The epistemology indicates the study of the Connaissance.
Commonly it is the reflection on the distribution of the Science S in disciplines; but it is also the reflection on what is the To know, on the means of reaching it, and the examination of the Histoire of sciences.
The term of English origin is attested the first time in 1856, and appears in 1906 in a French dictionary like “criticism of sciences”; i.e. as a discipline of handing-over in question of knowledge and the Methodology S scientists.
The epistemology term is usually employed in three Acception S:
- For the first, it is a reflection on science: part of the Philosophy which is interested in the rational speech on the scientific knowledge. The Philosophie of sciences thus studies the scientific knowledge from a critical point of view. Epistemology can be interested to establish a classification of sciences, to define categories. It was the first stage of sciences in the Classification and the Taxonomie, the second phase being the explanation and the third in the prediction starting from the models, resulting from the explanatory theories, and their simulation.
- the second meaning is that of the study of the épistémè S like times of production of positive speeches by disciplines called or not “sciences”.
- the third meaning, resulting from the use of the term “epistemology” in the Anglo-Saxon world, is that of the Théorie of knowledge. What the To know? How does it take forms? Why such form of knowing rather than another? Which are the limits of the knowledge? How to announce? Are examples of the questions that the theorists of knowledge are posed.
This being known as, certain meanings can appear restrictive . It is the case of that resulting from the Anglo-Saxon world like Théorie of knowledge, insofar as a speech on knowledge could refer at the same time to a philosophy of knowledge, with a philosophy of the language, since there is no knowledge without language, with a philosophy of the action, since it there not of language apart from an action, with methodology etc the term of theory is moreover in him even restrictive and makes think directly of science. It is the case also of the reduction of the term épistémè with science: to see in that the developments of Foucault who brings closer épistémè to Paradigme.
Here the summary of an article of a contemporary epistemologist, Gilles Gaston Granger: “The evolution of the awakening of the major nature of the scientific thought could be symbolized, very schematically, by three currencies, of which each one reinterprets in a certain manner and rectifies the preceding one. It was initially proclaimed that there was science only the universal ; then, that there was science only the measurable . We should say today: there is science only the structurable . Profession of faith which challenges the two preceding ones by no means, but relativizes them, and gives a new direction to universal and the measurable one. It is in this manner that it would be appropriate, seems to me it, to recognize the role and the place of the qualitative models in the scientific thought. ”
On its manner, François Rabelais thought on knowledge a such epistemologist in the “ merry knowledge ” on the scientific slope and the philosophical slope with science allied of the conscience.
- “Ignorance is mother of all the defects. ” (1546).
- “Science without conscience is only ruin of the heart. ” (1532)
Fundamental epistemological questions
The problem of the protocol of Observation
At the beginning of the 20th century, some Philosopher S, from the point of view fondationalist, raised the question to know if it were possible to isolate from the facts of observation, bases of generalization and the Connaissance. One can distinguish two points of view schematically:
- a nuclear physicist point of view of for which facts can be isolated; this thesis is in particular that of the logical positivism (cf Carnap) which, by separating the Vérité S analytical and synthetic, admits that facts relative on a subject must make it possible to found the scientific knowledge; a theory is then a construction Logique, whose Matière is private knowledge;
- a point of view of holist, for which no fact is separable of a theory (cf Willard van Orman Quine for example). There is thus no decisive protocol of observation; it is the coherent truth which is determining. In this case, there is not either a precise limit between the theory and the experiment, which invalidates the idea that assumptions alone are falsifiable. The most extreme consequence of this thesis is that one cannot quite simply refute a Théorie because the falsifiability of the assumption does not reach the theory as a whole and insofar as ad hoc assumptions are always possible (how to prove that a swan is white?).
