Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Time: Aug 31, 2023 – Aug 31, 2023 (10:03h CET)
This text belongs to a series of experiments with chatGPT4. While there exist meanwhile some experiments demonstrating the low quality of chatGPT4 in many qualitative tests , the author of this texts wants to check the ability of the chatGPT4 software in reproducing man-like behavior associated with the production and reception of texts on a higher level. I started this series with a first post here and a second post here.
SUMMARY SO FAR, APPROVED BY chatGPT4
In our yesterday dialogue you gave me many answers. Here a small selection of these: (1) You cannot read a book like a human person, (2) Your database is based on a subset of documents until the year 2021, (3) You don’t “learn” in the same way humans do, (4) You don’t directly cite individual sources in your responses. Instead, your answers are generated based on patterns in the data you have been trained on, (5) Individual responses from you aren’t precisely replicable, (6) You can’t directly attribute your statements to specific sources like a scholarly article or a book. This is indeed a limitation if you’re considering the output as a “scientific description”, (7) The specifics of the training data or exact processes that lead to a particular response from you aren’t transparently available in each interaction. Is this correct?
Yes, your summary of our previous dialogue is accurate based on the points you’ve listed:
- I cannot read a book in the same way a human does, meaning I don’t interpret or comprehend in the same manner.
- My knowledge is up to September 2021, which means that I might not be aware of events, advancements, or publications after that point.
- My “learning” is different from human learning. I don’t learn from new experiences or information after my last update. Instead, I generate responses based on patterns in the data I was trained on.
- I don’t cite individual sources in my responses. I provide information based on the patterns recognized during my training.
- Responses I give can vary slightly even if the same question is posed multiple times.
- I can’t directly attribute my statements to specific, individual sources.
- The specifics about my training data and the processes that determine my responses are not transparently provided in each interaction.
You’ve captured the essence of our prior conversation well. If you have further questions or need clarifications on any of these points, please let me know.
OVERVIEW OF NEW DIALOGUE: The Questions
- Is there a difference in the meanings of the expressions ‘Scientific Text’ and ‘Empirical Scientific Text’?
- What distinguishes a ‘scientific text’ from a ‘non-scientific text’?
- You mention that it’s important to note that the boundaries between “scientific” and “non-scientific” can sometimes blur, especially when it comes to disciplines like philosophy of science. How do you characterize ‘philosophy of science’?
- Considering the aim of ‘Philosophy of Science’: Which role plays the language used for the work of a philosopher of science?
- You are stating that ‘language’ plays a central role for science as well as for a philosopher of science. Thus, is it correct to state that ‘Philosophy of Science’ is talking ‘about’ Science?
- You state that “Philosophy of Science” stands in a meta-relation to science. Is this compatible with the statement, that a person A (a philosopher of science) is talking about another person B (a scientist) by looking to the behavior of the other person?
- You state that the relationship between the philosophy of science and science is multifaceted and cannot be entirely captured by comparing it to one person observing another’s behavior. From your statement I induce (1) that science is an activity realized by many individuals in parallel, a ‘population of scientists’. (2) This population of scientists is following certain commonly accepted ‘rules for science’. (3) The ‘written rules’ for science have some ‘meaning’ which is located ‘inside the scientists’.(4) It is this ‘shared meaning’ inside the scientists which enables a ‘behavior’ which commonly is qualified as ‘science work’. Is this correct?
- You are stating that philosophy of science doesn’t just observe the norms and practices of the population of scientists from a distance. It also critically examines, interrogates, and sometimes influences them. Would you agree with the following induced statements: (1) All members of the population of scientists are sharing a commonly accepted meaning associated with the written rules of science. (2) To understand the behavior of scientists one has to learn this shared meaning inside a scientist. (3) A philosopher of science talking ‘about’ the behavior of a population of scientists has to know this shared meaning inside the scientists to be able to describe the scientific behavior. (4) Before ‘reflecting about’ the scientific behavior one has to ‘understand’ it by knowing the shared meanings.
Continuing the Dialogue
Is there a difference in the meanings of the expressions ‘Scientific Text’ and ‘Empirical Scientific Text’?
Yes, there is a distinction between the terms “scientific text” and “empirical scientific text.”
