On 11 Sep 2013, at 20:37, meekerdb wrote:
On 9/11/2013 4:03 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 10 Sep 2013, at 19:45, meekerdb wrote:
On 9/10/2013 1:55 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
Today we know that science proves nothing about reality, but it
can refute theories, and it can provides evidences for theories,
but not automatically the truth.
Scientific theories are certainly not automatically the truth.
But to say science "proves *nothing* about reality" is ridiculous.
It might depend what we mean by reality. If reality is defined by a
model of arithmetic, then we can agree that science can prove
statements having the shape: if there is a reality, then there is
an infinity of prime numbers, and that might be an example.
But usually we prove propositions inside theories,
That's your Platonist dogma.
Not at all. It is a common definition of "proving". It is always in a
theory. Observation can only lead to conceiving, choosing or
abandoning a theory.
I know many people use "proof" in larger sense, but this very fact
explains the mess here, around epistemology.
You can only prove propositions inside theories by assuming some
axioms from which to prove them. The scientific method is prove
theories (in the original sense of test) by observation. That's how
Galileo proved the moon was not a perfect celestial sphere: he
observed craters on it.
He just refuted the theory that the moon was a perfect sphere.
and it is always a sort of bet that such theories really apply to
Sure, because the axioms and the rules of inference are never
certain. But when you make an empirical observation you are
interacting with reality if there's any reality at all.
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