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Philosophy of Science Lecture by Floris Van Den Berg

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Philosophy of Science lecture by Floris van den Berg
Video Summary by Kristina Petrova

The video shows part of a lecture on the topic “Philosophy of Science” held by Floris van den Berg. The focus falls on the question what science is and how it could be distinguished and defined. The lecturer lists some scientific methods and gives examples of characteristics of science.
First of all, Floris van den Berg explains the three fundamental methods of science – deduction, induction and abduction. Deduction is said to be the method all scientists aim for, because it is the only one that gives 100% certainty in knowledge. It can be used only for closed systems, which are not influenced by outside factors, examples being logic and mathematics. The method of induction is based on continues observations and claims that if something happens twice, it will happen again. Abduction, on the other hand, means making reasonable guesses about what could something be. The latter two methods could not give absolute truth guarantee.
Secondly, the lecturer puts the methods on the probability scale of knowledge, which measures the certainty of truth from 0 to 100%. Deduction (Mathematics and logic) is first with 100%, followed by induction (Physics) and abduction (Social sciences) and ending with mythology and religion with 0%. Afterwards, the demarcation problem is addressed in defining whether something is scientific or not. Floris van den Berg explains that not the opinion of the majority makes something true, but the usage of a method, the ability of falsification and the predictability.
Finally, the lecture ends with an attempt to give a definition for “science”, but no such one is found. Instead, various characteristics of science are given, namely that science is cumulative, because we use each other’s knowledge and build on it, it is probable, fallible and collective, as…...

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