Theory and experience

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Theory can be defined as the product of an activity of the mind, of an abstract and disinterested speculation. Theory is then opposed to the practice. A scientific theory is a system of laws, based on assumptions, which makes the world of phenomena intelligible. This is where the notion of experience comes into play. This can first of all be understood either as what is at the origin of our ideas, and therefore of all knowledge - we then speak of empiricism, opposed to rationalism - or as that which makes it possible to verify or invalidate a theory. Far from being opposed, theory and experience inform each other. But for many, it is theory that must precede experience. To say that since Galileo, science has become experimental, is to say that what is to be observed must first be rationally constructed.


The myth of the Pisa experience

To illustrate his theory of inertia and the constant of acceleration, Galileo would have, according to his secretary Viviani, dropped a ball and a ball from the top of the 55 meters of the Tower of Pisa and observed that the two spheres touched the ground at the same time. But this experiment is probably only a myth: Galileo knew that the resistance of the air could work against his theory which is only verifiable in a vacuum. To prove a theory, perhaps it is then necessary to privilege the experiments… of thought: the results of a real experiment are often distorted by the conditions of its execution.

The taste of egg

Is there a difference in taste between the first egg ...

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