All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Augustine’s Cup: Boundary Conditions and Relocating Science in a Post-postmodern World
Unformatted Document Text:  The scientific method—e.g., assessment, typically quantitative, of the probability value of inferences given clearly defined methods of data collection, testing of falsifiable assertions based on theoretical claims, reproducibility—is a superbly designed response to the difficulties of having objective knowledge. The method reduces (though it cannot eliminate) the limitations of subjective understanding in encompassing a physical and social world. But it does so by proposing and testing approximations, models, sets of measurable constructs, which correspond to elements of the physical and social world without ever fully or conclusively representing them. It is also inherently a social process. Peer review, criticism, replication, and the empirical testing of competing explanations is a process that takes place within a community. (This process, as John Peters points out, resembles Habermas’ intersubjectivity. 16 However, the inductive testing of ideas, and the shared canon of falsifiability, does provide a possibility for objectivity. In that sense we may describe the scientific process of one of inter-objectivity. Individual scientists may be more or less objective about testing their own ideas, as schools of researchers may be. However, the enterprise as a whole does drive with remarkable capacity towards an objective, self- correcting study of phenomena.) The possibility of radical misunderstanding through unobserved mechanisms and phenomena is always present, while the likelihood that the models are incomplete in important ways is recognized to verge on certainty. That is why theories and results are always pushed and probed, sometimes to the breaking point. Rather than representing a world than can be known, science provides a way within very considerable constraints for representing what can be reasonably surmised about a world that cannot be absolutely known. Equally important, the scientific method offers means for assessing the degree of confidence one may have regarding various surmises.

Authors: Slater, Michael.
first   previous   Page 10 of 26   next   last



background image
The scientific method—e.g., assessment, typically quantitative, of the probability
value of inferences given clearly defined methods of data collection, testing of falsifiable
assertions based on theoretical claims, reproducibility—is a superbly designed response to
the difficulties of having objective knowledge. The method reduces (though it cannot
eliminate) the limitations of subjective understanding in encompassing a physical and social
world. But it does so by proposing and testing approximations, models, sets of measurable
constructs, which correspond to elements of the physical and social world without ever fully
or conclusively representing them. It is also inherently a social process. Peer review,
criticism, replication, and the empirical testing of competing explanations is a process that
takes place within a community. (This process, as John Peters points out, resembles
Habermas’ intersubjectivity.
16
However, the inductive testing of ideas, and the shared canon
of falsifiability, does provide a possibility for objectivity. In that sense we may describe the
scientific process of one of inter-objectivity. Individual scientists may be more or less
objective about testing their own ideas, as schools of researchers may be. However, the
enterprise as a whole does drive with remarkable capacity towards an objective, self-
correcting study of phenomena.) The possibility of radical misunderstanding through
unobserved mechanisms and phenomena is always present, while the likelihood that the
models are incomplete in important ways is recognized to verge on certainty. That is why
theories and results are always pushed and probed, sometimes to the breaking point.
Rather than representing a world than can be known, science provides a way within
very considerable constraints for representing what can be reasonably surmised about a
world that cannot be absolutely known. Equally important, the scientific method offers
means for assessing the degree of confidence one may have regarding various surmises.


Convention
Submission, Review, and Scheduling! All Academic Convention can help with all of your abstract management needs and many more. Contact us today for a quote!
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 10 of 26   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.