Luke asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 7 years ago

What is the difference between these two philosophies?

What is the difference between scientific realism and logical positivism? Also, why does scientific realism seem to be excepted more now than logical positivism? How does scientific realism solve those problems? Thanks

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    @matt-fack 2014 YOLO: Nope. Completely wrong. Don't guess if you don't know the answer…

    @EP: Nope..

    Logical positivism is a movement originating in Vienna (the Vienna Circle) in the early 20th century which held that the only objects science should deal with are those which are directly observable by the senses (planets, mammals, volcanoes, etc.), and not *posit* entities that cannot be observed to describe theories, such as quarks, black holes, proteins, etc. This ideology quickly became untenable, since it very rigidly restricted the things science could describe.

    Scientific realism is the viewpoint that there exists an external world, independent of what our minds and senses can perceive, whether we are able to (via technology) observe those unobservable entities or not. Scientific realism says that the theoretical (i.e. unobservable) entities which scientific theories postulate DO exist, given their rigorous evidential proofs, and that these do represent actual features of the world (i.e. even though quarks and electrons are at the moment unobservable, a realist would readily admit they actually exist and that we can describe certain features of them).

  • EP
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    "Logical positivism", generally, takes issue with scientific "theory" - which scientific realists tend to include in a "scientific reality".

    Scientific realism doesn't resolve it, per se - it simply paints "theory" as "fact" - and it isn't more "accepted" - it's just "louder" than its opponents. "Loud" precludes meaningful dialog and encourages those who aren't invested in the argument, to "keep their distance".

    Just a note - actual scientists are seldom scientific realists. And by "actual scientists", I don't mean everyone who ever successfully completed a science class or course of study. I mean those who are still exploring various aspects of reality, scientifically - those who have continued past the regurgitated, study-able observations of others.

    To hear scientific realists talk, there's nothing left worth studying - but no actual scientist would ever say that because he/she has a whole list of things, yet to be explored - a list that extends well beyond the length of his/her life.

    If you want an example of my description, see Eugene's answer - lol

    Often, what is unobservable IS unobservable because "theory" IS "theory" and still being explored. Meaning, the theory is constantly adjusted to fit newly discovered information. This goes on - for instance, with regard to quarks" - until they get a "better theory" and a better understanding of where the unobservable thing might be found and what it looks like - as opposed to what its "effects" look like and what those effects ***theoretically*** SUGGEST their cause might BE.

    I don't mean to suggest that there's anything "wrong" with theories. It is theories and old "knowledge" that provide the very basis of exploration, in the first place. All I'm saying is that actual scientists are often held back by the "political" arm of science - i.e. those who perceive further exploration and the threat of new discoveries as a possible source of personal embarrassment.

    A true scientist LOVES being wrong because THAT means he's discovered something - and there's NOTHING better than blazing a trail through unexplored territory! I take that back, there IS something better, and that's CO-blazing such a trail. Unfortunately, politically/socially/professionally fearless people are so rare that they're seldom in the same field, let alone fearlessly exploring the same things.

  • 7 years ago

    By experimenting. Also 2 philosophies can also be 2 different subjects to put yourself in logically/ reality / or positivity. Its only possible if each is experimented in each subject. Mike

    Source(s): common logic
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