Following Korzybski , I put things in probabilities, not absolutes ... My only originality lies in applying this zetetic attitude outside the hardest of the hard sciences, physics , to softer sciences and then to non-sciences like politics , ideology , jury verdicts and, of course, conspiracy theory .
Robert Anton Wilson
A ... difference between most system-building in the social sciences and systems of thought and classification of the natural sciences is to be seen in their evolution. In the natural sciences both theories and descriptive systems grow by adaptation to the increasing knowledge and experience of the scientists. In the social sciences, systems often issue fully formed from the mind of one man. Then they may be much discussed if they attract attention, but progressive adaptive modification as a result of the concerted efforts of great numbers of men is rare.
Lawrence Joseph Henderson
Those who assert that the mathematical sciences say nothing of the beautiful or the good are in error. For these sciences say and prove a great deal about them; if they do not expressly mention them, but prove attributes which are their results or definitions, it is not true that they tell us nothing about them. The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree.
The social sciences offer equal promise for improving human welfare; our lives can be greatly improved through a deeper understanding of individual and collective behavior. But to realize this promise, the social sciences, like the natural sciences, need to match their institutional structures to today's intellectual challenges.
Nicholas A. Christakis
There are a whole other range of sciences that must deal with the narrative reconstruction of the inordinately complex events of history that can occur but once in their detailed glory. And for those kinds of sciences, be it cosmology, or evolutionary biology, or geology, or palaeontology, the experimental methods, simplification, quantification, prediction and repetition of the experimental sciences don't always work. You have to go with the narrative, the descriptive methods of what? Of historians.
Almost everyone... seems to be quite sure that the differences between the methodologies of history and of the natural sciences are vast. For, we are assured, it is well known that in the natural sciences we start from observation and proceed by induction to theory. And is it not obvious that in history we proceed very differently? Yes, I agree that we proceed very differently. But we do so in the natural sciences as well.
As indicated by our example, methodological nominalism is nowadays fairly generally accepted in the natural sciences. The problems of the social sciences, on the other hand, are still for the most part treated by essentialist methods. This is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons for their backwardness.
Karl R. Popper
The prime lesson the social sciences can learn from the natural sciences is just this: that it is necessary to press on to find the positive conditions under which desired events take place, and that these can be just as scientifically investigated as can instances of negative correlation. This problem is beyond relativity.
Ultimately, the main reason that you want more women in the sciences is the same reason you want more gay men in the sciences. It's the same reason you want more Latinos or African Americans; it's because if you come at a problem from a different perspective, you will be offering a creative vision that wasn't there before.
Cara Santa Maria
I am a taxonomist, I work in the descriptive, narrative sciences of natural history. Unfortunately there is this status ordering from physics, the queen of the sciences up on top, down through a bunch of squishy subjects, ending up with sociology and psychology on the bottom. Palaeontologists are not much above that in their conventional ordering.
In a proper Islamic University, fard 'ain knowledge which represents the permanent intellectual and spiritual needs of the human soul-should form the core curriculum, and should be made obligatory to all students. Fard kifayah knowledge-reflecting societal needs and global trends-is not obligatory to all, but must be mastered by and adequate number of Muslims to ensure the proper development of the Community and to safeguard its proper place in world affairs. The fard 'ain knowledge shall include knowledge of the traditional Islamic sciences such as the Arabic language, metaphysics, the Qur'an and Hadith, ethics, the shari'ah sciences, and the history of Islam. Consonant with our position that these fard 'ain sciences are not static but dynamic, they should be continuously studied, analyzed, and applied in relation to the fard kifayah sciences; i.e. the fields of their specialization.
Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud
There is one thing only which a Muslim can profitably learn from the west, the exact sciences in their pure and applied form. Only natural sciences and mathematics should be taught in Muslim schools, while tuition of European philosophy, literature and history should lose the position of primacy which today it holds on the curriculum.
The theoretical side of physical chemistry is and will probably remain the dominant one; it is by this peculiarity that it has exerted such a great influence upon the neighboring sciences, pure and applied, and on this ground physical chemistry may be regarded as an excellent school of exact reasoning for all students of the natural sciences.
My co-winners, Peter Diamond and Christopher Pissarides, and I wish to thank the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Foundation for this very great honor. We each feel privileged and humbled to be named the winners of the 2010 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
Dale T. Mortensen
If it were customary to send daughters to school like sons, and if they were then taught the natural sciences, they would learn as thoroughly and understand the subtleties of all the arts and sciences as well as sons. And by chance there happen to be such women, for, as I touched on before, just as women have more delicate bodies than men, weaker and less able to perform many tasks, so do they have minds that are freer and sharper whenever they apply themselves.
