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.