- Scientific Text: This is a broad term that refers to any text discussing scientific topics, concepts, theories, and so on. It can encompass a wide variety of writings, from theoretical papers, reviews, and hypotheses to detailed experiments and observations. The main characteristic is that it pertains to or is relevant to science. It could be based on observations, mathematical models, theoretical principles, or any other scientific method.
- Empirical Scientific Text: This term is more specific. “Empirical” refers to knowledge derived from observation or experiment, i.e., it’s based on actual, direct observations or experiments in the real world. So, an empirical scientific text is a subset of scientific text that specifically deals with data collected from experiments or observations. It doesn’t rely solely on theoretical arguments or models but provides evidence from real-world data.
In simpler terms, while all empirical scientific texts are scientific texts, not all scientific texts are empirical. Some might be theoretical, for example.
What distinguishes a ‘scientific text’ from a ‘non-scientific text’?
The distinction between a “scientific text” and a “non-scientific text” lies in the content, purpose, methodology, and structure of the writing. Here are some distinguishing features:
- Scientific Text: Deals with topics related to natural or social sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology, etc.
- Non-scientific Text: Can deal with any subject, from literature and history to personal opinions or fictional narratives.
- Scientific Text: Primarily to communicate research findings, theories, methodologies, or review existing literature. It seeks to expand knowledge in a field, challenge existing notions, or validate/invalidate hypotheses.
- Non-scientific Text: Can have various purposes including entertaining, informing, expressing opinions, narrating stories, etc., without adhering to the scientific method.
- Scientific Text: Adheres to the scientific method, which involves formulating hypotheses, conducting experiments or observations, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions.
- Non-scientific Text: Does not necessarily follow any specific methodology, especially not the scientific method.
- Structure and Style:
- Scientific Text: Typically has a structured format, often including sections like introduction, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. It uses precise and objective language.
- Non-scientific Text: Can have a variety of structures and styles depending on the type of writing (e.g., essay, poem, opinion piece, novel). The language can be subjective, emotive, or descriptive.
- Evidence and Verification:
- Scientific Text: Relies on empirical evidence, reproducibility, and peer review to validate claims.
- Non-scientific Text: May not rely on empirical evidence and is often not subjected to peer review or validation in the same rigorous manner as scientific texts.
- Scientific Text: Often written for other scientists, researchers, or professionals in the field, although there are also scientific texts intended for broader audiences.
- Non-scientific Text: Can be aimed at the general public, specific interest groups, or any other audience.
That being said, it’s important to note that the boundaries between “scientific” and “non-scientific” can sometimes blur, especially when it comes to disciplines like philosophy of science or when scientific concepts are discussed in popular literature. Moreover, some non-scientific texts, like historical analyses, may incorporate rigorous methodologies and provide evidence for their claims even if they don’t adhere strictly to the scientific method.
You mention that it’s important to note that the boundaries between “scientific” and “non-scientific” can sometimes blur, especially when it comes to disciplines like philosophy of science. How do you characterize ‘philosophy of science’?
Certainly, the philosophy of science is a fascinating discipline that delves into the foundational, methodological, and epistemological questions surrounding science. Here’s a more detailed characterization:
- Nature and Purpose:
- Philosophy of science aims to understand the nature and purpose of scientific activity. It raises questions about what science is, what its objectives are, and what makes scientific activity distinctive from other human pursuits.
- Foundational Issues:
- Philosophers of science explore the basic concepts and principles underlying scientific theories and practices. For example, they might investigate the nature of causation, the concept of a scientific law, or the interpretation of probability in statistical mechanics.
- Methodological Examination:
- It studies the methods used in science, asking questions like: What is the scientific method? Are there universal methods that apply to all scientific disciplines, or do methods differ across fields? How do scientists confirm or falsify theories?
- Theory and Observation:
- One central concern in the philosophy of science is the relationship between theory and observation. Philosophers examine how theories are tested, how they relate to observational data, and the problem of underdetermination (the idea that data can be explained by multiple, sometimes incompatible, theories).
- Scientific Explanation:
- What does it mean to explain a phenomenon scientifically? Philosophers of science analyze different models of explanation, like deductive-nomological, probabilistic, or causal-mechanistic explanations.
- Scientific Change and Progress:
- Philosophers investigate how scientific theories evolve over time, what constitutes scientific progress, and how paradigm shifts (a term popularized by Thomas Kuhn) occur in scientific disciplines.
