In terms of epistemology, do you think the method of science is a better way for gaining truth than other methods?In terms of epistemology, do you think the method of science is a better way for...

In terms of epistemology, do you think the method of science is a better way for gaining truth than other methods?

In terms of epistemology, do you think the method of science is a better way for gaining truth than other methods?

Asked on by jls479

5 Answers | Add Yours

e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

There is a difference between truth and fact. Science is better equipped to discover facts than, say, literature. A microscope can help determine how big a bacteria cell is. This is a question of fact.

Literature is better equipped than science to explain and explore human nature, the life of the mind, and the experience of perception and other things of this nature.

To me, these are things better understood as relating to "truth". 

Truth and facts are both verifiable, but only truth is experiential. 

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

The scientific method when applied properly is absolutely the best way to discern the truth. However I think outside the science world there are too many areas of gray, not everything is black and white. This is when our own biases may cloud the truth.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I have to agree with #3 - whilst science is best equipped to discern truth, unfortunately, we are becoming more and more aware of man's inability to understand, interpret and present truth because of our own innate bias, culture and upbringing - whatever "truth" will emerge from our lips will at best only be partial.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

As usual, pohnpei did a great job of addressing the issues. Science is factual and objective. I might add that that while science is not made up to prove things like the existence of God (or non-existence), neither does it address emotion. Much of what man considers "truth" is filtered through emotion. If man experiences different emotions with regard to the same issue, does that make one man's "truth" less honest than another's?

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If we are talking about truth that can be proven, then science absolutely has the best method for discovering truth.  If we are talking about things that cannot be proven (why the universe exists, what happens after death), science is not a viable way to find truth.

Science is the best way to find truth because it is the only method that relies on experimental proof rather than that theoretical thinking or reliance on religioius authority.  The scientific method is geared to finding absolute proof relating to phenomena that can be measured.  The process of formulating hypotheses and testing them objectively is well suited to this task in a way that theorizing or religious faith are not.

On the other hand, science cannot reveal many things that are fundamental truths about the universe.  Science is not set up to prove things like the existence (or non-existence of God).

Please follow the link to see a much more in-depth treatment of epistemology than I can provide here.

We’ve answered 318,947 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question