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Thinking while in Vienna – Considering Evidence: Playing the Demarcation game

July 13, 2011

After almost 1.5 weeks at a summer university at the University of Vienna, talking about the point, purpose, use, abuse and uncertainty of evidence, I am still trying to wrap my head around how many and singular disparate parts of what I’ve learnt about evidence ranging from the use of legal evidence in the court-room, expert testimony, the differences between facts and value-judgement, predictions and explanandum, types of theory acceptance, visual evidence and Bayesian networks. I am still working on how they all come together and how I can think about evidence for my work. How can I extract evidence from my work on thought experiments involving real-life facts, experiments and data? Will my demonstration of data through a computational visual form work for evidence? How can I think about evidence in terms of phenomenology (I wished I brought my Crisis in the European Sciences with me) and is phenomenology too much of a self-reflexive theory to even contemplate that? While it is easy to tell that some hypotheses are way out there, how do we know that certain hypotheses that do not already fit out framework of what it science is too much out there? What sort of physical evidence can I use to help me work through ontology in particular? Do I deal with the question of physical reality? How to interpretive frameworks that seek to explain while having possibly subjective ends can work as evidence? How do I quantify  categories of knowledge that are not already existing as quantities?

Otherwise, it seems people from m program are having fun going to many places and doing things in Vienna. I managed to go around a bit more on Sunday but weekdays are times when I prefer to take it slow post-class than rush around like a headless chicken or indulge in an over-strenuous weeknight. Of course, being in Europe for another four weeks also means I’ve to be careful with money. At least, I still get to enjoy the Viennese atmosphere before I move to the mountain ‘resort’ within a landscape that most people are probably familiar with via “The Sound of Music”.



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