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For some people science is the supreme form of all knowledge. Is this view reasonable or does it involve a misunderstanding of science or of knowledge?

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Introduction

THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE Question 1 For some people science is the supreme form of all knowledge. Is this view reasonable or does it involve a misunderstanding of science or of knowledge? Name: Michaela Villinova Word count: 1375 words Some people regard science as the supreme form of knowledge, because science provides facts. People tend to see science as true, justified, reliable, precise and objective. However there is a significant difference between natural and social sciences. Natural sciences use 'the basic scientific method' to find the facts about the world we live in, the natural events and processes that take place in our world. The 'basic scientific method' or na�ve inductivism follows five stages which include observation, information, generalization, theory and explanation and prediction. However though the basic scientific method seems perfectly reliable, there may be some problems which could challenge science as the supreme form of knowledge. Social sciences study human behaviour, relationships and society. These are very subjective and very difficult to measure. The results can be distorted by the scientists because completely objective observation is even more difficult in natural sciences because seeing what you want to see gives a distorted picture. ...read more.

Middle

This means that we cannot trust our senses completely. Secondly, science as an activity that is supposed to be detached from emotional content, however the scientists doing the experiments and the observations are humans an they cannot detach from their nature. Simply they can observe things that they want to observe because of many reasons such as political, financial, practical and also personal motives. And thirdly there is the problem of the observational statement which means that the scientists have to put their observations into words, which can influence the effect that the observation makes on people. Then there is the problem of the way we treat and use our knowledge. The process of inductive reasoning that we use in our everyday life follows this pattern: the experience or the observation comes first and based on it a prediction for the future or a general statement is made. There is a big strength about this way of reasoning. Firstly, science is based on this kind of reasoning and most of the people regard science as the supreme form of knowledge. Secondly it is quite obvious that the human race couldn't function without inductive reasoning because most or even all of our thinking processes follow the rules of inductive reasoning. ...read more.

Conclusion

However if people regard natural sciences as the supreme form of knowledge, they misunderstand knowledge very much because there are so many problems and mistakes in human reasoning and the way they process information and deduce conclusions from information that was processed in a wrong way or was inadequate to support the conclusion. This theory can be very much supported by the theory of David Hume, a famous philosopher, who challenged science very much by his laws of causation. 1"The turkey found that, on his first morning at the turkey farm, that he was fed at 9 a.m. Being a good inductivist turkey he did not jump to conclusions. He waited until he collected a large number of observations that he was fed at 9 a.m. and made these observations under a wide range of circumstances, on Wednesdays, on Thursdays, on cold days, on warm days. Each day he added another observation statement to his list. Finally he was satisfied that he had collected a number of observation statements to inductively infer that "I am always fed at 9 a.m.". However on the morning of Christmas eve he was not fed but instead had his throat cut." http://marr.bsee.swin.edu.au/~dtl/het704/lecture3/logfals/node6.html, 20th September 2004 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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