Current epistemological theory


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Current epistemological theory

  1. 1. Current Epistemological Theories Science/pseudo science
  2. 2. Content <ul><li>Common features of Current epistemological theories. </li></ul><ul><li>1 Evolutionary Epistemology </li></ul><ul><li>2 Kuhn’s Paradigm Model </li></ul><ul><li>3 Lakatos’s MSRP </li></ul><ul><li>4 The Strong Program in the Sociology of Science </li></ul>
  3. 3. Main Criticism on Positivism & vienna circle philosophers <ul><li>Mind is not a blank sheet; rather there are innate ideas, for example in language formation and behavior patterns, These Biological Variation are another problem while applying empirical methods in social Science inquiry. </li></ul><ul><li>Subject matters are different. (Benton & Craib 2001). </li></ul><ul><li>Criticism on Vienna circle philosophers FOR TAKING PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE </li></ul><ul><li>META SCIENCE VERSES EMPIRICAL SCIENCE </li></ul>
  4. 4. Common Features of Epistemic Theory <ul><li>Generic account of Methodology. </li></ul><ul><li>Tentative rather than final </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretical hypothesis /Empirical data </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific progress in terms of better explanatory hypothesis ,better techniques for empirical data collection. </li></ul><ul><li>Explicate relation between pure Science and its practical application. </li></ul><ul><li>Could distinguish between Scientific proposition and other belief systems. </li></ul>
  5. 6. 1 Evolutionary Epistomology <ul><li>An evolutionary epistemologist claims that the development of human knowledge proceeds through some natural selection process, </li></ul><ul><li>Three components of the Model </li></ul>Variation , Selection and Retention . (Gordon 1991).
  6. 7. 1 .1 .1Herbert Spencer(1820 1903) <ul><li>English Philosopher, Biologist and Sociologist </li></ul><ul><li>Defined evolutionary epistemology a cosmic phenomena rather than just as a biological one. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>1.1.2 Gergen simmel (1895) </li></ul><ul><li>concluded that </li></ul><ul><li>Organisms use ‘concepts’ in dealing with the problems they confront and ‘a true concept for an animal is that which makes it behave in a way most fitting its circumstances’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Psychogenic concepts </li></ul><ul><li>The survival of the fittest organisms means also the survival of the most ‘life promoting' concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Knowing is not first true and then useful, rather it is first useful and then referred to as true’. </li></ul>
  8. 9. 1.1.3 Stephen E.Toulmin <ul><li>He was against reduction of Philosophy of Science in to Biology. How ever Darwinian Theory gives an explanation of the phenomena of “human understanding”. </li></ul>
  9. 10. 1.1.4 Karl Popper (1902 1994). Theory of development of knowledge <ul><li>Human knowledge as growing through cultural evolution rather than organic evolution. </li></ul><ul><li>The entities that compete in civilized societies are not people but theories . (nature act as judge). </li></ul>
  10. 11. continued <ul><li>Popper tried to solve problem of theory choice by establishing criteria that would compare competing in theories in terms of their truth value. </li></ul><ul><li>Falsificationism </li></ul><ul><li>Context of discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Context of Justification </li></ul><ul><li>(All Swans are white). </li></ul>
  11. 13. Cultural Evolution <ul><li>Modern Era </li></ul><ul><li>Ancient culture </li></ul>
  12. 16. 1.2 .1 Criticism on Evolutionary Epistomolgy <ul><li>Adaptation is not a certificate of merit . </li></ul><ul><li>It is not a question of the popularity of a belief , or its </li></ul><ul><li>acceptability to established authorities;( it is the warrant one has for holding it that distinguishes science from non-science).e;g Astrology. </li></ul><ul><li>They have a naive faith in competition, assuming that, whatever the conditions, the surviving beliefs are better than the failing ones. </li></ul>
  13. 17. 1.2.2 Merits of Evolutionary Epistemology <ul><li>It gives view of the fact that science is a social enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Easy availability to the non scientific experts. </li></ul>
  14. 18. <ul><li>The social organization of scientific research 2.1 Thomas Kuhn (1922 1996) Theory of Scientific Development </li></ul><ul><li>2.1.1Paradigm & Paradigm Shift </li></ul><ul><li>Normal Science- - Convergent thinking—Stable Period of a Paradigm. (Puzzle Solving) </li></ul><ul><li>Revolutionary Science— Divergent thinking—Extra ordinary or revolutionary period of a Paradigm. </li></ul>
