Path of modern natural sciences: from discovery of realities to study of their attributes




We analyze the development of the natural sciences according to the scheme: “… reality – attributes – reality – attributes”. Any material reality is interpreted as a carrier of attributes manifested in a certain range of its experimental study and at a certain theoretical level of data understanding. More sophisticated experiments and refined theories lead to a more detailed and correct vision of realities and their attributes. The latter initiates new experiments and creation of new theories. These cognitive processes lead to the discovery of new material realities with their additional or refined attributes compared to those previously known. The objectivity and relative truth of scientific statements about the realities under study and their attributes are based on a qualitative or quantitative correspondence between theoretically calculated values of attributes and their experimentally measured values. We emphasize that the isolation and adequate historical and philosophical analysis of those cycles requires professional knowledge of the analyzed complex scientific material and cannot be implemented within the framework of oversimplified ideas about science and the role, which theories play in it. Examples of such ideas are the understanding of theories solely in terms of their refutation and confirmation or even the replacement of theories with fuzzy sociological concepts such as a paradigm and sociocultural determination of the scientific results. Those views often become the source of idealistic, irrational, and postmodernist interpretations of science and its history.