Journal

Science et prudence

Du réductionnisme et autres erreurs par gros temps écologique

Analyse de livre

fr
In their book Science et prudence. Du réductionnisme et autres erreurs par gros temps écologique [Science and Caution: About Reductionism and Other Errors at a Time of Heavy Ecological Weather], written as a dialog, mathematician Nicolas Bouleau and philosopher Dominique Bourg explore the theory of epistemology, which distinguishes the difference between science and “non-science,” from a new angle allowing us to better understand how science conditions our view of nature. The speculations put forth by Donald Trump concerning the existence of an alleged “post-truth,” or a mirror imaging of the truth, show that the interpretation of scientific knowledge is still debated today.

Bourg Dominique et Bouleau Nicolas, Science et prudence. Du réductionnisme et autres erreurs par gros temps écologique [Science and Caution: About Reductionism and Other Errors at a Time of Heavy Ecological Weather], Paris : Presses universitaires de France, juin 2022, 216 p.

The authors point out that the epistemological landscape has long been characterized by the close alliance between physics and mathematics, since Descartes, Galilee, and Newton, who contributed to creating a demarcation between science and non-science. The major figures of modernist epistemology, notably the positivists, put forth the “scientific” criteria of concepts and propositions. Karl Popper claimed that science is based on hypotheses or theories, which must be verified by experience: an idea can only be considered scientific if it’s verifiable or rebuttableby experience. As a result, he denie...