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Principle of Autonomy/Feyerabend: collecting the facts for examination purposes is the only thing left for the scientist to do. If facts exist and are available, regardless of whether alternatives to the theory under consideration are looked at. Principle of the relative autonomy of facts. (versus theories).
The principle does not mean that the discovery and description of facts is entirely theory-independent, but that the facts belonging to the empirical content of a theory are available, regardless of whether alternatives to this theory are taken into account.
((s) I.e. that facts are autonomous, independent of theories.)
FeyerabendVsAutonomy Principle: this is far too simple a point of view. Facts and theories are much more closely linked than the principle of autonomy wants to admit.
E.g. it is known today that the Brownian particles are a perpetuum mobile of the second kind, and that its existence refutes the second law of thermodynamics. (Henning GenzVs.)
Could this relationship between movement and theory have been shown or directly discovered? Two questions:
1) could the relevance of the movement have been discovered in this way?
2) could it have been shown to disprove the 2nd law of thermodynamics? ((s) nonsense: relevance to »observe«).
Each thermometer is subject to fluctuations which are the same as the Brownian movement. The actual refutation came about in a completely different way: with the help of the kinetic theory and its use by Einstein in his calculation of the statistical properties of the Brownian movement. In this refutation the consistency condition was violated: the phenomenological theory was incorporated into the larger framework of statistical physics.
Wider den Methodenzwang Frankfurt 1997
Erkenntnis für freie Menschen Frankfurt 1979