8 Answers

  1. The problem is not in the humanities. The problem is the definition of “science”. There are no objective definitions of words given above. Science is what we have agreed to call science. And you just took a certain definition and assigned it to the correct one. Hence your question.

    But you can define science in such a way that even physics cannot be called a science. Or so that only physics will be possible. The question is, why do we need such a definition, what is the use of it? Definition is a tool.

    That is, the question of what is considered science is inseparable from the question of what will be the consequences of attributing any activity to science. This is how we should raise the question of whether we should allocate budget money to philologists. Should we teach philologists at universities? And “should we consider philology a science” is a deeply secondary question, the answer to which largely depends on the previous two. That is, depending on the task, the term “science” will cover a lot or a little. If “science” is what we allocate money for, then philology and philosophy are sciences.

    Let's go back to your definition. It is, in my opinion, extremely unfortunate, because the word “objective” is bad. Either it is defined precisely and then we lose all ability to understand what is objective and what is not, or it is easy to define it, but the word itself becomes blurred. You yourself suggest going from the opposite, defining “subjective” as “where emotions determine the outcome.” Wasn't it emotions that determined the outcome of the helio – and geocentrism debate? Isn't it emotions that determine the outcome of the argument between string theorists and opponents? And what now, to expunge these disputes from physics?

    And if we go back to philology, do emotions determine the result according to which Pushkin was a big fan of Byron? Is it because of our emotions that we think Vajrapani is Hercules?

    So I propose a completely different view of science. Science is the search for ultimate credibility. “Ultimate” means not only for yourself, but for an indefinite circle of people. Individuals who are not random, but whose opinion of persuasiveness is important because they have a lot of knowledge. Because persuasiveness is not arbitrary. A judgment has credibility when it is integrated into a certain system of other judgments, closes this system by itself. That is, in order to judge the credibility of this system, you need to have it. Science, then, seeks consistency. Both the consistency in the head of an individual and the consistency of many people among themselves. And this consistency can't be random – if it's there, it means something, it's not just a coincidence. Rather, consistency is more interesting the less likely it is to be a simple coincidence. And scientific methodology, respectively, is a method of finding consistency. Including consistency with reality, since reality is a kind of judgment that is special in that it is impossible to think in contradiction with the available reality. Reality is a judgment of the highest degree of compulsion. This illustrates Moore's famous paradox, expressed in the impossible phrase ” it's raining, but I don't believe it.” The existence of reality makes science possible, as a search for consistency with reality, taken as a system of judgments.

    And yes, philosophy in the framework of this view is left out of science, because it is just free from the need to agree with reality, but it allows you to talk about what consistency is, as such.

  2. I do not see anything wrong with the presented definition of science as “… a field of human activity aimed at developing and systematizing objective knowledge about reality“, except that it implicitly mixes an internalist and externalist approach to science.

    In the first case, science 1 is a set of norms, methods and knowledge (facts, laws) presented in the form of statements, theories, etc., which in turn are fixed in artifacts (books, audio, video…).

    In the second case, science 2 is a social institution, scientific communities and individual scientists who produce science in the first sense of the word, and the result of their activities is evaluated in accordance with what is accepted in science1. Not everything created in science 2 passes into science 1 – much is rejected as something contradictory or inconsistent with facts and laws. The fact is that “science as a social institution” is not a planetary phenomenon, but still separate communities that are in competition with each other, and in addition, there may be separate, independent scientists who can also make a significant contribution to the discussion of various issues. In other words, if a scientist or community passes off something dubious as the truth, and does not want to correct their mistakes themselves, then there will always be those who will correct them and help send the false to the trash can. In this situation, a stubborn individual carrier of delusion can keep his conviction in a lie until the end of his days, and thereby show that he does not have elementary scientific honesty, which is one of the main ethical norms of science, and delete himself from it. Communities, under the pressure of criticism from outside, sooner or later either abandon their delusions (marrism, lysenkoism), or are marginalized, leave the field of science, and turn into some kind of pseudoscience (alchemy, astrology).

    Talking about science in two different senses is very closely related to the dichotomy of “discovery context” and “justification context“, where the former is mostly related to science 2, and the latter to science 1.

    It seems to me that most of the subjectivist misconceptions are related precisely to the confusion and non-discrimination of these two different contexts.

    All people are emotional, and there is no escape from this, but the development of civilization, in one of its components, is connected precisely with the taming of this emotionality, i.e. with a decrease in affectivity. This is most developed in science, and especially in science1, where the issue of complete elimination of emotionality and subjectivity is still relevant. In other words, emotions are sometimes harmful if they spill out into society, but they are mandatory and necessary for each individual, if only because without them, their activities are likely to be ineffective. Without ““no creative activity is possible, either in science or in the art of driving.

    Thinking is strictly individual, and occurs in each individual head of its carrier, and it is there that thoughts and brilliant ideas are born. In this sense, all thoughts and ideas are subjective, but after they have left the head, i.e. they have been expressed, written down, etc., they are no longer evaluated as personal and subjective, but as true or false, i.e. from the position of science.1 There are no meaningless thoughts, but there are meaningless sentences … but this is a topic for a separate conversation.