General epistemology: Theories of the validation
Gaston Bachelard and the “epistemological obstacle”
In its book “the formation of the scientific spirit” (1934), Gaston Bachelard defines the epistemological obstacle as being slownesses and the disorders “ in the act to even know ”, requiring “ the correction of the knowledge, the widening of the executives of knowledge ”. For him, the scientist must strip himself of all that constitutes the “internal obstacles epistemological”, while subjecting himself to an interior preparation so that its research progresses towards the truth. For this reason, it lends a great importance to the Psychanalyse, not on a purely therapeutic basis, but in what it would make it possible to better draw aside certain naive beliefs which would be only the projection of our desires and impulses. What it calls the “ Psychanalyse of knowledge ” would allow the release for the man of what makes obstacle to the scientific research, and to mark then in his research of decisive progress.
The epistemological concept of Obstacle is what makes it possible to pose the problem of the scientific knowledge: it is as from the moment when this one is surmounted, giving place to a “ epistemological Rupture ”, which one reaches the sought-after goal. The obstacles are, for Bachelard, not only inevitable, but also essential to know the truth. This one indeed never appears by a sudden illumination, but on the contrary, after long gropings, “a long story of errors and surmounted wanderings”.
Rather than to want to change the operation of the things, the attitude just for a scientist would be to change itself, in its manner of approaching science. What slows down the researcher is not what a priori it could believe: they are not the phenomena themselves, but well inside him that corrections must be made. The researcher, in his search, invests in a human way, too human, i.e. very often it poses the conclusion initially and then offers to the spirit to explore the ways towards this conclusion according to the desires which it projects. In a famous sentence of the formation of the scientific spirit Bachelard explains:
- “ And, no matter what one says some, in the scientific life, the problems do not arise themselves. It is precisely this direction of the problem which gives the mark of the true scientific spirit. For a scientific spirit, any knowledge is an answer to a question. If there no were question, there cannot be scientific knowledge. Nothing goes from oneself. Nothing is given. All is built. ”
If it is known that we should never pose too early the conclusions, the scientific search does not remain about it less one long continuation of gropings. The largest obstacle would remain indeed, according to Bachelard, which was already discovered, and it is necessary to be able to call it in question. “the comprehension of tomorrow passes by the negation of the speech of today” , affirmed it. Thus the epistemological obstacles can be as many vague common directions the formations of the considered thought. The “regressions, stagnations, inertias” of which he speaks are due to the failure of designs initially considered to be in conformity with reality, and that should be rectified today because they lead to a intellectual contradiction. Bachelard denounces the opinion that we leaves the empirical experiment and its influence on knowledge scientifique : “science is opposed formally to the opinion : the opinion does not think, it translates needs into knowledge. ” the scientific knowledge will consist in returning without stop on the already discovered one.
In addition to allowing knowledge right of what surrounds us, it proves to be also, by the long and difficult search that it represents, a conquest of the human spirit by the ceaseless work of correction of us same.
Induction consists in passing from singular cases to a general proposal. The problem is to know if we are justified to believe that we can predict any made according to our theories. For example, we observed that the sun, up to now, rises the morning. But nothing seems to justify our belief in the fact that it will rise still tomorrow. This problem had been considered to be insoluble by Hume, for which our belief concerned the practice. The Théorème of Cox-Jaynes gives however not only mathematical bases to induction, but under condition of knowing that it is simply our model of the world which induction enables us to improve, not a knowledge intimates this one.
Falsificationnism or Réfutabilité
critical Karl Popper the reasoning by Induction. This last has certainly a psychological value but not a logical value . It supports that induction is only a “Mythe”, and that “there is no induction”, because “there cannot never be pure observation of the facts”, being given, that for Popper, any observation is preceded by the use of a general theory. Many coherent observations are not enough to prove only the theory which one seeks to show is true. A contrario , only one observation unexpected suffices for to falsify a theory. It is what Popper names “asymmetry” between checking and falsification. Thus, thousand white swans are not enough to prove that all the swans are white ; but only one black swan is enough to prove that all the swans are not white . See Paradox of Hempel.
