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Masterclass: Myths of Attraction by Mairi Macleod, PhD

Ever been intrigued about what makes us attractive to others, or why we are drawn towards the people we fancy ?  Dr Mairi Macleod has been researching this and casting light on the science of attraction for many years.  Now based in Edinburgh, she writes for publications such as New Scientist Magazine and various national newspapers, and gives public lectures at the University of Edinburgh and elsewhere.  This article for the Ragged University is a taster of her in-depth work.

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Action Science: Epistemology, Knowledge and It's Contested Communities

Action science is an inquiry into how we design and implement action in relation to one another. It is a science of practice, whether the professional practice of administrators, educators, and psychotherapists or the everyday practice of people as member of families and organizations.

Action science calls for basic research and theory building that are intimately related to social intervention. Clients are participants in a process of public reflection that attempts both to comprehend the concrete details of particular cases and to discover and test propositions of a general theory. Read more

Rationality and Science: A Social and Environmental Philosophy by Kenneth Wilson

This chapter concerns itself with rationality in its scientific guise. Typically science is often taken to be the paradigm instance of rationality in the modern period. In addition to science being a key representative of reason, it has also become separated from religion, the historical locus of thought about values and ethics.

My concern in this chapter lies in two areas. The first of these lies in the distinction between fact and value, science and ethics, and the second, with the notion that science is ethically neutral. In the discussion of these issues I aim to show that there are confusions and inconsistencies involved which force one to reconsider the status of science and the sense in which it is rational. Indeed I am at pains to counter a tendency which sees scientific facts as somehow determining what our values ought to be, when in actuality scientific facts provide no such solutions. Read more

Objectivity

The state of being objective is to correctly represent reality. The term “reality” however can lack clarity. Science is a methodological attempt to resolve truths from ambiguity.

Empirical evidence based upon observations and experimentation in the physical world is conducive to the verification of scientific judgments. Adherence to the rules of deduction and the process of inductive reasoning implements the validity and soundness of scientific arguments and conclusions. Read more

Science and Knowledge

There are other methods of discovering and learning knowledge about nature, but science is the only method that results in the acquisition of reliable knowledge.

Reliable knowledge is knowledge that has a high probability of being true because its veracity has been justified by a reliable method. Reliable knowledge is sometimes called justified true belief, to distinguish reliable knowledge from belief that is false and unjustified or even true but unjustified. Read more

Podcast: Noumenal Contouring; The Secret Of Science, The Secret Of Skill by Ciaran Healy

On the 7th of November 2013, Ciaran Healy gave a talk on ‘Noumenal Contouring; The Secret Of Science, The Secret Of Skill’.  This is a summary and podcast of the event when Ciaran was kind enough to take the time to share his thinking and inspiration with everyone:

The Philosophy Of Science is best understood as a kind of unsolved crime, but instead of a crime you have the most incredible and unprecedented advanced in understanding. But like an unsolved crime, nobody has yet accounted for why it happened, or how it happened. The philosophy of science means you undertake that investigation. Read more