Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A contrastivist approach to the decarmation problem
Author: Liu, Mo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 3732
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This dissertation mainly revolves around the demarcation problem. It aims to clarify the problem of how to demarcate science from other disciplines, and to solve it from a different point of view from previous ones. Firstly, it introduces the theoretical background on which the problem in question is raised. Secondly, it examines traditional approaches to the problem in history. They include not only logical approaches proposed by the logical positivists and Karl Popper individually, but also historical approaches proposed by Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Paul Thagard and Larry Laudan respectively. Moreover, by analysing them in detail, it reveals that Popper's logical approach treats science as an idealisation, which is too strict; while Kuhn's historical approach views science as a complicated activity that needs to consider lots of influencing factors, which is too loose. Thirdly, since the demarcation problem is the central problem of epistemology, and contextualism and its derivative contrastivism are epistemological approaches to sceptical doubts about knowledge, the thesis attempts to consider the problem in question from a contextual point of view and then proposes a contrastivist approach (derived from contextual ism) to it. Fourthly, two case studies will be used to test the contrastivist approach: the debate between the theory of evolution and creationism or Intelligent Design; and the debate between Western medicine and Chinese medicine. Finally, it concludes that contextual investigation better avoids the defects of the above logical and historical approaches and solves the demarcation problem to some extent.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available