[Air-l] Definitions

Sam Tilden tildensam at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 17 14:23:05 PDT 2006


You'll have to take that up with the writers at Webster's Dictionary. 
   
  Sam
Jeremy Hunsinger <jhuns at vt.edu> wrote:
  Actually, I take exception with that characterization of science. 
Science is merely systematic study, everything else that you claim is 
science is only part of one kind, or more likely one imagination, of 
science. There are many notions of science in the world, and the 
word has many basic meanings, some extend to your definition, most do 
not. The basic meaning that all hold should derive from its origin 
in latin as scire, which means to know through distinguishing or to 
know through comparing as we use the word today 'discriminate', 
yes... science discriminates. The division that is widely recognized 
is between science and the arts. The arts create things in the 
world, which is why government is an art, whereas political science 
studies the world as it is or as it was, it studies history in order, 
in some cases to discern, how it will be. The 'special' or 
predictive sciences are the ones where the emphasis is put on 
experimentation, because experimentation is based in an assumption of 
repeatability, and predictive sciences should show the same findings 
to be true for all times given their initial conditions..... In any 
case, I think that before we go around assigning labels, we should 
first examine the practices to see what people are really doing.

In any case, we aren't scientists, we are researchers and our 
research takes many forms. If you want to be a scientist, that is 
fine though, don't be surprised if it ends up as much of a dead-end 
as the 'pure sociology' of the late 60's.

On Oct 17, 2006, at 4:49 PM, Sam Tilden wrote:

> Nancy and all,
>
> I think I take exception to this characterization.
>
> 1. Science as I understand it is the systematic study, 
> observation or experimentation of a subject so as to determine the 
> nature or principles of what is being studied. A person who does 
> this is a scientist.

Jeremy Hunsinger
School of Library and Information Science
Pratt Institute
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