forum 7: week of 27 Feb - pragmatic encroachment

Fragment of a discussion from Course talk:Phil440A
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I disagree with the claim that knowledge is subjective. Beliefs are subjective, but knowledge is not necessarily subjective (and the two terms--belief and knowledge--are not interchangeable, at least in statistics or applied mathematics). The type of knowledge I'm thinking of is scientific or experimental knowledge: "The growth of knowledge, by and large, has to do not with replacing or amending some well-confirmed theory, but with testing specific hypotheses in such a way that there is a good chance of learning something--whatever theory it winds up as part of" (page 56, "Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge" by Deborah Mayo). My main point is that these specific hypotheses need not be subjective, unless the scientific models themselves are subjective. However, I don't want to think that the scientific models themselves are subjective. Otherwise, the entire pursuit of science would be subjective--there would be no objectivity in science, but I do not think that is the case! Does anyone else believe that there is (at least some) objectivity in science???

07:43, 2 March 2012