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

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2
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1answer
37 views

Can philosophy overcome “the two cultures” divide?

Snow noted a growing divide between "the two cultures" in Western society, scientists and "literary intellectuals", who became increasingly self-absorbed and incomprehensible to each other. One of ...
0
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2answers
103 views

Does the analogy “dog is to proximal environment as human is to Reality” portend anything for a maximum theoretical level of intelligence?

As today has been a day for analogies: dog : proximal environment :: human : Reality A dog's ontology is presumably quite limited. A human's ontology is apparently maximal. While our average ...
5
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2answers
157 views

What is mathematics? [duplicate]

Is mathematical practice: an act of discovery of eternal objects and ideas independent of human existence; an intuition-free game in which symbols are manipulated according to a fixed sets of rules; ...
3
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1answer
57 views

Is there parallelism between mental acts and development of science?

In Kuhn's description of scientific history observations are interpreted through a prism of a priori presuppositions collected into "paradigms". Once discrepancies with expectations ("anomalies") ...
1
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1answer
53 views

Are we spending too much time asking hard to answer questions while we'd be better off asking more productive ones?

I've heard this on several occasions and I think it is true if we're spending too much of our time on them. It might not be true for some people, but then, how do they decide it isn't true for them? ...
3
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3answers
57 views

Does phenomenology determine ontology?

There were many historical instances where phenomena could be explained by seemingly incompatible theories, Copernican and Ptolemaic systems, corpuscular and wave theories of light, interpretations of ...
1
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3answers
150 views

Are there two different mathematics in philosophy?

I was looking at arguments about mathematics being a science (or not), here for example, but it seems that these arguments are more about some metaphysical idea of mathematics rather than the subject ...
4
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5answers
527 views

Is there any links between philosophy and programming or computer science

I'm assuming that this is not a personal matter/question and that other people may find themselves in my case : how can I learn philosophy along with computer programming and use the philosophical ...
2
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5answers
132 views

Is everything statistically describable?

I am really struggling with this question. Do you have an example which is not statistically describable? If not, is everything statistically describable? if yes, why is everything statistically ...
3
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1answer
54 views

Is avoiding hypocrisy an impulse for philosophy?

Following on from this thead, and somewhat related to this question that I recently asked: Could the job of philosophy be creating a system of belief in which I [or the thinker in general] can accept ...
2
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1answer
50 views

The criteron of manipulatability as un-reality

Entity realists often say that everything that can be manipulated in science is real, even in the unobservable domain. Entity realism is the view that under conditions in which one can ...
1
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4answers
100 views

Tu quoque and scientific anti-philosophy [closed]

Unless I misunderstood this recent thread, the scientifically minded can legitimately only believe in science (not philosophy), and what is "robust and reliable", it's just that they don't prove it's ...
0
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4answers
138 views

How can anyone justify conspiracy theories / scietific skepticism

The number of conspiracy like theories is exponential. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conspiracy_theories Here are the most famous. How many of these have achieved any tangible success ...
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3answers
70 views

What caused the cause (to the power of eternity)

Modern science says that a cause causes another cause. i.e. the big bang was a cause which eventually caused everything we see today. So what caused the big bang? Apparently multi-verses colliding? ...
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0answers
33 views

What if any inherent obstructions are there to scientific understanding? [closed]

A friend described the methodology of science as follows: Observe some aspect of the universe. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have ...
5
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5answers
681 views

Why are homologies evidence for evolution instead of common design?

I have seen some creationists arguing that when evolutionary biologists use homologies (anatomical or genetic) as evidence for evolution, they are committing the fallacy of affirming the consequent. ...
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5answers
76 views

How did Evolution create new information and the bio-diversity we see? [closed]

How does an unguided, unintelligent process, create the genetic information, or rather instruction, to create new kinds of species. The two main mechanisms of Evolution seem completely inadequate to ...
4
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1answer
38 views

Are miracles compatible with our belief in empirical predictions?

I read the SEP entry on miracles a while ago and plan to take a shot at Hume's Of Miracles soon. Before I get started - I cannot understand how miracles even make sense. Here's my thinking so far: ...
2
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9answers
254 views

How can something exist, but never be created?

This question applies to both religion and science. According to my religion at least, God is subject to natural laws, he did not create all matter in the universe, but instead created the universe ...
0
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2answers
64 views

Circular nature of the cosmos. (π) [closed]

I've been pondering the irrational number that is pi and how it relates to the infinity of the universe. We often see many cycles in nature, current scientific theory states that the universe began as ...
2
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2answers
47 views

How does one become a philosopher, or what makes one a philosopher? [duplicate]

What makes someone a philosopher? When, how, or under what circumstances is the title of philosopher justified? Wikipedia states that philosophy is the study of reason. If I study reason, am I a ...
3
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3answers
75 views

Philosophically, what are ways in which one can define “intelligence” in general?

I've always been wondering, what with I.Q. tests and all, how one can better sense intelligence. Not intelligence as in how much we are measured to know, but how much of what we know is actually known ...
1
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1answer
94 views

Why are Popper's basic statements not justifiaible by experience?

In his Logik der Forschung Popper writes that basic statements are not justifiable by our immediate experiences, but are … accepted by an act, a free decision (LSD, 109) The SEP entry on Popper ...
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2answers
93 views

Are there counterarguments to chaos theory? [closed]

I understand that chaos theory states that any small event or choice determines the next set of events or actions. What, if any, are the counterarguments given regarding the validity of chaos ...
4
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5answers
157 views

Why should we believe other people, or scientists?

Looking for sourced answers or article references for this question, please. Why should someone believe another person's assertions? I would imagine that the answer is because most of the times when ...
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11answers
3k views

How NOT to know everything? Or how to deal with it [closed]

As a child I was mostly interested in biology, poetry, physics and mathematics, as a teenager I got interested in history, religion, languages and (of course) computers. I was (am?) pretty much sure ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Is philosophical (total) skepticism compatible with the modern scientific world view?

