What is science and why should we care? — Part III

Interesting post, one of a series about the Philosophy of science by Alan Sokal (of the famous hoax). The other posts in the series are well worth reading, too…

Scientia Salon

iraq_8-years1by Alan Sokal

In all the examples discussed so far I have been at pains to distinguish clearly between factual matters and ethical or aesthetic matters, because the epistemological issues they raise are so different. And I have restricted my discussion almost entirely to factual matters, simply because of the limitations of my own competence.

But if I am preoccupied by the relation between belief and evidence, it is not solely for intellectual reasons — not solely because I’m a “grumpy old fart who aspire[s] to the sullen joy of having it known that [I] don’t suffer fools gladly” [18] (to borrow the words of my friend and fellow gadfly Norm Levitt, who died suddenly four years ago at the young age of 66). Rather, my concern that public debate be grounded in the best available evidence is, above all else, ethical.

To illustrate the connection I have in mind…

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