It results from it that a theory cannot be “ prouvée ” but only regarded as not yet refuted by intersubjective tests until proof of the opposite. On the basis of there, one can distinguer :
irrefutable theories from a logical point of view: their formulation does not admit the existence of any class of contradictory statements (for Popper, a universal theory is composed of a class of basic statements, itself being subdivided in two subclasses: the subclass of the statements confirming the theory, and the subclass of the potentially contradictory statements, that Popper names “potential falsifiers” . It is on the latter which must carry the experimental tests). Indeed, for Popper, its criterion of demarcation resting on the falsifiability (or refutability) is before a whole “criterion logical of demarcation” . “the falsifiability (...) has on the other hand, no relationship with the question of knowing if it is recognized that such or such possible experimental results constitute refutations. ” . “(...) the falsifiability, within the meaning of the criterion of demarcation, does not mean that a falsification can be obtained in practice or that, if it is obtained, it is safe from any dispute. The falsifiability, (...), does not indicate anything more than one logical relation between the theory in question and the class of the basic statements (...), the potential falsifiers. ” .
- theories impossible to refute from an empirical point of view (by the observation or the experiment. Example: “all the men are mortals” . This theory, however logically falsifiable, since it allows to the particular statement “here an immortal man”, is on the other hand empirically unfalsifiable, since no experimenter would live enough old to check the immortality who supposes logically, the infinite one.)
- those which can be refuted.
Only the potentially refutable theories (those associable with experiments whose failure would prove the error of the theory) belong to the scientific discipline; it is the “ criterion of demarcation between science and metaphysics defended by Karl Popper ”. Popper always defended the idea that the scientific method, resting on “the logic of the scientific discovery”, is the same one for all sciences (Voir Popper, in " Misery of the historicisme"). However, for Popper, there are objects which cannot lend themselves to scientific investigations. There are no sciences " exactes" since true science is, according to him, logically fallible and constantly prone to intersubjective revisions. There are only sciences and pseudo-sciences (as the psychoanalysis or the Marxism). It supports that it is consequently useless to want to be a scientist where the being cannot, being thus defended, of any scientism, which it always fought.
Among the refutable theories (Popper known as falsifiable), some were refuted and given up, others were not refuted: they are said by Popper “ corroborées ” IE . considered true until proof of the opposite.
It should be noted that Popper distinguishes what is a Corroboration compared to the checking (understood like unquestionable checking) and with the confirmation of a theory. For him, it is impossible to check with certainty the scientific theories, since which they all have the logical form of universal statements in a strict sense, which all are logically refutable and also logically unverifiable. These statements not being limited by space-time coordinates. On this precise point, Karl Popper was in agreement with the sights of the neopositivists of the Circle of Vienna, who considered, nevertheless, that such statements, were only of “pseudo-statements” because of logical impossibility to check them. This is why, they preferred the “atomic statements to them”, which were not other than singular statements relating to reality. With regard to the confirmation of a universal theory, it consists, for Popper, in the checking of the singular statements belonging to what it names the subclass of the statements of the empirical base allowed by the theory. The other subclass, made up of the singular statements prohibited , or “virtual falsifiers” of the theory, being that which interests in a privileged way the scientists, since, for Popper, it is by the intersubjective confirmation experimental and , of one of the virtual falsifiers accepted of a strict universal theory, that this one can be refuted. For Popper, only these virtual falsifiers are interesting for tests, and they only can give information on the descriptive contents of a theory to one moment given, i.e. according to the degree of corroboration reached by the theory at the time of the test.
One can notice that the assumption of the god permanently misleading the directions imagined by Descartes in the Méditations metaphysics and who precedes the idea of Virtual reality is it also, by definition, corroborated by the experiment. It is a different criterion which leads us not to regard it as prioritaire : that of the Razor of Occam.
