Monday, 11 November 2013

Failed science is not bad science

This neat cartoon hints at the helpful point that knowledge of scientific failure is still scientific knowledge.

If the foundation of knowledge is causality, as Aristotle affirmed,1 then knowledge that A doesn’t cause C is as important as knowledge that B does.

1. “…we have knowledge of a thing only when we have grasped its cause”  (Posterior Analytics, 71 b 9–11. & 94 a 20) and
“…we do not have knowledge of a thing until we have grasped its why, that is to say, its cause." (Physics 194 b 17–20)

1 comment:

  1. It is a mistake to characterize any science as 'Failed Science' when it succeeds in falsifying a hypothesis for it has done what science is designed to do - improve our understanding of the natural world.

    Even when supporting the endeavour it can only contribute to mis-understanding to call the act of testing a hypothesis 'Failed Science', no matter what the outcome.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.