Scientific Knowledge
Scientific Knowledge

Scientific Knowledge

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A question pack on the philosophy of science by Saylor academy.

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Scientific Knowledge Q1

According to Imre Lakatos, when is a research programme progressive?

A

When the research programme makes new predictions and has some of those predictions confirmed

B

When the research programme creates new problems for scientists to solve

C

When the research programme solves problems from older research programmes

D

When the research programme helps to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged members of society

Scientific Knowledge Q2

According to Karl Popper, when is a scientific theory progressive?

A

When the theory makes new predictions and has some of those predictions confirmed

B

When the theory creates new problems for scientists to solve

C

When the theory solves problems from older scientific theories

D

When the theory helps to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged members of society

Scientific Knowledge Q3

According to Kuhn’s view of theory change, when an experimental result conflicts with a theory’s prediction, the conflict shows that

A

the theory is false.

B

either the theory is false or an auxiliary assumption is false.

C

the experimental result is an anomaly.

D

the experiment is a severe test of the theory.

Scientific Knowledge Q4

According to Lakatos’ view of theory change, when an experimental result conflicts with a theory’s prediction, the conflict shows that

A

the theory is false.

B

either the theory is false or an auxiliary assumption is false.

C

the experimental result is an anomaly.

D

the experiment is a severe test of the theory.

Scientific Knowledge Q5

According to Laudan, what is a research tradition—that is, what is the appropriate object to be studied in order to understand change and progress in science?

A

A collection of scientific hypotheses

B

A central core of hypotheses, less central auxiliary assumptions, and problem-solving machinery

C

A collection of tools and methods for solving problems

D

A collection of aims and objectives, a set of procedures for proper data collection and analysis, and a collection of scientific hypotheses and observations

Scientific Knowledge Q6

According to Popper’s view of theory change, when an experimental result conflicts with a theory’s prediction, the conflict shows that

A

the theory is false.

B

either the theory is false or an auxiliary assumption is false.

C

the experimental result is an anomaly.

D

the experiment is a severe test of the theory.

Scientific Knowledge Q7

What do Karl Popper and other adherents of the classical view of theory change mean when they claim that there is a genuine growth of scientific knowledge?

A

Over time, scientists gain more and more proof that their theories are true.

B

Over time, scientists gain more and more confirmation that their theories are true.

C

Over time, scientists continue to propose and test theories that had not been imagined by their predecessors.

D

Over time, more and more people come to learn about scientific theories and the practice of science.

Scientific Knowledge Q8

What is a paradigm?

A

A collection of scientific hypotheses

B

A central core of hypotheses, less central auxiliary assumptions, and problem-solving machinery

C

A collection of tools and methods for solving problems

D

A collection of aims and objectives, a set of procedures for proper data collection and analysis, and a collection of scientific hypotheses and observations

Scientific Knowledge Q9

What is a research programme?

A

A collection of scientific hypotheses

B

A central core of hypotheses, less central auxiliary assumptions, and problem-solving machinery

C

A collection of tools and methods for solving problems

D

A collection of aims and objectives, a set of procedures for proper data collection and analysis, and a collection of scientific hypotheses and observations

Scientific Knowledge Q10

What is Larry Laudan’s criticism of Thomas Kuhn’s view of theory change?

A

Empirical data cannot settle theoretical controversies.

B

Theoretical controversies sometimes give way to scientific consensus.

C

Different paradigms have different aims and objectives.

D

Empirical data cannot confirm theoretical hypotheses.

Scientific Knowledge Q11

What is Thomas Kuhn’s criticism of Karl Popper’s view of theory change?

A

Empirical data cannot settle theoretical controversies.

B

Theoretical controversies sometimes give way to scientific consensus.

C

Different paradigms have different aims and objectives.

D

Empirical data cannot confirm theoretical hypotheses.

Scientific Knowledge Q12

Whose account of theory change does the following schema illustrate: problem, followed by tentative theory, followed by critical discussion and attempted error elimination, followed by new problem?

A

Karl Popper

B

Thomas Kuhn

C

Imre Lakatos

D

Larry Laudan

Scientific Knowledge Q13

Whose account of theory change does the following schema illustrate: problem, followed by tentative theory, followed by failed error-elimination, followed by period of crisis, followed by replacement theory?

A

Karl Popper

B

Thomas Kuhn

C

Imre Lakatos

D

Larry Laudan

Scientific Knowledge Q14

Whose account of theory change does the following schema illustrate: problem, followed by tentative theory, followed by failed error-elimination, followed by revision of auxiliary hypothesis?

A

Karl Popper

B

Thomas Kuhn

C

Imre Lakatos

D

Larry Laudan

Scientific Knowledge Q15

According to Constructive Empiricism,

A

our current best scientific theories are merely useful instruments for making predictions and controlling the environment.

