CLASS #17: CHALLENGES TO POSITIVISM/BEHAVIORAL APPROACH

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1 CLASS #17: CHALLENGES TO POSITIVISM/BEHAVIORAL APPROACH I. Challenges to Confirmation A. The Inductivist Turkey B. Discovery vs. Justification 1. Discovery 2. Justification C. Hume's Problem 1. Inductive Justification of Induction: The principle of induction worked successfully on occasion 1 The principle of induction worked successfully on occasion 2 Therefore, the principle of induction will always work 2. The Question let the course of things be regular we act as if it will continue regularly in the future In vain do we pretend to learn of the future from the past while this happens sometimes, sometimes it does not what makes you think that this principle will not fail? experience while as a practical matter that may be ok how do we justify such inferences philosophically D. Logical Problem 1. Background We believe that we have knowledge of facts extending beyond those we directly perceive What is knowledge? -founded on evidence -rational justification Does any method yield knowledge? 2. Central Questions Questions: How do we acquire knowledge of the unobserved? What is the logical relationship between evidence and conclusion in a logically correct inference? 3. Logic of Falsification if the theory is true, the evidence supports the theory the evidence does not support the theory therefore, the theory is false 4. Logic of Justification if the theory is true, the evidence supports the theory the evidence supports the theory therefore, the theory is true

2 5. Two Examples Some red balls from this urn have been observed All observed red balls from this urn are licorice flavored Any two balls in this urn that have the same color also have same flavor Therefore, all red balls in this urn are licorice flavored Some red balls from this urn have been observed All observed red balls from this urn are licorice flavored Therefore, all red balls in this urn are licorice flavored E. Problem of Induction 1. Philosophical Problem given that all of the observed red balls have been licorice flavored, do the observed red balls constitute evidence for the conclusion that all of the unobserved balls are also red? 2. Reasoning concerning relations of ideas demonstrative non-ampliative 3. Reasoning concerning matters of fact and existence non-demonstrative ampliative 4. We cannot justify inferences about fact and existence if they could be justified demonstratively, they would not be ampliative they cannot be justified non-demonstratively 5. Hume's Paradox We have many beliefs about the unobserved, and in some instances we place a great confidence in them. Nevertheless they are without rational justification! We know we have knowledge of the unobserved but cannot justify it. 6. Science makes a knowledge claim it cannot justify the primary reason for doing science is that it generates valid knowledge if the claim is not legitimate, why do science? Is science basically a matter of faith? -is it on a par with other faiths? if not, why not?

3 II. CHALLENGES TO FALSIFICATION A hypothesis is falsifiable if there is a logically possible observation statement or set of such statements that are inconsistent with it Falsifiable hypothesis makes a claim about the world The more falsifiable a theory, the more content it has What happens if there is a clash between theory and observation? Is the theory false? Is the observation statement false? Observation statement could be mistaken (e.g., Copernicus and the tower theory) III. CHALLENGES TO D-N EXPLANATION Is a deductive relationship sufficient for explanation? Two alternative views 1. Identifying causes 2. Answering certain kinds of questions Adequate Explanations i. List of Causal Factors ii. Appropriateness Pragmatic Factors (Taking Context Into Account) 1. Explanatory adequacy is based on what works best 2. Explanatory adequacy is field/discipline specific 2. Explanatory adequacy changes over time 3. It may not be necessary to formulate general laws 4. Explanatory adequacy depends on what is best for the field/discipline at that particular time. IV. Challenge to Analytic-Synthetic Distinction Analytic statements are statements that are true in virtue of the meanings of the words contained in them do not depend upon evidence Synthetic Statements make substantive empirical claims for which evidence is appropriate Distinction is important to Logical Positivism can use logic with the analytic statements without having to resort to empirical evidence Quine concludes: we must give up the idea that we can use experience either to confirm or to falsify particular scientific hypotheses When evidence contradicts science, we modify the science We can protect some hypotheses by modifying others (e.g., only humans use language) Quine-Duhem thesis evidence does not itself determine our evaluation of hypotheses Implications for operationalizations--not specifications of meaning They are subject to revision

4 Modifications of scientific claims must be treated as pragmatic (i.e., based upon what works V. THEORY DEPENDENCE OF OBSERVATION Even though we cannot see whatever we like, observation is theory-dependent Observation statements are formulate in a public language involving at least one theory Observations will be as precise as the theory they use To establish the truth of an observation statement, one appeals to theory Has implications for the sequencing in the scientific method Through empirical experience, science has an objective way to evaluate its claims Quine said that it was impossible to differentiate between The empirical claims of a science The meanings of the terms used to present these claims Science is a network that can be adjusted at various points but no point in privileged There has been a concerted attack on the objectivity of observation Hanson maintains that what we perceive is influenced by what we know, believe, or are familiar with. We see what our knowledge and training equip us to see For Hanson, part of learning a science is learning to see the world in a particular way Observation does not offer a neutral basis for evaluating theoretical frameworks but is influenced by the theoretical framework in use Example Tycho Brahe sees the sun rising, while Copernicus sees the earth turning toward the sun Bechtel notes: Those who hold that all perception is theory-laden are not discounting that the stimuli from the external world play a critical role in determining what we see. These stimuli are factors constraining perception and mark a critical difference between imagination and perception. Theory-ladenness does not entail that we can see what ever we want to see Given the way we have been trained to see, what we see is determined by what there is to be seen. VI. CORRESPONDENCE THEORY OF TRUTH We cannot see whatever we like there is a real world out there. How do we reconcile the seeming contradictions between realism and relativism?

5 A. What is it? A statement is true if it corresponds to the facts True theories give a correct description of some aspect of the real world B Problems The facts to which a theory refers can only be talked about using concepts drawn from the theory The facts are not accessible to us, nor can they be talked about, independently of our theories. Truth is what it is C. What happens when clash between theory and observation?

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