Group: philosophy of science

topics > Group: science

history of science
law of nature
physics as computation
science as experiment
science as mathematics
science as measurement
scientific method
scientific paradigms and research programs
the effect of scale
philosophy of mathematics
relationship between brain and behavior

analytic truth
atoms and molecules
equal simplicity
empirical truth
facts as relationships between entities
general relativity
knowledge as interrelated facts
models of reality
physics as computation
problems with empirical truth
quantum mechanics
skepticism about knowledge
vitalism, the soul
what is truth


Science is the empirical study of natural phenomena.
Subtopic: science as public knowledge up

Quote: science is public knowledge; a group of individuals dividing their labour but continuously and jealously checking each other's contributions [»zimaJM_1968]
Quote: science, correctly applied, has overwhelming persuasive force; e.g., an experiment can demonstrate that the world behaves as the experimenter hypothesized [»zimaJM_1968]
Quote: the subject of science consists of immediate judgments that can have universal agreement [»campNR_1919, OK]
Quote: science is about asking questions sliced thin enough that they can be answered, definitely, once and for all [»campNR_1919, OK]
Quote: in physics we try to say things that no one knew before in a way that everyone can understand [»campNR_1919, OK]
Quote: universal agreement is possible for judgments of simultaneity, coincidence, and number [»campNR_1919, OK]
Quote: science is about knowledge, the rules of evidence, and how to distinguish truth from fraud or show [»feynRP11_1963]
Quote: scientific literature is memory, continually rewritten; on how to think about a subject [»zimaJM_1968]

Subtopic: science as cause up

Quote: nothing can be made of nothing; otherwise any breed could be born from any other; people would pop out of the sea
Quote: physics should only describe the correlation of observations; there is no real world with causality [»heisW_1927]
Quote: Newton's first rule--admit only true and sufficient causes; Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes [»newtI_1685, OK]
Quote: Newton's second rule--assign the same causes to the same natural effects; e.g., respiration in man and beast, the light of a fire and the sun [»newtI_1685, OK]
Quote: rudimentary organs appear frequently and have no value; must be due to natural law; species are not independent of pre-existings species [»wallAR9_1855]
Quote: the natural law that everything has a cause and that all events are empirically determined lies at the foundation of a connected system of appearances; i.e., nature [»kantI_1781, OK]
Quote: an individual is the direct source of another individual; there are no general explanatory factors; may share a common formula [»aris_322a]

Subtopic: science as communication up

Quote: all the scientist creates in a fact is the unambiguous language in which he enunciates it [»poinH_1905, OK]
Quote: atomic physics has taught us how, without leaving common language, it is possible to create a framework sufficiently wide for an exhaustive description of new experience [»bohrN_1958]
Quote: recorded history is brief; man was already living in sturdy towers, working the soil, and sailing the seas; only reason can give us a longer view [»lucr_55]

Subtopic: science as universal up

Quote: can understand some properties of things whether they are near or far; e.g., learned the roundness of the moon before the earth
Quote: there is no reason to fear mutation, corruption, and generation of remote objects [»drakS_1978]
Quote: SIMPLICIO: heavenly and earthly phenomena must be different; the same proof can not explain the course of planets and projectiles [»lakaI_1976]
Quote: quantum electrodynamics describes all physical phenomena except gravity, radioactivity and nuclear physics; there is no significant difference between experiment and theory [»feynRP_1985]
Quote: there is no science of accidental being; no systematic account of the extraordinary; science concerns what is always or normally so [»aris_322a]
Quote: if the same force and nature abide everywhere, there are other worlds with other races of people and other kinds of animals in other places [»lucr_55]

