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Thread: Avocados, Abstract Ideas, and Categories

  1. #1 Avocados, Abstract Ideas, and Categories 
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    Avocados, Abstract Ideas, and Categories

    I plan to have friends over this evening and will go to the market this afternoon to find some ripe avocadoes. Selecting avocadoes that can be served immediately is a difficult task.

    Ripe avocado is a literal idea and science is an abstract idea. An abstract idea is a complex neural network consisting of literal concepts and other abstract concepts.

    Is psychology a science? It all depends upon how you categorize science. If the natural sciences are the only sciences then psychology would not be a science. If the social sciences are science then psychology is a science. If human sciences are a science then psychology is a science. Where does one go for authority for such matters? I suggest that you go to the philosophy of science for your answer.

    Wiki advises me that philosophy of science studies the assumptions, foundations, and implications of all domains of knowledge that seek to be included within those prestigious halls of science. This includes both the natural and human sciences. “In this respect, the philosophy of science is closely related to epistemology and metaphysics.”

    Robert Schenk tries to answer the question ‘Is economics a science?’ in a copyright article at: http://ingrimayne.com/econ/Introduction/Overview1.html

    In this article Schenk recognizes that this question has been argued for over a century without a clear winner. He further argues that to provide a legitimate answer to this question about economics that one must have the ability to answer such questions as:
    What does "invisible hand" mean, what was Malthus opinion regarding population growth, what was Poppers judgment regarding this question, and what does scarcity, choice, and self-interest mean to economics.

    I started this search under the assumption that I could give good evidence to support a clear necessary and sufficient condition for any domain of knowledge to be judged a science. After searching Google and scratching my head I have decided that the question “What is science?” is, in fact, a value judgment.

    Is value an abstract idea?

    Is this question “what is science?” a matter of fact or a matter of value judgment?


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  3. #2 Re: Avocados, Abstract Ideas, and Categories 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    I started this search under the assumption that I could give good evidence to support a clear necessary and sufficient condition for any domain of knowledge to be judged a science. After searching Google and scratching my head I have decided that the question “What is science?” is, in fact, a value judgment.

    Is value an abstract idea?

    Is this question “what is science?” a matter of fact or a matter of value judgment?
    Decide whatever you like. Decide that the moon is made of green cheese. No one can stop you. However, what is science is a matter of methodology, that is all. Now you can certainly criticize as I do, to what degree the softer sciences like the social sciences either does follow or is capable of following this methodology. Kuhn's scientific revolutions are so applicable to these softer sciences precisely because substantial evidence that is not wide open to interpretation is so difficult to come by in these soft sciences. But none of this changes the fact that the modern meaning of science is to be found in the scientific method, or changes the fact that Kuhh should have entitled his book, "The Structure of the Revolutions of Academic Opinion" because it really had nothing to do with science or its methodology at all.


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  4. #3  
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    Mitchel

    I agree I think it is a value judgment. You are placing value on the scientific method.
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  5. #4  
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    I'm allergic to avocado's.....
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  6. #5  
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    Science is a process guided by the scientific method. Children are inherently scientific because they use hypothesis, experimentation, and revamping of hypothesis in order to navigate their enironment. Some aspects of religion such as 6 day creationism are unscientific because they have abandoned the scientific process.

    Selecting a ripe avocado could be seen as a scientific process. You hypothesise that a certain softness indicates ripeness, or that a certain brand of avocado is superior in flavour. You test your hypothesis by purchasing avocados that conform to your criteria and in essence are testing your hypothesis when you eat your avocado.

    If you were to find that the soft avocados currently available at your market are in fact soft because they are bruised or otherwise substandard (mouldy, or some such) you would revise your hypothesis to say that softness is not absolutely predictive of ripeness.

    Science is a process, not a field.
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