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Charles William Lucas
The Philosophy of Science vs. Truth

Date: 2013-02-09 Time: 07:00 - 09:00 US/Pacific (5 years 2 months ago)
America/Los Angeles: 2013-02-09 07:00 (DST)
America/New York: 2013-02-09 10:00 (DST)
America/Sao Paulo: 2013-02-09 11:00
Europe/London: 2013-02-09 14:00
Asia/Colombo: 2013-02-09 19:30
Australia/Sydney: 2013-02-10 01:00 (DST)

Where: Online Video Conference
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The ancient Greek philosophers defined the goal of natural philosophy as the quest for truth. They had some success in mathematics especially geometry. Isaac Newton expanded natural philosophy to include the performing of experiments to discover empirically the postulates and terms of science in precise mathematical form. Newtons great success in mechanics and gravity was tempered by his failure to discover the true nature of mass, the origin of the forces of gravity and inertia, and the means by which these forces were delivered. Later generations of natural philosophers reacting to the failures of Newtons empirical approach, adopted the existential philosophy based on idealizations and approximations, because they felt that truth was unattainable. Under this philosophy the pillars of modern science, i.e. Maxwells electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and relativity theory were developed. In the mid twentieth century some natural philosophers returned to the search for truth by introducing structural philosophy and removing idealizations and approximations from science. Most scientists in the hard sciences of physics, astronomy, geology, chemistry, and biology refused to take up the search for truth again and instead introduced the post-modern philosophy which was a continuation of existential philosophy in which each field of science now has experts that define the criteria for truth and meaning separately in each field of science. The criterion of falsifiability is used as the criterion for distinguishing between true science and pseudoscience. The veracity of assumptions, postulates and terms that form the logical basis of theories is no longer as important as the agreement of the predictions of theories with empirical data. A comparison of the results of the existential/post-modern and structural philosophies is presented for electrodynamics. The resulting predictions are identical for constant velocity phenomena. How is the true theory to be determined? How is truth to be determined?