RE: Post-Empiricism Science: A little surprised
From: Brian Harper (email@example.com)
Next message: Steve Petermann: "Fragility"
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 12:30:46 EDT
At 08:38 AM 9/17/2003 -0400, Alexanian, Moorad wrote:
Ancients used to
explain eclipses and why the sun rises but could not make predictions.
The essence of a scientific theory is the ability to make predictions and
not merely give explanations, which is pure phenomenology.
Surely a statement such as this is just a personal preference. In my
reading of the philosophy of science (limited) I have not really seen too
much agreement with this. It seems to me in physics that beauty and
elegance have often provided more of a motivation for new theories than
predictive capability. Ptolemy predicted as well as Copernicus.
The behavior of a simple double pendulum cannot be predicted. But we
accept nonlinear dynamics because it presents a framework for
understanding the phenomena even though it cannot be predicted. Cosmology
is normally considered to be physics, what are its predictions?
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