Subtopic: science as abstraction up

Quote: nature does not act by means of many things when it can do so by means of a few
Quote: to be scientific, it is necessary to abstract from reality [»galiG_1638]
Quote: science is the attempt at the posterior reconstruction of existence through conceptualization [»einsA_1941]
Quote: use materials and shapes that are nearest the scientific abstractions; e.g., heavy balls and cylindrical arrows follow parabolic paths
Quote: the conclusions demonstrated in the abstract are altered in the concrete; e.g., ignoring the curvature of the earth [»galiG_1638]
Quote: the schema of a science must give a priori the plan of it; but the schema rarely corresponds with the originator's idea or description [»kantI_1781, OK]
Quote: we ought to explain and define a science according to ideas based in reason; as suggested by the natural unity of the parts of the science already accumulated
Quote: to get the law from experiment, it is necessary to generalize by analogy [»poinH_1905, OK]
Quote: science is the knowledge of the consequences of names; the dependance of one fact upon another; the ability to make things happen [»hobbT_1651, OK]
Quote: in science we must rise above the level of direct observation; need theoretical constructs to formulate high-level laws and hypotheses [»hempCG_1951]
Quote: the object of all science is to coordinate our experiences and to bring them into a logical system [»einsA_1956, OK]
Quote: the mathematical abstractions of general relativity enlarge the scope of objective description and eliminate subjective elements [»bohrN_1958]

Subtopic: scientific concepts up

Quote: science deals with forms, not sensible primary beings nor mathematical entities
Quote: if an event is to be explained, it must be viewed as nonunique, a member of a class [»pylyZW_1986]
Quote: concepts should fit nature at its causal joints
Quote: scientific properties are necessary but not a priori, e.g., gold has atomic number 79, but was still gold beforehand [»kripSA_1980]
Quote: biological concepts are simple but they include extreme complexity; otherwise no theory or no need for a theory [»thomR_1975]

Subtopic: science as facts up

Quote: cannot abandon, actually and forever, the idea of direct representation of physical reality; nor believe that events in nature behave as a game of chance [»einsA5_1940]
Quote: evidence is to truth, as the sap to the tree; science, knowledge, and meaning are dependent on evidence of the senses [»hobbT_1650, OK]
Quote: the soul of a fact is its unexpected order
Quote: every scientific fact is formed of many crude facts
Quote: a fact becomes interesting if it may aid in predicting other facts or if it confirms a law
Quote: the most interesting facts occur frequently [»poinH_1908, OK]
Quote: if all facts were complex, they would not repeat; a chance occurrence of a thousand circumstances
Quote: a statement in isolation has no experiential implications; need other hypothesis, e.g., from science; experiential meaning is elliptical [»hempCG_1951]

Subtopic: science as experience up

Quote: experience is primary over testimony; if others had seen the experiment, they would change their mind [»galiG_1623]
Quote: new experience is the beginning of new knowledge; gives hope of knowing somewhat that he knew not before [»hobbT_1650, OK]
Quote: the concept of truth is rooted in the senses, what is real; if the senses are untrue, all reasoning is wrong [»lucr_55]

Subtopic: science as interesting up

Quote: search guided only by the heuristics of "interestingness" is the mechanism for science and may be best for social design [»simoHA_1981]

Subtopic: science and religion up

Quote: science ascertains what is, while religion ascertains what should be; a conflict between them appears impossible [»einsA_1941]
Quote: neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural events
Quote: whether you want something to happen or not, how you judge the value of a result, lies outside of science [»feynRP6_1956]
Quote: radical freedom of will is impossible under a scientific world view
Quote: sweep away dread of the supernatural by observing Nature and her laws [»lucr_55]
Quote: the earth, sun, skies, sea, stars, and moon are not holy bodies; they are inert, like the dead [»lucr_55]

Subtopic: simplicity vs. diversity up

Quote: science shows opposite tendencies towards unity--simplicity and diversity--complication [»poinH_1902, OK]
Quote: God choose the world that is simplest in theories and richest in phenomena
Quote: suppose there were 60 billion chemical elements uniformly distributed; there would be no science and perhaps no thought and life; every pebble would be new
Quote: physics must fuse the continuous and the discontinuous; the universal interaction of things and the simplicity of indivisible elements [»debrL_1937]

Subtopic: science as rational explanation up

Quote: divers, possible explanations for the movements of the stars; which is right? we cannot say, but one of them has to hold true [»lucr_55]

Subtopic: sience as simplicity up

Quote: any fact can be generalized in an infinite number of ways. The choice can only be guided by considerations of simplicity
Quote: hypotheses are what we lack the least
Quote: the system of concepts is the creation of man. It is bound by simplicity and the most nearly possible certain, intuitive connection to the totality of sense-experience
Quote: it is more sensible to rotate the earth than to rotate the skies; otherwise an immense number of extremely large bodies move with inconceivable velocities [»galiG_1632]
Quote: nature does not act by means of many things when it can do so by means of a few
Quote: nature employs the first, simplest, and easiest means; e.g., fish and birds use the simplest, easiest means to swim and fly

