What is Philosophy
What is Philosophy
of Science
What is Verification
and Falsification
about Science
Science according to
Scientific method
Paradigm and
paradigm shift
Karl Popper -
Logic and status
Consequences of Popper's theses
Alternative Science
Chalmers: What is this
thing called Science?
Epistemology -
induction deduction

Opinions about science

Among scientists, philosophers and judges there exist partially overlapping conceptions about what is science:

• Within the natural sciences "Scientific method" is used.

• Philosophers discuss philosophy of science.

• In the courts i US the Daubert standard are used.


Natural scientists about science

Scientific method

Natural scientists commonly know the concept the scientific method and regard it to implicate that the description of an investigation should be detailed enough to permit repetition by a reader. The results from the investigation (raw data in experimental work) should also be included in the report. The report should begin with an introduction that contains a background to the work, including an overview of relevant previous publications, and may be terminated by a discussion that may contain a hypothesis generated by the investigations.

In addition to that the report contains something of interest, this is about what is needed for a publication in a scientific journal. An overview of additional components that are required during publishing is given at the page Science according to Scientists appear, however, not to work according to a more strict definition concerning the content of the term "science".

Scientific journals

A more pragmatic definition is that "what is published in a scientific journal" should be counted as science. The scientific journals, e.g. Science or Nature, have slightly differing demands on publications, resulting in that the definition of the word science, according to this view, may be slightly differing.

It will hence be the experienced scientists that approve an article (peer review) that define more exactly what the journal count as science within their special field.



Philosophers about science - Philosophy of science

A summary of professional philosophers conceptions within philosophy of science:


The summary is based on the introduction in
Boyd, R., Gasper, P. and Trout, J.D. - The Philosophy of Science

ISBN-13: 978-0-262-52156-7

The main message is that the consensus of today within philosophy of science is based on, but is more complex than, the old positivist conception. The increased complexity is mainly due to a coupling to observations of scientific activity.

The serious alternatives within philosophy of science are according to Boyd et al.:

• scientific realism
• neo-Kantian constructivism
• post-positivistic empiricism


This means that the alternatives are claimed to resemble something like:

• observations informs us about reality.
• how we conceive the world depends on our agreements.
• the basis of science is, quite coarsely, observations that are verifiable.


Boyd et al. also states:

• Scientific concepts and methodology are theory dependent.

• Any account of scientific knowledge must embody at least some naturalistic elements. The history of science provides a very important constraint on theories in the philosophy of science.

• Humean conception of causation is by no means obviously correct.

• Biological and social sciences can be "autonomous". Their philosophy may hence be separate from that of physical sciences..



US federal legal definition about Science

In US, trial judges have agreed on a definition of scientific knowledge in the Daubert standard. The definition appears to be rather close to natural scientist´s opinion about science.



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