    Emotionalism and subjectivism harm and undermine communication and the ability to agree, i.e. ” if x is absolutely sure that p and y is absolutely sure that it is not p, then they will never come to a common opinion.” Multiculturism and political correctness are the most harmless phenomena of recent times, since they, in fact, put an end to rational discussion of issues, and turn the conversation towards the exchange of opinions that do not have a truth function, and if there is no truth and lies, but only equivalent opinions, then we will never agree on anything. With the current trends, the world is moving towards increasing violence, and not vice versa, as some political scientists believe. Yes, over the past 70 years, the level of violence has fallen, but not because of multiculturism and political correctness, but because of the rationalistic tradition that began to be slowly squabbled in the 60s of the last century. On the other hand, the reduction of violence was provided by the use of force on the part of the bipolar system, then unipolar, but it is now crumbling. A multicultural world will no longer have political correctness, and this will be Hobbes ' “war of all against all”. Do we want this? If not, then you need to learn to negotiate again, and improve the theory of rationality, which means increasing its rigor, and not vice versa-blurring the boundaries, which is periodically talked about at the round tables of the Voprosy Filosofii magazine.

    Objectivity is universal validity, universality, and at least intersubjectivity, which is easily established in local communities, and what it is and how it is achieved is established in science.1 Universality implies that if something is objective to us, it is also objective to any reasonably intelligent being. The question, of course, is what is “enough”, since even in communities of people, everyone is reasonable to varying degrees. But this is also a separate topic.

    Any degree of objectivity is always established only on the basis of facts. The language of facts is preferable to talking about some” reality “because it speaks about specific aspects of this very reality, and frees you from talking about”reality in general”. The language of facts is a strictly referential language, a clear version of which, unfortunately, is not yet available. The intensionalist approach is not acceptable, as it leads to subjectivity, i.e. destroys communication. Extensionalist is much better, but with its own cockroaches, as it leads to contradictions in opaque contexts, and nominalist ontology, due to the problem of universals, turns out to be somewhat crooked. In short, following Popper, one can argue that the theory of meaning is unnecessary for the methodology of science, and focus more on the theory of reference. This does not mean that the theory of meaning is meaningless, but only that it, like the general theory of language, is simply not necessary for solving methodological problems, and, accordingly, should be derived from the theory of reference, and not vice versa. In other words, in this case, the obscure should be explained more clearly. Well, this is a huge separate topic.

    What distinguishes science from non-science is fixed in science1, but this is also an open sphere, where changes are also taking place – in general, I think, in increasing rigidity, although in some periods some communities can significantly relativize everything here, but they always have competitors.

    Science can be any cognitive activity if it is based on the norms and methods of science1, even cooking, even anything. Even theology can be scientific if it discards metaphysics and focuses on biology, anthropology, history, ethnography and folklore studies, although it will no longer be theology)).

    Science is theoretically advanced common sense, by which I mean, in this case, that part of it that is true and objective and with the help of which we successfully act in everyday life, and not its subjective, traditional, etc.components.

    In addition to all that is generally known, a good scientific theory explains all the facts of its field, and in addition, predicts the discovery of new, previously unknown facts, the discovery of which increases the truth status of the theory.

    In the natural sciences, the bulk of facts are reproducible facts; in the humanities, which mostly deal with unique facts and have more problems with referential language, on the contrary, there are a minority of such facts, but they also exist there.

    Science is based on criticism, which Popper saw as a manifestation of scientific rationality. But criticism is often confused with criticism. A generalized attack, expressed in extremely general words on an extremely wide sphere from the standpoint of subjectivism, emotions, and pseudoscience, is not a criticism.

    The falsifiability (refutability) of theories depends on establishing the falsity of statements.

    A statement may have a truth status, i.e. it may be true or false, or it may not have one, i.e. it may be meaningless (a topic of a separate conversation).

    A statement turns out to be false in the following cases::

    1) Inconsistent

    2) A contradiction follows deductively from it

    3) Contradicts facts or laws

    4) It deductively contradicts facts and laws.

    But here, too, there are difficulties associated, among other things, with the philosophy of the language. But this is also a topic for a separate conversation.

  3. Dear Andrey,

    I once wrote an article where I proposed to distinguish between Science and science (I invented the term Science).

    In order to understand the essence of Science, it is necessary to answer the question-where is the need and what do people have?

    Here are the reasons:

    1. The world around us is changeable, complex, and incomprehensible. And people need to meet their needs regularly and reliably. It was for the reliability and regularity of life in a changing World that it was necessary to study it. Do not just “learn”, but conduct experiments to identify Laws, that is, reliable, stable knowledge of connections in Nature and the World. And put the results (knowledge of laws) into Systems (physics, chemistry, etc.).

    It was necessary to build knowledge systems in order to pass them on to the next generations (children, grandchildren).

