The scientific method

This outline discusses the definition of the scientific method, its central role in founding a scientific epistemology, the demarcation of science from pseudoscience, and other epistemological topics concerning the methods and philosophy of science. The metaphysical implications of science are discussed in the outline on scientific realism.

Issues and positions

History of science

[Timeline of some major philosophers in history.](http://www.rit.edu/cla/philosophy/Timeline.html){#fig:timeline-of-major-philosophers-since-1200}

Rationalism vs empiricism

Early empiricists:


British empiricists:

[Mind Chunks by Pete Mandik (Nov 1, 2016).](http://dailynous.com/2016/11/01/mind-chunks-daily-nous-philosophy-comics-17/){#fig:mandik-2016-11-1-eyeballs}

Important synthesizers:



Is there a universal scientific method?

Statistical measurement

Scientific knowledge and realism

Knowledge = JTB - G ([philosophy-in-figures.tumblr.com](http://philosophy-in-figures.tumblr.com/post/90253498641/knowledge-jtb-g)).{#fig:knowledge-jtb-g}

The stopped clock from Russell’s Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits

You’re walking by a clock that you’ve always known to be accurate in the past. You glance up at it and see that it reads five o’clock; on the basis of this you believe that it’s five o’clock. Your belief is justified, and as it happens it is five o’clock. But unbeknownst to you, the clock stopped exactly twelve hours ago. 8

Naturalism, monism, and reductionism


My thoughts

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Annotated bibliography

Hume, D. (1748). An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.

1. Of the different Species of Philosophy

2. Of the Origin of Ideas

3. Of the Association of Ideas

4. Sceptical Doubts concerning the Operations of the Understanding

5. Sceptical Solution of these Doubts

6. Of Probability

7. Of the Idea of necessary Connexion

8. Of Liberty and Necessity

9. Of the Reason of Animals

10. Of Miracles

11. Of a particular Providence and of a future State

12. Of the academical or sceptical Philosophy

My thoughts

Sellars, W. (1963). Empircism and Philosophy of Mind.

My thoughts

Pigliucci, M. (2010). Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science From Bunk.

My thoughts

French, S. (2007). Science: Key Concepts in Philosophy.

1. Introduction

Do not become archivists of facts. Try to penetrate to the secret of their occurrence, persistently search for the laws which govern them.

– Ivan Pavlov

The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.

– W.L. Bragg


2. Discovery

3. Heuristics

4. Justification

5. Observation

6. Experiment

7. Realism

8. Anti-realism

9. Independence

10. Gender Bias

My thoughts





  1. @Sabra_1978_An_eleventh_century_refutation_of_Ptolemys\, pp. 121–2. 

  2. @Descartes_2008_Meditations_on_First_Philosophy. 

  3. @Hume_2007_An_Enquiry_Concerning_Human_Understanding.  2 3

  4. @Newton_2016_The_Principia_Mathematical_Principles_of_Natural. 

  5. @Kant_1996_Critique_of_Pure_Reason. 

  6. @Douven_2011_Abduction. 

  7. @Ladyman_2007_Every_Thing_Must_Go_Metaphysics_Naturalised. 

  8. @Russell_2009_Human_Knowledge_Its_Scope_and_Limits.