Jan 28 14 ENV222 lecture notes.pdf

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School of Environment
Geoffrey Mac Donald

7) Jan. 28 Causes (and solution): The empirical method Draper, Dianne and Maureen G. Reid (2009). extract from “Chapter 2, Environmental Studies: Science, Worldviews and Ethics.” Our Environment:ACanadian Perspective. Toronto: Nelson Education. pp. 35-42. ! York, Richard (2009). "Chapter 7: The Science of Nature and the Nature of Science." In Kenneth A. Gould and Tammy L. Lewis, eds. Twenty Lessons in Environmental Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 85 – 94 ! ! . coda to Jan 23 capitalism lecture; re individualism; I am not suggesting we abandon our values respecting individual liberty and human rights; instead, I am saying those values add to the challenge of environmental protection, particularly as they underpin capitalism; thus we need to keep those values, while moving society to collectively deal with public goods problems . that is very difficult, particularly since as discussed we cannot simply turn the whole task over to the state ! Lecture notes ! 1. Defining science . empirical method: from Draper and Reid . observation, using five senses (not from texts, Bacon p. 123) . rigour . use of inductive (data first, then theory) and deductive (test theory by getting data) means to develop theory, generalization . lack of absolutes, final truths: only hypotheses not yet disproven . limited to the analytical argument; cannot make prescriptive ! . environmental science devoted to understanding human impact upon nonhuman ! . distinct from environmental social science (eg, York, "environmental sociology") and environmental humanities (eg, study of nature in literature; philosophy study of environmental ethics) ! ! 2. Science and values . science can study values empirically, but cannot answer values-based questions such as these; how much should we protect environment? how should we distribute the cost of environment; see questions posed by York, p. 126 and his comment that science is “mute” with regard to such value-based questions. ! But the environmental problem and its solution is a mix of fact and value, which muddies the role of science in the dialogue. !1 Plus, see York’s argument p. 126-27 that science is inherently influenced by values, because it is dependent upon the powerful for funding – what they consider important is what tends to get studied by science. ! 3. Historical development of scientific method . part of the European transition from feudalism . by time of Sir Isaac Newton, late 1600s-early 1700s empirical method was established . as such, it emerged with both capitalism and the industrial revolution and is connected to both, primarily because economic expansion provided the funding needed for science . major development then in the 19 c. university . 20 c. ex
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