Science & Mathematics » Other - Science » Scientific attitudes?

Scientific attitudes?

what are the scientific attitudes


"Having a scientific attitude consists in being willing to accept only carefully and objectively verified facts, and to hold a single fact above the authority of the oldest theories. Nothing can be called scientific that is not based on such an attitude." Boris Podolsky, "What is science?," The Physics Teacher , 71-73 (1965) Personally I think I disagree with Podolsky, but I will reserve that debate until I have read this sentence in its complete context.

There are a few different things that can fall into a 'scientific attitude'. First off, a scientific attitude is a curious state of mind. Science isn't so much a subject as it is a way of approaching questions we have about the world, and when we approach our curiosities with the philosophy behind the scientific method, we have a scientific attitude towards claims or mysteries.

Science is inquisitive, investigative, and exploratory. When confronted with a question about the workings of nature, scientists exhibit the 'scientific attitude' or 'scientific mindset' by approaching these questions in a variety of ways that are most effective at gathering accurate information. Ideally, scientists sail between the alleys of reject-all cynicism and believe-all credulity. The pathway between is a type of informed curiosity, whereby our minds are open to alternative answers and approaches, but not so open that our brains fall out. This means that science investigate each claim, applying a skeptical analysis. Basically, this implies that scientists take an initial position of doubt - neither belief nor disbelief - until evidence is asserted that tips the status of validity either way.

So with this said, there a few different examples of a scientific attitude. The first is a willingness to challenge traditional ideologies and dogmatism. Scientists understand that nature bends for no man's whimsy, and that there is no reason to expect it to conform to our expectations. Secondly, a scientific approach is one of investigative curiosity and critical thought. Think about the questions you have a bit more carefully, and don't take another man's word for it. Put everything that can be tested to the test.