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Topic: Demarcation problem

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In the News (Thu 25 Apr 19)

  Demarcation problem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The demarcation problem in the philosophy of science is about how and where to draw the lines around science.
That is, the value of a scientific paradigm is its predictive power and its ability to suggest solutions to new problems while continuing to satisfy all of the problems solved by the paradigm that it replaces.
Demarcation can be problematic in cases where standard scientific ways (experiments, logic, etc.) of assessing a theory or a hypothesis cannot be applied for some reason.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Demarcation_problem   (1991 words)

Returning to demarcation criteria, Lakatos then talked about elitist authoritarianism (which somewhat similar to Dickie’s Institutional Theory in the philosophy of art): what is or is not science is demarcated by scientists (just as what is or is not art is decided by artists and museum directors, according to Dickie).
In lecture six, Lakatos began his critque of Popper's falsificationism by reiterating that the demarcation problem has typically involved a moral claim; namely, that it is wrong (or irresponsible) to insist upon a theory that is unproven; and since ideas have consequences, we should be careful when speculating.
There can be little doubt that demarcation criteria still play an important role in science, finding their way into the debate over climate change and with critiques of creationism and intelligent design repeatedly calling on a form of falsificationism (usually the most simplistic).
www.galilean-library.org /lakatos.html   (3252 words)

 catallaxy » Bartley on demarcation and logical strength
This may appear to be a rather esoteric interest, far removed from practical problems, but the idea is to show that some unresolved issues, especially concerned with the justification of beliefs, contribute in a deep and meaningful way to problems of intolerance, irrationality and fundamentalism in private affairs and public life.
The problem of logical strength arises here in the form of the problem of induction, that is, the problem of establishing laws or lawlike generalisations (all planets move in elliptical orbits) based on a finite number of observations.
These problems include the existence of the external world, the continued existence of the personal self, the existence of other minds, the uniformity of nature, the existence of the past, the reality of time, the existence of matter.
catallaxyfiles.com /?p=2095   (1109 words)

 Denis Dutton
Thus the problem which I tried to solve by proposing the criterion of falsifiability was neither a problem of meaningfulness or significance, nor a problem of truth or acceptability.
It was the problem of drawing a line (as well as this can be done) between the statements, or systems of statements, of the empirical sciences, and all other statements — whether they are of a religious or of a metaphysical character, or simply pseudoscientific.
This solves the problem of the alleged clash between the principles (a), (b), and (c), and with it Hume’s problem of induction....
denisdutton.com /popper.htm   (3686 words)

 A Brief Biography of Sir Karl Popper
Popper's criterion of demarcation is the outcome of a logical/methodological analysis of what has counted as bold ideas and severe criticism, and thus of what promoted the growth of knowledge.
Problems with the Demarcation Criterion and the Criticizability of Metaphysical Theories
Popper was from the beginning aware of several problems with his demarcation proposal, whose solution is very pertinent to the idea that ideologies such as Marxism and Freudianism are safe from empirical criticism.
www.eeng.dcu.ie /~tkpw/intro_popper/intro_popper.html   (8304 words)

 The Philosophy Page
Problems for that account persist, however; Ruse's criteria fail in particular on the construal that only natural laws explain, and those laws must be nonteleological.
We thus understand a proper demarcation between science and nonscience in terms of the character of scientific inquiry and any practice that substantially violates that character (i.e., fails to progress over time in most or all of the values of science) can be judged as nonscience.
In a further criticism of these three criteria as demarcating science from nonscience, Quinn notes that tentativeness is a psychological, rather than epistemic, condition on a state of belief - the ferocity (or lack thereof) with which a proposition is maintained is usually assumed to have nothing at all to do with its truth-status.
www.asa3.org /ASA/topics/Philosophy/PSCF9-97Abney.html   (5211 words)

 Thagard’s Demarcation
Another positive outcome of Thagard’s criteria for demarcation is they require time to pass before a label of “scientific” or “pseudoscientific” is placed upon a theory, allowing the new theory the benefit of the doubt.
Of course one of the most exciting things about Thagard’s demarcation theory is that it seems to solve one of the main reasons demarcation has been a concern of philosophers and scientists alike: it clearly categorizes astrology as a pseudoscience.
Thagard’s main problem is that his demarcation allows too many theories to be called scientific merely because of topicalities.
kzoo.edu /~petersen/teaching/wheatables.htm   (772 words)

