Do experiments really help us understand reality better?

The experimental approach was introduced many years ago with the goal of factual analysis of reality based on testing and gathering data from nature. For this purpose we use our senses to gather information from reality. There has been a debate if what we sense is real or distorted by our emotions, experiences, thoughts, feelings etc. Dr. Steven Pinker discusses this topic in his book The Blank Slate for example.

The question I have is if experiments and gathering information from reality with our senses is better than just logical reasoning and thinking. Apparently it is, but I think we have to analyze this situation better using our current knowledge of Neuroscience and Imaging, for example, in order to arrive to a more definite conclusion. We might be surprised.

Adolfo Cotter, MD

Nov 26/2011

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