Natural Epistemic Attitude of Scientific Observation

과학적 관찰에 대한 자연스러운 인식적 태도

  • Published : 2001.06.01


As is well known, logical positivists held the theory-independent of observation thesis(TIOT). On the other hand, the theories following the logical positivism typically represented by Hanson and Kuhn denied that there was a clear borderline between observation and theory, and held the theory-ladenness of observation thesis(TLOT). In order to mediate those theses I shall suggest a natural epistemic attitude (NEA) to the relation between theory and observation on the basis of the experimentalism. First, I discuss theories of Hanson and Kuhn as examples of views which profess TLOT. Then, I make a brief introduction of experimentalism and some critical discussions about TLOT follow from a point of the experimentalism: TLOT faces considerable counter-examples such as cases, 'observation precedes theory' and 'the combination of wrong theory and right observation'. I introduce a distinction between the guiding theory and the target theory in experimental situations and illustrate that TLOT loses its alleged power if we consider the distinction. Lastly, I suggest NEA, as conclusion of the paper, which can mediate among TIOT, TLOT, and experimentalism and takes a minimal ontology.