Philosophical Reflections on Contemporary Sciences and Superstitions
LANGUAGE NOTE | Document text in Chinese; abstract also in English.
There is an important way to distinguish science from pseudo-science：empirical testability. It has three basic implications. First, scientific experiments are the fundamental scientific activities, and the method of experiment marks empirical science. Second, empirical testability constitutes the first methodological principle for proposing or affirming a scientific hypothesis. Finally, it is also a basic condition for a scientific discovery to be accepted by society. If a hypothesis cannot be tested even in principle, it cannot be termed as a scientific hypothesis.
In contemporary Chinese society, there are varieties of pseudo-sciences. They use the name of science to identify themselves, but cannot pass the serious requirement of empirical testability. We should carefully examine such pseudo-sciences and disclose the nature of their hypotheses and activities as non- or anti-science. At the same time, we should also recognize that, although science is dominant in contemporary society, it is not everything valuable. There are a great deal of other items, such as religion, art, and customs, which are nonscientific but are extremely important to the development of society. We should not deny the value of non-scientific theories or activities. Neither should we mark them as science.
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Copyright (c) 2001 International Journal of Chinese & Comparative Philosophy of Medicine
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