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Díkaion Revista de Fundamentación Jurídica

Print version ISSN 0120-8942


CARPINTERO-BENITEZ, FRANCISCO. CRISIS OF SCIENCE, CRISIS OF ETHICAL SKEPTICISM. Díkaion [online]. 2012, vol.21, n.1, pp.11-51. ISSN 0120-8942.

Newtonian mechanics were regarded as the only possible scientific method from the 18th century until well into the 20th. This physical model considered it necessary to incorporate epistemological restrictions or constraints into the scientific method, and declared that only "regular bodies" were relevant for science; that is, aspects of objects that could be treated according to numbers and figures. This implied the human sciences, strictly speaking, were left at the sidelines of science. Consequently, justice - and with it all morality - was condemned to the prison camp of utopian sentiments, without being able to show any qualification that would allow it to request "real" status as well. Newtonian mechanics have been stripped of their title as the paradigmatic science of all scientific inquiry since the early 20th century. PLANCK and HEISENBERG showed the ultimate foundations of that scientific method have only sectoral value. At a more theoretical level, Kurt Gödel destroyed the mathematicians' dream of building a scientific universe that would possess mathematical precision. With respect to social morality, the most immediate result of this crisis in what is now called "classical" mechanics is that the old constraints imposed on the method have been shown to be meaningless. Therefore, if it is scientific to prove that water decomposes at one hundred degrees Celsius, it is no less objective to ensure the teacher has a "real" obligation to explain with sufficient clarity. At this point, we again can accept seriously, on a scientific basis, the ontological tendencies of legal reasoning. Speaking of ontology does not imply returning to the metaphysics proposed by Gabriel VÁZQUEZ DE BELMONTE and Luis DE MOLINA, and which some would extend to Francisco Suárez as well. Rather, now is the time to reconsider the scientific proposals of Thomas Aquinas, without succumbing to the temptation to filter the doctrine of Aquinas via the explanations of these later scholars.

Keywords : Constructs; empiricism in the law; scientific solipsism; legal ontology; objective morality.

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