These are also the limitations indépassables that imposes what Popper names the Psychologisme, in the scientific Méthode, which led it to propose a “logic of the scientific discovery”, which deviates in an explicit way of any recourse to psychologism. Written Popper: “With regard to the task of the logic of knowledge - in opposition to the psychology of knowledge - I will affirm at the beginning that it only consists in examining the methods employed in these systematic tests to which each novel idea must be subjected to be taken with the serious one. (...) If they are the processes implied in stimulation and the gushing of an inspiration, I refuse to consider their rebuilding as the task of the logic of knowledge. Such processes constitute the object of empirical psychology but not that of logic” . That means, that for Popper, one can describe in what consist, “the rules of the game” of the constitution of the scientific knowledge, thanks to logical arguments (from where the assertion poppérienne according to which its criterion of demarcation is before a whole logical criterion of demarcation), and which there remains impossible to return to account of such rules if one there assistant the relativity of data or psychological knowledge.
The principal critic who was formulated against the criterion of demarcation of Popper, is that this criterion would be inapplicable in the real work of the scientists, because one could always save a refuted theory, by the means of ad hoc auxiliary assumptions. But, in its book “Realism and Science”, as of the first pages, Popper is indignant owing to the fact that this judgment would be the fruit only of one bad reading of its thesis, that it however would have clarified well since 1933, i.e. as of the publication of “Die beiden Grundprobleme der Erkenntnistheorie”. For its defense, Popper insists on the fact that its criterion is before a whole logical criterion of demarcation , which “does not indicate anything more than one logical relation between the theory (...) and classifies it basic statements, or that of the events described by these statements: potential falsifiers” , the second falsifiability “with the direction where the theory in question could be falsified definitively in a conclusive and demonstrable way ”, which the dubious character of any falsification does not pose really problem since any falsification can, in its turn, being subjected to tests.
Another significant criticism of the poppérien criterion of demarcation is that it would be itself irrefutable, bringing closer epistemology to Popper of the Métaphysique. Popper answers that he “does not regard the methdology as an empirical discipline, likely to be tested, for example by confrontation with the facts of the history of sciences” . Methodology, underlines Popper, “is actually a metaphysical philosophical discipline, perhaps even, (...) a program of normative range” .
About the Metaphysical (and in relation to the demarcation thus the refutability), as he is explained some in “the two fundamental problems of the theory of knowledge” and in “Conjectures and refutations”, the project of Karl Popper was to build a logical criterion of demarcation, not between the Science and the not-science , but between science and metaphysics. Against the members of the Cercle of Vienna, who tried to build an inductive criterion of demarcation based on the verifiability of singular statements, (for them, only endowed with direction ), with an aim of éliminier definitively metaphysics, Popper considered, on the contrary, which metaphysics could be useful for science, while alleging that many modern sciences begin with conjectures daring metaphysics. On this subject, Popper quotes the case of modern Physics. In Conjectures and refutations, he writes that “the majority of the scientific theories result from myths” .
For Imre Lakatos, there exist two methods of research: the Heuristic positive and negative heuristics. The positive heuristics, which is around the negative heuristics, can be modified. It is dynamic. The negative heuristics presents the hard core, a base of program which is unchangeable and is protected from any form of modification (girdles protective). The core contains all the fundamental assumptions and is in the center of the model of research. Lakatos regards the core as unfalsifiable by methodological decision of the researcher. Thus, two research programs can coexist even if one of both is dynamic and the other stagnates.
Lakatos excludes assumptions ad hoc, though he recognizes a certain type of “ad hoc auxiliary assumptions” which could be transitorily useful to certain research programs, like, for example, that of Ptolémée, which Lakatos quotes in example.
But what characterizes the methodology suggested by Lakatos, compared to that of Popper, it is its rejection of the “crucial experiments of falsifications” between two great isolated theories, even between two scientific research programs. On this point, force is to recognize that Lakatos is contradicted when he affirms, on page 99 of its book that “inside a research program, minor crucial experiments deciding between successive versions are completely current” ; then, even page, that “it arrives many times that the theories of observation themselves are embedded in a certain research program; the procedure of appeal then causes a conflict between two research programs: in these cases, we can need a major crucial experiment” .
