On the Nature of Science
Jennings, B. K.
Physics - Popular Physics | Physics - History and Philosophy of Physics | Physics - Physics and Society
A 21st century view of the nature of science is presented. It attempts to show how a consistent description of science and scientific progress can be given. Science advances through a sequence of models with progressively greater predictive power. The philosophical and metaphysical implications of the models change in unpredictable ways as the predictive power increases. The view of science arrived at is one based on instrumentalism. Philosophical realism can only be recovered by a subtle use of Occam's razor. Error control is seen to be essential to scientific progress. The nature of the difference between science and religion is explored.