Christine de Pizan
Most life sciences companies require significant and unique infrastructure to develop their products. Through this development, the state of Georgia and Georgia Tech have continued to support the important contributions life sciences make to the economy of the state and for that we are sincerely grateful.
I look at the human sciences as poetic sciences in which there is no objectivity, and I see film as not being objective, and cinema verite as a cinema of lies that depends on the art of telling yourself lies. If you're a good storyteller then the lie is more true than reality, and if you're a bad one, the truth is worse than a half lie.
... the sciences are like a beautiful river, of which the course is easy to follow, when it has acquired a certain regularity; but if one wants to go back to the source, one will find it nowhere, because it is everywhere; it is spread so much [as to be] over all the surface of the earth; it is the same if one wants to go back to the origin of the sciences, one will find only obscurity, vague ideas, vicious circles; and one loses oneself in the primitive ideas.
Astronomy concerns itself with the whole of the visible universe, of which our earth forms but a relatively insignificant part; while Geology deals with that earth regarded as an individual. Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences, while Geology is one of the newest. But the two sciences have this in common, that to both are granted a magnificence of outlook, and an immensity of grasp denied to all the rest.
[J]ust as in the sciences we have learned that we are too ignorant to safely pronounce anything impossible, so for the individual, since we cannot know just what are his limitations, we can hardly say with certainty that anything is necessarily within or beyond his grasp. Each must remember that no one can predict to what heights of wealth, fame, or usefulness he may rise until he has honestly endeavored, and he should derive courage from the fact that all sciences have been, at some time, in the same condition as he, and that it has often proved true that the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
Robert H. Goddard
It is in the measure that special methods acknowledge their common core in transcendental method, that norms common to all the sciences will be acknowledged, that a secure basis will be attained for tackling interdisciplinary problems, and that the sciences will be mobilized within a higher unity of vocabulary, thought and orientation, in which they will be able to make their quite significant contribution to the solution of fundamental problems.
Without Christ, sciences in every department are vain....The man who knows not God is vain, though he should be conversant with every branch of learning. Nay more, we may affirm this too with truth, that these choice gifts of God -- expertness of mind, acuteness of judgment, liberal sciences, and acquaintance with languages, are in a manner profaned in every instance in which they fall to the lot of wicked men.
For a long time it has been known that the first systems of representations with which men have pictured to themselves the world and themselves were of religious origin. There is no religion that is not a cosmology at the same time that it is a speculation upon divine things. If philosophy and the sciences were born of religion, it is because religion began by taking the place of the sciences and philosophy.
The theories of the social sciences do not consist of 'laws' in the sense of empirical rules about the behavior of objects definable in physical terms. All that the theory of the social sciences attempts is to provide a technique of reasoning which assists us in connecting individual facts, but which, like logic or mathematics, is not about the facts. It can, therefore, and this is the second point, never be verified or falsified by reference to facts.
There is a noticeable general difference between the sciences and mathematics on the one hand, and the humanities and social sciences on the other. It's a first approximation, but one that is real. In the former, the factors of integrity tend to dominate more over the factors of ideology. It's not that scientists are more honest people. It's just that nature is a harsh taskmaster. You can lie or distort the story of the French Revolution as long as you like, and nothing will happen. Propose a false theory in chemistry, and it'll be refuted tomorrow.
After years of work in both areas of study, I concluded that the social sciences were different, in many important ways, from the natural sciences, but that the same scientific methods were applicable in both areas, and, indeed, that no very useful work could be done in either area except by scientific methods.
The great shift ... is the movement away from the value-laden languages of ... the "humanities," and toward the ostensibly value-neutral languages of the "sciences." This attempt to escape from, or to deny, valuation is ... especially important in psychology ... and the so-called social sciences. Indeed, one could go so far as to say that the specialized languages of these disciplines serve virtually no other purpose than to conceal valuation behind an ostensibly scientific and therefore nonvaluational semantic screen.
Physical science enjoys the distinction of being the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, and its laws are obeyed universally, so far as is known, not merely by inanimate things, but also by living organisms, in their minutest parts, as single individuals, and also as whole communities. It results from this that, however complicated a series of phenomena may be and however many other sciences may enter into its complete presentation, the purely physical aspect, or the application of the known laws of matter and energy, can always be legitimately separated from the other aspects.