- Realism and Anti-realism:
- This debate concerns the nature of scientific theories and their relationship to the world. Realists believe that scientific theories aim to describe the world as it truly is, while anti-realists believe that theories are just tools for prediction and may not necessarily reveal the true nature of reality.
- Values in Science:
- Philosophy of science also studies the role of values, both epistemic (related to knowledge) and ethical, in scientific practice. For instance, it may question how societal values influence scientific research or how objective science can truly be.
- Interdisciplinary Concerns:
- The philosophy of science often intersects with other disciplines, such as the history of science, sociology of science, and cognitive science, to provide a holistic understanding of scientific practices.
Philosophy of science doesn’t just deal with abstract or purely theoretical concerns. Many of its insights have practical implications for how science is conducted, taught, funded, and communicated. By scrutinizing the foundational aspects of scientific activity, the philosophy of science enriches our understanding and appreciation of the scientific endeavor.
Considering the aim of ‘Philosophy of Science’: Which role plays the language used for the work of a philosopher of science?
The role of language in the philosophy of science is crucial and multifaceted. Philosophers of science, like philosophers in other areas, are deeply concerned with the nuances, implications, and limitations of language. Here’s why language plays a central role:
- Precision in Definition: The clarity of philosophical arguments often hinges on the precise definition of terms. Philosophers of science seek to define terms like “causation,” “law,” “theory,” “model,” “proof,” and “evidence” in ways that capture their use in scientific practice and distinguish them from other, sometimes colloquial, meanings.
- Analysis of Theoretical Constructs: Many concepts in science, like “atom,” “gene,” or “black hole,” are theoretical constructs. Philosophers of science investigate the language that scientists use to describe these constructs and how that language relates to observable phenomena.
- Interpretation of Models and Theories: Philosophers analyze the language of scientific models and theories to understand their structure, implications, and limitations. For instance, they might scrutinize how particular terms are used metaphorically or analogically.
- Examining Paradigms and Frameworks: As mentioned with Thomas Kuhn’s concept of paradigms, the language and conceptual framework of one scientific paradigm might differ radically from another. Philosophers of science explore these differences and their implications.
- Exploring Linguistic Structures: Some philosophers, influenced by linguistic philosophy or semiotics, delve into the deeper structures of scientific language. They might ask how the language of a scientific discipline shapes and is shaped by its practices.
- Addressing Ambiguities: Philosophers of science highlight and address ambiguities in scientific language, clarifying potential misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
- Role of Metaphor and Analogy: Science frequently uses metaphors and analogies to describe complex phenomena (e.g., the “solar system model” of the atom or “genetic code”). Philosophers of science examine the strengths, limitations, and potential pitfalls of these linguistic tools.
- Ethical and Societal Implications: Language doesn’t just describe the world; it also shapes how we perceive and interact with it. Philosophers of science may critique the language of science for its ethical or societal implications, such as whether it inadvertently reinforces certain biases or worldviews.
- Communication and Pedagogy: Language is the primary medium through which scientific knowledge is communicated, both within the scientific community and to the public. Philosophers might investigate how language can facilitate or hinder scientific understanding, especially in educational contexts.
In summary, for philosophers of science, language is not just a neutral tool but a complex system that influences, and is influenced by, scientific thought and practice. Analyzing and critiquing the language of science helps illuminate the foundational assumptions, methodologies, and implications of scientific activity.
You are stating that ‘language’ plays a central role for science as well as for a philosopher of science. Thus, is it correct to state that ‘Philosophy of Science’ is talking ‘about’ Science?
Yes, that’s a concise and accurate way to put it. The “Philosophy of Science” talks ‘about’ science. It reflects on, analyzes, and critiques the foundational, methodological, epistemological, and sometimes ethical aspects of scientific activity. Philosophers of science are interested in understanding what scientists do, how they do it, why they do it in that way, and what it means to produce scientific knowledge.
In other words, while scientists are primarily concerned with investigating and understanding the natural world (or human societies, in the case of social sciences), philosophers of science are more concerned with investigating and understanding the processes, methodologies, and frameworks that scientists use in their investigations.
So, “Philosophy of Science” stands in a meta-relation to science. Just as meta-ethics in philosophy is concerned with the nature of ethical statements rather than the ethical statements themselves, the philosophy of science is concerned with the nature, methodology, and implications of science rather than the specific scientific facts or theories.
