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Science: learning from experience

But, in reality, scientific theories are not ‘derived’ from anything. We do not read them in nature, nor does nature write them into us. They are guesses – bold conjectures. Human minds create them by rearranging, combining, altering and adding to existing ideas with the intention of improving upon them. We do not begin with ‘white paper’ at birth, but with inborn expectations and intentions and an innate ability to improve upon them using thought and experience. Expe­rience is indeed essential to science, but its role is different from that supposed by empiricism. It is not the source from which theories are derived. Its main use is to choose between theories that have already been guessed. That is what ‘learning from experience’ is. [4]

1 comment

  1. PeterM says:

    A nice summary of why science is also a model for how learning (i.e., an increase in understanding) works. Might also be the explanation why education is so intricately linked to the concept of the open society.

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