Re: Science and Philosophy
Wed, 29 Sep 1999 18:48:18 EDT

In a message dated 99-09-06 17:19:59 EDT, you write:

<< I suggest you stop making
>> this claim [that science is a subset of
>> philosophy].
>I have grounds: philosophy is about truth (some would put even more
>broadly), by definition. Sci. is about only _empirical_ truth >>

Science is NOT about "truth." It is a system that seeks to understand nature. Science has NO "final truth." There are several "philosophies of science" but science itself, is not a subset of philosophy, strictly speaking.

Science uses philosophy as a tool -- mainly epistemology. There are two epistemologies currently in favor: empiricism (Bacon, Hobbes, Gassendi, Locke and Hume) and rationalism (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Popper and Bartley).

Since the works of Sir Karl Popper have advanced rationalism, empiricism has been on the decline in favor of rationalism. For instance, there are virtually no empirical scientists left in Physics. Rationalist scientists use empirical data to _test_, not _formulate_ their theories.

<<That, too, is translatable into empirical terms. If you want to know the conditions of truth you have to know what the knower of truth knows.>>

Fortunately science is not about truth nor about theories defined in inductively reasoned empirical terms -- since Popper's writings. In fact, your above quote is one of the reasons why Karl Popper advanced Rationalism over Empiricism. And, Bartley made even more progress over Popper . . . Pancritical Rationalism (a subset of Critical Rationalism by Bartley ) takes first principles and takes (base or primary) assumptions totally out of the equation.