Philosophy Essay 代写: 科学的临时性
Philosophy Essay 代写: 科学的临时性
Science can be distinguished for its changing state of conclusions. This provisional way of knowing can be very problematic even though it can be useful to us. Science is defined by the Webster’s dictionary as “knowledge gained by systematic experimentation and analysis.” (Webster’s English Dictionary 253) What really distinguishes the sciences from many of the other ways of knowing is that it has a very different way to find the “truth.” The definition of truth in this case is anything that works in practice or is useful to us because science is heavily based on the pragmatic theory. From discipline to discipline the ways of finding out the “truth” differ. However, even though science is a provisional human activity, it is not the only one. This can be seen clearly when one compares three different fields of study in terms of provisional conclusions: science, mathematics and art.
Science is a system where “truth” is proven through experimentation and observation. It is thus a priori knowledge, meaning that it is knowledge that is derived from experience. While some people would argue that science is based on too many assumptions, and the laws always change, therefore, we should use other ways of knowing such as our perception, others would think of the usefulness that science brings. In my opinion, because science always changes, it is the main reason why we should appreciate this way of knowing. These constant changes show that even though we might never find out the answer to everything, we are constantly progressing in fields such as biology, chemistry, physics etc. As a pragmatic way of knowing or a way of knowing that is concerned with what is useful to us or what works in practice, the sciences already come loaded with problems that are associated with this specific way of knowing. However, by defining it as a pragmatic way of knowing, we can see that science is all about finding out the “truth.” This “truth” might not be the perfect truth such as outlined by Plato with his idea of forms; however, this truth is more concerned with usefulness. Many times in the course of our history, scientific laws and theories were disproved or changed. For example, there was a cubical atom theory less then one hundred years ago, and it stated that all atoms had a shape of a cube. This theory was soon disproved by many scientists such as Bohr and Rutherford. Today, we have a much different prediction of what the atom looks like thanks to quantum mechanics. With science we accept our limitations that we have with today’s instruments, and we look at what we can potentially do with them. For example, scientists know that they can’t reach zero Kelvin, where, theoretically, all motion stops on a microscopic level, but practically it is impossible because of the nature of heat transfer from one object to the other. With science we don’t stop improving our ways of experimenting even though we know we can’t reach perfection; however, today we get close to those ideal situations. We are about a billionth of a degree away from the zero Kelvin mark. Science is so heavily funded for the reason that it advances our society. Although science is the answer to many of our problems, it is based mostly on predictions, and that creates a dilemma. For example, through the string theory we can predict that there are eleven distinct dimensions; however, that is only an educated guess because these dimensions are so small that we will never physically see them, we can only prove them using mathematics. Furthermore, even though these predictions are based on assumptions, we can still be fairly accurate even with our limitations, but because this accuracy is not perfect, we try to achieve the best we can, and, as a result, the sciences become provisional. For example, astronomers can predict where and when the next eclipse will happen with a very good precision, this is because many years ago scientists disproved the geocentric model of the universe and adopted the model we are familiar with today: the heliocentric universe. Because physics and other sciences are the way we explore our world, it makes the knowledge we get from it always useful. For instance, if a scientist is trying to find a cure for cancer, but instead randomly finds out how a person’s brain works, he still furthers our knowledge of all the things around us, even though that scientist was hoping to find a different answer. This usefulness always reshapes our knowledge since it brings in new ideas and models that attempt to explain the patterns that are all around us.