Conversando sobre ciência e filosofia, um amigo (Eduardo Mattos) reproduziu um comentário de John F. Sowa (no artigo Processes And Causality), onde o autor contrasta a posição do filósofo com a do engenheiro. Segue a passagem do texto:
6. Lattice of Theories
Although the world is bigger than any human can comprehend or any computer can compute, the set of all possible theories and models is even bigger. The entire universe contains a finite number of atoms, but the number of all possible theories is countably infinite, and the number of possible models of those theories is uncountably infinite. The ultimate task of science is to search that vast infinity in the hope of finding a theory that gives the best answers to all possible questions. Yet that search may be in vain. Perhaps no single theory is best for all questions; even if one theory happened to be the best, there is no assurance that it would ever be found; and even if somebody found it, there might be no way to prove that it is the best.Engineers have a more modest goal. Instead of searching for the best possible theory for all problems, they are satisfied with a theory that is good enough for the specific problem at hand. When they are assigned a new problem, they look for a new theory that can solve it to an acceptable approximation within the constraints of available tools, budgets, and deadlines. Although no one has ever found a theory that can solve all problems, people everywhere have been successful in finding more or less adequate theories that can deal with the routine problems of daily life. As science progresses, the engineering techniques advance with it, but the engineers do not have to wait for a perfect theory before they can do their work.