I don't think it exists any such thing as a scientific method. Unless we mean by it the ordinary exercise of intelligence, wherever and whenever testified by men in their dealing with what concerns them. With this of course I don't say that doesn't exist science: either those which mostly go under this name (physics, chemistry, biology in all their scope), or others that encompass the aspects of experience (like the sense of beauty and goodness) from which those abstract.
Most of all I don't think that such a thing as a scientific method had its beginning (invented or discovered?) with Galileo Galilei.
I first find it introduced by 20th century philosophers of science: strange creatures, these, who in their love of science behave like voyeurs, who appreciate making love as something to look at rather than engage in, but, after having watched, turn to the lovers to instruct them on the best way to do it.
Why is it so, it needs to be seen.
Many people are convinced by them, including my present interlocutor; I think they are hacks, who understand very little of science, and still less of life. Where does this difference comes from? I could answer, being pretty sure to be misunderstood, that it is a question of faith: that aspect of experience that makes us trust some people rather than other, as better communicating to us a sense of human belonging that makes us feel attuned with humanity at large.
To be clear, and repeat myself because my interlocutor doesn't seem to get the point: there aren't people who live by reason and others who live by faith, or, to stress the thing still strongly, there aren't people who have faith and others who don't. All people have faith, in the sense I tried to explain in the last two posts, even the dear friend who is prompting me with questions; and all people have exercised and exercise their reason; so all people live by reason and faith.
Should I say that people make love without need to be instructed by voyeurs? But can only be instructed by lovers?
Back to the point: at the outset I could have equally said, instead of "I don't think", "I don't believe". As for all belief, even of my persuasion of the non existence of a scientific method could be asked on what is grounded. Excluded sheer faith, that doesn't exist, and granted that I trusted other people's teaching, the answer con only be: on reasons tested in reality.
I take, for a start, the second point: the attribution to Galilei of the paternity of the scientific method. This is a turning history of science into mythology: meaning, to find a cultural here to justify one's own positions. As a matter of fact the Galilei cultural hero of the promoters of the scientific method is just a caricature of the real Galilei.
I exemplify with bits of my conversation with Andrea.
To his opposing rationality and irrationality, I replied with mathematics:
Rational are the numbers we can divide; irrational are therefore the zero and the infinite, which cannot be devided; and yet algebra requires both: take zero and infinite away from it, and algebra collapses. So algebra embraces the rational and the irrational.
To which Andrea retorted:
Well the meaning of rationality in math hasn't much to do with that of rationality as intended when we mean the ability to exercise reason. In the first case rational means simply: capable of being expressed as a quotient of integers (or as a fraction if you prefer). Any parallelism between the two definitions is founded on mere assonance.
Strange conclusion, for one who just made an appeal to Galilei as the founder of science based on method. For Galilei in fact math was the language in which nature is written (by the creator), so, by way of it, it should be possible to reach an apodictic reading of how things are in nature. He appears therefore to be rather in agreement with to me, or better, I with him.
Totally opposite is the view of the power of science defended by my interlocutor according to the alleged scientific method:
Some of the truths that had been previously stated as absolute have fallen miserably under the progress of our ability to exercise reason, therefore we have an experimental proof about the need to be very careful with what we say is absolute at one point in time. The only so called absolute truths that have survived in the minds of some of us are those against which no confuting proof has yet emerged, most of the times unfortunately it is not because of the power or the essentiality they express but because of the generalness (and, allow me, sometimes vaporness) of their statement that makes them intrinsically unfalsifiable.
Very nice, very pretty, but it doesn't have anything to do with Galilei, nor with Newton, or for that matter with Einstein. This popperianism doesn't have anything to do with the practice of science, but a lot with politics.
The great question is: is it possible a science of politics?