The rapid progress of the sciences makes me sorry, at times, that I was born so soon. Imagine the power that man will have over matter, a few hundred years from now. We may learn how to remove gravity from large masses, and float them over great distances. Agriculture will double its produce with less labor. All diseases will surely be cured... even old age. If only the moral sciences could be improved as well. Perhaps men would cease to be wolves to one another... and human beings could learn to be human.
The first revolution is to transform the status of evaluation from untouchable to respectable , i.e., from the days a century ago when the value-free doctrine held that there could be no place for the serious treatment of evaluation within the sciences (or in the company of other respectable disciplines like history, jurisprudence, mathematics, etc.) to the days when even the National Academy of Sciences is doing evaluations at the request of Congress without protest from leading scientific and other professional organizations, and everyone will have good reasons for this acceptance.
Sciences usually advances by a succession of small steps, through a fog in which even the most keen-sighted explorer can seldom see more than a few paces ahead. Occasionally the fog lifts, an eminence is gained, and a wider stretch of territory can be surveyed-sometimes with startling results. A whole science may then seem to undergo a kaleidoscopic rearrangement, fragments of knowledge sometimes being found to fit together in a hitherto unsuspected manner. Sometimes the shock of readjustment may spread to other sciences; sometimes it may divert the whole current of human thought.
I have spent much time in the study of the abstract sciences; but the paucity of persons with whom you can communicate on such subjects disgusted me with them. When I began to study man, I saw that these abstract sciences are not suited to him, and that in diving into them, I wandered farther from my real object than those who knew them not, and I forgave them for not having attended to these things. I expected then, however, that I should find some companions in the study of man, since it was so specifically a duty. I was in error. There are fewer students of man than of geometry.
At night I would return home, set out a lamp before me, and devote myself to reading and writing. Whenever sleep overcame me or I became conscious of weakening, I would turn aside to drink a cup of wine, so that my strength would return to me. Then I would return to reading. And whenever sleep seized me I would see those very problems in my dream; and many questions became clear to me in my sleep. I continued in this until all of the sciences were deeply rooted within me and I understood them as is humanly possible. Everything which I knew at the time is just as I know it now; I have not added anything to it to this day. Thus I mastered the logical, natural, and mathematical sciences, and I had now reached the science.
Avicenna Ibn Sina
Please don't make the mistake of thinking that the arts and sciences are at odds with one another. That is a recent, stupid and damaging idea. You don't have to be unscientific to make beautiful art or to write beautiful things... science is not a body of knowledge or a belief system, it is just a term that describes humankind's incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome. The arts and sciences need to work together to improve how knowledge is communicated.
Scientists still do not appear to understand sufficiently that all earth sciences must contribute evidence toward unveiling the state of our planet in earlier times, and that the truth of the matter can only be reached by combing all this evidence... It is only by combing the information furnished by all the earth sciences that we can hope to determine 'truth' here, that is to say, to find the picture that sets out all the known facts in the best arrangement and that therefore has the highest degree of probability. Further, we have to be prepared always for the possibility that each new discovery, no matter what science furnishes it, may modify the conclusions we draw.
The human understanding is no dry light, but receives infusion from the will and affections; whence proceeds sciences which may be called "sciences as one would." For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from supersition; the light of experience, from arrogrance and pride; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections color and infect the understanding. 1620 - Francis Bacon
Seduced by the spectacular theoretical and practical successes of the objective sciences into thinking that the methods and criteria of those sciences were the only means to truth, philosophers sought to apply those same methods and criteria to questions relating to the meaning of life and the values that give meaning to life. Philosophy, especially the Analytical species prevalent in the English-speaking world, was broken up into specialized disciplines and fragmented into particular problems, all swayed and impregnated by scientism, reductionism, and relativism. All questions of meaning and value were consigned to the rubbish heap of 'metaphysical nonsense'.
A totalitarian society which succeeded in perpetuating itself would probably set up a schizophrenic system of thought, in which the laws of common sense held good in everyday life and in certain exact sciences, but could be disregarded by the politician, the historian, and the sociologist. Already there are countless people who would think it scandalous to falsify a scientific textbook, but would see nothing wrong in falsifying an historical fact. It is at the point where literature and politics cross that totalitarianism exerts its greatest pressure on the intellectual. The exact sciences are not, at this date, menaced to anything like the same extent. This partly accounts for the fact that in all countries it is easier for the scientists than for the writers to line up behind their respective governments.