Why are Scientific Theories Convincing? Term Paper by Julian

A look at why we judge claims of truthfulness in the context of science.
# 151870 | 1,749 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Oct 19, 2012 in History (European) , Philosophy (Science)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper analyzes how we judge claims of truthfulness in the context of science, and further discusses what makes science. First, the paper examines the progress of scientific knowledge over the centuries, beginning with ancient times. Then, it considers how pseudo-sciences have accompanied science over history. Next, the paper looks at modern science which has looked for simple criteria to help them judge the validity of various doctrines. Various seminal scientific thinkers are noted, particularly Descartes. Finally, the paper explores science as evolution of dialogue, and that it proceeds by correcting errors. The paper concludes by cautioning individuals to be critical thinkers and wary of pseudo-science. This paper contains footnotes.

From the Paper:

"This is not as surprising as it would seem at first sight to a scientifically minded person: pseudo-sciences have accompanied sciences for as long as the latter have existed. Some sciences began as reviled studies or illegal practices (think of anatomy during the 15th century) whereas branches that were seen as perfectly respectable and promising at some point have lost all credibility (physiognomy, graphology). When someone attempts to argue with adepts of pseudo-sciences, he is asked quite soon if there is any reason why hypotheses disputed today could not be proved true tomorrow - which sounds fairly reasonable, except that such a line of judgment could be used to justify absolutely anything. Not long ago, a candidate to the US presidency, Texas governor Rick Perry , stated that since geocentrism was the established view in Galileo's age, and now we know that was wrong, there is no reason to believe that rapid climate change is happening, just because a majority of scientists are saying that it does: after all they may be proved wrong in the future. Perry apparently did not realize that with this reasoning one could claim absolutely anything. A good example would be this one..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Descartes, Rene. Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. BN Publishing, 2007. Print.
  • Fountain, Henry. "Divining Perry's Meaning on Galileo Remark." The New York Times, September 8 2011. Web.
  • Gron, Oyvind. Lecture Notes on the General Theory of Relativity: From Newton's Attractive Gravity to the Repulsive Gravity of Vacuum Energy. Springer Science Business Media 2009. Print.
  • Ovason, David. The History of the Horoscope. The History Press, 2006. Print.
  • Parvin, Phil and John Meadowcroft. Karl Popper (Major Conservative & Libertarian Thinkers). Continuum Publishing, 2010. Print.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Why are Scientific Theories Convincing? (2012, October 19) Retrieved April 03, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/why-are-scientific-theories-convincing-151870/

MLA Format

"Why are Scientific Theories Convincing?" 19 October 2012. Web. 03 April. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/why-are-scientific-theories-convincing-151870/>