Does Science Give us Truth? Truth Tests

20 May

This one was an assignment about the theories of truth concerning science. I will probably do further posts in further detail about the theories of truth and pragmatism and stuff like that.

Does Science Give Us Truth?

The Correspondence Theory of Truth

This idea is a test concerning things that might not be true. To use the test one is to see if the questioned object corresponds to or relates to things that are real. If it does then according to this theory it is true. Mental images can also correspond to things that are true. Mental images are not true even though they correspond to things that are true so in this case this theory has a problem.

The Coherence Theory of Truth

This truth test states that if something coheres or fits with things that are true then that object is true. This is a problem because statements that are thought to be true usually have small exceptions to them that makes them not cohere with other real things. This truth test is also problematic because it is used on things that we cannot see to clarify truthfulness. If we cannot see the items in question we cannot know the extent of the exceptions of the things that make it cohere.

Realism and the Objective Theory of Truth

Popper basically said that science through research and hypotheses are a good way to get truth but it must be falsified by observation. If things in question are observed to be true as well as continuously proved to be true then it is true.  The problem is that if something proved false scientifically it could be proved real by simple observation. The two forms of falsifying things in question could contradict each other.

Scientific Realism

Kuhn stated that things are proved true or false by a paradigm being forced by a community of scientists that drive to prove or falsify something. Within a scientific community there are a lot of processes of scientific inquiry and a lot of observations due to different perceptions. This helps things be proven if different people with different opinions and observations believe it. This type of realism runs into problems because of the fact that there are a lot of  observations and processes within the paradigm that conflict causing a large problem where sometimes no one really gets anywhere.

Pragmatism

This truth test states that if the object in question effects our senses and it makes a different because it means something then it is true. Peirce’s truth test comes into problems because ideas that affect the senses and ends up meaning something may not always be true and may not always work together with other processes. Because pragmatism truth tests do not include the fact that the idea must work with other hypotheses this is a very problematic truth test

Instrumentalism

This test is not necessarily a truth test because it questions theories and explanations. If an idea, concept, theory or explanation explains it truthfully those theories or instruments work or can be said to be effective in explanation. Under this test things cannot be declared to be true or untrue which causes problems with observations because observations are centered around truthfulness which causes the senses to have very little part in anything, just reason. Scientist’s hypotheses are concerning truthfulness of objects and this test does not correlate with science.

Karl Popper and Falsification

Karl Popper believed that hypotheses are useful for science and that scientific possibilities must be able to be falsified if they are false by science. He did not agree that scientific experimentation was the only way to falsify hypotheses. He thought that observation could easily falsify objects in question. Observations are an easy way to falsify objects in question and he believed that it was justifiable to falsify science this way.  Preconceptions on this earth come from previously having seen or known something (usually observation or education). Nature on this earth is purely conceived through senses and we investigate what we perceive to find truth. It is not possible to investigate nature, that is a purely observatory aspect of this earth, without preconception.

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