Metatheoretic Knowledge in Science, its Structure and Functions
Authors: Sеrgey A. Lebedev
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Does the science more general level of scientific knowledge than the scientific theory, and if so, what is its content, structure and cognitive function? To all these questions in contemporary philosophy of science there is no single answer. If the representatives of positivism categorically deny the need for such knowledge in the structure of science, the proponents of philosophical epistemological fundamentalism, on the contrary, believe that without metatheoretic knowledge not only fundamentally impossible satisfactory solution to the problem of the justification of scientific theories, but also that this knowledge are exclusively philosophical foundations of science. However, as the real history of science and the functioning of the fundamental theories in the structure of modern science, indicate that both the above concepts of the role of metatheoretic knowledge in science are incorrect. And the common basis of their fallacy is incorrect understanding of both concepts patterns metatheoretic knowledge, namely the last, only and exclusively to the philosophical (ontological and epistemological) the foundations of science. In fact, as evidenced by the structure of the real science, metatheoretic scientific knowledge consists not of one but of two kinds of knowledge: concrete scientific metatheoretic knowledge and philosophical knowledge. Concrete scientific metatheoretic knowledge represented by such common elements of scientific knowledge as 1) the paradigm of a scientific theory, 2)scientific picture of the world, 3) the methodological standards of science ("the ideals and norms of scientific research"). The philosophical component of metatheoretic level of scientific knowledge presents the philosophical foundations of scientific theories, not only ontological and epistemological principles of philosophy, but also its social, ethical and anthropological provisions [4; 5]. The main functions of metatheoretic level of scientific knowledge are: 1) the "deductive" justification of the scientific fundamental theories from the standpoint of a more general scientific knowledge or the philosophical knowledge; 2) the harmonious integration of the content of scientific theories into a common system of the scientific and the philosophical knowledge; 3) the philosophical evaluation of the content of scientific knowledge, and ,especially, of the fundamental scientific theories; 4) the relationship concrete scientific and philosophical knowledge as the two main types of rational knowledge ; 5) the transmission of the content of the new scientific theories in culture for learning society.