Assume that Aristotle hit bedrock when he called science the search for conclusions resting on certain causes. But then we redefined causality, or at least became convinced that causes were just indices of our expectation of a conjunction of future events, usually based on our experience of a constant conjunction of the events in the past. As a result, science became an attempt to articulate or sift through our expectations of the future, and so essentially a game of prediction and probability.
This would all be fine in the world didn’t throw off such an intoxicating allure of objectivity. It would take a heart of stone to make a prediction of any significance, have it pan out, and not think you’d discovered something about the world. If your experimental results are anywhere near what you predict – or even if the experiment works at all – no one can resist thinking that he’s seen into some secret of nature. Trying to stomp out this desire is as pointless as trying to make everyone eunuchs.
But where does that leave us? We have a system that we put together in a mood that was sober, pessimistic, realist and skeptical, and yet whenever it works it sets off feelings of intoxication, optimism, idealism and certitude. We adopt a method that was never intended to find real causes and yet inevitably convinces all but the sturdiest of doctrinaire
Humian Humean-Kantians that they’ve found them.