What is Science as a Product, What Does It Mean?June 28, 2021
The understanding of science as a product sees science and scientific theories as the product of the creative work of the scientist. According to this approach, also known as logical positivism, science; It is a collection of definite, objective, accumulative information consisting of theories and laws obtained by scientific method.
The products of science are the knowledge obtained by using the scientific method and by the individual creativity of the scientist. The way to understand science is to examine this mass of information that has been put forward as a product. In other words, this approach tries to explain the structure, language and method of science, which it sees as a product.
It is an approach developed by a group of scientists and philosophers who met periodically in Vienna in the 1920s. The most famous of these thinkers, called the “Vienna Circle”; Hans Reichenbach (Hans Rayhinbah), Rudolph Carnap (Rudolf Karnap) and Carl Gustav Hempel (Karl Gustav Hempel). Their approach is logical positivism. According to this approach, first of all, a scientific criterion is developed, and then, based on this criterion, science and philosophy are tried to be distinguished from metaphysical assumptions and metaphysical propositions. Two of these criteria are significance and verifiability.
SCIENCE AS A PRODUCT
Carl Gustav Hempel
Carl Gustav Hempel and Science as a Product
Hempel is also one of the philosophers who treat science as a product. He also tries to explain the structure and method of science, which he sees as a product. According to him, scientific explanation is made in two ways: by deduction and by induction. He calls the explanations made by deduction “legal” and the explanations made by induction “probable explanation”.
Although he argues that the scientific method is a combination of induction and deduction, he thinks that deduction plays a more dominant role than induction.
Despite all these explanations, according to Hempel, there is no definite method of invention and product creation in science. The important thing in science is not how the invention is realized, but how and by which methods the scientificity of the product is proven. At the same time, according to Hempel, scientific explanations have two conditions; logical suitability and empirical suitability.
Rudolf Carnap and Science as a Product
According to Rudolf Carnap, the best way to justify scientific propositions is “symbolic logic. For a proposition to be meaningful, it must be expressed either directly in factual language or in the language of symbolic logic, which is the abbreviation of factual language.
According to Carnap, who argues that the main purpose of analyzing a proposition is to determine the verification method of that proposition, there are two types of verification, direct and indirect.
For example, “It’s raining outside.” I can confirm his proposition directly by looking out the window. “This earring is made of silver.” The confirmation of the proposition will be an indirect confirmation as it can only be understood by subjecting the silver to various tests. If our experiments or observations about these propositions yield positive results, their accuracy becomes highly certain. But complete certainty can never be reached.
According to him, no verification is a partial verification, not a complete one. For example, “All humans have a gallbladder.” The premise can be confirmed by testing that all people have gallbladders. Since it is not possible to make such an observation, our proposition can only be partially confirmed.
Carnap also examined metaphysical propositions in terms of verifiability. According to him, metaphysical propositions are propositions that do not fall into the theoretical and factual categories.
For example, “Air is the main substance of the universe.” There is no method to prove the truth or falsity of such a metaphysical proposition. That is, such propositions cannot be tested.
Such propositions are meaningless and absurd, since it cannot be said that they are neither true nor false, and there is no empirical method to prove their truth. As a result of all this, Carnap says: The significance or truth of a proposition depends on the method of proving it. If there is no method of proof, that proposition has no truth.
Hans Reichenbach and Science as a Product
Reichenbach; He argues that in order to analyze and explain science, it is necessary to analyze the language of science. In his work titled The Birth of Scientific Philosophy, he defends the following ideas; science is based on spoken language. He thinks that science can be resolved if it analyzes language, removes its ambiguities, that is, if it can be translated into a symbolic string.
According to Reichenbach, the criterion of scientificity is verifiability. Verifiable propositions are meaningful. Meaningful propositions are propositions that can be verified or falsified.
Unscientific propositions are not scientific because they have no truth value. The propositions of metaphysics, aesthetics and ethics cannot be verified, such propositions are not meaningful propositions. In short, propositions that cannot be obtained from facts and checked again with facts are not scientific propositions.
According to Reichenbach, a meaningful proposition is a proposition that can be directly verified. late, although propositions up to the present can be directly verified.