Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Objectivity 1.3 - Objectivity is New

Section 1.3 opens by contrasting objectivity as virtue (something good, according to a particular paradigm), against both the older "truth to nature" and the more recent "trained judgment" virtues.  These are called "epistemic" virtues, meaning they pertain to "how we know" something is scientifically true and/or accurate.  Scientific theories which describe reality are always subject to revision, and therefore accompanied by some level of certainty, whereas in pure mathematics and logic, absolute statements can be made because they can be placed in an artificial scope, such as "integers" about which consequences that are absolutely necessary can be deduced from the definition of an integer.

When dealing with nature however, we don't have the ability to restrict what reality can do, and our preconceptions frequently get the rug pulled out from under them.  

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