The Nature of Physical Knowledge

The Nature of Physical Knowledge

The Nature of Physical Knowledge

The Nature of Physical Knowledge

Excerpt

Periodically, the thoughtful scientist will take pause from his research activity to reflect upon the kind of description the facts he is uncovering are constraining him to make of the universe in which he lives--indeed, even of himself. He asks himself about the quality of the knowledge he is acquiring. He asks himself about the certainty of that knowledge. Some scientists answer the question about certainty simply and devastatingly. They deny that there is anything certain about knowledge. Their skepticism renders any attempt to draw conclusions from the raw data of experiment an operation that merely increases uncertainty. There is a school of thought which likes to vent its disdain for all it considers inferior knowledge upon that much-abused and misunderstood word, mysticism.

As the physicist ponders over the insight his findings are giving him into "objective reality" he finds himself looking into his own mind, and the material instrument through which mind works, the brain. How well does this mind get into contact with things outside itself? Indeed . . .

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