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I need definitions - please!

Bob Phair rphair at ix.netcom.com
Wed Jun 25 07:53:04 EST 1997


I am a practicing scientist. (17 years on a Medical School faculty) 

I understand Positivism to be a philosophical position that restricts
the scope of philosophical enquiry to those things that can be measured
and to those hypotheses that can be tested by experimentation.

I learned this from Will Durant's Story of Philosophy.

Perhaps the reason that so few scientists know this, is that positivism
is part of their unquestioned foundation. It's the bedrock upon which
the majestic sculpture of modern science is erected. Indeed, many
scientists have no interest in the parts of philosophy that are not
subject to experimental test. They believe that if you cannot test it,
it's not worth thinking about.

They are wrong, of course. 

Robert D. Phair, Ph.D.  rphair at ix.netcom.com
BioInformatics Services  http://www.webcom.com/rphair
Partnering and Outsourcing for Computational Biology

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