SCIENCE AND COMMONSENSE
“Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man’s upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.”The Theory emphasizes continuity in the reasoning processes of early development and scientific research in the sense that “there are common cognitive structures and processes, common representations and rules, that underlie both everyday knowledge and scientific knowledge”
INTRODUCTION:- It is wide accepted that students bring back science lessons their everyday sensible data, and use this as a part of understanding the science they’re instructed. However, the link of scientific and sensible information is simply too typically trivialized, for instance treating scientific information as abstract and customary knowledge as concrete. This text tries to debate every, and their relationship to 1 another, additional deeply.
The discussion is organized below four main themes:
• The character of knowledge base and reasoning;
• The importance of science and of its role within the development of rationality;
• The character of sensible information and reasoning;
• Variations and similarities between science and commonsense;
Finally, I discuss some implications for the teaching of science.
The scientific method could be an approach of building data and creating predictions concerning the globe in such some way that they’re testable. Different scientific disciplines generally use totally different ways and approaches to analyze the nature, however testing lies at the core of scientific inquiry for all scientists. Science is reality re-imagined. It populates the Universe with a metaphysics menagerie of entities, some mundane and at one with common sensible, some exotic and on the far side however not disjoint from common experience; however some virtually on the far side belief, and a few that appear to be strictly theoretical fancies.
What distinguishes this menagerie from bound others is that its denizens are taken to be real. That is, once imaginary, they’re taken seriously as actual constituents of the physical world, existing and ready to act or be acted on in their own correct ways in which while not relation to what we have a tendency to may need or expect. The scientific imagination, in Aristotle’s words, isn’t free. The imaginings that don’t survive this attribution of reality to them area unit within the finish discarded. And since reality is not any follower of persons and their imaginings or opinions, this check makes science in some extent impersonal.
Everyday expertise teaches United States that the globe isn’t perpetually simply what it seems: fish lurk within the depths of the ocean, illness hides in left-over food, traits pass from parent to kid, the seasons recur while not obvious cause. To grasp however things area unit we’ve got to imagine, or hear creative tales, concerning however they’re ‘inside’ or ‘behind’ the surface. Not everything may be browse at once the face of reality. The issue of many centuries of development of knowledge domain is that the imagination seems to be a good deal a lot of necessaries in understanding reality than may need been supposed.
Amazingly very little may be taken to be simply what it appears to be: the hardness of a stone seems to depend upon the strength of bound chemical bonds, and therefore the color of a flower to be each a quantum development among bound molecules and no matter is required to draw in insects to try to a part of the work of constructing a brand-new plant with those flowers. the scientific Knowledge is Based on the empirical Evidence Identifies accurate examples of data used for evidence. For an example: Much of the data about the seafloor is collected without a direct observations. Science is a Way of Knowing Communicates specific examples of how a science is used to solve problems in the real world.
KINDS OF SCIENCETIFIC EXPLAINATION :-
Explanation is an answer to the “Why” question. When we ask, “Why is the milk man late today?” or “Why do we perspire?”, we are king for explanation. If the milkman tells us that his train was late, the happening becomes clear to us. In a similar way, the phenomenon of perspiration is clarified when we understand that the sweat glands are the air- conditioners of the body. Their function is to keep the body temperature constant. Obviously, explanations will not be demanded if the facts are clear. It is only when a situation puzzles us that we ask for explanation. A puzzling situation, or problem, arises if some fact clashes with our system of knowledge. All explanations are advanced to solve a problem. the simplest legendary idiographic technique could also be the case study. for instance, each social scientists and historians investigate wars. For explaining a fact, a law (or laws) is required; and for explaining a law, at least one more general law is needed. So, we may say that explanation consists in deducing the explicandum from the explicans, such that the explicans, such that the explicans
contains at least one more general proposition than the explicandum, and is true. Let us
now analyze the requirements of scientific explanation.
- Logical consequence: In a satisfactory explanation, the explicandum must be a logical consequence of the explicans. That is, from the explanation which is given, it should be possible to deduce the fact or law which is to be explained. Galileo’s law of freely falling bodies is explained by deducing it from Newton’s laws of motion and his law of gravitation.
