Scientific Values: fallibilism, realism, & rationalism

Scientific theories, it has sometimes been maintained enable us to describe precisely how things happen, but cannot really explain why they happen as they do. According to this view (which I shall call ‘descriptivism’), the .search for explanation or for explanatory theories is an illegitimate intrusion of metaphysics into science. Descriptivism is related to (but not, as is often supposed, identical with) an even more radical view, which I shall call ‘instrumentalism’ (following Popper) or ‘fictionalism’. The instrumentalist agrees with the descriptivist that scientific theories are not explanatory but goes further, and denies that they are descriptive as well. Theories, according to the instrumentalist, are not descriptions of the world, but mathematical devices or fictions which enable us to classify, systematize and predict descriptions of the world. Opposed to both of these views is realism. My aim is to argue in favor of realism. And in general will favor a fallibilist, realistic, and rationalist position in opposition to the idealistic, antirealism and relativistic viewpoints some champion. From: Essays on Realism and Rationalism by Alan Musgrave Here is more on fallibilism: Fallibilism is the epistemological thesis that no belief (theory, view, thesis, and so on) can ever be rationally supported or justified in a conclusive way (that no evidence or reason can ever overturn it). Always, there remains a possible doubt as to the truth of the belief (ie. one is always open to valid and reliable reason and evidence that could disprove or deminish the belief). Fallibilism applies that assessment even to science’s best-entrenched claims and to people’s best-loved commonsense views. Some epistemologists have taken fallibilism to imply skepticism, though,...

Life Has no Meaning if You’re an Atheist?

Life Has no Meaning if You’re an Atheist? Not completely true, life has personal and social meaning but not universal meaning. But life doesn’t need universal meaning to hold or create meaning in life, we do it all the time most often without even trying. In fact prosocial interactions makes life meaning or “Fullness of Life/Emotional Wellbeing” an often unstated drive in life. To me respect not earned or freely offered is most likely fear. Where there is fear, one may be far from hope. Where there is hate, one may be far from love. Full respect should be generated to express a kind of love and hope. We seem to be our best when freely embracing love free of hate and respect free from fear. According to our early childhood education experts, pro-social behavior is when children show positive behaviors such as sharing, cooperating, empathy, and taking turns when interacting with others. These skills can help children build strong friendships and relationships and enable children to navigate different social circumstances in a constructive manner. Put differently, children experience many of the same emotional trials as adults – interpersonal conflict, the loss of loved ones, even the challenges of economic hardship are not lost on children. If a child is not given the emotional tools to handle those trials, they can have a lasting negative impact on his or her life. The more emotional education a child can receive at a young age, the better. If children’s behavioral problems are ignored, they are more likely to struggle in school and act out later in life. The value of encouraging “pro-social...