SAME STUFF IN WORLD + SAME SENSE ORGANS PHIL 160 Would be nice if we could be sure that
  • DIFFERENT STUFF IN WORLD PHIL 160 DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE + SAME SENSE ORGANS Would be nice if we could be sure that
  • WORLD-EXPERIENCE MATCH? Different sensory input from world, SAME EXPERIENCE . • Subject without goggles: tree right side up • Subject adjusted to goggles: tree right side up PHIL 160 Inverting goggles experiment makes us question one-to-one
  • PHIL 160 Same sensory input from world, DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE . WORLD-EXPERIENCE MATCH? • Subject without goggles: tree right side up • Subject adjusted to goggles who removes goggles: tree upside down Inverting goggles experiment makes us question one-to-one
  • PHIL 160 PHIL 160
  • PHIL 160 PHIL 160 Theory influences what I experience! Theory influences how I interpret what I experience Observation is Theory-laden
  • PHIL 160 WORLD + SENSE ORGANS + PARADIGM EXPERIENCE
  • PHIL 160 In Normal Science: more and more solved puzzles. Progress
  • PHIL 160
    • Truth?
    • Better predictions?
    • Better explanations?
    Science progresses toward what?
  • PHIL 160 Relative importance of:
    • Unsolved puzzles?
    • Solved puzzles?
    • Fit with data?
    • Puzzle-solving power?
    Answers depend on which paradigm you’re in! Paradigm Comparison Shopping
  • PHIL 160 No paradigm-free way to get an objective comparison! Paradigm Comparison Shopping
  • PHIL 160
    • Value:
      • Predictive accuracy
      • Consistency with other theories
      • Ability to unify phenomena
      • New ideas, discoveries
    Constant features of science
  • PHIL 160 Across paradigms: no guarantee of getting closer to truth! Progress
  • PHIL 160 Progress Across paradigms: more puzzle-solving power?
  • PHIL 160 Doesn’t fit with the rest of Kuhn’s theory! Progress Across paradigms: more puzzle-solving power?
  • PHIL 160 Kuhn is right. So much for progress. Reaction:
  • PHIL 160 Kuhn is wrong. How does science make progress? How to counter claim that observations are theory-laden? Reaction:
  • PHIL 160 Scientists DON'T question paradigm Puzzle-solving NORMAL SCIENCE Shared PARADIGM
  • PHIL 160 REVOLUTION reject OLD PARADIGM Choice between paradigms SUBJECTIVE! adopt NEW PARADIGM
  • PHIL 160 Worries with Kuhn: Isn't science objective? Something wrong with Kuhn's account! Doesn't science make progress?
  • PHIL 160 Observation is Theory-laden Theory influences what I experience How could I use observations to test a theory?
  • PHIL 160 Lakatos Issue with Kuhn’s view: Makes scientific theory change rest on “mob psychology.” Scientific choices really come from rational competition!
  • PHIL 160 Lakatos Research program: Hard core (hypotheses that aren’t changed). Protective belt (auxiliary hypotheses, may be changed).
  • PHIL 160 Lakatos Rules for change within a research program: • No changes to hard core. • Changes to protective belt must be progressive (i.e., predict novel facts).
  • PHIL 160 Hard core (3 laws of motion, law of universal gravitation). Newtonian research program Protective belt (how many bodies, positions, masses, etc.).
  • PHIL 160 Don’t change hard core. Make progressive change to protective belt. Bad prediction of orbit of Uranus. Newtonian research program Progressive changes = predict novel facts (NOT just correcting a bad prediction)
  • PHIL 160 Hard core (as is). Protective belt (add a planet past Uranus). Newtonian research program
  • PHIL 160 • Now predicts orbit of Uranus accurately. • Predicts novel fact: existence of Neptune (confirmed by observation with telescope). Is this a good modification of the research program? Newtonian research program
  • PHIL 160 Lakatos Possible rule for choice between research programs: Always prefer progressive research programs to degenerating ones. But, Lakatos doesn’t impose this rule!
