Sample Essay

Words 1,727


Much discussion has focused on the question: What is the nature of science?  Most descriptions of science found in education, psychology, and philosophy materialize from the theoretical and procedural outlook that highlight norms, principles, and broad trends.  Some groups are motivated to distinguish science from other activities while some groups work in the opposite course and blur the lines between science and others ways of knowing.  Essential to both perspectives is an implied focus on general qualities common to groups or subgroups e.g. believing that ideas are subject to change, explanations demand evidence, science is a complex social activity, etc. The difference between science and non-science has a practical consequence for society. The label ‘science’ carries a high degree of authority, and people need to comprehend when the label, and the authority, is deserved. More commonly, an understanding of what science is carries us a step closer to telling the disparity between good and bad science, and the limits of good science. Different sciences have widely divergent properties. The question is whether there is a fixed set of defining properties of science that all sciences possess, Or is the concept of science where for any given central property, or ‘science’ can be a cluster concept, defined as anything that shares an adequate number of a cluster of defining properties. One should keep this question in mind when engaging in the problem of distinguishing science from non-science.

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