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

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4
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2answers
51 views

Is it possible to construct falsifiable evolutionary hypotheses about behaviour?

My question is very much contained in the title. Most human behaviours are the object of many hypotheses based in the theory of evolution. Usually an hypothesis will arise as a model that explains a ...
0
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2answers
70 views

Kant's idealist view of space vs. modern science

Kant holds idealist view on space. He thinks space is merely “forms of intuition,” that is, ways in which human order and arrange the things they perceive. They are not features of things in ...
2
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2answers
58 views

What is the difference between determinism and superdeterminism?

I know I need to add some body to the question, so I'll give you some links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdeterminism. I have seen some comments that ...
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3answers
89 views

Is the UNIVERSE trying to discover itself? [closed]

We are all made of atoms. We are trying to discover the universe(which is made up of atoms) . So can I say the universe is trying to Discover itself?
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1answer
46 views

Is postmodernism pro or against abrahamic religion?

Sorry for the long text, but I need to explain my thoughts well. When it is said that postmodernism gives equal space to all forms of thought, many people think it means they are giving space to ...
5
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6answers
208 views

Is “time” an abstract mental construct or is it something that exists independent of human consciousness?

I don't know if this makes sense, but I hope you can bear with me. When I consider my own existence with respect to time I can imagine three possibilities: (1) Time extends infinitely into the past. ...
6
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1answer
164 views

Why are physicists debating the “multiverse” so detached from professional philosophy?

Something curious is happening in some corners of fundamental physics these days, and I am wondering if professional philosophers of science are fully aware of this, or else why there is not more ...
7
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3answers
150 views

How is Bayesian reasoning related to the scientific method?

Back in September 2006, Scott Aaronson wrote a famous blog post giving 10 Reasons to believe that N!=NP. In March 2014, he wrote a more ambitious post about The scientific case for N!=NP. He claims: ...
2
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3answers
115 views

Ethics of Genetically Modified Organisms

I had a conversation with old friend of mine regarding genetically modified food (specifically transgenic crops/animals), and their stance was that It's just wrong to put stuff from one ...
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0answers
40 views

Quine's Naturalized Epistemology

Quine argues for a naturalized epistemology over traditional kinds. The implications of this move lead to pure descriptions that relinquishes all normativity. Is Quine's method of science as a ...
3
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3answers
127 views

GUT and TOE as Fallacies of Misplaced Concreteness?

A.N. Whitehead warns in the introduction to Process and Reality, that the “chief error” of Western philosophy is “overstatement.” He states: “the aim at generalization is sound, but the estimate of ...
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3answers
157 views

Is Mathematics an art or a science? [closed]

Is Mathematics an art or a science? This is a deep question with which I have had many discussions with my friends and teachers.
5
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1answer
202 views

Stronger evidence for Feyerabend's critique of self-consistency

Background Many physicists use 'reality cannot have a true paradox, only apparent ones in our theory' as a very common maximum and guide to theory checking. As with all universal rules, Paul ...
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0answers
32 views

Materialist Epistemology?

In a normal theory of knowledge, a person's phenomenal consciousness is taken as basic. Thus, the sciences are an attempt at explaining the "world" that affects phenomenal consciousness. Excising ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Lakatos, Popper, and falsification

Lakatos describes the three types of falsification--dogmatic, methodological and sophisticated. Did Popper hold to sophisticated falsificationism or is it a charitable interpretation of Popper? Some ...
2
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4answers
100 views

What are the implications of the knowledge explosion in science?

How is the knowledge explosion of recent decades affecting the process of doing science? For example, one scientist who was quoted somewhere said that he spends up to 50% of his time just trying to ...
2
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2answers
284 views

Nothing, God & Physical law

Mary-Jane Rubenstein writes in Cosmic Singularities At first blush, Hawking’s and Mlodinow’s “nothing” seems even more of a nothing than the church fathers’ nothing. For whereas Irenaeus’ and ...
3
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2answers
79 views

Structural Realism vs. Scientific Formalism?

How exactly do structural realism and scientific formalism differ? Are they compatible, or is this another rehashing of, say, the rationalism vs. idealism debate? I know Galileo, Kepler, et al. were ...
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0answers
45 views

Why does Kant not include Nature as an Idea of Reason?

The difference between an idea and concept is that the former is inexhaustible and does not allow for the determinations granted to the latter. For example, throughout the history of philosophy we ...
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2answers
92 views

Is “Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences” a tautology?

According to Gelfand, "Eugene Wigner wrote a famous essay on the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in natural sciences. He meant physics, of course. There is only one thing which is more ...
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0answers
80 views

Scientific Reduction, Logical Positivism, and Quine [closed]

Just to set up the question: For the positivists construed reduction linguistically. It is talk of water that reduces to talk of H2O. If Quine’s holism is right, this distinction between deciding ...
0
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3answers
78 views

Looking for a treatise on philosophy of “smoothness”

Forgive me, I don't know what to call it. During the Enlightenment there came about an idea that the main phenomena of the universe might be represented by simple equations. For example, Netwon's ...
2
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4answers
107 views

Can time be spoken about in philosophy as something separate from everything else?

Scientists are able to completely separate the concept of time from other values such a distance, or speed, or mass. