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PHL255H5 Study Guide - Underdetermination, Intelligent Designer, Hershel Greene

Course Code
Jonathan Weisberg

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PHL255 Notes
Lecture 2 September 13, 2010
Philosophy of Science
Logical Positivism
school of thought that emphasizes the importance of science or
empirical science
Comte a famous one, Has three stage of progression:
oTheological stage
Gods, spirits, magic, this would be in terms of religion
oMetaphysical stage
Society explain whats around them like forces, particles,
atoms, universe is made up of particles
This has an intentional entity
It does not appeal to crazy phenomena
It does not explain Why something happen, it is
observable, empirical knowledge, comes from senses
(hearing, touching, etc)
Things not from senses is spooky, not real
All things comes from observable things
Contrast: Aristotles essences
something has a thing in it
oacorn grow because that is how it is, that is their essence
oexplain why things develop in a certain way
entelechies of early biology 18th-19th
osomething develops because it is its purpose in life and it is its
othis is where things stared
Souls in various religious traditions
opositivists say that this is beyond the realm of empirical
knowledge, they said this is non sense
Magnetism in Physics
oTheres no force in magnets because you cant see it
oIts unobservable
Positivist are saying, there might be something to it and that it is not
just all garbage

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Because modern science is been working good
Pos: lets take a page out of their book
German Idealism
Berkeley, Kant, Hegel
They talk about the nature of being,
We know things through pure reason or experience
Positivist have a lot of respect for this
They Had respect for Formal Logic
o2+2 = 4
ono largest prime number
oP(P or Q) If P is true, then either P or Q is True
Conceptual Truths
oNothing can be both red and green all over at the same
Formal Logic: Frege
reducing math to set theory
Russell and White head
oReduced math to logic
After All is Said
Logical Postivism
All knowledge ultimately comes from
oexperience / observation
It is good with how science works
What difference science from pseudo science
How scientific method works
oStep1: come up with a hypothesis
Theory ex: d=4.9t^2
oStep2: Derive in observable prediction from a theory and
some conditions of testing
Test how much it will drop in 3 seconds
Prediction 3 sec = 44.1 meters
oStep 3: Verify information
Then you do drop the thing, experiment!

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Schematic way of seeing it
oTheory + Conditional Observational Logic
oO Observation
oAfter everything is done, theory is verified
Lets look at it from Mendelian Genetics
Punnet squares Tt vs Tt
75% tall and 25% short
Pablos Dogs
oDogs salivate with food, he wanted to see if he could make
dogs salivate on other things, then he took a bell and fed
them at the same time, then he took food out just ring bell
and dog salivate
The Verification Criterion of Meaning
The positivists response to say which one is gibberish and which
one is true
They look at the fact that there is really something out there VS
things that are in our mind
Descarte vs Berkeley
oDescarte desk is there because it exists even though im
looking at it or not
oBerkeley desk is only there whenever im looking at it
This debate is metaphysical
Meaningless debate because you cannot answer with observation
It all goes beyond what we can observe
There are things that you cannot answer through experience
There is no difference, what they mean is that the same thing
It doesnt matter if there is something there or not, but its there
Whats possible and impossible is not the same
Difference between descarte and Berkeley is meaningless
oThere is no actual debate
Meaningful vs Meaningless
Pg 5
oA meaningful hypothesis is one from which we can deduce
together with other assumptions, and observable
prediction that could not have been deduced from those
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