You state that “Philosophy of Science” stands in a meta-relation to science. Is this compatible with the statement, that a person A (a philosopher of science) is talking about another person B (a scientist) by looking to the behavior of the other person?
The analogy of a person A (a philosopher of science) talking about another person B (a scientist) by observing B’s behavior can capture some aspects of the meta-relation between philosophy of science and science, but with certain caveats.
In this analogy:
- Observation of Behavior: The philosopher of science (Person A) observes, reflects upon, and tries to understand the methodologies, assumptions, and structures that underpin the work of the scientist (Person B). This can be likened to observing the “behavior” of the scientist.
- Interpretation and Analysis: Just as someone might analyze and interpret a person’s behavior to understand underlying motivations, thoughts, or cultural influences, the philosopher of science analyzes the “behavior” of science to uncover its foundational assumptions, methodologies, and epistemological commitments.
However, the analogy has its limitations:
- Beyond Individual Behavior: While the analogy implies observing the actions of an individual (Person B), the philosophy of science often deals with broader structures, paradigms, and historical shifts in scientific thinking, not just the practices of individual scientists.
- Engagement with Content: Philosophers of science don’t just observe the “behavior” of scientists. They often engage deeply with the actual content of scientific theories and models, trying to understand and interpret them. It’s not merely an external observation.
- Reciprocal Influence: In some cases, the philosophy of science has influenced the way scientists think about their own work. For instance, philosophical discussions about the nature of time, space, or causality might impact theoretical physics. This reciprocal influence doesn’t fit neatly into the analogy.
In summary, while the analogy can serve as a starting point to grasp the meta-relation, the relationship between the philosophy of science and science is multifaceted and cannot be entirely captured by comparing it to one person observing another’s behavior.
You state that the relationship between the philosophy of science and science is multifaceted and cannot be entirely captured by comparing it to one person observing another’s behavior. From your statement I induce (1) that science is an activity realized by many individuals in parallel, a ‘population of scientists’. (2) This population of scientists is following certain commonly accepted ‘rules for science’. (3) The ‘written rules’ for science have some ‘meaning’ which is located ‘inside the scientists’.(4) It is this ‘shared meaning’ inside the scientists which enables a ‘behavior’ which commonly is qualified as ‘science work’. Is this correct?
Your inferences capture important aspects of the relationship between science, scientists, and the philosophy of science, with some qualifications. Let’s review your points:
- Population of Scientists: Yes, science is indeed an activity carried out by many individuals, often collaboratively. These individuals collectively form the scientific community or a “population of scientists.”
- Rules for Science: Scientists, especially within specific disciplines, generally adhere to a set of methodologies, standards, and norms—often referred to as the “scientific method” or the ethos of science. These can include practices such as peer review, empirical testing, reproducibility, and falsifiability, among others. These “rules” may vary across disciplines but serve to maintain the rigor and credibility of scientific research.
- Meaning Inside Scientists: It’s a nuanced point. While there are “written rules” or guidelines for conducting science, the internalization of these rules goes beyond just written directives. Scientists undergo extensive training and socialization, learning not just the overt rules but also the tacit knowledge, values, and norms of their discipline. This internalized understanding guides their scientific practice.
- Shared Meaning & Behavior: The shared understanding and internalization of the ethos of science by the scientific community do indeed result in behaviors characteristic of scientific inquiry. This shared foundation helps in ensuring consistency, rigor, and mutual intelligibility in scientific work.
However, it’s also important to note:
- The evolution of scientific norms and practices: The “rules” and norms of science aren’t static; they evolve over time as science itself progresses and as the broader societal context changes.
- Diversity within science: Different scientific disciplines might have variations in their methodologies, standards, and practices. For instance, methods in particle physics can differ considerably from ethnographic methods in cultural anthropology, though both are scientific.
- Role of philosophy of science: The philosophy of science doesn’t just observe these norms and practices from a distance. It critically examines, interrogates, and sometimes influences them. Philosophers of science may raise questions about the nature of evidence, the interpretation of statistical methods, the structure of scientific theories, or the ethical implications of certain scientific practices.
