for applied philosophical questions about the study of science, the pursuit of scientific knowledge, and the scientific method

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Should scientific theories be self-consistent?

Bridgeman writes in A Physicist's Second Reaction to Mengenlehre:"The feeling that actually existing things are not self-contradictory is so elemental as to almost constitute a definition of what we ...
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Does the Church-Turing-Deutsch principle (i.e the physical version of the Church-Turing thesis) imply reductionism?

In the following I am not considering substance dualism or idealism, but only materialist/physicalist theories. The Church-Turing thesis states: Every ‘function which would naturally be ...
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16 views

Could gravity come from empty space? [on hold]

From my understanding, empty space, or "nothingness," acts as a vacuum. Atoms are made up of around 99% empty space. Which means everything is made up of 99% empty space. Which means that everything ...
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3answers
240 views

Propositions that are always true, but aren't tautologies?

Consider the following statements: "Snow melts during the day in the Sahara" "A human will die without oxygen" "Photons have no rest mass" These are statements that are always true, not ...
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435 views

How did the logical positivists respond to Gödel's incompleteness theorem?

In a lecture on philosophy of science I recently listened to, it was stated that Quine was the one who decisively refuted the logical positivist program. I've also read that Quine and Popper were ...
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114 views

Can there be “non gap” arguments against reductionism?

Reductionism is the idea that any scientific theory can be eventually reduced to the laws of physics. For example the laws of biology can be reduced to chemistry, which in turn can be reduced to the ...
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5answers
67 views

Science and personal beliefs [duplicate]

Talking with a friend of mine about the existence if God, I argued that science is the better way to believe in something, instead of believing in something using personal belief or faith; for example ...
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1answer
100 views

Philosophical interpretation of computability of a finite math problem

There is an interesting debate in the area of Enumerative Combinatorics, a branch of Mathematics. Several mathematician are having a somewhat tongue-in-check debate whether a certain (very large and ...
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5answers
145 views

Is it possible that religion is a part of science?

I had literature class and we were studying the Bible, and I as a non-believing person was kind of sceptical about it, but my teacher pointed out that the Bible, and all religions before it, are part ...
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27 views

Relationship between Theoretical and Experimental Physics

I am working on my bachelor thesis in Philosophy and I planned to write a chapter about experimental philosophy, a relatively new trend that tries to test philosophical claims using the methods of ...
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3answers
71 views

Is the existence or not of extraterrestrial life a philosophical question?

Watching the movie "Contact" and I couldn't help but wonder: What's the philosophical status of the question of the existence of extraterrestrial? Is it taken seriously? Has any notable philosopher ...
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7answers
253 views

Isn't science all about finding generalized representation of observations?

A lot of people in science talks about science as a discipline to find the fundamental laws or rules of the nature. They consider these laws to be the underlying mechanism that is making the nature as ...
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262 views

What is nothing?

In Lawrence Krauss' book A Universe From Nothing he portrays "nothing" as a physical state. He says that nothing is found by removing all of what we know to be things (particles, electrons etc). I've ...
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43 views

Can Zenos paradox of motion be applied to a flashing blue light?

Zenos paradoxes of motion generally refer to actual motion through space; however for Aristotle this is motion in only one sense; an other sense could be alteration, for example change in shape and so ...
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32 views

What is the unificationist theory of explanation

What is the unificationist theory of explanation, and how is it related to the idea of causation? Why do some philosophers of science classify unificationism as a kind of pluralism, and what are ...
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2answers
48 views

Normativity in Science

According to the description of language and norms in Analytic Philosophy (and especially in the way Rorty talks about it in Contingency Irony and Solidarity) we cannot judge one vocabulary using our ...
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Science and the Spectacle

Debords thesis is that the Spectacle becomes a positive objective force; and invades all forms of public and private life. It occurs to me that one would think that science lies outside this order; ...
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Theories of Everything as a hold over from monotheism?

In his book "A Tear at the Edge of Creation", physicist Mario Gleiser argues that results from cosmology and particle physics make it unlikely that we will ever find an elegant unified theory of ...
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5answers
227 views

Can we know the fundamental nature of space and time?

Can you please point me to an argument by a notable contemporary philosopher arguing why we may know the fundamental (metaphysical) nature of space and time? In a recent answer to a question I wrote ...
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3answers
60 views

Can a person's 'sense of self' be transported across spacetime?

Let us assume that transportation of human beings (and other objects) is possible (maybe in the future), and we have the technology to do so. (Please don't debate the scientific plausibility of this.) ...
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5answers
244 views

Isotope dating and philosophy of science

I'd like to ask if the dating " saying something has existed for XXXX years " is scientific ? When i try to apply the criterion of being falsifiable i find that the dating fails to satisfy that ...
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4answers
160 views

What differentiates the scientific method from other methods

From the controversy in this question, I would like to know what differentiates "the scientific method" from other method. I'm asking for differentiation, rather than a definition, because ...
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1answer
59 views

Control in scientific experiment

Very vaguely, I remember contemporary science experiments being described as a struggle to create some process or entity - and measure it. An obvious example would be the Higgs Boson. My question is ...
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5k views

Is there an alternative to the scientific method?

Intro The scientific method is a key process of how we acquire knowledge and may shape our understanding of the world. If I am not mistaken, this method has been defined several times during our ...
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4answers
197 views

Thermodynamics of Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor states, essentially, that among hypotheses with similar explanatory power, the simplest hypothesis should be favored as the most plausible. Thermodynamics states, at zero temperature, ...
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164 views

Does Science has any evidence to prove that ghosts don't exist?

