Philosophy of science
Thalos, Mariam Department of Philosophy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Aristotle's theory of science
- Origins of science
- Scientific progress
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The subfield of philosophy that treats fundamental questions pertaining to science. What is science, as contrasted with technological innovation? What are its objectives and methods? Are there aims or goals that are proprietary to science—aims and goals that belong in the first instance to the scientific enterprise, even if they do not belong to any particular individual engaging in the enterprise? Would the methods of the science with which we are familiar be equally successful if the world were quite different? Does science make genuine progress, and if so how? What kind of a world does science as we know it testify to? Is it a world of order or one of chaos? If it is a world of order, how can we understand that order? Should we understand it in terms of laws, akin to those we devise for the sake of regulating our various community interactions and undertakings? And if not in terms of laws like these, then what kinds of laws should we think of science as revealing? Science, in our present era, is divided into specialties. How do specialties originate and evolve? How are the subject matters of diverse scientific specialties related? These questions are as urgent today as they were in the days of Aristotle, who originated the first theory of science, as well as engaged in some of the very earliest scientific inquiries and defined the very first disciplinary boundaries. See See also: Physical science; Science; Scientific methods; Technology
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