- For the homonymous articles, to see Science (homonymy).
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science (of scientia, knowledge) consists of:
- the search and the systematic acquisition for knowledge on the objects and the world which surround us;
- the organization and the synthesis of this knowledge by the means of general principles a priori (theories, laws, measurement, method, etc.);
- diffusion of the results of these steps.
According to the philosopher , a theory is scientifically acceptable only if, such as it is presented, it can be refutable, i.e. subjected to experimental tests. Scientific knowledge is thus the whole of the theories which hitherto resisted the refutation. science is thus by nature subjected permanently to the handing-over in question.
During its development, science revealed a diversity of phenomena to be studied, creating as much of disciplines, like , , , itman, etc. Some of these disciplines a priori heteroclite have as a common base , for language and like elementary principle scientific method.
Science is thus a cutting of reality in several fields of investigations, which form a unit more or less organized of knowledge ideally universal. By their structuring and their tendency to universality, this knowledge is distinguished from vague knowledge of the personelle experiment (term not to be confused with experimentation) which is knowledge which relates to only the particular individuals or cases, and which one can meet randomly what prohibits any generalization. The methodical step to acquire and organize this knowledge is scientific method.
Science applied, fundamental, experimental...
Science is divided, by convention, in two great sets which are characterized by their finality: sciences applied and them fundamental sciences.
applied sciences, are opposable with the observational sciences.
- Sciences applied
- Definition: the use of scientific knowledge resulting from many disciplines and from know-how for the achievement of a practical objective.
- The disciplines of sciences applied are defined fromcommon objectives.
- Examples: aims to return an individual in health. To arrive there, it uses knowledge resulting from various disciplines such as biology, biochemistry, physiology, etc. and it is other examples of sciences applied.
- Sciences applied must be distinguished from technique (or art, in its direction first old) as an empirical practice. See the detailed article applications of science.
- Fundamental sciences
- Finality: the acquisition and the organization of knowledge in themselves (without seeking practical applications).
- Example: , which is interested in the study of the alive beings, it, which studies the celestial bodies.
- applied sciences rest on an active step of the scientist, who builds and controls an experimental device reproducing unquestionable aspect of the studied natural phenomena. The results of the experiments are not always quantified (example: the experiment of Konrad Lorenz with gray geese, in ).
- When it is not possible to control an experimental environment, the scientists can have recourse to the observation. when a discipline is formed around this step, one speaks about observational sciences. Astronomy or the economy is traditional examples. But the border is never clear: there is one experimental economy, and the high-energy physics allows in a certain way of testing certain astronomical theories in experiments. Ethical questions can also be concerned: How to reproduce, for example, consequences of the physical abuses in children without contravening the most elementary basic rules of ethics? In these cases, the stage of the experimentation is replaced by a systematic stage of observation.
To this diptych experimentation/observation is added data-processing simulations today.
Naturally, science applied and fundamental science are not strictly partitioned. The discoveries resulting from fundamental science find ends useful, just as certain technical problems carry out sometimes to new discoveries in fundamental science. Research in fundamental science rests on technology resulting from science applied. The research laboratories and the researchers can even in parallel make science applied and fundamental science. Economic and social pressures are exerted on fundamental sciences, which try to preserve their autonomy.
The question of the unicity of the scientific method is problematic (Feyerabend).
This (these) method should (must) guarantee the validity the objectivity of its results. One generally associates scientific method and hypothético-deductive method:
- Formulation of one assumption
- Experimentation or observation
- Correction, confirmation or invalidation of the assumption
- Questioning on the conclusions: one starts again the cycle at stage 1
The word science can be attached to a field of knowledge only if the specific scientific method to this field is generally accepted and that the results answer the conditions of reproducibility, independently of the team of researchers which carries out the experimentation or the observation. An example celebrates where the results of an experimentation could not be reproduced by other teams of researchers is that of memory of water. As nobody is safe from the error or trickery, this example shows at which point the stage of diffusion of the results is crucial and fact integral part of the scientific method.
History of sciences
Science, as an institution, together practices or report/ratio in the world, is an invention of the Man which one can recall the génése. See the article History of sciences.
The whole of the actions undertaken in order to improve and to increase the state of knowledge in a scientific field constitutes scientific research. The organization and the assumption of responsibility of the activities of research constitute an important stake for all the companies.
See the detailed article seek scientific.
Science and rationality
Science is asserted like the application of reasoning with the exploration of the world which surrounds us.
It is for example the case ofevolutionism and of theory of the evolution. It is obvious that strict compatibility with the scientific results, gives to this research a particular weight. They blame of the too important points for the religions confused monotheists all (episode of the Genesis).
Science and belief
We saw that in science, a theory is normally incomplete, because it cannot describe the complexity of the real world exhaustively.