Lakatos seems to be unaware of that for Popper, the theories are never isolated, since they always maintain between them the “logical relations”, such as for example those existing between a universal statement in a strict sense and the subclass of its potential falsifiers or the conditions initial. Or the degree of Corroboration of a theory at one moment T, and its degree of corroboration at one T2 moment, which, logically for Popper, must be deductible from the precedent, if, as it supports it in its work, scientific progress, also raises of the tradition, by the logical succession of the tests which must be constantly begun again by the scientific community to imagine of them initial conditions increasingly more severe and new.
Karl Popper seems well to have answered, indirectly, with the argument of Lakatos against its thesis of the crucial experiments, on the basis of criticism of the arguments of Pierre Duhem, on the same problem. He writes, in “Misery of the historicism”:
- “(...) With regard to famous criticism that Duhem makes crucial experiments, it shows only that crucial experiments can never prove or to establish a theory but it does not show nowhere that crucial experiments cannot refute a theory. Consent of all, Duhem rightly in what one can test only of the vast and complex theoretical systems would connect with the research programs of Lakatos, and not of the isolated assumptions; but if two systems of this kind are tested, which differ only by one assumption and if one can then combine experiments which refute the first system while leaving the second fully corroborated, one is reasonably founded to allot the failure of the first system to the single assumption by which it is characterized from the second”
Lakatos exhorts finally with the abandonment of the criterion of refutability proposed by Popper. But one of its disciples, Elie Zahar, shows that it is impossible for him, in its own methodology, to do without the refutability.
If the core, enriched by the researchers, is destroyed by scientific evidence which is opposed, Lakatos predicted a change of the research program.
Stressing discontinuity in the process of scientific construction, Thomas Kuhn distinguishes relatively long periods during which research is described as “ normale ”, i.e. it falls under the line of the dominant Paradigme S theoretical, periods during which briefs and unexplainable changes constitute true “a revolution scientifique ”. The choice between the paradigms is not rationally founded. This posture implies that each paradigm makes it possible to solve certain problems and, from there, the paradigms would be incommensurable.
It is still Imre Lakatos, which, in its book, best defended “the research program of Popper”, against that of Kuhn.
Paul Feyerabend observed the birth following the example of of the quantum Mécanique that often scientific advance does not follow strict rules. Thus, according to him, the only principle which does not prevent the advance of science is “ a priori all can be bon ” (what defines the epistemological Anarchisme). He thus criticizes the reducing aspect of the theory of the Réfutabilité and defends the methodological Pluralisme. There exists according to him a very large variety of different methods adapted to scientific and social contexts always different. Moreover, it calls in question the place which the theory of the refutability grants to science, by making some the single source of knowing Légitime, and the base of a universal knowledge which exceeds the cultural Clivage S and Communautaire S. Lastly, Feyerabend criticizes its lack of relevance to correctly describe the reality of the scientific world and the evolutions of the speeches and practices scientific.
Its principal work, Against the method. Outline of an anarchistic theory of knowledge , was accepted very negatively by the scientific community, because she shows the scientific method to be a dogma and raises the question of knowing if the community must be as critical compared to the scientific method as compared to the theories which result from it.
The law was initially conceived as a relation between a cause and an effect. But vis-a-vis the contingency of nature, certain thinkers, and in particular Guillaume d' Ockham, were brought to formulate the idea that the expression of the need for the natural laws is expressed in the form of a hypothetical proposal of the type: if… then… thus… out…
Internal epistemology: Theories of the explanation
The scientific explanation
Unit of sciences
At the beginning was the publication into 1948 of “ Cybernetics, but Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine ” of Norbert Wiener (Cybernétique) of which the title emblematic and programming science weaves a fabric which recovers the naturalness and the artificial one, the natural science and social sciences, introducing information like one of the three universal components with the matter and the energy which reigned as mistresses hitherto.
