The Imperfect Certainty of the

 Experimental science (most often called simply “science”) has imperfect certainty because of the sort of thing that it is.

1.) All the experimental sciences are based on the actual measurement of things, and all measurements are imperfect.

2.) All predicted things are in some way unknown, but to predict belongs essentially to the experimental sciences, so they must deal essentially with predicted things.

3.) Repeated experiments increase the certainty of science. Because there is no limit on the number of times an experiment can be repeated, there is no limit on the degree of certainty that experimental science can have. But certainty that can always increase is in itself imperfect., and also relatively imperfect with respect to all future possible experiments (which, since they are future things, become predicted things- see #2).

4.) To the extent that the experimental sciences are attempting to have some practical power over their object, they can afford to be indifferent to whether or not their hypotheses are completely true. Geocentrism is perfectly acceptable if all we want to do is predict eclipses, or steer a ship. There is no problem assuming the world is flat if it makes it easier to shoot a cannon.


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