From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Aug 31 2002 - 19:17:06 EDT
On Sat, 31 Aug 2002 14:26:01 -0400 email@example.com writes:
> The trouble is with the definition of science, though philosophy may
> play a
> part in that definition as well. However, which subjects are
> "science" and
> which are "speculation", for lack of anothe word? In Theology
> better work "scientifically" as well. Part of the North American
> difficulties may be a result of the fact that since the Middle Ages
> in many
> Western countries university studies were split in Arts and
> Sciences, as if
> in a subject not listed under "Science" people are only guessing.
> And some
> subjects are sometimes listed as a science and sometimes under
> But, since we serve our God everywhere and always, such a division
> does not
> make sense, though I realize that in Anglo-Saxon countries where
> they used
> this incorrect division it will be hard to correct.
> At the reformed Free University, Amsterdam, Netherlands, in my first
> basic philosophy course I learned to divide "science"= (German
> "Wissenschaft") in 14 categories, from Theology to Arithmetic, but
> all bound
> together by our relation or nob-relation to God: "From the heart are
> issues of life."
> I must stop now
> Jan de Koning
Here is a clear confusion. Though Wissenschaft is often taken to be
equivalent to "science," it is not. It is rather equivalent to scientia,
which applied to every ordered study. This is why theology was Queen of
the Sciences. The 14 categories do not apply to Naturwissenschaft, the
archaic natural philosophy, contemporary science. Geisteswissenschaften
corresponds to "arts" in arts and sciences.
Properly, philosophy does not play a part in definitions, the province of
lexicographers who properly report on actual usage, which is continuously
changing. The philosopher may critique and analyze the usage, but this
goes beyond what one finds in the dictionary. This is why one of my
colleague's prime examples of what not to do was the chap who thought to
end philosophical discussion by quoting Webster's. In any technical
field, what one finds in the dictionaries is often inadequate, which is
why one finds such phrases as "In this paper ... shall mean ..."
Encountering such a qualification, the reader earnestly hopes that the
author has remembered the restriction and does not also use the term in
its general signification.
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