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16 Cards in this Set

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Confirmation:
Finding a state of affairs or a fact which supports or verifies some claim.
Einstein’s relativity theories
Special theory of relativity:
concerns space/ time and the claim that all of the laws of physics are equally valid in all nonaccelerated frames of reference, light has a constant speed and these have the consequences that the mass of an object increases as it approaches the speed of light and time slows in reference to other frames of reference.
Einstein’s relativity theories
General theory of relativity:
an extension of the special theory of relativity to a geometric theory of gravitation with the principle that gravitational inertial forces are equivalent.
Falsification(to falsify, falsifiable):
As used by Karl Popper, a criterion for testing the warrant of scientific claim. A scientist test a hypothesis by trying to prove it false rather than trying to confirm or verify.
Generalization:
A statement or claim referring to an entire group or population as opposed to referring to some specific individual.
Anomaly:
a deviation from what is normal or expected. In this episode, an anomaly is a fact which is not consistent with accepted theory.
Empiricism:
Basically, the view that knowledge is the result of sensory experience. Also the view that the content of thought is ultimately traceable bact to sensory experience.
Incommensurable:
having nothing in common. For Kuhn, the strong claim that two paradigms have nothing in common.
Induction:
Reasoning to the probable truth of some claim or explanation. A limited usage involves drawing probable generalizations from particular claims or observations.
Law of nature:
A highly generalized description of uniformity in nature which holds universally. Thus, Isaac Newton’s law of universal gravitation accounted for both celestial mechanics and terrestrial mechanics.
Newtonian physics:
Typically having to do with the theories of motion and universal gravitation decscribed by Isaac Newton.
Normal Science:
For Thomas Kuhn, that period in the life of a paradigm where the majority of scientific activity is focused on working out the details of the paradigm.
Paradigm:
A theory with much explanatory power that solves a certain set of problems or anomalies and becomes the mode for future scientific work. Darwin’s theory of evolution or Copernicus’s heliocentric theory of the solar system are examples of paradigms.
Pure reason:
thought, speculation without the use of the senses.
Quantum mechanics:
an area of theoretical physics that studies the structure and dynamics of atoms and sub-atomic particles.
Scientific revolution:
a period in the history of Western civilization, dated at the end of the Renaissance, in which critical though about the world was naturalized, and many astronomical and biological insights gained. As used by Thomas Kuhn, a period of transition when one paradigm replaces some other paradigm. Thus an example of this latter concept occurred when the heliocentric theory of the solar system replaced the geocentric theory of the solr system.