SHORT ESSAY

Critically discuss one thesis from each of three different columns.
 
  1. The advance of technology shows that "knowledge is growing in science."
  2. Science progresses in ways that other kinds of human cognitive pursuits, like literature and the arts, do not.
  3. Potential predictivity is necessary and suffices for scientific explanation.
  4. Inductive inference from cases to laws (generalization) or the from the past to the future (prediction) is rationally unwarranted.
  5. Bayes' theorem provides an emminently reasonable approach to induction.
  1. Scientific paradigms are rationally incommensurable.
  2. There is observational common ground between paradigms (or theories) making paradigm-neutral (or theory-neutral) observation possible.
  3. There is no pure observation level free from any theoretical influence.
  4. Scientists should strive be a presuppostion free as they can in making observations.
  5. Scientific theories deal with a world independent of human history and human intervention.
  6. Even if the history of science is discontinuous and fragmented this has no relativistic implications.
  1. Apply Aristotle's four causal analysis to (A) the case of a house and (B) the case of a horse and discuss the role (if any) of each  of the four causes in modern, mechanistic science.
  2. "[O]ur knowledge of the world is anchored in our sensory interactions with the world." (96)
  3. "The very ease and rapidity with wich astronomers saw new things when looking at old objects with old instruments may make us wish to say that, after Copernicus, astronomers lived in a different world." (Kuhn: 66)
  4. There are methods of justification but there are no methods of  discovery.
  1. "Statements or systems of statements, in order to be ranked as scientific, must be capable of conflicting with possible or conceivable observations." (p.58)
  2. Empirical falsifiability is the distinguishing mark of a scientific theory.
  3. Theories are never conclusively falsified.
  4. "[T]otal science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience.  ...  No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field, except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole." (Quine)