Saturday, December 30, 2017

Summary: chapter 2 in What Is This Thing Called Science? / Alan Chalmers

What Is This Thing Called Science? / Alan Chalmers
Chapter 2: Observation as practical intervention

Observation according to Chalmers is not passive à range or things are done to establish the validity of a perception
-   If validity of perceptions is doubted à take action to remove the problem (e.g. touch, taste and dissect the object of observation)
-  Action can be taken to explore the adequacy of claims put forward as observable facts, so subjective aspects of perception need not be an intractable problem for science. Observable facts objective but fallible
- An observation statement constitutes a fact worthy of forming part of the basis for science if it is such that it can be tested by the senses and withstands those tests à emphasis on tests brings out active, public character of the vindication of observation statements
Observations suitable for constituting a basis for scientific knowledge are both objective and fallible. They are objective insofar as they can be publicly tested by straightforward procedures, and they are fallible insofar as they may be undermined by new kinds of tests made possible by advances in science and technology.

additional summaries in  philosophy of science

Some books about philosophy of science to consider: