Knowledge is conjectural, and we are all fallible. When everything is open to question and we do not hold anything or anyone as an authority, we are free to correct errors that otherwise would have kept us stuck and miserable. Yay!
Parents interpret unwanted behaviour of their young children as an ‘ill effect’. Not because the parent is stupid or malevolent, but because all observation is theory laden, and because causation cannot be observed.
Overt coercion is less likely to corrupt children’s interpretation of what is happening to them. But given that part of our self respect as parents taking our children seriously comes from being non-coercive, it might well be that the coercion we inadvertently engage in is interpretation-corrupting double binds. So we need to be particularly aware of the subtle mind-messing forms of coercion.
Karl Popper’s theory prevails because it solves problems other theories of the growth of knowledge fail to solve, it is a better explanation than its rivals, and it unifies ideas previously thought to be unconnected.
Understanding that knowledge grows through creative conjecture and inner criticism facilitates non-coercive interactions.
One of our best theories (the framework theory of evolution) is not scientific, but that it is none the worse for that. And all scientific theories rely on a philosophical framework.
We are always dealing with our theories of what is happening, never something more ‘pure’. ‘Observed behaviour’ is shorthand for ‘our theories of observed behaviour’. All observation is theory-laden. Sometimes theories’ apparent failures in empirical tests are no such thing—we just made a mistake. Science does not have any special status.
People’s notion that young children are irrational or that teenagers are obnoxious colours their view of what is happening in reality. They see irrationality/awfulness where none exists.
Sense perceptions—physical sensations—DEPEND—on a rather low level—on how one is thinking about them. Observation is theory-laden.
Why it is a mistake to think that you are seeing evidence that reason only develops later in childhood.