Seattle Analytic Philosophy Club Message Board › "Science as the pursuit of truth is the equal, but not the superior,

"Science as the pursuit of truth is the equal, but not the superior, of art."

George
user 74564852
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 4
That is a quote from Bertrand Russell's Scientific Outlook.

Since Russell never said anything without a good reason, I spend a couple of years searching for the reason. Here is what I've discovered so far:

1. Science relies on induction by simple enumeration, but the principle of induction by simple enumeration itself can't be proved empirically, and in many cases, it is simply false.

2. When the number of observed occurences is reduced to one, science and art become indistinguishable.

3. No one, so far, has been able to prove that increased number of observed occurences increases the likelihood of a statement's being true.

4. Strictly speak, one occurance is all that the observer can have. From an engineer's point of view, everything is history. One can't step into the same river twice.

5. This is the biggest point I've discovered and have not finished exploring, that is, no one can observe anything intrinsically different from sensations.

BTW, if you think my topics are interesting, please consider joining my group.
Gene L
user 19640341
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 333
The statement in the title seems to need some context - which hasn't been provided. Otherwise, in isolation it seems silly. Science and art typically don't take themselves to be pursing the same thing (if artists take themselves to be pursing "truth", they certainly are not after scientific truth), so saying whether they are equal or not doesn't make any sense to begin with. Now certainly the statement may mean more with some context but it has been presented in isolation.

Science does not only rely on enumerative induction. Hypothetico-deductive reasoning, and abduction (inference to the best explanation) may be more common. Some have suggested that historical examination of science suggests that enumerative induction is actually not that common in scientific practice.

Most philosophers have rejected sense data.

http://plato.stanford...­

http://plato.stanford...­

I think most contemporary philosophers would say that Russell's theory of descriptions was his greatest contribution, and his work on sense data (phenomenalism) is not much of contribution.

Good luck with your group. I'd suggest that your criteria for joining are a bit too stringent, which may in part account for the lack of members. You state that no one with a college degree in philosophy is allowed (but those may be the people with the most interest in Russell to begin with). You might believe that studying philosophy is not useful. But then why do you study Russell? So if studying Russell is useful, is unguided study more useful than guided study? Those who have studied philosophy outside of Russell might point out where things have advanced beyond Russell - it stands to reason that things have changed in century or so - but perhaps, one might not want those things pointed out. I'd suggest just calling it a Russell interest club and having an open membership, but perhaps you want to find true kindred spiritis, so good luck with that.

If you haven't already, why not join the Bertrand Russell Society? But that seems to be overrun with people with not only college degrees in philosophy, but PhDs, so they may not be worthy of your company.

http://bertrandrussel...­
George
user 74564852
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 5
So few words so many errors. It takes a prodigy to pack so many errors in so few words.

Let me REPEAT: Russell explicitly abandoned sense-data in his "Analysis of Mind," published in 1922, in which he stated that the sensation of color is the color itself; there is no color outside the mind. there is no hardness, no softness, no up, no down, no left, no right, no hot, no cold outside the mind.

Most people understand "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" and, for the same reason, "evil man sees evil things."
Gene L
user 19640341
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 335
So few words so many errors. It takes a prodigy to pack so many errors in so few words.

Let me REPEAT: Russell explicitly abandoned sense-data in his "Analysis of Mind," published in 1922, in which he stated that the sensation of color is the color itself; there is no color outside the mind. there is no hardness, no softness, no up, no down, no left, no right, no hot, no cold outside the mind.

Most people understand "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" and, for the same reason, "evil man sees evil things."

Sense data are mind-dependent, that's how the theory is currently understood, and it is still not generally accepted.

You have not pointed out any actual errors.

The statement you are trying to analyze seems silly to begin with, which renders any analysis moot. But I admit that it could be more meaningful in context, which has not been provided. Assuming the statement is worthy of analysis, which I strongly doubt, your premise 1 is just incorrect as a generalization about scientific reasoning, so I'm not sure why the rest should even be considered.

I have no further interest in this, so unless other people here are interested I suggest that you carry on any Russell debates in your group. But you need to find members first.
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