Re: The naturalist Philosophy

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (
Date: Fri Aug 30 2002 - 23:57:17 EDT

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    As one who taught philosophy for years, I think that it would be
    difficult to get much across in a high school class. The kind of thinking
    required seems to require more maturity. However, a beginning science
    course could include a few basic facts: (1) that the doing of science
    requires some nonscientific assumptions; (2) that science provides the
    best available answers to certain types of problems, but current answers
    are subject to revision, for they may change with new information; (3)
    that for any set of data, there are an infinite number of theories
    possible. This last requires consideration not only of the narrow model,
    but also the ancillary assumptions. Recognition of these matters will
    exclude scientism.

    The third point is one that is seldom recognized. It is not just
    theoretical. After Einstein presented his relativity theories, Whitehead
    produced one based on Euclidean geometry rather than Riemannian. The two
    were shown to be identical on the four matters then recognized as
    relevant by Eddington. Later observations killed Whitehead's. Later Dicke
    and Brans (?) produced an alternative that challenged Einstein on some
    points. In time, Einstein was shown to be correct. There are also other
    alternatives whose authors I don't recall. Of course, given the
    complexity of relativity theory, I don't anticipate a spate of them.

    On Fri, 30 Aug 2002 11:07:01 -0400 "Shuan Rose" <> writes:
    > Seeking a middle ground here...
    > Sounds like both of you agree that philosophy, or philosophy of
    > science
    > should be taught in public schools, maybe with evolution as a
    > specific
    > topic. Should this be done? Could high school students be able to
    > understand
    > and appreciate this?

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