Raffles Philosophy Course
Questions for Understanding the Reading
          What are the author’s comments with regards to each of these       purposes?     Question for *Personal *Reflection
      For each of the purpose below, state whether you think it should       be the aim(s) of science and provide justifications for your       stand.     Question for reviewing your stated position(s)
          If you have chosen more than one stated aim for the study of       science, you have to review if the two or more aims that you       chosen are complementary or contradictory. Justify your       stand.     {draw:text-box}
{draw:a} {draw:rect}
July 25, 1993
How to Think About Science
By David Papineau;
SCIENCE has had a bad press recently. Not so long ago, scientific progress was cast as the savior of humanity. It was going to cure disease, banish poverty and generate unlimited amounts of cheap nuclear power. But this happy optimism about the power of technology has faded along with many other hopes for modernity. Today science is as likely to be thanked for holes in the ozone layer or for Chernobyl as for any benefits it may have brought humankind.
This repudiation of technology has been mirrored by a shift in philosophical attitudes to scientific objectivity. Earlier this century, the logical positivists portrayed science as the very model of impartial rationality. Albert Einstein, whose purity seemed to be matched only by his genius, stood as the living icon of this view of science.
More recently, however, the philosophers have lost faith in scientific virtue. Since the publication of "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," by Thomas S. Kuhn, just over three decades ago, it has become widely accepted that scientists are as likely to be sinners as saints. Just like the rest of us, they are as much moved by ambition, pride and sectional interest as by any impersonal desire for truth. This has persuaded...