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PSYC39 Lecture 1 Monday September 9.doc

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David Nussbaum

PSYC39 Lecture 1 Monday September 9, 2013  Philosophy of Science  Four Requirements of a Science □ Established prototypical sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology  Meteorology – applied physicists, predict things based on the physics) 1. Study some phenomena that will obey some natural law that operates in the universe □ Motion thermodynamics, chemical reactions, body functions (not human conscious) □ As technology improves we can make more detailed observations □ Goal is to figure out what are those laws that run the universe - Symbiosis between technology and 2. Reductionist language for defining and ultimately explaining the phenomena □ Physical science have a specific way of forming these rules but use symbols and they reduce more complex constructs to precise relationships – reductionist language  break down into lower order constructs □ Consistent language of science 3. Candidate science meshes linguistically with those levels of science immediately above and below □ At every level of science you can tell if a higher level of science (ex. biology) is consistent with another science (ex. chemistry)  transition : biochemistry 4. Candidate science uses sound empirical methodology to validate/invalidate its theories thereby refining knowledge □ Once hypotheses are formulated  difference of science from philosophy (no empirical evaluation of their ideas for the philosopher) □ Philosophy NEVER requires a empirical test because the issues are often very value-like not subject to empirical evaluation (what is good? What is virtuous?)  Candidate Science studies phenomena reflecting natural order in the universe: Illustration □ Find a representative sample of the population of interest □ Found a town representative of all of North America □ Filmed most busiest intersections  empirical study □ Used 4 groups of students for inter-rater reliability; started simultaneously recording at a particular time (2-3 pm) □ Compile list of each automobile that went through each intersection during that time frame □ Is this a scientific study? - NO, no expectation of replicability - Ex. on that day a mother will drive her sick child through the intersection in her yellow Saturn but not on other days; exceptional event - No law of nature of this event begin replicated; studies should have a basis of some law operating to expect a replication to occur  Candidate Science has Reductionist Language for defining and ultimately explaining phenomena □ Will not need to remember this equation* □ Newton’s Second Law □ Aristotle –metaphysics (way materials moved in different ways) - 4 spheres in the world; 4
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