  • PHIL 160 • Don’t change hard core. • Change to protective belt: predict new planet (Vulcan). Bad prediction of orbit of Mercury. Newtonian research program
  • PHIL 160 Protective belt (add a planet between Sun and Mercury). Newtonian research program Hard core (as is).
  • PHIL 160 Newtonian research program • Now predicts orbit of Mercury accurately. Is this a good modification of the research program?
  • PHIL 160 • But, no novel facts (hypothesized planet Vulcan never observed). Newtonian research program • Now predicts orbit of Mercury accurately. Is this a good modification of the research program?
  • PHIL 160 Lakatos Possible rule for choice between research programs: Always prefer progressive research programs to degenerating ones. OK to keep degenerating research programs around awhile. Maybe they’ll become progressive later …
  • PHIL 160 Lakatos • Rational rules for modifying a research program. • No rational rules for choosing between research programs. So, doesn’t really make science more rational than Kuhn’s paradigm shifts!
  • PHIL 160 • Thinks Kuhn makes science look irrational. • “ Research traditions” (similar to research programs). Similar to Lakatos Laudan
  • PHIL 160 Research traditions: Hard core (occasionally modified) Protective belt (frequently modified) Laudan
  • PHIL 160 Acceptance - treat theory as true. Pursuit - explore consequences of theory (even if it seems unlikely to be true) Can accept one theory and pursue another! Laudan
  • PHIL 160 Laudan Accept theory with most puzzle-solving power to date. Pursue theory with best current rate of puzzle-solving. Rule for choice between research traditions:
  • PHIL 160 Makes sense of how we might accept a well-tested theory of bridge-building …
  • PHIL 160 … but also pursue a new, untested theory of bridge-building, to find out what we can do with it.
  • PHIL 160 Laudan Kuhn makes all normal science depend on believing the paradigm. Scientists can research theories without believing they are true!
  • PHIL 160 Normal science makes scientists look narrow-minded and dogmatic. Scientific work is creative ! Feyerabend Issue with Kuhn’s view:
  • PHIL 160 Anything goes! Science is an aspect of human creativity. Good scientists always think outside the box. Feyerabend
  • PHIL 160 Galileo’s thought experiment What do we expect if the Earth is stationary vs. orbiting the Sun?
  • PHIL 160 If Earth orbits Sun, expect cannonball to land far from base of tower.
  • PHIL 160 If Earth is stationary, expect cannonball to land at base of tower.
  • Galileo says: If Earth is orbiting the Sun, the cannonball also has a component of circular motion sweeping it along with the Earth. So, the cannonball would still land at the base of the tower, and the experiment cannot distinguish between a moving Earth and a stationary Earth!
  • PHIL 160 Rule: Theory should be responsive to observations and fit with common sense. Feyerabend Anything goes! Galileo’s achievement: abandoning this rule!
  • PHIL 160
    • Principle of tenacity:
      • Keep theory around so it can be fully developed.
    Feyerabend
    • Principle of proliferation:
      • Develop multiple theories in any given field.
    PHIL 160 Feyerabend
  • PHIL 160 • No selection mechanism or way to remove bad theories. • Lots of labor to fully develop so many theories. • Which theory gets used to solve practical problems? Feyerabend Feyerabend has no advice here!
  • PHIL 160 Science may be creative, but it’s not Art! Scientific theories need to fit with reality! Feyerabend
  • PHIL 160 Reaction: Lakatos and Laudan : Kuhn left out the rational rules; including rational rules ensures progress. Kuhn is right. So much for progress.
  • PHIL 160 Feyerabend : Rational rules are for sissies (and so is “normal science”). Reaction: Kuhn is right. So much for progress.
  • PHIL 160 Kuhn is wrong. How does science make progress? Reaction: (What’s a better description of science?)
  • PHIL 160 Point of philosophy of science? • Describe how science actually works and what it actually achieves? • Describe what science ought to do to be objective and make progress?