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Download Azzouni - Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science by Jody Azzouni PDF

By Jody Azzouni

A desirable examine of the limits among technology and language, displaying that the workings of language fit with the legislation and strategies of technological know-how, and that the language of technology should be taken actually to explain the reality.

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Another common tendency is to adopt an oversimplified view of how scientific theories get tested or applied, what I’ve called theoretical deductivism:9 the view that all that is involved in testing or applying a scientific theory is directly deducing consequences from it. Even with the qualification that such deductions take place, generally, not within the confines of one theory but in conjunction with other theories (as the contemporary confirmation holist will stress), the view is still largely wrong.

G. cannonballs). To calculate the path of one, we can neglect air resistence, irregular distribution of mass in the object, shifts in gravitational force, vibration, rotation, etc. This makes the solution of the problem easily calculable, both in the sense of tractable mathematics, and in the sense that the physical parameters needed Knowledge and reference in empirical science 12 are not too difficult to measure. If results deviate too far from the actual path of the cannonball, we can increase the complexity of the physical model at some expense to its tractability (by explicitly acounting for effects of previously neglected physical factors) until—hopefully—we get a model in which the physical parameters are still not too hard to measure, and from which, mathematically speaking, we can still extract information easily; but which gives results close enough to what actually happens to satisfy us.

The program-scope gap: concluding remarks The program-scope gap helps explain why empirical science is so hard to do. The impression that physics, chemistry, and other (“hard”) sciences have research directions relatively immune to sociological factors, such as institutional bias (in contrast to “softer” sciences), is best explained by the fact that extending the scope of such a science is arduous. Here’s an illustration. Schrödinger’s equation describes the evolution of a system when the system’s kinetic and potential energies have been represented in a mathematical object called the Hamiltonian of the system.

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