Tuesday, 18 November 2008
What Is Empirical Testing?
Michael Strevens, New York University, Philosophy
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
I will have another go at an old question: what makes science special? I am interested in pursuing an old answer: science is special because it puts huge emphasis on “empirical testing.” The question then becomes one of how to distinguish "empirical testing" from other good, but non-empirical, inductive reasoning (e.g., textual interpretation). To solve this problem I'll again go retro, exploring the possibility that something in the vicinity of "instance confirmation" supplies the answer. I will even try to say why empirical testing in this sense might have some special advantages as a form of reasoning.