An Introduction to Science Studies: The Philosophical and by John M. Ziman

By John M. Ziman

Professor Ziman presents a coherent account of the various views on technological know-how and know-how which are commonly studied below numerous disciplinary heads resembling philosophy of technology, sociology of technology, and technology coverage. it really is meant for college students embarking on classes in those topics and assumes no exact wisdom of any technology. it truly is written in an instantaneous and easy type, and technical language is seldom brought. it is going to entice scholars in quite a lot of medical disciplines and enhances Professor Ziman's past books.
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The science of physics, in particular, is dominated by the theory of measurement, elaborating into dimensional analysis and the paradoxes of relativity and quantum mechanics. 4); it just means that an observational account in numerical terms is extraordinarily effective as a means of discovering significant ' patterns' in the natural world. An instrumental measurement is a very powerful type of observational operation. A numerical datum is a highly selective and abstracted representation of a phenomenon or an object.

It is seldom easy to bring these up to the same standard of credibility as indubitable everyday realities. This is a peculiarly heavy responsibility when the investigation leads into unexplored domains, or yields results at variance with received opinion. Thus, for example, the early reports from Australia that duck-billed platypuses laid eggs were far more difficult to validate decisively than the corresponding statement about ducks, and the observation that meteorites actually fell out of the sky was laughed to scorn until overwhelming evidence had been obtained to justify it.

But are these errors merely human imperfections in carrying out a procedure that is ideally capable of generating unquestionable truth? 102 on Sat May 04 20:07:34 WEST 2013. 2 Empiricism 35 producing such a result. 14) are tested and validated. The credibility of a particular item of scientific theory clearly depends upon the extent to which it has been subjected to such tests and not found defective. Nobody supposes that a recent wild conjecture on, say, the origins of life on earth is true just because it has been put forward by an eminent molecular biologist: the central epistemological question is whether there is in principle a method by which a scientific theory can eventually be made perfectly certain.

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