Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A captivating definition of science

Spanish is my first language.  I prefer to blog in English because it substantially places me within reach of more people over the world.  So, most of the books I own are in Spanish.  Today I dared to translate into English some captivating words that were written originally in English, but since I was not able to find on the web the original writing, and want to share it because, both in form and content, are superb ideas, great thoughts expressed with beauty and originality, I decided to translate this excerpt from my book in Spanish.  Hope that some day I am able to read these words in its original writing, which must be much more captivating:

"We tend to consider science like a "body of knowledge" that began to be accumulated when man discovered the scientific method.  That is a superstition.  It is more in agreement with the history of thought to describe science like a set of myths about the world which have not yet been proven false.

For the methodologist, the crucial stage arrives when conscious attempts are made to test the accounts provided by tradition, speculative curiosity or practical needs.

To demonstrate to a man that his account is false implies, commonly, to present oneself a better account.  Science consists of conscious attempts to refute other people`s accounts and the presentation of better accounts to replace them. The history of science is the history of the accounts whose partial falseness or correctness has been demonstrated."     R.S. Peters

Free translation from:
Brett, G.S.  Historia de la Psicologìa (History of  Psychology, edited/abridged by R.S. Peters)
Editorial Paidòs, Buenos Aires

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