Information is what formats, which structure matter with collateral energy. This information opened with the E. - U. a intellectual and scientific boiling in all the fields, to start with biology with the Austro-Canadian Ludwig von Bertalanffy who published in 1968 “General System Theory. Foundations, Development, Applications”, in the polysystemic unit of sciences.
It is about the First scientific revolution of information with the cybernetics of the first generation of the physical “signal”. On the first physical level, the communication is the transmission of the “signals” carrying “signs” which lead to the second scientific revolution of information with the cybernetics of the second generation, that of the postulate “any behavior is communication”. With the second social status, the communication is the pooling of the significances and the values. On the third cultural level, the communication is the communion of the colleagues (those who share the same law and the same heritage) around the beliefs of the Religion and codes of conduct of the Morale.
In 1972, appeared “Steps to year Ecology off Mind” of Gregory Bateson and “System and Structure. Essays one Communication and Exchange” of Anthony Wilden which led to a ecosystemic Approche, a methodology resulting from many sciences and covering a broad spectrum of applications in many sciences and technology, physics, biological and social. The Théorie of the contexts formalizes this approach which connects the levels of the mineral Lithosphère to the Biosphère of alive on which the level of the Sociosphère is spread the congeneric ones and producing colleagues of the thought on the level of the Noosphère by their social activities.
There were the paradigm of the matter of Newtonian mechanics and the paradigm of the energy of the Thermodynamique which inspired work of Marx and Freud with their pressure, Pulsion, overpressure and depression. The Theory of the contexts, with the paradigm of information, covers and connects these two preceding paradigms in a hierarchy of the levels of the logical type, constraint or dependence.
The sociologists or philosophers of French sciences Edgar Morin and Michel Greenhouses, for their part, sought the “Passage of the North-West” (title of a book programming science of Michel Serres) to connect “hard sciences” (hardware sciences) physicochemical to “soft sciences” (software sciences).
The series “the Method” of Edgar Morin adopts the hierarchy of the constraints of the Theory of the contexts while starting with the physique of “the nature of nature” (1977) to continue with the biological one of “the life of the life” (1980) and to continue the progression of the levels until the ideas generated by the social activities of the preceding level.
Posthumous publication in 1984 and intellectual will, “Nature and the Thought” (“Natural Mind and. In Necessary Unity”, 1979) of Gregory Bateson clarify and summarize the ecology of the spirit in a “métastructure” or “structure which connects” the sciences scattered and disjoined in disciplinary vaults.
This unit necessary between nature and the spirit is in the communication which connects, which Edgar Morin, names, sometimes “paradigm of the communication”, that of the “relations”, in contrast with the “objects”.
“the difference between the Newtonian world and that of the communication holds, simply, with the fact that the first allots a reality to the objects and arrives to a certain theoretical simplicity by excluding the context from the context, therefore in fact, any metarelation and, a fortiori , any retreat ad infinitum in the chain of such relations. ” (Gregory Bateson, p. 72, “Towards an ecology of the spirit”. 2, Threshold, Paris, 1980).
The communication is, then, the interface between the physique and the psychic one with the social one and the cultural one.
“to make progress the question, we thus propose to use only one system to include/understand the multiple aspects of the human behavior. Today, we believe that the communication is only the model scientist who allows us to explain the physical aspects, intrapersonnels, interpersonal and cultural of the events in the same system. By employing a single system, we eliminate the multiplicity of the separated universes, the vocabularies diversified and the polemics which occur because we, specialists in the social sciences and clinicians, cannot include/understand us. ” (Gregory Bateson & Jürgen Ruesch, p. 17, “Communication and company”, Threshold, Paris, 1988. Transl. france of “Communication. Social The Matrix off Psychiatry”, 1951,1968,1987.).
Epistemology is also the history of sciences
Why science was formed here rather than there? How? There is an approach internalist of the question, taken again in particular by Alexandre Koyré, and an approach externalist, by Pierre Thuillier.
