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The science. Signs of science
Science is a sphere of human activity, the main function of which is the development of knowledge about the world, their systematization, building an image of the world (scientific picture of the world) and ways of interacting with it (a scientifically based practice) based on them. Science is the most important form of human knowledge. It has an increasingly visible and significant impact on the life of not only society, but also the individual. Science is today the main force in the economic and social development of the world. That is why the philosophical vision of the world organically includes certain ideas about what science is, how it works, develops, what it can give, and what is unavailable to it.
The concept of "science" is quite ambiguous. Science, having numerous definitions, appears in three main forms.
• form (sphere) of human activity;
• a special way of knowing the world;
• a system or body of disciplinary knowledge;
• social institution (system of institutions and organizations).
By science they understand a special sphere of human activity, the main function of which is to develop knowledge about the world, systematize them, on the basis of which it is possible to build an image of the world (the so-called scientific picture of the world) and to build ways of interacting with the world (scientifically based practice). In this sense, we use the concept of "science", saying, for example, that someone "is engaged in scientific activities", "passionate about science", etc.
Secondly, science is understood as a special way of knowing the world, which is different, for example, from artistic or everyday knowledge, that is, from art and life experience (which is discussed below). In this sense, they talk about the scientific approach, the scientific nature of the data, that something is scientifically established, etc.
Thirdly, science means the knowledge system itself, obtained as a result of research activities. In this sense, we are talking about the so-called Science with a capital letter (for example, “science claims that ...”), physical science (that is, the knowledge system developed by physics), biological science, etc. “Body” of science in this meaning are the laws - open stable links between phenomena - the formulation of which allows one to describe, explain and predict the phenomena of objective reality.
Science is often defined as a system of knowledge; and Kant determined. But such a definition is narrow, for it is limited only by an epistemological characteristic; it does not reflect the social function of science and its creatively-active vector. In addition, science includes not only knowledge, but also institutions, so science is increasingly defined as a type of spiritual production. However, there is no generalizing definition of science.
Finally, fourthly, science sometimes refers to a system of institutions and organizations (Academies, institutes, laboratories, professional communities, etc.), within which research activities are organized, conferences are convened, etc. In this sense, we use the term “Science”, for example, saying that someone is “engaged in science” or “is a worker of science” - by analogy with the fact that someone may be engaged in production or trade.
There are very large discrepancies among scientific scientists about the emergence and criteria of scientific knowledge. We point to two extreme points of view. According to the first of them, science in the true sense of the word was born in Europe only in the 15-17 centuries, in the period called “the great scientific revolution”. Its occurrence is associated with the activities of scientists such as Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Newton. It is precisely at this time that the birth of the scientific method proper, for which a specific relationship between theory and experiment is characteristic. At the same time, the role of the mathematics of the natural sciences was realized.
Another point of view, just the opposite of what has just been stated, does not impose any rigid restrictions on the concept of science. According to her supporters, any body of knowledge related to the real world can be considered science in the broad sense of the word. From this point of view, the birth of mathematical science, for example, should be attributed to the time when man began to perform the most basic operations with numbers: astronomy appeared with the first observations of the motion of celestial bodies; zoology and botany - with the advent of the first information about the flora and fauna, etc.
It is clear that the problem of the emergence of science rests on the problem of identifying the generic characteristics of scientific knowledge, along which a demarcation line can be drawn between scientific and unscientific knowledge.
Characteristic features of science successfully identified I.D. Rozhansky and PP Gaidenko in their works devoted to the study of ancient civilization.
First, any science is not just a body of knowledge, which is the case in everyday knowledge. Much more important is the fact that science is a special activity, namely, the activity of obtaining new knowledge. The latter implies the existence of a certain category of people who are engaged in obtaining new knowledge. A necessary condition for scientific activity is the possibility of recording the information received, which implies the existence of a developed writing system. A society devoid of writing cannot have a science.
It follows that traditional or archaic civilizations, which had a mechanism for storing and transmitting accumulated information, but where there was no activity in obtaining new knowledge, did not have a science. Without detracting from the achievements of archaic civilizations: Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian-Babylonian, Harappa, Old Indian, Ancient Chinese, and others - one can say this: they have developed a protoscience that has not turned into a science.
The second feature of science in the true sense of the word is its intrinsic value. The goal of science should be knowledge for the sake of knowledge itself, in other words, the comprehension of truth. Scientific activities to obtain new knowledge can not be directed only at solving practical problems; in the latter case, it falls into the sphere of applied disciplines.
For the Greeks, on the contrary, those who approached mathematics purely theoretically, it was important, first of all, a rigorous solution obtained by logical reasoning. This led to the development of mathematical deduction, which turned out to be inaccessible to all oriental mathematics. Thus, the distinctive feature of ancient science since its inception was the theoretical, that is, the desire for knowledge for the sake of knowledge itself, and not for practical applications.
The third sign of this science should be considered its rational character. The transition “from myth to logos,” that is, to a rational explanation of any phenomena, was a huge step in development, the origins of early Greek science should also be sought in mythology, in particular, in cosmogonic myths.
Fourth, the next sign of this science is its systematic nature. The totality of separate knowledge not connected by internal unity, even if they belong to the same reality, does not yet form a science.
Psevdonau? Ka (from the ancient Greek ?????? - "false" + science; less often: pseudo-ka, quasi-ka, alternative science, obvious science) - an activity that imitates scientific activity, but in essence that is not. Characteristic features of a pseudoscientific theory are ignoring or distorting facts, unfalsifiable (incompatibility with Popper's criterion), refusal to reconcile theoretical calculations with the results of observations in favor of appeals to “common sense” or “authoritative opinion”, the use of data based on the theory not confirmed by independent experiments, the impossibility independent verification or repetition of research results; use of political and religious attitudes, dogmas in scientific work.
Developers of theories unrecognized by the scientific community often act as "fighters against the ossified official science." At the same time, they believe that representatives of the “official science”, for example, members of the commission to combat pseudoscience, advocate group interests (collective responsibility), are politically biased, do not want to admit their mistakes and, as a result, defend “outdated” ideas to the detriment of the new the truth carried by their theory. Some non-scientific concepts are called parascience.
The main functions of science:
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