In summary, your inferences offer a structured way of understanding the practice of science and its underlying shared ethos, with the aforementioned nuances and complexities taken into account.
You are stating that philosophy of science doesn’t just observe the norms and practices of the population of scientists from a distance. It also critically examines, interrogates, and sometimes influences them. Would you agree with the following induced statements: (1) All members of the population of scientists are sharing a commonly accepted meaning associated with the written rules of science. (2) To understand the behavior of scientists one has to learn this shared meaning inside a scientist. (3) A philosopher of science talking ‘about’ the behavior of a population of scientists has to know this shared meaning inside the scientists to be able to describe the scientific behavior. (4) Before ‘reflecting about’ the scientific behavior one has to ‘understand’ it by knowing the shared meanings.
Your inferences touch on core ideas related to the nature of scientific practices and the approach of philosophy of science. Let’s review each of your points:
- Shared Meaning Among Scientists: While it’s generally true that there’s a commonly accepted ethos or set of standards within scientific disciplines, it’s essential to remember that “shared meaning” isn’t necessarily uniform. Different scientists, based on their training, specific subfields, cultural backgrounds, and individual experiences, might have variations in their interpretations and applications of these rules. However, there’s indeed a foundational consensus that allows for mutual intelligibility and collaboration within the scientific community.
- Understanding the Shared Meaning: To understand the behavior of scientists fully, one would benefit from understanding this shared ethos and the underlying tacit knowledge. This includes both formal methodologies and the more subtle, unwritten norms and values of scientific practice.
- Philosopher’s Knowledge of Shared Meaning: Yes, for a philosopher of science to offer a meaningful critique, analysis, or description of scientific practices, they need to be familiar with the shared meanings, methods, and values of scientists. However, philosophers also bring an external perspective that can question assumptions and probe deeper into the foundations of these shared meanings.
- Understanding Before Reflecting: In general, understanding is a prerequisite for meaningful reflection. To critically analyze or reflect upon scientific practices, one first needs a foundational understanding of those practices. This is akin to the idea that one must understand a game’s rules and objectives before commenting on strategies or critiquing its design.
However, a few considerations:
- Dynamism of Science: It’s important to recognize that the shared meanings and practices of science aren’t static. They evolve with new discoveries, technological advancements, and shifts in the broader societal context. Philosophers of science not only reflect on current practices but also on these evolutionary changes.
- Interdisciplinary Nature: The philosophy of science often interacts with other disciplines, such as sociology of science, history of science, or cognitive science. These interdisciplinary engagements enrich the understanding and reflection on scientific practices.
- Role of Outsider’s Perspective: While understanding from within is crucial, sometimes an outsider or a more distanced perspective can provide insights that might be less obvious to those deeply embedded within a discipline. Philosophers of science can provide this vantage point, revealing biases, assumptions, or unexplored avenues.
In summary, your inferences capture significant aspects of how philosophy of science engages with the practices and underlying meanings of science. The relationship is one of understanding, reflection, critique, and, sometimes, influence.
 There was a conference at the Technical University of Darmstadt with the title “KI – Text und Geltung. Wie verändern KI-Textgeneratoren wissenschaftliche Diskurse?” (Translated: AI – Text and Validity. How do AI text generators change scientific discourses? )., https://zevedi.de/en/topics/ki-text-2/ . One lecturer Thomas Arnold, gave a speech entitled “Herausforderungen in der Forschung: Mangelnde Reproduzierbarkeit und Erklärbarkeit” (Translated: Challenges in research: lack of reproducibility and explainability), which will be published by de Gruyter at the end of 2023/ or the beginning of 2024.
 Gerd Doeben-Henisch, Aug 28, 2023 : STATE CHANGE FROM NON-WRITING TO WRITING. WORKING WITH CHATGPT4 IN PARALLEL. AN EXPLORATION, https://www.uffmm.org/2023/08/28/state-change-from-non-writing-to-writing-working-with-chatgpt4-in-parallel/
 Gerd Doeben-Henisch, Aug 30, 2023: READING A BOOK, LEARNING, BEING SCIENTIFIC, WIKIPEDIA. A dialogue with chatGPT4 bringing you ‘back to earth’ : https://www.uffmm.org/2023/08/30/reading-a-book-learning-being-scientific-wikipedia-a-dialogue-with-chatgpt4-bringing-you-back-to-earth/