Thursday, 5 June 2014

The appeal of generality

With articles like: my name, readers might guess that I think that generality is a virtue in scientific theories. Why is generality a virtue?

  • General theories explain a lot of facts with little theory - satisfying Occam's razor;

  • Society slices science up into specialist-sized pieces. These are unevenly distributed - and much of value falls down the cracks between the theories. General, broadly-applicable theories are an attempt to compensate for this flaw.

I think that's about it. The systematic neglect of general theories by others might also be a contributing factor.

No comments:

Post a Comment