    There were people who extracted not roots and mushrooms, but knowledge. They began to exchange knowledge among themselves. A “scientific knowledge” has emerged that differs in that it has been TESTED by many researchers. And recognized as Reliable and Reliable (later “objective”).

    A well-known example.

    Lomonosov and Rikhman studied lightning. To do this, they created a device for capturing electricity in the atmosphere. In one of the experiments, Richman was killed by lightning. But Lomonosov continued his experiments…

    People of Science were engaged in research selflessly, satisfying their interest in the unknown. Science is the study of Nature and the World to identify laws and understand what is happening.

    Science – appeared later, in the 20th century. This phenomenon can be called Quasi-science, as if science. Just as scientists imitate scientific work, they study the work of their predecessors, add their own ideas, and pass it off as scientific work. It didn't appear by accident Nobel Prize for quasi-scientific works (for example, a knife made from excrement).

    I hope you understand the difference between Science and Science?

    Now about philosophy.

    As scientists work more and more deeply, there is a need to create a big picture. But they don't have time to build it – they need to get it!

    The task of philosophy is to combine knowledge into a whole, into a higher-level super-system. But imagine what kind of brain you need to have for such a job?

    It would be possible to combine several philosophers into a Superbrain, but they immediately begin to either argue or find out who first said ” E!”

    The modern drama of science is that the time has come for teamwork. But institutions are created, but collectives are not!

    Therefore, both science and philosophy have difficulties. And people who need to better understand Themselves, Others, the World, and Nature.

    Nevertheless, the problem is solved. It is only necessary to establish a collective work of interested people.

    All reasonable things!

  4. There are TWO APPROACHES to the definition of SCIENCE – general cultural and administrative-regulated.

    SCIENCE in the broadest general cultural sense is any correct knowledge that provides practical benefits. This definition also includes everyday meaning.

    The weight/importance of scientific knowledge is determined by the weight/importance of the corresponding practical use.

    Here the general criterion of Science “Practice is the criterion of Truth”plays a general role.

  5. Officially speaking, science is the activity of developing and systematizing knowledge about a particular object. Based on them, hypotheses are put forward, which are then proved by experiments. This is how new knowledge is synthesized.

    Sciences can be different: natural and social, fundamental and applied. There are also formal sciences.

    It is important to understand that science is not just about, say, physics. For example, brewing is also a science. It studies the process of making beer, develops, opens up new opportunities. In 1883, a pure yeast culture was obtained in the Carlsberg laboratory. After that, the quality of the drink became constant and stable. In 1909, the concept of the hydrogen index (pH-factor) was also introduced there, which made beer production easier.

    In 2017, the Carlsberg laboratory participated in a global project to decipher the barley genome. This made it possible to develop new and improved varieties of the plant.

    Yes, brewing laboratories primarily study the process of making a drink. But this is also paying off for the rest of the scientific community. So it is with other branches of science.

  6. In Philosophy, it is correct to call the answers correct or incorrect, but as they say by agreement of the parties, everyone must agree and accept as correct.

    And such a statement of the question always leaves room to clarify the loyalty or recognize it as a mistake, if there are arguments for such a change, but again conditional-contractual loyalty is achieved.

    Knowledge does not have the properties of the Absolute, it is variable, changing, refined and refuted … they are still being developed.

  7. In your definition, I don't like two words: objective and real.
    If you remove them.
    Then science is the development and systematization of knowledge about the world around us.
    First, science is always subjective, according to the method of its study. Millions of people had apples falling on their heads, and only one person came to the conclusion about the Law of Universal gravitation.
    Although I would call it something else: The Law of interaction of energies. But that's not the point.
    Is philosophy objective if it is the result of subjective reflection? – no. In your opinion, philosophy is not a science.
    Well, now, the most odious example:
    Is mathematics objective? And you will say Yes.
    However, in modern America, under the influence of the BLM movement, mathematics is considered a “white” science, and therefore racist. And in all seriousness, if the teacher's question: How much is twice two? The black student answers: five or six. It should be rated excellent. Because he thinks so. It turns out that mathematics is also subjective, and therefore not a science.
    Or is it still science?
    Then the opposite example.
    Theosophy is a science?
    After all, this is the result of the researcher's personal spiritual experience!
    Research on what is given to individuals. (By the way, as in the case of apple and Newton.)
    Or science where everything is only objective? And where there is no objectivity , there is no science, no phenomenon under study?
    In this regard, I like the phrase of St. Luke of Crimea: “I have repeatedly had to open the skull of a person and I did not find any intelligence there…”

  8. Absolutely correct definition, systematization of objective knowledge about reality.

    At the same time, Knowledge is repeatable and verifiable, and does not depend on the experimenter's personality.

    Automatically, all humanitarian “research” is the usual personal demagogy, and science in the literal sense of the word is a Scientific method of cognition, it is only natural sciences plus “exact” mathematics with logic as modeling methods.

    Such a statement of the question causes fierce butthert and salivation among humanitarians, well, what to do, the truth stings your eyes. Hi Zaitsev ))

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