A scientific in Rudolf Carnap’s position is an “interpreted axiomatic formal system” (Murzi 2). In science, the formation of laws involves first, the division of facts into observables and non-observables. Observational language contains only logical and observational statements; theoretical language contains logical and theoretical statements and rules of correspondence. The distinction between observational and theoretical terms is a central tenet of logical positivism.
In his article, “Theoretical Laws and Theoretical Concepts”, Carnap bases the distinction between observational and theoretical terms on the distinction between two kinds of scientific laws, namely empirical laws and theoretical laws. An empirical law deals with objects or properties that can be observed or measured by means of simple procedures. This kind of law can be directly confirmed by empirical observations. Most of the time, empirical laws deal with measurable physical quantities, which can be established by means of measuring such.On the other hand, theoretical laws are concerned with objects or properties, which we cannot observe or measure but only infer from direct observations.
A theoretical law cannot be justified by means of direct observation. It is not an inductive generalization but a hypothesis reaching beyond experience. While an empirical law can explain and predict facts, a theoretical law can explain and predict empirical laws. The method of justifying a theoretical law is indirect: a scientist does not test the law itself but, rather, the empirical laws that are among its consequences.
The distinction between empirical and theoretical laws entails the distinction between observational and theoretical properties, and hence between observational and theoretical terms. The distinction in many situations is clear, for example: the laws that deal with the pressure, volume and temperature of gases are empirical laws and the corresponding terms are observational while the laws of quantum mechanics are theoretical. Carnap admits, however, that the distinction is not always clear and the line of demarcation is often arbitrary.There are a few problems, which arise in Carnap’s perceived relation between empirical laws and theoretical laws.
As was stated earlier these two laws differ from each other mainly because empirical laws are applicable to observables whereas theoretical laws are for non-observables. These two laws are supposed to be related with each other since empirical laws are supported by theoretical laws and theoretical laws are affirmed indirectly with the confirmation of empirical laws. Correspondence rules also exist to connect theoretical terms with empirical terms.The problem arises when we consider the viability of the correspondence rules. Do these rules really give us a sufficient reason for stating that empirical and theoretical terms are related to each other? It seems that these concepts are highly metaphysical in nature since in the first place they are only based upon generalizations. Carnap merely calls them theoretical terms in order to give them a scientific tinge.
For if this scientific tinge or characterization were not present theoretical terms will not be scientific at all, they will be metaphysical. Moreover, as A. J.Ayer would state, metaphysical statements are just “meaningless arrangement of words” whose only use might be for poetic value (118-121). If these theoretical terms were not related to empirical statements then they will hold no value at all in science for they would not be verifiable in any way. In lieu of this, although a scientific theory may possess a theoretical and empirical justification it is necessary that theory is capable of fully explicating and justifying the existence of the aforementioned relation [relation between theoretical justification and empirical justification].
The necessity of such is evident if one considers that teleological arguments for the relations of events or substances and objects cannot be considered as a viable form of explanation. Hempel and Oppenheim in their discussion of explanations in “The Logic of Explanation” states that what is important in explanations would be that the explanans must contain antecedent conditions and general laws. It is not enough for explanations to state the end of an event or object.Furthermore, Hempel understood the concept of explanation as something that should be understood fundamentally in terms of logical form. The necessity of such a formulation is evident if one considers the components of a scientific explanation.
According to the Deductive-Nomonological model, a scientific explanation is composed of an explanandum and an explanans. The explanandum refers to the “sentence describing the phenomenon to be explained”. The explanans, on the other hand, refers to “the class of sentences which are adduced to account for the phenomenon (Hempel and Oppenheim 247).Within the aforementioned model, a scientific explanation is valid [and hence acceptable] if and only if the explanandum is “a logical consequence of the explanans” wherein the explanans contains a “law of nature” that serves as the essential premise for the derivation and hence formulation of the scientific explanation (Hempel and Oppenheim 248). Such a conception of scientific explanations assumes the synonymy of scientific terms within different theories.
Such a conception of synonym however fails to consider the holistic nature of science. Such a holistic characteristic is evident if one considers that individual assertions within the scientific enterprise only face experience through their link with other aspects of theory. If such is the case, a one to one correspondence of claims within different theories is thereby impossible (Quine 35). Karl Popper in his article “Truth, Rationality, and the Growth of Scientific Knowledge” gives another view with regards to how we can view theories.Popper's multifaceted conception of science provides an illuminating illustration of the complementary relationship that is often, but not invariably, claimed to hold between the pursuit of objective methods and the goal of objective truth.
In his early classic, Popper states, "I hold that scientific theories are never justifiable or verifiable, but they are nevertheless testable… therefore say the objectivity of scientific statements lies in the fact that they can be inter-subjectively tested" (44).Popper calls this approach to science, which relies upon the intersubjective testing of empirical statements by critically evaluating their deductive consequences, the method of conjecture and refutation. He claims, "In the logic of science here outlined it is possible to avoid the concepts 'true' and 'false. ' Their place may be taken by logical considerations about derivability relations” (50).
Later on, Popper explicitly introduces a concept of verisimilitude and argues for the external objectivity of science, claiming that objective truth constitutes a regulative ideal for the goal of science.Virtually every philosopher who holds that external objectivity is the ideal towards which science is aimed for also advocates an objective method that guides the process of scientific research toward its goal. However plausible Popper’s view seems to be, I find it problematic to unite his notions of inter-subjectivity and external objectivity. If being externally objective means that one is to rely on theories which will help us become nearer and nearer to the truth then the information which we will be processing will be specific information which are characterized with verisimilitude.But then if the information, which we are supposed to accept and have already been chosen on the standards of external objectivity paired with the notion of verisimilitude then that which we conceive, is already given to us.
How can this allow inter subjectivity? In the notion of consciousness, objective information still would not be sufficient to explain it since consciousness is a highly subjective manner.