I’m not grasping the foundations of some claims in your paper “What’s Science…..” I realize, or think I realize, that you are expanding on concepts relating to the subject matter as introduced by other philosophers. Choosing to accept Augustinian Science as inclusive of metaphysical presuppositions is in an of itself not scientific, as there is no way to reliably ascertain a metaphysical construct relative to a physical construct. How can you demonstrate any kind of cause and effect? In addition, some things that were assumed to be metaphysical are now known to be physical as a result of rigorous scientific analysis. I’m referring to our ability to artificially manipulate cognition during neurosurgery in coordination with fMRI and other scanning resources. If I’m misreading please let me know. Can you provide examples of scientific theories that are not founded in empiricism? How can metaphysical evidence be reliable when it is not falsifiable? But is there an example of scientific theories that are not falsifiable? I can’t think of any. I’m not suggesting that a pseudoscientific claim cannot be falsifiable, but I don’t see how a theory that is based on data accumulation, investigation, analysis, review and verification can be defined as unfalsifiable. It would render the review process inconsequential. Theories that are falsifiable promote, require, continued investigation as no theories are an end in themselves. The reason I bring this is because your article says that falsifiability is not required..and I don’t see how that is in fact conclusive. Is there a specific definition of science that you are basing your views on?Eric
I’m glad I’ve finally been able to get back to your question. I’m sorry for not getting back to you earlier. I’ll need to provide our readership with a greater context of our discussion. Please see my post on what’s science and what’s not science. I’m using my arguments in the previously linked post on my stance on science.
Now, concerning the issue of metaphysical import you stated,
[C]hoosing to accept Augustinian Science as inclusive of metaphysical presuppositions is in an of itself not scientific, as there is no way to reliably ascertain a metaphysical construct relative to a physical construct.
Augustinian science permits and carries open metaphysical presuppositions with science. Duhemian science strips science of all metaphysical imports. However, this is not as controversial as much of the scientific community makes it out to be. Agency is publically accepted evidence by experience (this is not based on religious explanations or religious experience). The Augustinian approach to science eschews methodological naturalism and employs religious or metaphysical commitments.
This brings to your next point about demonstration:
How can you demonstrate any kind of cause and effect? In addition, some things that were assumed to be metaphysical are now known to be physical as a result of rigorous scientific analysis. I’m referring to our ability to artificially manipulate cognition during neurosurgery in coordination with fMRI and other scanning resources.
My concern is not so much as identifying the mind from the brain but that of personal agency. If one imports metaphysical naturalism into their methodology then that is just the same as an Augustinian science. The problem really rests with the problem of efficiency causality.
Any type of efficient causality is typically associated with being an unscientific explanation—explanations nonetheless but unscientific. It is believed that if biology, chemistry, physics, etc. rested explanations in final causation then it would be a science stopper. This is where the distinction between Duhemian science and Augustinian science must be made. I would deny the use of Duhemian science. This method, or philosophy, has a goal of stripping science from all metaphysical imports. Augustinian science is open to metaphysical presuppositions with science. Francis Bacon and Descartes used and allowed for formal and final causation in scientific explanation. Newton entered science and postulated that the universe was entirely mechanistic, which was a denial of Baconian and Cartesian science (at least their versions of scientific explanation) but offered no explanation for the appearance of final causation and efficient causation. Darwin came along and provided a plausible material mechanism for the appearance of final and efficient causation (at least for the special science of biology). In the mid 1800’s William Whewell was the first to restrict science to only mean natural science. Pierre Duhem followed this idea and constructed a methodology, which barred explanations to material causes. For instance, agent causation is completely compatible with Augustinian science but is prohibited as a scientific explanation in Duhemian science. Agent causation is something that can be observed but isn’t necessarily reductionistic in the material sense as with material causation because agent causation has metaphysical import.