- More general statement: In the scientific explanation of law, the explicans must contain at least one more general law than the explicandum. We find this feature in the explanation of Galileo’s and Kepler’s law. The scope of Newton’s law is wider than the scope of these laws. Similarly, Einstein’s theory is able to explain Newton’s law of gravitation, because it covers laws relating to electrical and mechanical energy. This requirement is a drawn, because science aims at systematization. That aim cannot be realized unless less general laws are deduced from more general laws. Moreover, if the explicans is not more general than the explicandum, it is possible that the explanation be circular. That is, the explicandum and the explicans may state the same thing in different words. For example, it is no explanation of the sleep-producing qualities of opium to say that it is soporific. For soporific means “sleep producing.”
- Verifiable : In a scientific explanation, the explicans must be verifiable. A Jaw is advanced to explain facts. But how is one to know that it does explain these facts. Obviously, by finding out whether it agrees will facts. That is why science demands that laws be verifiable. In fact, a law is regarded as the explanation of facts, only so long as it does not conflict with them. If scientists come across facts that do not support a law, the law ceases to explain. It is rejected, and a new law takes its place. The condition of verifiability is the basic requirement of science. Even a hypothesis not considered seriously if it fails to satisfy this requirement.
- True : Lastly, a scientific explanation must be true. In view of the fact that every law is subject to rejection, this requirement cannot be interpreted strictly. The requirement merely means that, at the time a law is advanced as explanation, there must be independent evidence in its support. That is, the evidence for it should not be restricted to the facts, or laws, which it is supposed to explain. Newton’s law could explain the already established laws of freely falling bodies, tides and planetary motions; because it had some additional evidence, such as the movements of comets. This characteristic enables scientists to rule out an ad hoc hypothesis as explanation. A law is not accepted as explanation unless some unobserved phenomena can be restricted from it. The predictive power would show that the law is supported by facts and that it is not restricted to the facts, or laws, which is has been advanced to explain. It would further show that the law has independent evidence, and so is not an ad hoc, hypothesis. Both Newton’s law and Eistenin’s law had great predictive power.
EXPLAINATION OF SECIENCE AND COMMOM SENSE:- The kinds of explanation of science and common sense are as follows:-
- Familiarity : For a plain man, the need for explanation is felt when difficulty arises. The familiar events are clear to him. So he does not require explanation for them. He is puzzled by anything unfamiliar, and he explains unfamiliar events by showing their connection with something familiar. The notion of familiarity is connected with our experienced and expectations, anything unexpected is unfamiliar. His attitude is objective. He aims to discover the laws of nature. Secondly, the function of explanation in science is both positive and function is to solve the problem; and the positive one is to improve understanding. The negative. The negative latter is the more important function. Scientists attempt to realize this goal by finding relations among facts and laws. That is why scientists seek explanations for all phenomena. The phenomena such as tides, lightning, thunder, and rain are familiar. Yet scientists want to find explanations for them. Further, if we examine explanations in the advanced sciences, we shall find that, in many cases, the explicans is more unfamiliar than the explicandum. The theory of relativity (E = mc2) is certainly more unfamiliar than the phenomena it explains.
- The type of explicandum: The plain man’s explanations are determined by his practical interests. These purposes are not served by seeking explanations for events in general, or for laws : That is why he demands explanations only for some particular occurrence which puzzles him. As we have emphasises above, science aim at universal explanation. So a scientist’s explanations are not restricted to events He explains laws too In fact, he rarely explains a particular event. He is interested in a event, only because it is an instance of a class. This distinction is of great importance For it shows that science aims at systematization.
- Evidence: The common man’s explanations may not be supported evidence. He is not critical about his explanations. He does not attempt to find o whether the explicans has evidence in its support. That is why sometimes the action of a supernatural agency is advanced as the explanation for the puzzling situatic Let us illustrate this. The cult of “Thugi” was prevalent in India till the end of the la century. Whenever the “thugs” failed in their enterprises, they attributed the fail to the anger of Goddess Kali.
- Attitude: It follows from the above that the common man’s attitude i dogmatic. He is not prepared to find out whether his explanations are supported by facts. To take an example Galileo offered his telescope to one of the schoolmen to look at the newly discovered moons of Jupiter. He (the schoolman) declined to look, as he was already convinced that Jupiter could not have moons. As against this the scientist’s attitude is open minded He maintains an explanation so long as, it is supported by facts, When it Duile to account for them, it is discarded.
