Criteria and factors of the scientific nature of natural theories...

Criteria and factors of the scientific nature of natural theories

In paragraphs 1.2-1.4, basic methods are considered that ensure the growth of knowledge, which leads to the achievement of its scientific stage. But when exactly does the theory reach the level of science? This issue has become a matter of acute disagreement in the philosophy of science. How to distinguish, or, as so often expressed by philosophers, the demarcation of science and non-science?

Historical excursion

The neopositivists, in particular R. Carnap, believed that science is achieved through the liberation of knowledge from scholasticism. The key are two points. First, a thorough analysis of the language: each term must denote something that is fixed in the experiment. Secondly, what exactly is fixed in the experiment. The scientific criteria are the clarity of the language and the successful empirical verification of the claimed statements. This kind of attitude is typical for many representatives of analytical philosophy. She was sharply criticized already in the 1930s. critical rationalist K. Popper.

He believed that, by ensuring the growth of knowledge, one should start from the results of experiments. Contrary to the opinion of neopositivists, the experiment does not confirm the truth of the claimed statements, but is capable of refuting them, falsifying them. Knowledge, which in principle is not falsifiable, for example, astrological predictions, is unscientific. The variability of knowledge does not allow to believe that its truth is confirmed. Researchers can only argue that this or that knowledge is disproved.

It is not difficult to see that falsifiability as a criterion for scientific knowledge is insufficient. The decisive argument is this: far away from the approaches to scientific knowledge, it is also possible to refute certain provisions. At the time of Aristotle there was no scientific physics, nevertheless many predictions were refuted.

So far, the views of authors who consider the apogee of knowledge to be science have been considered. They insist on the need to improve science, but do not seek a substitute for it. There are, however, also such researchers who themselves question the phenomenon of science. Perhaps the most energetic in this respect is the German philosopher K. Hübner.

Scientists argue

The argument of the German philosopher K. Hübner is that people create theoretical ensembles that are incommensurable with each other; but if science is incommensurable, for example, with a myth, then it can not be asserted that it exceeds it. For someone, science is the most vital, while the other person prefers myth. Everyone is right in their own way.

In the previous paragraphs, the question of delineating science and non-science did not find its solution. References to the opinions of R. Carnap and K. Popper were inadequate. The reader who is familiar with conceptual transduction has the right to be puzzled. Why two classics of the philosophy of science so categorically preferred the experiment, i.e. adduction, three other stages of transduction, namely deduction, induction, abduction. Was it not better to emphasize conceptual transduction as a whole?

There is nothing left for the author to express his point of view on the criteria of scientific character and at the same time possible demarcation of science and non-science. First of all, let us note the following circumstance. In the history of any science, in one form or another, its beginning is stated. In particular, physics is usually counted from I. Newton, chemistry from J. Dalton, geology from C. Liel, biology from Charles Darwin, economics from A. Smith, and linguistics from F. de Saussure.

These outstanding intellectuals made extraordinary discoveries. You can try to isolate something common for them and, as a result, discover the required criteria of scientific character. Comparing the beginnings of numerous sciences, not only the above six disciplines, the author came to the conclusion that they have only one common feature, namely: they open previously unprecedented prospects for ensuring the improvement of knowledge. Science begins with outstanding discoveries, whether it is an axiomatic presentation of Euclid's geometry or Newton's writing of the differential law of motion of bodies under the action of forces.

Another scientific criterion is the liberation of the theoretical system from all kinds of alien impurities, such as mythological, religious or philosophical properties. Physics becomes physics, and chemistry - chemistry. Of course, at the same time the development of science is associated with its numerous inter-scientific relations. Every science is born to the original pure.

The decisive factor in the emergence of science is always the development of knowledge, the effective forms of managing concepts that were considered in paragraphs 1.2-1.4. They provide the life of science. Once emerged and then transformed, science builds its potential. It does not reject innovation, but absorbs them into itself. Scientists do not understand that scientists do not hide their achievements from criticism. They are not interested in their archiving, but in their further development. That is why in the world of knowledge science is an unsurpassed champion. In physics, A. Einstein surpassed I. Newton, in chemistry DI Mendeleyev went further than J. Dalton, in biology G. Mendel largely corrected Charles Darwin. As a result, buildings, respectively, physics, chemistry and biology were not destroyed, but, on the contrary, strengthened, and from their bases to the highest floors.

The criticism of science by Hubner was above. He argues that theories are incomparable. This is clearly an unfounded statement, not taking into account the state of affairs in science, all parts of which are interrelated with each other. In paragraph 1.3, methods for constructing problem and interpretational series of theories were described. The argument of K. Hübner seems to be valid in relation to the branches of science. But this opinion is also erroneous. First, it must be taken into account that interna-tional ties are comprehensively taken into account. Secondly, the uniqueness and independence of the branches of science, which undoubtedly take place, do not testify against the institution of science. From the diversity of sciences, one can not infer the claim of their inferiority.

As for the argument that science is alien to unscientific knowledge, it is also untenable. The phenomenon of the growth of knowledge unites non-scientific knowledge with the scientific one. Unscientific knowledge is always successfully interpreted from the standpoint of science. Let us compare, for example, the physical theories of gravity with the mythological views of the ancient Indians, according to which bodies fall on the surface of our planet in so far as the spirit of the mother earth appeals to the spirit of the bodies. From a scientific point of view, the Indians spiritualized the force of gravity, revealing only some of its characteristics. Heirs of ancient Indians from among scientists launch satellites and spaceships into the sky, guided by the relativistic theory of gravitation, and not by mythological theory.

Science universally prevails over unscientific knowledge. But not all people are available. That is why the scientism, the total denial of the relevance of unscientific knowledge, is untenable. Commitment to the Institute of Science is incompatible with the lack of respect for those people to whom it is not available. Condemnation deserves a hostile attitude towards science and enlightenment. Being a knight of science is not at all easy. Anyone who betrays her ideals, has every chance to get into the ranks of obscurantists.


1. The decisive factors in the birth and further development of science is the management of concepts through conceptual transduction, the construction of problematic and interpretational series of theories, and the implementation of interdisciplinary modeling.

2. The criteria of scientific character are, firstly, epochal discoveries, which showed previously unprecedented prospects for the development of knowledge. Secondly, the liberation of the theoretical system from impurities alien to its nature.

3. It is appropriate to criticize the shortcomings of science, but not its negation.

4. Unfavorably hostile attitude to both scientific and unscientific knowledge.

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