Peter Godfrey-Smith on Scientific Observation

“Observation is a form of physical contact between our minds and the world. This contact is the product of evolution, and it has whatever degree of reliability it has because of our evolutionary history and the contingent relationship between our structure and that of our surroundings. Science is an attempt to exploit this contact between our minds and the world, and science is also¬†motivated by the limitations that results from our relations to the world; we need science because much of the world is not accessible to ordinary observation. Science works by taking theoretical ideas and trying to find ways to expose them to observation. The scientific strategy is to construe ideas, to embed them in surrounding conceptual frameworks, and to develop them, in such a way that this exposure is possible even in the case of the most general and ambitious hypotheses about the universe.”

Peter Godfrey-Smith on Scientific Observation

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