It is thus of all the theories, like that of Big-bang or ofevolution of the species. Even if if today those have the support of many specialists, of the concurrent theories are discussed. For as much, the creation of the world in seven days described by cannot be perceived any more like possible, and many believing recognize that a literal reading is not very compatible with the current state of our knowledge and that it is wiser to interpret it like one parabola. If science never provides final answer, it is not possible any more not to hold account of it.
Faith , beliefs superstitious and pseudo-scientists give on the contrary explanations of the phénonèmes of very an other nature since they concern in general a personal or social conviction unverifiable. Progress of knowledge thus involves sometimes a questioning of the religious dogmas by science. Execution of Giordano Bruno is an example of the fights of influences which the scientists had to face.
A contrario, except to claim to impose its (which is not other than a conviction closely personal and subjective) with the others, it is necessary to defy temptation natural to describe as fact "scientifically proven" extrapolations of the scientific models beyond their field of application.
Abusive use of the word science
The word "science" is sometimes used to support that there are scientific evidence where there is only belief. According to its detractors, it is the case of the movement of scientology. For these cases, one should rather speak about occult sciences or pseudo-sciences.
The problem of induction
Science does not function by method deductive pure. A series of experiments would indeed validate results only carried out on a date and in a place private individuals, without logical possibility to generalize them. Bertrand Russell mention in its work Science and religion (chapter Is science superstitious?) what it names it scandal ofinduction, and that it sees like an evil necessary.
Range of science
The hypothético-deductive scientific method does not have the role of to provide absolute truths but only ofto refine if need be former models.
In other words, to arrive to a reliable theorization, it is inevitably necessary for the beginning to take support on something, which will be able to appear an error later. That does not have anything which must alarm, and recalls simply that in science one advances in comprehension on reality by eliminating the erroneous assumptions. That makes it possible to start a process, and to then reorientate it in the good direction.
A principle is considered true ("until fuller informed") when a consensus emerges in the scientific community to estimate that sufficient indices converge in favour of this result and that no experimental result contradicts it. The step is here intersubjective, which caused important warnings of Thomas Kuhn as well as of Paul Feyerabend.
The scientific step, from the permanent questioning of knowledge, admits that this knowledge can comprise aspects incomplete, even inaccurate ; but it will be necessary to wait to have highlighted them for the knowledge. For this reason, one observes that when an existing scientific law is violated, it is the sign which a new discovery is profiled. It is necessary thus to be delighted and not to deplore it.
To use a theory which one knows inaccurate does not pose any problem in certain cases:
- Ballistic calculations use Newtonian mechanics, without utilizing the model ofEinstein, and less the satellites do not put any on orbit without the least problem... with the necessary approximation
The gasoline of science, through the generations, remains the handing-over in permanent question. But sometimes also of the new ideas are able at good to spread itself only after the death of other unconsciously become scientists dependent of a given model, in which they invested much, and which it do not wish to see abruptly to devaluate. Here are become consequently ready to distinguish the interests (possible) the new ones paradigms who differ too much from it. Their attachment with the existing theories could take a character, in certain cases, which one could describe as quasi .
It does not occur from generation without some cases of this kind appearing.
It also arrives, however, that in fact lately stated theories prove to be dead ends. See Trofim Lyssenko.
- the article detailed on scientism
- ; the study of the paradoxes constitutes an excellent exercise of mental flexibility.
Are indicated under the name of pseudo-sciences the practices which claim science all while deviating from scientific method but in of mimant certain aspects. One can quote for example itastrology, ithomeopathy, (see worship of the cargo liner).
occult sciences and traditional sciences exist since Antiquity, they consist of a whole of knowledge and mysterious practices having for goal to penetrate and dominate the secrecies of nature. During last centuries, they were gradually excluded from the field of science. The philosopher lengthily wondered about the nature of the demarcation between science and pseudo-science. In its work Conjecture and refutations, after having noticed that it is possible to find observations to confirm about any theory, it proposes a methodology based on refutability.
- Academy of Science
- Philosophy and science, (, , ...),
- What this thing which one calls Science?, Alan Chalmers
- Small lessons of sociology of sciences, Bruno Latour
- Systemic analysis
- List scientific disciplines
- fundamental research
- Social sciences
- Institute of History and Philosophy of Sciences and Technology (IHPST)
- Center National of Scientific Research (CNRS)
- Science.gouv.Fr the French-speaking gate of sciences
- Futura-sciences, in the heart of science
- AFIS (French association of Scientific Information)
- Heading Sciences open directory project
- Science news (ger.)
- Science and religion
- (HTTP://scienceworld.wolfram.COM Eric Weissteint' S World of science ] and Eric Weisstein' S Treasure troves of science (, , , andbiographies scientists, in English)
- For a science citizen
- Science with the c?ur of the knowledge
- Review of scientific articles on line (in)
- Domenica Lecourt (dir.), Dictionary of history and philosophy of sciences (1999), 4th réed. "Quadrige"/PUF, 2006.
Reviews of popularization
- For Science
- Science & life
- Quebec Science
- For the review Science: See Science magazine
- 200 greater inventions
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