 Herbert Keuth - The Philosophy of Karl Popper - Reviewed by Robert Nola, , University of Auckland - Philosophical ...
The two fundamental problems are what Popper calls 'Hume's problem', the problem of induction, and 'Kant's problem', the problem of demarcation.
As well as the logico-epistemological demarcation criterion that Popper proposes as part of his epistemology of science, there are also a number of methodological rules that spell out more fully other aspects of his "definition" of science.
However, the problem here is that it is hard to find measures of degrees of falsifiability on the basis of which one can compare a theory before and after modification.
ndpr.nd.edu /review.cfm?id=4201   (2301 words)

 Karl Popper (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
As Popper represents it, the central problem in the philosophy of science is that of demarcation, i.e., of distinguishing between science and what he terms ‘non-science’, under which heading he ranks, amongst others, logic, metaphysics, psychoanalysis, and Adler's individual psychology.
In a critical sense, Popper's theory of demarcation is based upon his perception of the logical asymmetry which holds between verification and falsification: it is logically impossible to conclusively verify a universal proposition by reference to experience (as Hume saw clearly), but a single counter-instance conclusively falsifies the corresponding universal law.
Further, since the scientist begins with problems rather than with observations or ‘bare facts’, Popper argues that the only logical technique which is an integral part of scientific method is that of the deductive testing of theories which are not themselves the product of any logical operation.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/popper   (8067 words)

 Sir Karl Popper
Thus what worried me was neither the problem of truth, at that stage at least, nor the problem of exactness or measurability.It was rather that I felt that these other three theories, though posing as sciences, had in fact more in common with primitive myths than with science; that they resembled astrology rather than astronomy.
It was the problem of drawing a line (as well as this can be done) between the statements, or systems of statements, of the empirical sciences, and all other statements-whether they are of a religious or of a metaphysical character, or simply pseudo-scientific.
This solves the problem of the alleged clash between the principles (a), (b), and(c), and with it Hume's problem of induction....
cla.calpoly.edu /~fotoole/321.1/popper.html   (3600 words)

 Berkeley, Bacon, & Bird: Dover and the Demarcation Problem   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
Science then is demarcated by its commitment to these two ideas, the conjunction of which Judge Jones labels “methodological naturalism:” “This self-imposed convention of science, which limits inquiry to testable, natural explanations about the natural world, is referred to by philosophers as 'methodological naturalism'” (Ibid., 65 (emphasis mine)).
I argue that (1) falls prey to the first type of problem and (2) is commonly thought to run into the second type of problem.
His working assumptions on the demarcation problem are crucial to his decision and they are philosophically questionable at best.
www.pitt.edu /~jns24/2006/09/dover-and-demarcation-problem.html   (2002 words)

 The Demarcation Problem
The ‘demarcation problem’ in the philosophy of science is, as the name of the problem suggests, one of drawing, or working out how to draw, a boundary.
A particular version of the problem concerns drawing a boundary between science and pseudo-science, where pseudo-science is something that some advocates contend is science, but which isn’t actually science.
The standard way of providing a solution to the problem is to provide a criterion, or set of criteria, that something has to have to count as scientific, and then showing how some or other pseudo-science fails to meet the criteria.
www.nu.ac.za /undphil/spurrett/notes/demarcat.htm   (610 words)

 The New England Skeptical Society - Articles   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
Philosophers of science often speak of the demarcation problem, referring to the difficulty of distinguishing consistently between science and pseudoscience.
The problem with this logic is not that correlation does not sometimes result from causation, but it is the simplistic assumption of causation without independent evidence, or a thorough analysis of all possible patterns of causation.
The problem is, it is completely unethical to force a randomized cohort of patients to smoke in order to see if their risk of cancer is increased.
www.theness.com /articles.asp?id=23   (6136 words)

 catallaxy » Warning, philosophers at work - Popper vs Lakatos
It could be the result of his own intellectual history because the demarcation problem was his point of entry to other (in my view more important) problems, like the matter of induction which the positivists wanted to use as the hallmark of science.
For my money the central problem in epistemology is not demarcation but the need to reconcile the complementary roles and functions of problem-situations, tradition, evidence, logic, reason, mathematics, metaphysics, scrutiny of definitions, intuition and anything else that turns up in the mix.
Popper agreed with the problem that Duhem posed and he agreed with Duhem’s response the problem - there is no logical fix, that is just the way the world is, get over it and proceed with theory development and testing in the hope that the picture will become clearer.
catallaxyfiles.com /?p=2085   (1794 words)

 Studi Galileiani
Notwithstanding the ongoing debate over the status of creationism or Intelligent Design, perhaps the best current example of the complexity of the demarcation problem and the factors involved is the issue of climate change and what should be done about it.
Nevertheless, demarcating between these two forms of science is the same problem and typically presupposes an understanding of what science is in order to make any headway at all.
Given the gravity of this problem, it should be little wonder that political and economic factors have a role to play and that plenty of people should be concerned about the result of either acting too late or making changes too soon.
www.galilean-library.org /blog/?p=102   (563 words)

