Induction Fails 归纳法失败

 

Agassi: Science and its history

艾格思著科学与其历史

Review 書評

 

INDUCTION 归纳法

 

Induction as a scientific method fails.  归纳法失败.

     

Historians of science are the “chroniclers in the courts of science (p.1).” They belong to different schools or traditions and have different views about science, and they select and write different stories about science accordingly.  科学史家是 “科学法庭的历史记载者(页 1),” 有不同学派传统,撰写科学历史有不同的观点和方法. 

      Bacon’s philosophy of science and inductive method is to observe and observe facts (empiricism), and the facts will eventually yield and reveal their laws.  (This is the method advocated by the Confucianist philosopher ZHU Xi 此乃朱子格物法.)  To these historians, errors in science are embarrassing or even shameful.  They want to “sift the grain (laws) from the chaff (errors).”  培根的科学哲学和归纳法要我们观察又观察事实(经验主义), 直至事实显现其定理.  对他们来说, 科学的错误令人尴尬, 甚至可耻.  他们要 “把谷粒(定理)从糟粕(错误)中篩出来.”(p. 117.) 

    This philosophy and inductive method both fail: They are “dead horses”.  However, there is “merit in flogging (such) dead horses.”   They are “reasonable errors” to be criticized with respect, for the most learned scholars have embraced and still hang on to them.  这归纳哲学与方法是失败的, 是 “死马”.  可是 “鞭打(这类)死马还是有用的,”  (p. 91.)  因为最有智慧的学者还忠守归纳法教条, 批评要尊敬有礼貌.

    The section headlines in the Table of Contents (p. ix) of the book show Agassi’s points simply 本书目录清楚显示艾格思教授的论点:    

 

 

II. “Towards an Historiography of science 科學史方法芻議”  (pp. 119-)

 

1.             “The inductivist philosophy paints ideas and event thinkers as black or white: Its criterion for whiteness is the up-to-date science textbook. 歸納法把科學家和科學研究分为黑的和白的:当代科学课本就是白的标准. (p. 125)

2.             “The function of inductive histories of science is largely ritualistic, a kind of ancestor-worship.” 归纳法科学历史主要是一种拜祖先典礼,(p 131)

3.             The standard problems of the inductivist historian largely concerns questions of whom to worship and for what reason.”  归纳法历史家的标准问题主要是拜祭谁和为何理由.(p. 131)

4.             History of science—as it is and as it ought to be. For the inductivist, these are embarrassingly different.”  科学历史—真实的和应该如何的,两者并不相同,令对归纳派学者尴尬. (p. 135)

13.    The advantage of avoiding being wise after the event is that this allows us to see the world with the eyes of those who participated in the event, and thus to explain it.  不事后作聪明有好处,让我们以当事人的眼睛看世界而作解释.(p.169.)

14.    The difficulty of avoiding being wise after the event arises from having suppressed the reasonable errors that the event has corrected.  难以避免事后作聪明的原因是:该研究所纠正的合理的错误被隐蔽了(172-)

15.     The obstacles on the way to a new idea are accepted reasonable errors that contradict it.  看是合理其实错误的成见阻碍成见所否定的新的理论.(p. 175.)

16.     The obstacles on the way to a new factual discovery are the same.  阻碍新的事实的发现的理由也是一样. (p. 180.)

17.     Orsted’s Discovery was difficult to make because it conflicted with Newton’s theory of force.  欧斯特的发现之所以困难是因为与牛顿的力学理论抵触.(p. 186.)

18.     Historical explanation of any value is rare in the annals of the history of science, mainly because of a naïve acceptance of untenable philosophical principles.  在科学历史记载中甚少有价值的历史解释,原因是幼稚接纳了站不住的哲学原则. (p. 193.)

 

 

Induduction归纳法: a Dead Horse 死马

 

“Dead horses may refuse to lie down for good reasons.

死马可能有好的理由拒绝躺下(p. 97)

      

“Often the public – including the learned public – sticks to a specific theory in spite of its having been effectively criticized, and possibly for good reasons.  Of course, the Baconian tendency is to dismiss such behavior as superstitious; but it is too easy and somewhat suspect to dismiss the whole scholarly world as superstitious. Of course, the majority, even the majority of the wisest, is not always right.  But the majority of the wisest is not always unreasonable when rejecting some valid criticism. 群众, 包括有学问的群众, 常拥抱依附某一理论, 即使该理论已经被有效地批判倒了, 他们仍然不放弃该理论可能有好的理由. 当然, 陪根派学者倾向于认为这样的行为是迷信而摒弃之, 可是把整个学者世界视为迷信而摈弃之, 那太容易了, 也令人怀疑.   当然, 多数的群众, 就算最有智慧的多数群众, 也不永远是对的. 可是最有智慧的多数群众拒绝有些正确的批判时并不是永远不讲理的. (p. 97)

 

“Consider inductivism, the view that science rests on masses of observations and experiments, so that scientific theory rests on solid empirical foundations of incontestable data.  Inductivism has been effectively criticized by Galileo, Hume, Kant, and Whewell, by Einstein and Popper, and by many others.  Following the Baconian tradition of condemning all error one would have to condemn inductivism.  As it happens, inductivism is the semi-official doctrine of science from the days of the foundation of the Royal Society of London to date. Condemnation is out of question. 

就以归纳法为例, 认为科学基于大量的观察和实验, 故此科学理论建基于牢固不可争议的 “已知事实”. 归纳法已经被咖里略, 休姆, 康德, 休尔, 爱因斯坦朴耙等等有效的批判为错误的科学方法.  根据陪根学派斥责摒弃所有错误的传统,  就应该斥责摒弃归纳法.  事实并不如此, 归纳法仍然是伦顿皇家学会自建立以来直至今日的半官式科学教旨信条.   (p. 97)

 

“Flogging dead horses may help re-raise problems in new, interesting ways.  鞭打死马或可有助于把问题新鲜有趣的再提出来.   (p. 104)

 

“Flogging dead horses may help present new interesting problems. 鞭打死马或可有助于提出新鲜有趣的问题  (p. 106)

 

“Critics are respectful towards the views they criticize 批判者尊重被批判的观点. (p. 41)

“A theory advocated despite its having often been criticized successfully may be debunked; more generally, a theory whose falsehood could easily be detected, may be debunked.  In contrast, a theory that has not yet been criticized, and that is not easy to criticize, must be criticized with respect.  已经被成功批判倒的理论仍然被鼓吹的话, 这理论就可以摒弃; 更普遍的说, 容易察出其错假的理论可以摒弃.  相反地, 还没有给批判倒的理论,而且是不容易批判倒的理论, 必须尊重地给与批判.  (Page 41.)

 

“Biographies of scientists should link the personal and the scientific. 科学家的传记应该连接其科学与其私事.” (p. 72.)

 

 

From: Science and its History: a Reassessment of the Historiography of Science,

 by Joseph Agassi.  Published by Springer, 2008.艾格思著<科学及其历史:

科学史学重检>, 2008 Springer 出版.

 

Chinese translation and explanatory introduction by KWAN Lihuen.  关理煊中文翻译并解释介绍.  Canada 加拿大 2009.8.10.  Draft 1稿.

 

 

 

(File: Agassi   Science and its history   Induction Fails 归纳法失败).  1782 words 字.)

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