In the last episode I
suggested two key challenges to resolve if you want to think for
How do you tell truth from falsehood?
How do you know what you can be certain of?
This episode is about how the scientific method can help address
the first of these challenges: determining truth. I provide a
summary of the philosophy of science and the rules for deciding
whether a theory qualifies as scientific.
However, there is a huge problem with the philosophy of science
when it comes to addressing the challenge of certainty. The
scientific method—as defined by leading philosophers of science—is
self-contradictory. It's not even an accurate representation of
what practicing scientists do (which is why scientists tend to
ignore philosophers and just get on with it). In the episode, I
explain how rationality is the necessary foundation of science—more
fundamental even than empiricism—and how it provides the certainty
that makes the scientific method possible.