RE: definition of science

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 16:31:51 EDT

The definition of science I gave is metaphysically sound. The question is if it excludes from science something that is clearly scientific. I do not think so. The definition is not reductionist since it includes the nonphysical aspect of reality. All human concepts, e.g., mathematical, values, meaning, are abstractions with no physical reality. Witness even the number pi, which is a purely human conception.




From: on behalf of Terry M. Gray
Sent: Mon 4/25/2005 3:08 PM
Subject: RE: definition of science

That's a tautological claim. The whole point under discussion here is
whether or not the definition of science is so limited.


>If science deals with the physical aspect of reality, then the
>question arises if life can be characterized by purely physical
>concepts only. I do not think so.
>From: Terry M. Gray []
>Sent: Mon 4/25/2005 2:15 PM
>To: Alexanian, Moorad
>Subject: RE: definition of science
>Are you suggesting that the study of life is outside the bounds of science?
>>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
>>From: on behalf of
>>Sent: Mon 4/25/2005 1:41 PM
>>Subject: RE: definition of science
>>> 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.
>Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
>Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
>Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
>phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801
Received on Mon Apr 25 16:33:02 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Apr 25 2005 - 16:33:04 EDT