SRSP 16-19 Topic 1 U1a – What is real?
This short unit of only two lessons is nevertheless key to understanding the debate about the relationship between Science and Religion. Both are concerned with how we can know what is real, what is true. There are essentially four different positions that can be taken, Realism, Naïve Realism, Critical Realism and Anti-realism:
Realism is the belief that in order to be true our beliefs must match reality.
Naïve Realism sees every scientific discovery as directly corresponding to a truth about the world in the belief that it is possible to achieve direct contact with the external world. In other words, every scientific discovery directly corresponds to a truth about the world.
Critical realism is the belief that we all have access to the same world but we do not have direct access to it – our knowledge and expectations always affect what we see. We have mediated rather than direct contact with the world.
Anti-realism relies solely on a coherence theory of truth – in other words, a statement is true if it fits in with a particular cultural understanding.
This unit consists of x lessons and is suitable for students aged from 16 to 19 years
- Is it possible to know what is real?
- Need scientific and religious claims be provable if they serve as ‘useful fictions’ for calculation and prediction on the one hand and for encouraging a religious way of life on the other?
- What are some of the influences in our culture on the way we see the world?
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