Re: [OPE] Dialectics for the New Century

From: Dave Zachariah (
Date: Sat Apr 05 2008 - 05:10:40 EDT

on 2008-04-05 10:35 GERALD LEVY wrote:
> > Paul, I think you need to be careful with the word 'demonstrated' here.
> > You can demonstrate logically, i.e. deduce certain consequences, and 
> you
> > can demonstrate things empirically. They are not the same thing. It 
> does
> > not matter if the logical demonstration was consistent and elegant, if
> > it is contradicted by empirical evidence one discards the theory in the
> > search for a better one.
> Dave Z:
> I think you need to be careful with the word "discards" here.
> If empirical evidence contradicts a theory, then you have to explain
> _why_ that is the case before you draw any conclusions about whether
> the theory needs to be discarded _or_ modified,  and/or expanded/
> enriched, and/or contextualized.

When I wrote "empirical evidence contradicts a theory" I was implicitly 
including the real process by which evidence is gathered, analyzed and 
conclusions are drawn. True, "discard" may be too strong word here. 
Typically one modifies or *abandons* weak theories for stronger ones, 
rather than simply "discarding them".

//Dave Z
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