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21 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

01. What is the point of the philosophy of science?

Finding explanation of everything based upon verifiable evidence, reason and skepticis

02. When we think about science, why do we think about the fields of biology, physics, and chemistry?

It may be because these fields (bio, phys, chem), throughout human history, have posed the most mysterious and compelling questions

03. Why do some people of the world worship bears, and wolves, and the rain?

Because Worship (spiritual belief) is the beginning of objective understandings of the natural world.

04. Scientific thinking helped in the emergence of what technical enterprise in ancient China and India?

Fields of medicine

05. Where was Mesopotamia? What rewarding technical enterprise emerged with the growth of scientific thought there?

The ancient land between the famed Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what now is modern Iraq.

Agriculture, Farming. Civilization

06. What three intellectual milestones did the ancient Greeks achieve?

1) A curiosity of the natural world, and mustered a willingness to investigate it — without the aid of the supernatural
2) The validity of the human senses to perceive reality, and the human mind to interpret those perceptions
3) The value of publicly verifiable evidence gathered by methodical observation

07. What is "natural philosophy"?

Objective way of knowing advanced humankind toward a larger scientific philosophy.

(An attempt to find explanations about the natural world without the use of the supernatural)

08. Although full of insight, why were the beliefs of most early natural philosophers usually incomplete, and sometimes dead wrong?

Because knowledge gathered by observation was lucked.

Because they believed they could explain all if only they could fashion intricate arguments.

09. What was Heraclitus's fatal philosophical mistake?

Intellect alone was insufficient to the task. He didn't have knowledge gathered by observation.

Experience was not necessary.

10. What was the valuable insight made by Empedocles as he watched children playing with a clepsydra.

Philosophical view that emphasizes experience and the value of evidence obtained by observation.

The air has substance.

11. What were the key advances made by Empedocles?


Evidence is necessary to support explanations that have abundant, publicly verifiable evidence.

12. Define "system."

A set of physical components that interact with each other, resulting in a recognizable action.

13. Define "model."

A description of the configuration, material composition, and behavior of a system.

14. What is the difference between fact and inference?

Fact is observable, testable, no-require interpretation, publicly verifiable, so obvious, and indisputable.

Inference is an explanation of phenomena that cannot be directly observed based on logical interpretation of related phenomena that CAN be directly observed.

15. Hippocrates gathered detailed observations of his patients. Why?

Because when he was reported to be a careful observer and was exposed to a great deal of evidence, he soon realized there was too much evidence to remember.

16. What were the key advances made by Hippocrates?

The beginning of the medical chart

Observations should be recorded in a systematic way.

17. What were the key advances made by Aristotle?

The standard for methodical scientific inquiry of nature
1) A refined method of scientific inquiry based upon empirical evidence and deduction
2) Authoring over 30 significant academic works on biology, anatomy, philosophy, politics, and literature.

18. How did Eratosthenes determine the size of the Earth?

He measured the distance between Syene and Alexandria, which is about 500 miles, and the angle of curvature separating Alexandria and Syene, which is 7 degrees. He then multiplied 500 with 360/7.

19. Regarding the practice of science, what is the main lesson to be learned from the work of Eratosthenes?

The scientific enterprise is very much more than the so-called scientific method. (?)

20. The Middle Ages was a time when scientific exploration stopped in Europe. Why?

Because society was encouraged to trust their faith more than science during medieval times. Secular intellectualism, such as scientific thinking, was forbidden, as were many of the teachings of the great Greek philosophers.

21. Why does personal intellectual development sometimes come with social risks?

Because many progressive-thinking individuals were sacrificed for corrupting the city's youth and ignore the official gods.