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Knowledge & Scientific Laws

Are scientific laws invented or discovered? The traditional view is that scientific laws exist "out there" in the world and that the job of the scientist is to discover them. Kant, however, claims that "the order and regularity of the appearance we entitle nature, we ourselves introduce." For him, reality is a human construct. Which view do you think is correct? Why?

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Making Sense of Reality

Prior to the days of Enlightenment, the circuit of knowledge was based on the idea of the divine. All truth and knowledge taken as fact is deemed so by declaration of the church and by faith. Therefore when the church (Catholic Church headed by the Pope) declared for a miracle to have happened, the 'souls' that follow the doctrines of the church religiously deem it to be true for a place in heaven and to follow 'God's will'. The power of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope in the Medieval Ages found its greatest expression during the Crusades as hundreds of thousands of peasants, nobilities, monarchs, soldiers, women and children marched to Jerusalem, often with catastrophic results to 'take back' the Holy City from the Saracens. This they took as fact - it is God's will for them to go to War in his name. This parallels to the idea of today's religious radicalism whereby unquestionable faith lead many to terrorist acts that have resulted to the current Global conflict - the War on Terrorism. Before Enlightenment, people made sense of reality this way - according to the teachings and interpretation of the church. But, after Enlightenment, reason became the central element that defined accepted truths following a new circuit - the scientific circuit of knowledge. Humanity's road to scientific enlightenment is constantly dynamic. Traditional view holds that it is the job of the scientist to 'discover' the truth of reality, to uncover the laws that govern it by experimentation, observation, critical inquiry, research and the utilisation of the scientific method.

Take for example the 'discovery' of gravity by Isaac Newton. Prior to this, his early education as a boy and as a young scholar has led him to formulate 'fluxions' to interpret and explain mathematical equivalence. These fluxions have become the basis of the mathematical discipline of calculus. His explorations on mechanics and physics led him to work with several other ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,417-word APA format essay that discusses the nature of scientific knowledge especially the establishment, application and interpretation of scientific laws. A short discussion of how knowledge is established begins the essay followed by a discussion of how science became the chief arbiter of truth and knowledge in the modern world. A discussion of theories and the processes by which scientific inquiry is applied in the natural and social sciences to make sense of reality and discover 'truths' follows. References are listed, both Web & Print. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.

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