RE: definition of science

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 13:57:19 EDT

The notion of supernatural seems to transcend Nature and venture into the religious. I prefer the terms physical and nonphysical. The former clearly the subject matter of science whereas the latter is clearly outside the bounds of science. Examples of the latter are human rationality, consciousness, and perhaps, even the notion of life.

Moorad

________________________________

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of kbmill@ksu.edu
Sent: Mon 4/25/2005 1:41 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: definition of science

Terry:

> Is biology "physical" in your use of the word? How about psychology?
>
> I'm not trying to invoke a sense of vital force here, but
> philosophers of science, especially philosophers of biology, have
> long advocated an autonomy of biology that makes it irreducible to
> physics and chemistry (even though it may be fully built upon a
> physics and chemistry substratum). In other words, there are
> scientific concepts, laws, theories, etc. that can't be reduced to
> some physical-chemical expression--they are expressed only in terms
> of the biological world.
>
> This is why I want to distinguish between physical and natural.

I used the term "physical" to include all of physical reality (matter
and energy) and thus would include biology, neuroscience, etc. And no
I do not believe that everything is reducible to physics. My intended
distinction is between the physical (natural) and supernatural.

Keith
Received on Mon Apr 25 13:59:26 2005

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