- Based on similarity: Lastly, the plain man’s explanations are often based on similarity in irrelevant characteristics. But for a scientist, the explanatory value of a similarity consists in the law of which it (the observed similarity) is consequence. A scientist does not regard analogy as the explanation for a phenomenon. For the scientist, analogy only suggests an explanation. As we have seen, analogy itself is a source of hypothesis. On the other hand, for the common man, analogy itself is explanation For example, foxglove-tea was regarded as a remedy for heart attacks: because the shape of the foxglove flower is similar to that of the heart. Obviously, similarity in this feature is irrelevant.
SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION OF FACT AND LAW:-Logic is concerned with the general and formal principles of valid reasoning. Legal logic is correspondingly concerned with the particular principles of legally sound and valid reasoning and decision-making.Facts are simple, basic observations that have been shown to be true. Laws are generalized observations about a relationship between two or more things in the natural world.Both scientific laws and theories are considered scientific fact.However, theories and laws can be disproven when new evidence emerges. Certain accepted truths of Newtonian physics were partially disproven by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.
- Explanation of fact:- An individual fact (or event) cannot be deduced from a law, by itself.
Every event occurs under certain specific space and time raitons; and these can not be explained by a law: Therefore, in the explanation of n et, the explicans includes not only a law (or laws), but also certain initial conditions These initial conditions are the peculiarities of the fact, or event, to be explained. Let us take an example. Totricelli conducted an experiment in which mercury in the tube rose to about 30 inches height.
- Explanation of law :– This consists in the statement of at least one more general law from
which the law to be explained could be deduced. Thus, Galileo’s law was explained by deducing it from Newton’s three laws of motion and law of gravitation. In its turn, Newton’s law of gravitation was explained by Einstein’s theory of relativity. By deducing less general laws from more general laws, and those from still more funeral laws, science introduces greater and greater degree of systematization. A ore general law (or theory) has a wider range of application. It explains all the Phenomena explained by the less general laws, as well as some other phenomena.
LIMITS OF EXPLANATION:-To explain a fact is to show that it is an instance of a law To explain In is to show that its operation is due to a more general law. But to do so, the similarities of the explicandum to the other facts, or laws, included in the explicans have to he discovered. From this it follows that a fact which has no similarities with other facts cannot be explained. In the
case of laws too, we find a similar position.
- Axioms : The axioms of a science fall outside the scope of explanation. The reason for
this is that axioms are the assumptions of a system. All the laws in the system are formulated subject to these axioms. Therefore, axioms will remain outside the scope of explanation for ever.
- Fundamental law : The fundamental (or primary law of a science also cannot explained. However, this limit is purely temporary, With the advance in a science, the fundamental law of a narrower system is explained by deducing it from a law (or laws) of a wider system.
- Individual characteristics of a fact: We have seen that the scientific explanation of an
individual fact (or event) consists in stating the initial conditions and the laws from which the fact could be deduced. Now it is not possible to find out all the circumstances and properties of an individual fact. Therefore, its complete explanation will never be possible.
- Basic qualities of experience and matter: If we look to our mental life, we shall find that
basic qualities of our experience, eg, our sensations and feelings, cannot be explained. And if we turn our attention to the material bodies, we cannot discover any explanation for such properties as shape and extension. These features of objects and our experiences are ‘something given. We proceed from these; we cannot account for them. However, no explanation is required in their case.
CONCLUSION:- Although scientific explanation has been the subject of many critiques, it is still the most methodical, reliable form of knowledge. It is ironic that while the natural sciences are becoming less positivistic and are beginning to recognize nonempirical, subjective, and cultural influences on scientific knowledge, the social sciences continue to emphasize the refinement of methodology and measurement in an attempt to become more positivistic (Alexander 1982). The result is that in sociology, theoretical inquiry is increasingly divorced from empirical research. There are significant differences between scientific and explanations The plain man demands explanations only for individual occurrences common and that too when they are unfamiliar. Science aims at universal explanation. sense Scientific explanation have the support of evidence; and the scientist’s attitude is open-minded. The plain man’s explanations may refer to supernatural agencies: and he is dogmatic. Lastly, any similarity is a basis for the common man’s explanations. Mill conceived of scientific explanation on the deductive model. He stated three modes of explanation. These sub-kinds of deductive model explanation are analysis, concatenation, and subsumption.
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