Karl Popper supports that its criterion of demarcation would be “have-history”, since founded only on logic, but that if no element in the history of sciences came to support it, it would give up it.
The vision internalist
It takes into account only the history of the scientific ideas, of discovered into discovered: the scientists are a world with share, which progresses independently of the remainder. Science nourishes itself. It is thus possible to include/understand the history of sciences without referring to the cultural context. The important one, they are the stages of progression of the scientific history.
The vision externalist
The vision externalist makes on the contrary science dependant on the economy, psychology, etc This brings to different consequences according to the context. See or to re-examine the televisual series of Jacob Bronowski " Evolution of the homme" (" The Ascent off Man") BBC which made it famous near the cultivated general public, available also in francophonie.
Philosophers and epistemology
Majority of the " grands" philosophers studied sets of themes which one describes today as epistemological. It is thus of several Greek philosophers, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Russell etc
The Greek philosophers largely approached the topics of epistemology, such as for example:
- Protagoras : “the man is the measurement of all things”.
- Héraclite d' Éphèse: " to live of death, to die of vie" , " Unite what is complete and what is not it, which agrees and what discord, which is in harmony and what is in désaccord".
- Pyrrhon and the skepticism
- Plato and the Ideas
See also: Kant
Kant offers a radical change of prospect with respect to the Empirisme: it is a true epistemological revolution. Indeed, Kant will show that the true “center” of the Connaissance is the Sujet and not a Réalité compared to which we would be passive.
" Thus, in time, no knowledge precedes the experiment, and all start with elle" explain T it in Critique of the pure reason .
Thus for Kant, note Claude Mouchot in economic Methodology , " the object in oneself, the noumene, is and will remain inconnu" and " we will never know but the Phénomène s" and in that Kant remains very current. According to the terms of Kant ( Critical of the pure reason ) " there are only the objects of the directions which can be to us given (...) they can the being only in the context of an experiment possible".
Current, Kant the remainder also by its " recognition of the existence of frameworks (space-time), with through which reality arises to nous" writing still Claude Mouchot. However, the character a-priori of these frameworks cannot any more be accepted today continuation in particular with the questioning of the notion of space time of the traditional mechanics, which was only what exists at the time of Kant, by relativistic mechanics. At least can we regard these frameworks as being built by the subject, which is the point of view of the constructivism.
See also: Hegel
(Hegel and the Phenomenology of the spirit)
See also: Nietzsche
See also: Bertrand Russell
See also: Positivism
Science positivist would give up the question “ pourquoi ? ”, rejected like " métaphysique" , and thus would give up seeking the main causes things. It would be limited to the “ comment ? ”, i.e. with the formulation of the natural laws, expressed in mathematical language , while releasing, by the repeated experiment and observation aid, the constant relationships which link the phenomena, and allow to explain the reality of the facts.
In the beginning worked out to release the science of the yoke of the ideas metaphysics dominating at the XIXe century, positivism had a decisive influence on contemporary science and philosophy. Among the tendencies which are inspired some, one can note logical positivism, the reductionnism,…
However, it is noted that the most spectacular projections of science are brought by interrogations on the “ pourquoi ? ” before being purely technical questions. One can think that science positivist is condemned to remain a science little inspired, and sterile in the long term.
See also: Realism (philosophy)
Realism in epistemology is opposed to the Nominalisme and the Positivisme. For the realistic scientist, reality is not limited to the immediate experiment: the scientific ideas and concepts are quite as real. Thus realistic science is a discovery of the nature of the things to which it is possible to reach and of the causal bonds between these objects.
The first realistic one was undoubtedly Plato. This one poses reality as a world of ideas which one reaches by the reason. Many contemporary scientists are realistic, in the sense that science is not for them only one human invention, but a description of nature such as it is actually.
See also: Epistemology constructivist
Epistemology constructivist or epistemologies constructivists (Jean Piaget), or the constructivism, are current epistemology which considers the character built (and building) knowledge and in consequence of reality.
The key authors for this current are:
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