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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

The Heart of Science: Systematicity

From the book Competing Knowledges – Wissen im Widerstreit

  • Paul Hoyningen-Huene


This paper addresses the question of what the heart (or the “nature”) of science is. After a short introduction, I will first make a few preliminary historical and systematic remarks. Next, in answering the main question, I shall propose the following thesis: Scientific knowledge is primarily distinguished from other forms of knowledge, especially from everyday knowledge, by being more systematic. This thesis has to be qualified, clarified, developed and justified. In particular, I will develop the thesis in nine dimensions in which it is claimed that science is more systematic than everyday knowledge: regarding descriptions, explanations, predictions, the defense of knowledge claims, critical discourse, epistemic connectedness, an ideal of completeness, knowledge generation and the structure and representation of knowledge. Finally, I will compare my answer with alternative answers.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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