I've been interested in philosophical skepticism lately as I've just recently learned about the close relationship between certain schools of ancient skepticism and fallibilism, which I'm told is the ...
6
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7answers
202 views

Difference between math and physics in terms of describing the/a universe?

"The difference between math and physics is that physics describes our universe, while math describes any potential universe" This was one of my math professor's arguments in trying to convince me to ...
5
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1answer
126 views

Roko's Basilisk as Descartes' evil genius?

I'll try to pose a shortened version of Roko's Basilisk below and then ask about how it relates to Descartes' evil genius: The idea is that down the line may it be decades or centuries from ...
3
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2answers
147 views

Is Mathematics considered a science?

Science, generally is analyzing information gathered from observing phenomena, and coming up with theories to try and explain the phenomena. Then, attempting to predict a new phenomenon before it ...
3
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0answers
71 views

Marc Lange's stability concept of laws of nature: how do disjunctive antecedents work?

Dear philosophizing community! I'm an ecology student who's dabbling into philosophy of science. I'm currently writing a term paper on laws of nature (with a focus on ecology as a special science) ...
3
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3answers
83 views

Is mathematics as a concept value-laden?

Joan Robinson in Economic Philosophy writes: Perhaps Gunnar Myrdal is too sweeping when he says (speaking as an economist) that 'our very concepts are value-loaded' and 'cannot be defined except ...
3
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2answers
95 views

Can a non-falsifiable belief ever be justified (besides for tautologies)?

Probably thanks to Popper, a scientific theory would never be taken seriously if it wasn't as least in some way falsifiable. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of the many theories of ...
3
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5answers
245 views

Could the assumption of materialism be a flaw in the scientific method?

The scientific method operates by validating theories through observation and experimentation, if the observations and experimentation is inconsistent with the theory, the theory must be rethought. ...
4
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5answers
189 views

Justify Occam's Razor

I'm aware of a few justifications for Occam's (or Ockham) Razor, as it's usually understood that extra factors/complexities should not be added unnecessarily. The only truly compelling justification I ...
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10answers
10k views

Why does the universe obey scientific laws?

As far as anyone is aware, the universe consistently acts according to predictable laws (and scientific inquiry exists to determine those laws). Is there any metaphysical reason for this? Is such a ...
3
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1answer
64 views

Is the Kuhnian paradigm shift (or sublation) materialistic or idealistic?

Kuhns book The Structure of scientific revolution is based on Hegels philosophy of history and uses, as Hegel did, the dialectic as the motor of history. What Kuhn terms paradigm shifts, in Hegelian ...
4
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9answers
456 views

Shouldn't fallibilism be a reason to abandon science?

The Wikipedia page on Fallibilism (currently) makes the intriguing claim that "Fallibilism is related to Pyrrhonistic Skepticism, in that Pyrrhonists of history are sometimes referred to as ...
4
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5answers
245 views

Can mathematics be political?

The Liverpool Tate have an exhibition currently running that discusses the dialectic between politics and art - the situationists, Bertolt Brecht and earlier the patronage of the court. Mathematics, ...
3
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1answer
98 views

How does Kant respond to Humes problem of Induction?

Its generally well-known that Kant was responding, amongst other influences, to Humes critique of the empirical method on purely logical grounds. One could consider him as a modern-day Pyrrhonniste. ...
5
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2answers
105 views

Discovering inter-atomic forces or taking Newtons law seriously

I've already asked this question on Physics.SE, but it got no response; its not a conventional physics question, but really on how to interpret physical equations and physics. Newtons law of gravity ...
4
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3answers
113 views

Could a scientific unification theory and scientific method itself be misleading?

I aspire to one day be a scientist (specifically an astrophysicist) and I have been reading up on many novels (like those of Asimov) which look into the development of humanity. I know that our ...
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18answers
2k views

Confusion about reasoning in science

Situation 1: One puts the hypothesis (Call it hypothesis H1) that "there exists a force of attraction between every two masses". One obtains a high degree of belief in this hypothesis by testing it ...
3
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3answers
123 views

What must nature's uniformity be like in order for scientific induction to be (non-deductively) valid?

I was thinking about one of the points made about induction, that it assumes that nature is uniform. So this leads me to the question about what this uniformity must be like in order for induction to ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Is there a modern, secular argument for the soul?

In modern times it is common to think the soul is a religious belief. Even though the original arguments for the soul were not religious (e.g. Plato and Aristotle, and more recently Descartes, ...
3
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1answer
93 views

Actual infinite vs. Potential infinite [closed]

I'm looking for bibliography about the problem of Actual infinite vs. Potential infinite. I would appreciate information about papers or books treating this problem deeply, philosophical and ...
5
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5answers
172 views

Possible worlds and the worlds of Quantum Mechanics

I am not really familiar with the metaphysics of the "worlds" from the Many Worlds Interpretation of QM. How do these worlds relate to possible worlds in the Lewisian sense? Lewis wrote a short piece ...
0
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2answers
67 views

Why do we formalize conceptions?

Why do we always try to formalize conceptions? Let's take the naive conception of sets, why do we try to write down a list of axioms? what do we earn in doing so? I'm looking especially for ...
4
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5answers
259 views

Role of Science

I have often read people on Physics.SE (and on many other sites) say that the role of physics is only to provide a good description of nature. For example, we don't ask questions like 'why does x ...
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5answers
190 views

Should scientific realists reject knowledge obtained by psychology?

Psychology wields a fair amount of power in our society - criminals are sentenced or released based on the evidence of psychologists. Employers often rely on psychological tests to determine whether ...