B

our current best scientific theories are about human-constructed facts.

C

our current best scientific theories are approximately true.

D

our current best scientific theories are empirically adequate.

Scientific Knowledge Q16

According to Entity Realism, if our best scientific theories claim that unobservable entities called “electrons” exist and postulate that these electrons are made up of entities called “quarks” and “gluons,” and if scientists use theories about electrons to construct causal explanations of various phenomena, then

A

we should believe that the notion of an “electron” is a useful device for making correct predictions.

B

we should believe that the notion of an “electron” refers to something that is real and composed of quarks and gluons.

C

we should believe that the notion of an “electron” refers to something that is real, but abstain from any belief about whether electrons are made of quarks and gluons.

D

we should believe that the scientific theories about electrons are approximately true.

Scientific Knowledge Q17

According to Scientific Realism,

A

we should believe that our current best scientific theories are true.

B

we should believe only that the objects postulated by our current best scientific theories are real.

C

we should believe only that the relations between objects postulated by our current best scientific theories are correct.

D

we should believe that the logic used by our current best scientific theories is valid.

Scientific Knowledge Q18

According to Social Constructivism,

A

our current best scientific theories are merely useful instruments for making predictions and controlling the environment.

B

our current best scientific theories are about human-constructed facts.

C

our current best scientific theories are approximately true.

D

our current best scientific theories are empirically adequate.

Scientific Knowledge Q19

According to Structural Realism,

A

we should believe that our current best scientific theories are true.

B

we should believe that the entities postulated by our current best scientific theories are real.

C

we should believe that the relations between entities postulated by our current best scientific theories are correct.

D

we should believe that the logic used by our current best scientific theories is valid.

Scientific Knowledge Q20

According to the “miracle” argument for Scientific Realism,

A

the approximate truth of our best scientific theories is the best explanation for the success of our best scientific theories.

B

the success of our best scientific theories is the best explanation for the approximate truth of our best scientific theories.

C

the explanatory power of our best scientific theories is the best explanation for the success of our best scientific theories.

D

the approximate truth of our best scientific theories is the best explanation for the empirical adequacy of our best scientific theories.

Scientific Knowledge Q21

Even though, in his 1543 De revolutionibus orbium celestium, Nicolas Copernicus used the hypothesis of a sun-centered universe with a moving Earth to explain observed locations, and changes of location, of the planets, his hypothesis was underdetermined because

A

Copernicus’ hypothesis did not predict the location of the planets with as much precision as Johannes Kepler’s later, competing hypothesis.

B

Copernicus’ hypothesis did not predict the location of heavenly bodies outside the solar system.

C

the competing hypothesis of an Earth-centered universe with a moving sun explained the same observed locations, and changes of location, of the planets.

D

the Catholic Church interpreted the Bible as claiming that there is an Earth-centered universe with a moving sun.

Scientific Knowledge Q22

If our best scientific theory of the world appeals to the concept of a “super-string,” but so-called “super-strings” are unobservable, then Scientific Realism entails that

A

super-strings are fictions useful for the purposes of making correct predictions.

B

the term “super-string” is a useful placeholder for something scientists might discover in the future.

C

super-strings are conceptual constructions that help scientists organize their experiences.

D

super-strings are real.

Scientific Knowledge Q23

If our current best scientific theory about the subatomic realm posits that each subatomic particle has an associated wavefunction, then, according to Structural Realism, we should believe that

A

the equation that characterizes wavefunctions is a useful calculating device.

B

the notion of a wavefunction is a useful fiction.

C

the equation that characterizes wavefunctions is true.

D

the notion of a wavefunction refers to something real.

Scientific Knowledge Q24

Which of the following arguments is an example of a “pessimistic induction”?

A

Since every theory in the history of chemistry has turned out to be false, we have no way to know whether our current best chemical theory is true or false.

B

Since every theory in the history of chemistry has turned out to be false, our current best chemical theory is probably false.

C

Since every theory in the history of chemistry has turned out to be false, we should stop devoting resources to the study of chemistry.

D

Since every theory in the history of chemistry has turned out to be false, every theory in the history of every other scientific discipline is probably false.

Scientific Knowledge Q25

Which of the following arguments provides the best support for Scientific Realism?

A

Since most of our past scientific theories were false, it is likely that our current scientific theories are true.

B

Since our current scientific theories are about human-constructed facts, it is likely that our current scientific theories are true.

C

Since our current scientific theories are supported by a wide variety of experiments, it is likely that our current scientific theories are true.

D

Since our current scientific theories are approved by the Catholic Church, it is likely that our current scientific theories are true.