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AF Chalmers - What is this thing called Science?

Chapter 2 - Observation as practical intervention

 

 

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Chalmers

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Chapter 2 - Observation as practical intervention

 

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The view of perception or observation, as passive and private, is totally inadequate.

If we doubt the validity of an observation, there are various actions we can take to remove the problem. If,

Unexpected observations may be passive and accidental, but within more mature sciences they are often more actively planned.

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Observable facts objective but fallible

 

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An observation statement constitutes a fact worthy of forming part of the basis for science if it is such that it can be straightforwardly tested by the senses and withstands those tests.

Observations within science should be described in such a manner that it is possible to reproduce or control them.
Chalmers is erroneous that observations should be controllable directly by the senses. On the contrary it is desirable that observations are registered in a quantifiable manner by instruments or questionnaires. Of course such tools should be scientifically described, i.e. in a manner so that they are possible to reproduce.

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Observations suitable for constituting a basis for scientific knowledge are both objective and fallible. Objective implies that they can be publicly tested.

Observations should be described carefully so that they are possible to reproduce.
Observations may be fallible.

 
     

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