Definition 1: Ghosts are the "creatures" which might be made of particles as we are, but unseen. Premise 1: We are made of particles or atoms which enable us to think and make us what we are (human ...
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1answer
57 views

Which branch of philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, etc…? ) does the question of properly defining life fall under?

Questions like: - Are viruses forms of life, or just very complex replicators? - Would a Von Neumann machine be considered alive? - Does life have to be organic? - Is reproduction a necessary ...
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192 views

Philosophical critiques of neoclassical economics?

Background Information In his article on Neoclassical economics in The Library of Economics and Liberty, E.Weintraub articulates the following: Neoclassical economics rests on three assumptions, ...
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80 views

Is there a literature theory of science and math texts?

I'm compiling a list of ideas and recommendations on how to read math and physics books with the aim of taking apart the presented content, classifying the provided information and, to some extent, ...
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70 views

Do questions about the ultimate truth make sense? Are we capable of understanding the system in which we live? (Looking for directions/references)

I am recently reading a lot about topics like free will or consciousness. It seems that many philosophers are trying to argue about these concepts in an ultimate and final way, that means they are ...
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1answer
62 views

Is there still any philosopher who supports the incompatibility thesis in the social sciences?

The incompatibility thesis asserts that quantitative and qualitative research paradigms are inherently different from each other. Their irreconcilable differences prevent the possibility of a ...
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1answer
71 views

When did psychology separate from philosophy and become a science?

I was hearing a recorded lecture on the philosophy of science, and I heard the author mention that various disciplines (math, physics, etc...) separated from philosophy and became established ...
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3answers
79 views

How can teleological explanations not fit with modern science?

Source: Prof Michael Sandel, Justice: ..., Episode 09: "ARGUING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION 52:21: We grew up and and we’re talked out of this way thinking about the world. 52:30: But here's a question: ...
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4answers
231 views

A proposition is non-falsifiable. So what?

Does Karl Popper argue that non-falsifiable theories are not true/have no truth value, or simply that they are not provable? Put another way: according to Popper, could a non-falsifiable theory ...
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132 views

Does anyone argue that Karl Popper's theory of critical rationalism does not meet its own conditions?

I am a huge fan of Dr. Popper's work, and particularly his theory that the property of falsifiability separates the scientific from the non-scientific. However, it struck me that this theory does not ...
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1answer
24 views

Is Interpretivism Opposed to Using Mathematics in Understanding Social Reality?

Interpretivism rejects the the Positivist claim that social reality can be studied objectively the way we study physical occurrences. In addition, positivists believe that we can use mathematics to ...
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Does fallibilism carry an ontological commitment?

When I was a grad student in psychology, I audited a 20th century philosophy of science course. I did my best to absorb all the great discussions, but one remark the professor made continues to bother ...
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113 views

What do you think? A blogger's thought and Mine : Falsifying Test [closed]

When I was googling with word "Marx, Wittegenstein", I encountered an very interesting site. The site owner ( the blogger ) asks, "Popper is not conducting his own theory, Falsifying test. Is it not ...
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9answers
404 views

Is atheism or agnosticism more rational?

While there is still widespread disagreement regarding the existing definition of atheism, it is normally considered as the "Rejection of belief in the existence of deities". One accepted definition ...
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Elizabeth Lloyd [closed]

I loved the paper by Elizabeth Lloyd. It was interesting and I laughed several times while reading it. Although I enjoyed it, I wonder if I got the point. While reading it I kept thinking that it ...
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102 views

Is Platonism a “religion”?

Having some general knowledge of Platon, and his ideas about the world of Ideas, could we consider his world of Ideas a divine world? Isn't that the same as the world of God? What makes religion ...
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87 views

If mathematics is the language of quantitative thinking, what exactly is the language of qualitative thinking? Please read

I always try to classify disciplines into three groups; the qualitative, the quantitative, and amalgam of the two. Whenever I think of qualitative disciplines, or those that involve value-judgments, ...
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22 views

Reward system of recognition

As I was reading about Merton's idea of the reward system a few questions came to me. Godfrey Smith states that the idea of the reward system comes from Merton, and the basic currency for scientific ...
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79 views

Norms of Merton

I had some trouble understanding two of the norms held by Merton. The first norm that I had trouble understanding is universalism. Godfrey Smith describes this as the idea that scientists should ...
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1answer
46 views

Understanding symmetry

having a hard time understanding the “symmetry principle.” For the most part I understand it on a sentence to sentence level, but can’t seem to put it together. In Godfrey Smith he states that ...
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858 views

Does the recent “uproar” against Philosophy have any historical roots?

For instance, Stephen Hawking once claimed: Philosophy is dead Figures such as Einstein were quite interested in the Philosophy of science. In addition to this, a fair amount of Philosophers ...
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1answer
48 views

How objective can morality be? [closed]

We all make assumptions, but there are assumptions that we are forced to make if we want to interact with any part of reality. The first is that the universe exists. The second is that the universe is ...
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4answers
247 views

Theories in science that make claims that are not empirical in nature

Does it make sense in science to have theories that make claims that are not empirical? By a non-empirical claim, I mean something that cannot be tested by means of observation or experimentation. I ...
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2answers
166 views

A Kantian view on modern physics

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Immanuel Kant, in the section discussing the Critique of pure reason: In the Transcendental Analytic, the most crucial as well as the most ...
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Are ceteris paribus laws of nature tautologies?

A traditional conception of a law of nature views a hypothesis holds necessarily when it takes the logical form: (P1) All A's are B's (P2) O is an A (C) Therefore O is a B. The large number of ...