EarthTagul.png
This word cloud is in the shape of an Earth because in the instrumentalist view, they argue that theories were made inconvenience to explain how the universe works.

Instrumentalist View
Before we explain what the Instrumentalist View holds, we must first look into the Pragmatic Theory, as the Instrumentalist View ties in and references this theory substantially.

Pragmatic Theory
  • The Pragmatic Theory states that if something works, it is considered to be true. We can determine how true something is based on its result.
external image the-truth.pngexternal image tape-measure-pic.jpgexternal image two-people-reviewing-business-document-Secondary.jpg
  • For example, if we look at the theory of a sun-centered solar system, we can deem it as true because it works and accurately describes results. It allows for accurate measurements such as distance, position, put men to space, etc. Other theories (like the earth-centered universe) were untrue, because they could not make such predictions and calculations.
  • They also argue that the truth is something that is NOT absolute, unchanging, and unchangeable.
  • Truth comes from the people who make it, and this truth can change and people can make up new truths.

Instrumentalist View
  • In definition, the Instrumentalist View means: In epistemology, the view that scientific theories can be true only in the sense that they enable us accurately to predict what will happen and that any observable entities postulated by the theory literally do not exist.
  • But, what does this exactly mean? Well first, let's analyze the theory of matter. Most scientists agree that it is true. But could you say that quarks, neutrinos, and electrons exist? We can't directly observe these 'theoretical entities'. These entities only work and exist in the theories, but still, we have not observed them. Do these entities still exist then?.
  • When we tried to prove the existence of electrons, we used a particle collider to smash one matter to another. After the fact, we experienced results that prove the existence of electrons. It consisted of a dial spiking up.
external image atomo-electron-neutron-proton.jpgexternal image god-particle-lead.jpgexternal image banner-meter-reading.pngexternal image file_194909_0_toolsheaderfixed.jpg
  • These successful predictions however, do not prove the existence of these theoretical entities. It is possible that the theory is just a formula that works but isn't actually true. In this case, the theory will predict what will happen when scientists collide two matters together (the dial spiking), however it does not mean that electrons exist. There is no direct proof as we cannot observe them.
  • This view ties in very well with the pragmatic theory and uses it to explain truth in science. This view assumes that if a scientific theory is true, it only means that it 'works'. It lets us accurately predict what will happen. Furthermore, they claim that unobservable entities are invented to serve as useful constructs to make the theory work. They are useful because if they were to be true, if they were to actually exist, then we can make accurate scientific predictions.
external image Ptolemaic_system_2_%2528PSF%2529.pngexternal image pic.jpgexternal image Ruq2OJE.jpg
  • For example, Copernicus proposed that the Earth and the planets revolved around the Sun. During his time, the people believed that the earth stood still and that the planets and the stars revolved around it. This was called Ptolemy. At the time, the Church had immense power over the view and they would persecute anyone who did not believe in Ptolemy (they claimed that Ptolemy was true because it directly stated in the Bible that the earth was the center of the Heavens, etc.), as that was going against the word of God. Instead of claiming it as the truth however, Copernicus' friends stated that Copernicus' theory only is meant to provide accurate predictions and calculations, kind of like an instrument, hence the name. His theory should be interpreted 'instrumentally', as something to be used. People who believed in Ptolemy used the 'false' idea of Copernicus to easily, and usefully calculate and observe the universe. As time went on, people found more and more problems with Ptolemy and began to think Copernicus' theory as the truth.