Nomic necessity plays an important role in factoring in the efficacy of efficient causation in natural explanations. Sometimes the demand for efficient causation as an explanation will show that what happened had to happen in a very strong sense, that its occurrence was necessary and not just physically necessary, in light of what the laws of nature just happen to be, but necessary as a matter of rational intelligibility or logic. Thus, the laws of nature may not be contingently true but necessarily true. Ceteris paribus laws treat non-strict regularities as nevertheless laws. It is a commonly accepted view that proprietary laws of the special sciences take this form. If we deny that there are such ceteris paribus laws in the special sciences, we must either deny that their explanations are scientific or find another source for their explanatory powers. Rosenberg argues that the former is a nonstarter and implausible. Concerning the latter perhaps desires and beliefs bring about or cause actions (efficient causation), but that is not how they explain them. As Jerry Coyne put it, “If we’re to defend evolutionary biology, we must defend it as a science: anonteleological theory in which the panoply of life results from the action of natural selection and genetic drift action on random mutations.” Modern science is built on this teleological rejection. By treating the physical world exclusively as a realm of law (necessitarian or ceteris paribus), modern science extrudes purpose from physical nature. The fulfillment of purpose is the fulfillment of function. To conceive nature as a realm of law is to conceive it as a self-sustaining causally closed system with no need for efficient and teleological causation.
There is not supposed to be anything teleological left in translating the behavior of laws (necessity or otherwise) and scientific explanation. Such translations must be purely non-efficient cause and effect, which are supposed to account for teleological explanations and regularities. Knowledge and intentionality are entirely natural phenomena, explicable in terms of causal relations. Teleological properties are taken to consist of a set of causal and historical relations. All the purpose has been cashed in for causation. This purely causal account of purpose in terms of a consequence etiology is called “selected effects” analysis. As previously mentioned, correlating causal relations with teleology connects knowledge with reliability. Such certainty would require a necessitarian or ceteris paribus understanding of natural laws.
Discovering the function of something is purely the discovery of its causal role in the macrocosm. Thus, causal role is equivalent to function and function is equivalent to teleology while teleology is underdetermined in definition because of the absence of efficient and final causation. Scientific explanation has traditionally been met with dissatisfaction by those who demand that such explanation show the purpose of natural processes and not just show how they came to be. According to Rosenberg, teleological explanations are legitimate in the social sciences while the natural sciences are bereft efficient and final causation. The whyquestion is reduced to the how question and is equivocal in explanation.
Concerning empiricism, not all scientific theories require an empiricist methodology. A rationalist may be able to construct a scientific theory. Concerning the reliability of metaphysical evidence and falsifiability I think falsifiability is a preferential criterion and not a necessary condition for science. Experiments with intelligence and the production of more complex code/information can make certain predictions about the role of information in the natural world and can allow for past inferential explanations to be abducted.
Concerning falsifiability, Imre Lakatos attempted to salvage the line of demarcation of science and scientific verificationism but had failed. Looking at Popper’s falsifiability anything can be ‘scientific’ as long as an experiment or observation can falsify it. For instance, Marxism is scientific, for the Popperian, if the Marxists are prepared to specify facts which, if observed, make them give up Marxism.Agreeing with Lakatos, I think this criterion ignores the tenacity of scientific theories. Just because evidence may be found that may contradict a theory doesn’t mean the theory is thus pseudoscience. The criterion doesn’t allow for anomalies. At best, if an anomaly is found the theory is tentatively held as a pseudoscience until the theory can be modified.
 J.P. Moreland, “The Physical Sciences, Neuroscience, and Dualism,” in The Nature of Nature,” 843.
 Alexander Rosenberg, Philosophy of Science (New York: Routeledge, 2012), 98.
 Ibid., 101-02.
 Jerry Coyne,, “Truckling to the Faithful: A Spoonful of Jesus makes Darwin Go Down,” posted on his blog Why Evolution is Trueon April 22, 2009, http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/truckling-to-the-faithful-a-spoonful-of-jesus-helps-darwin-go-down/ (accessed March 7, 2012).
 Michael Williams, “Must Naturalists be Realists?” in The Nature of Nature. Eds. Bruce Gordon and William Dembksi (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2011), 251.
 Robert Koons, “The Incompatibility of Naturalism and Scientific Realism,” in The Nature of Nature. Eds. Bruce Gordon and William Dembksi (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2011), 218.
 Rosenberg., 104-05.
 Koons, 219.
 Ibid., 112-13.