  15. 19. Conti <ul><li>Paradigm Shift is Moving from a regressive research Program to Progressive one. </li></ul><ul><li>Theories based on different paradigm are ‘Incommensurable”. </li></ul><ul><li>(Gordon 1991:Craib 2001) </li></ul>Revolution leading to Paradigm Shift Crisis Un resolved anomalies
  16. 20. Example(Paradigm and paradigm shift) <ul><li>Existing beliefs(Before Newton)--- </li></ul>Newtanian Mechanics (After 200 yrs) Einstein theory of Relativity
  17. 21. Copernican Revolution <ul><li>Nicolai Copernicus , </li></ul><ul><li>proposed(2000yrs)after Aristotle that the sun not the earth was center of Solar System. </li></ul>
  18. 22. Gestalt Patterns
  19. 23. 2.1.2 Criticism on Kuhn’s Paradigm Model <ul><li>Relativism (The influence of peer group scientists). </li></ul><ul><li>Incommensurability Could hold no longer paradigmatic position. </li></ul><ul><li>Irrationalism Paradigm shift Progress/Regression . (Bishop, 2007) </li></ul>
  20. 24. 2.1.3 Merits of Khun’s Paradigm Model <ul><li>History of Science Philosophy of Science and sociology of science into a comprehensive theory of scientific development.(Law of History). </li></ul><ul><li>(Gordon 1991). </li></ul>
  21. 25. 3 Lakatos’s methodology of scientific research programmes(MSRP). <ul><li>3.1 .1 Lakatos defends Popper </li></ul><ul><li>that a theoretical hypothesis is immediately shown to be false if there is any evidence that is inconsistent with it. </li></ul><ul><li>that specific scientific hypotheses are part of a </li></ul><ul><li>general complex or ‘series’ of theories which together constitute a coherent ‘research programme </li></ul><ul><li>that such a programme is not abandoned when specific empirical anomalies are disclosed unless another, superior, programme is available . </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 3.1.2 Sophisticated falsification </li></ul><ul><li>which focuses on the comparative evaluation of whole research programmes. </li></ul>
  22. 26. 3.2 Lakatos’s MSRP Methodology of Scientific Research Programme(1970) <ul><li>Hard Core –Immune from empirical test. because of Protective belt. </li></ul><ul><li>Out side--lie theoretical hypotheses that can be tested, and abandoned </li></ul>
  23. 27. conti <ul><li>A new programme will be adopted when it is shown that it can explain everything that the previous programme could, and more besides. </li></ul><ul><li>The choice between competing paradigm is not a matter of mob psychology, (like Kuhn) but Functional Utility or Rational arguments . </li></ul>
  24. 28. 3.3 Criticism on MSRP <ul><li>The MSRP model allows the possibility of gaining knowledge by using theories that are subsequently regarded as, in the absolute sense, false. </li></ul><ul><li>Lakatosian MSRP fails to meet the empirical test of general applicability. </li></ul><ul><li>He rejects the notion that external factors such as the political, social, or economic environment have anything to do with the fate of particular scientific theories or the choice of general research programmes. </li></ul>
  25. 29. <ul><li>The ‘strong programme’ in the sociology of science David Bloor and Barry Barnes,(1976) </li></ul><ul><li>4.1 Edinburgh School –Philosophy of Science a branch of Sociology. </li></ul><ul><li>Pasteur’s famous experiment demonstrating that life forms could not arise from non-living matter was accepted by the scientific establishment because it harmonized with the political and social conditions and the theological beliefs of nineteenth-century France </li></ul>
  26. 30. 4.2 Criticism on Strong programme <ul><li>Criticism based on conscious rational choice. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to inconsistency in strong programme. </li></ul>
  27. 31. Rational Choice Utility function Peer group Scientists Akin to Natural selection Epistemic symmetry No Empirical Social phenomena Hard core& Outer Theoretical Core Both T/F Paradigm& Paradigm Shift incommensurability Context of Justification Context of Discovery incommensurable Social External factors Sophisticated falsification Verisimilitude Falsificationism David bloor,Barry Barnes Imre Lakatos Thomas Khun Karl Popper
  28. 32. 5 Paul Feyerabend <ul><li>Advocates the ultimate pluralism : since no epistemological theory is acceptable, then all methods of obtaining knowledge that human ingenuity can imagine are equally meritorious, and none should be condemned as invalid; </li></ul>Scientific theories are instruments of inquiry which are employed in the discovery of truth, not true or false in themselves.
  29. 33. 6 Conclusion <ul><li>The aim of science is to transcend the subjectivity of individual perceptions and control of cultural conceptions by warrantable and reasonable objective inferences about social phenomena. </li></ul><ul><li>Objectivity is to be abandoned as an IDEAL. </li></ul>
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