 The Pagan Agenda :: The Fallacy of Scientific Realism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
This will not, I hasten to add, be a thorough investigation of the ‘demarcation problem’ as it exists in the philosophy of science, as the present focus is limited to an epistemological evaluation of the methodologies at work in science and mathematics, rather than on the expansive implications of ‘science’; as a field of study.
This inquiry will bear on the ‘demarcation problem’ only indirectly, in that it will provide a default demarcation of scientific reasoning which could be utilized in further refinements of the larger topic of science.
the problem of engaging a natural world isomorphism is you apply real-world concepts which have built-in additional connotations that exceed the rule-governed meanings of the concepts within the exchange.
www.thepaganagenda.com /?p=34   (2825 words)

By 1993, the problem of definition had been made even more difficult, because it was unclear whether the concept of a strategic ballistic missile should be "modernized," along with the systems themselves.
This led to an early understanding that a final demarcation agreement would permit an interceptor to be tested against a target missile having a maximum velocity up to 5 km/sec and a range of up to 3500 km, and not be considered ABM.
These two features of a demarcation agreement -- first, a description of target missile velocity and range indicating when a target missile should be considered "strategic," and second, an agreed set of confidence-building measures -- are important building blocks in constructing an agreement.
dosfan.lib.uic.edu /acda/speeches/riveles/rivelabm.htm   (3483 words)

 PL159: Philosophy of Science
One problem is that we easily get mixed up about the probability of H assuming that E is true, P(H/E) with the probability of E assuming that H is true, P(E/H).
The problem is that in the limit as we gain maximal information about Jill, we will come to know a fact about Jill, whether she has the disease, and this will tell us either that her chance of having it is 1 or 0.
A thought on the nature of the Grue Problem: One commonly understood lesson of Goodman's case is that science requires some sort of priviledged set of predicates, for which we have no direct empirical evidence to rule out.
www.brown.edu /Departments/Philosophy/Douglas_Kutach/PL159.html   (3381 words)

 Intelligent Design the Future: Expert Report Part 3: The Failure of Demarcation Arguments
Third, analyses of the demarcation problem have suggested that naturalistic and nonnaturalistic origins theories (including both Darwinism and design theory) are “methodologically equivalent,” both in their ability to meet various demarcation criteria and as historical theories of origin.
Thus, materialistic and non-materialistic origins theories appear to be methodologically equivalent with respect to a wide range of demarcation criteria—that is, both appear equally scientific or equally unscientific provided the same methodological criteria are used to adjudicate their scientific status (and provided philosophically neutral criteria are used to make such assessments).
Thus, Pennock conjoins two demarcation criteria: “observability and testability.”; Both are asserted as necessary to scientific status, and the converse of one (un-observability) is asserted to preclude the possibility of the other (testability).
www.idthefuture.com /2005/10/the_failure_of_demarcation_arguments.html   (4674 words)

 Dispatches from the Culture Wars: The Demarcation Problem
I confess that I've never paid a lot of attention to the demarcation question, and had never actually read any of Laudan's writings on the subject, so I was familiar with his work only through allusions to it in the works of others.
The demarcation question is not concerned with determining, a priori, which ideas are true and which are false, it is concerned with determining which ideas are capable of being answered using the tools of science.
The problem is that if you conjoin that nonsense claim with a claim that is falsifiable, then the entire conjunction will be falsifiable (and hence, scientific).
scienceblogs.com /dispatches/2004/06/the_demarcation_problem.php   (2964 words)

 Science as Storytelling or Story Telling?
The major problem we have been trying to tackle is that these particular students (in general) don't like science very much, and their negative attitudes get passed on to their own elementary school students...
My hunch is that the demarcation problem, defining what is and what is not science, and the reasons why one might or might not want to create such definitions, is a keystone here.
With that on the table, let me look at how such a more expansive view of science might deal with the demarcation problem as well some of the other issues you raise, and then treat more specifically the question of whether such a view is viable for the "religious" context in which you are working.
serendip.brynmawr.edu /sci_cult/scienceis/bickmoregrandygrob.html   (15634 words)

 North Western Winds
It is, namely, what is known in philosophy as the Demarcation Problem.
The point of this post is a simple one, and that is that the Demarcation Problem is deep and thorny and it is so because there is no escaping metaphysics, no matter how faith averse you are.
Darwin may have been felled in this endeavor by problem of pain, struggle, and evil, which struck his sheltered conception of God as plainly and obviously tender, and which needs to be compared to a more worldy conception of God's tenderness as being mysterious and an article of faith.
northwesternwinds.blogspot.com /2005/09/darwin-and-demarcation.html   (2257 words)

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