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Ada, a life and a legacy by Stein D.

By Stein D.

During this engrossing biography, Dorothy Stein strips away the numerous layers of fable to bare a narrative way more dramatic and engaging than past bills have indicated

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We then have to run through roughly a couple hundred items. For each of them, we have to demonstrate that scientific knowledge is more systematic than corresponding knowledge from other sources. As “systematicity” in the abstract is the umbrella term that covers nine separate dimensions and each dimension has to be argued for separately, we therefore have to argue for a number of theses that is well above one thousand all together. It may even be the case that we conclude that in order to argue for the (higher) systematicity of some discipline in comparison to other kinds of knowledge, we must subdivide it into even smaller units.

I would like to close this section by initially outlining one consequence of my approach. By asserting a higher degree of systematicity as the main distinguishing feature of scientific knowledge in comparison to other kinds of knowledge, it is implicitly claimed that a certain unity of all the sciences exists—remember, in the wide sense of “science,” including the humanities. This may be surprising, because in recent years, the idea of a disunity of science has been much more popular than the older idea of a unity of science that was characteristic for the positivist phase of philosophy of science.

What are the specific qualities that something possesses that makes it systematic? Instead of answering this question directly, it is simpler to state what something that is systematic is not. Something that is systematic is not purely random or accidental, it is not chaotic, not arbitrary, not anyhow made or risen, not completely unmethodical, not completely unplanned, nor completely unordered. Rather, it embodies some kind of order. I do admit, however, that neither the last positive characterization nor the contrasting terms have enhanced our understanding of the concept of systematicity substantially, and nothing more would be gained by adding any more items to this incomplete list.

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