Subtopic: science as diversity up

Quote: every substance has a true unity that is indivisible [»leibGW_1686c]
Quote: in every parcel of matter there is an infinity of created things
Quote: a monad has no parts, it is eternal; only its internal qualities and actions change; i.e., its perceptions of the external and its appetitions of these perceptions [»leibGW_1714]
Quote: every body acts on every other; everything is linked [»leibGW_1714]
Quote: every monad is a living mirror; representing the universe with its own point of view; orderly
Quote: quantum physics blurs the distinction between subjective and objective, while classical physics separates the objective world from subjects and their measuring instruments [»debrL_1937]
Quote: quantum electrodynamics describes Nature as absurd

Subtopic: science as creativity up

Quote: although science starts with judgments obtainable with universal agreement, the end result is a creative achievement full of personal choice [»campNR_1919, OK]
Quote: knowledge cannot spring from experience alone; the human mind must first construct forms independently before comparing them against observed fact [»einsA11_1930]
Quote: only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach the elementary laws of nature
Quote: the search for truth is more precious than its possession
Quote: search guided only by the heuristics of "interestingness" is the mechanism for science and may be best for social design [»simoHA_1981]
Quote: Galileo's perfection of the telescope from news that it was possible [»galiG_1623]

Subtopic: continuous change up

Quote: rule of continuity -- no change takes place by leaps and bounds
Quote: in substances, change happens spontaneously and in an orderly way [»leibGW4_1695]
Quote: no special laws for equal bodies or bodies at rest; since rest is vanishingly small motion, and equality is vanishingly small inequality [»leibGW4_1695]
Quote: when instances approach each other continually and eventually merge, the consequences or outcomes must do so also; e.g., parabola is an ellipse

Subtopic: local knowledge up

Quote: very important, unscientific knowledge of particular circumstances of time and place [»hayeFA9_1945]

Subtopic: unscientific knowledge up

Quote: if science just needed logical possibility then astrology is a scientific activity [»taubM_1961]
Quote: irreconcilable schools of thought indicate a non-science, particularly when there is personal abuse and intolerance of others views [»zimaJM_1968]
Quote: understanding an event means fitting it into a preconceived scheme of thought; could be science or a private delusion [»weinGM_1982]
Quote: Stoic theory of error--false ideas are part of external reality but they can't mature into clear and distinct ideas (science) [»lakaI_1976]
Quote: proper names such as 'Aristotle' may have varying senses; should be avoided in science and perfect languages [»fregG_1892]
Quote: 'The will of the people' has an ambiguous nominatum; allows demagogic misuse; should prevent such expressions, at least in science [»fregG_1892]
Quote: how can one distinguish between science and speculation? Is there a logical evaluation of a theory?

Group: philosophy of science up

Topic: history of science (52 items)
Topic: law of nature (28 items)
Topic: physics as computation (31 items)
Topic: science as experiment (38 items)
Topic: science as mathematics (26 items)
Topic: science as measurement (36 items)
Topic: scientific method (42 items)
Topic: scientific paradigms and research programs (30 items)
Topic: symmetry (11 items)
Topic: the effect of scale
(17 items)

Related Topics up

Group: philosophy   (60 topics, 2323 quotes)
Group: philosophy of mathematics   (11 topics, 330 quotes)
Group: relationship between brain and behavior   (9 topics, 332 quotes)
Group: systems   (17 topics, 530 quotes)

Topic: analytic truth (51 items)
Topic: atoms and molecules (57 items)
Topic: classification (65 items)
Topic: equal simplicity (15 items)
Topic: empirical truth (47 items)
Topic: facts as relationships between entities (22 items)
Topic: general relativity (47 items)
Topic: knowledge as interrelated facts (23 items)
Topic: models of reality (33 items)
Topic: physics as computation (31 items)
Topic: problems with empirical truth (21 items)
Topic: quantum mechanics (103 items)
Topic: reductionism (51 items)
Topic: skepticism about knowledge (34 items)
Topic: vitalism, the soul (73 items)
Topic: what is truth
(67 items)

Updated barberCB 9/05
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