Tuesday, March 27, 2018

How science progresses - falsifiable, probably or paradigm shift, likely?

Reading Staley's excellent introduction to the philosophy of science was reminded of reading Popper's Objective knowledge back in the 1970s, but now I'm a recovering Bayesian, and am immersed in social science explanations like the structure of scientific revolutions by Kuhn, or even the whole idea of funding/groupthink/paradigms, I'm now convinced we don't have a good basis for choosing the right description of the process (or classifying best practice) until we study the past, both its pre- and post- states - i'm thinking that people choose to run occam/popper after they intuit a new paradigm shift (e.g. copernican model of planets) and use some confidence models to decide that, when the new theory has objectors, the objectors are outliers, whereas the old new outliers the new theory explains were more important than the new old outliers - of course, the new theory can still be wrong, but the smart money is that it isn't...

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home