Natural Sciences v Human Sciences

What is the difference between natural sciences and human sciences?  First of all, what are the definitions for these two areas of knowledge?

Natural science focuses on the study of the nature and involves experiments and theories.  Chemistry, physics, biology are examples of some of the study areas of natural science.  They are very logic, and are usually supported with evidence and reason.  Experiments can be done in either at small or large scale.  They could be simple lab experiments at school to a chemical synthesis in an industry.

On the other hand, human science is more about the behavior, and is more abstract.  Psychology, economics, and anthropology are some examples.  Compared with natural sciences, this involves more thought and emotion.  Unlike natural science, there is no correct answer, so it is difficult to do an experiment.  However, conclusions can be drawn out from testing a large number of people and looking at what the majority has shown.

To decide which is better we must first decide on the criteria with which to judge them. As they both claim to be sciences so perhaps the best way to judge is to see which most expands our collective or shared knowledge. From this perspective it becomes clear of the natural sciences superiority, not only are the subjects studied broader thus giving a much wider array of new knowledge but are also much more reliable as a source for this new knowledge. This all comes back to the fact of repeatability which is much more prevalent in the natural sciences which thus allows a scientific consensus or paradigm to be reached. While it may be argued that this new paradigm isn’t the truth itself it’s undeniable that at the very least that the truth is closer than it was before. The same can’t be said for the human sciences and that is why the natural sciences is superior.

Natural Sciences – Thomas Kuhn and Normal Science

Thomas Kuhn – A physicist, historian but is probably known best as a philosopher of science through his publication of “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” in 1962 and in it he first coined the term of ‘Normal Science’ and that is the subject of this post.

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Before Normal Science can be explained you must first understand that Kuhn believes science operates along paradigms. A paradigm is simply the framework under which science can operate, simply think of the big science facts you remember, the heliocentric model, gravity or germ theory. From there Kuhn believes that the next important step is that anomalies are found in these paradigms, just as happened to ones before them, but before that can happen most scientists will just work under the existing paradigm, solving problems, ‘doing busy-work’ as Kuhn puts it.

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This quote really sums up Kuhn’s view on normal science, he saw it as, at least in comparison to work on a new paradigm, useless. Despite the truth in what he says about the scientific framework being almost certainly flawed in some ways, Kuhn fails to see the use in the so called busy-work. However, in actuality, this busy-work is the whole point of science – Solving problems. Take Germ Theory as an example, a revolutionary idea, but the only reason we think that is because of the normal science it created. Without normal science being the focus, scientists would never use germ theory to create hand sanitiser and cures for diseases, they would be just trying to disprove the paradigm.

This gets to the cause of the disparity, Kuhn sees knowledge as inherently valuable, and while this may be a good motivator for scientists, but for an ordinary individual knowledge that tiny microscopic creatures are the cause of their disease is useless, they’d care far more about an access to a cure.

Real Life Logical Fallacies

There are many, many examples of people, especially politicians, who use logical fallacies to further their own agenda and while I doubt he is the most prolific abuser of logical fallacies, it is undeniable that his use isn’t extraordinary in it’s own way. So I will try to find as many logical fallacies Donald Trump has used in his life. So without further ado…

Equivocation and Ad Hominem

See the source imageWhat a splendid quote this is, even better he managed to use two fallacies in a single sentence. Firstly Equivocation which, in case you’re unaware, means the use of ambiguous terms in order to disguise meaning. Specifically here the use of the word ‘satisfy’ to place the idea of running the United States of America as requiring the same skills as ‘satisfying’ ones husband. In addition the less powerful but still noticeable use of an Ad Hominin to attack Clinton as a person rather than as a politician.

Argumentum Ad Verecundium/

Image result for donald trump logical fallacies

Argumentum Ad Verecundium literally translates to ‘an argument from authority’ which is very clear once you look at this quote, a report from an anonymous stranger is definitely not an authority that should be believed. More likely the report isn’t even from an authority on the matter and even if it was that doesn’t provide validity to the claim.

Argument ad misericordiam, Argument ad ignorantiam and Ad Hominin

Image result for donald trump logical fallacies

There’s just so much to unpack here so firstly you can clearly see the use of Ad Hominin when he calls the reporter a ‘CNN part time wannabe journalist’ clearly simply attacking him. Secondly an Argument ad ignorantiam simply means an argument from ignorance where since one thing can’t be proved wrong it is therefore true, shown when he asks for proof that he didn’t suffer from voter fraud. Finally is the Argument ad misericordiam which is the argument from pity which is when Trump wants you to feel pity and support him because he claims he’s a victim of voter fraud.

Truthfully this could carry on indefinitely but I fear the humour found in the first few would slowly sink down to misery and depression with the realisation of not only how flagrantly he commits logical fallacies but with the knowledge that people actually believe them.

Would I take the red pill or the blue pill (Matrix)

I think the answer to this question is obvious. In Neo’s position taking the red pill is obviously the moral answer, freeing humanity from it’s blissful ignorance and waking them up to the harsh truth of reality, even if real life is horrible, it would be my duty to give everyone else the choice between freedom and uncertainty or happiness and beauty. By taking the blue pill you not only accept the status quo of your world but you also deny anyone else of rejecting it. However, if the choice of pills was choosing which reality to live in, the crumbling ruins of society and the matrix I would almost definitely choose the blue pill as I wouldn’t be able to accept that freedom is better than the matrix if freedom means living in misery.


TOK Related Song

The song I’ve chosen to represent the subject of ToK is ‘The Sound of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel available here:

I’ve chosen the song because of certain lyrics which speak of our ready acceptance of thought and opinion as provided by mass media and the alienation this causes him, which is undeniably a central aspect of ToK.