Russ Roberts has one of the best Econtalks I've listened to in a while up. He's talking to mathematician William Byers about uncertainty and imperfections in science, although the discussion is wide ranging.
They make a lot of points I make here on a regular basis which can be summed up as an opposition to a justificationist or foundationalist attitude towards science.
I find Russ's position on all this practically inscrutable. On the one hand he recognizes what scientific modeling and empirical work actually is - it's not a foundationalist attempt at some deeper truth, it's just an imperfect replication of what we see in the world to try to understand it better. Russ knows this. He talks about it in this video! So why is he so critical of modeling and empirical for not living up to a standard that they were never meant to meet? Why not accept it for what it is and what it can do? I have no idea. Russ has always deeply confused me on these points, but the discussion is still good.
Some work that I think would go well with this talk:
- Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
- Dewey's The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology
- Keynes's Newton, the Man
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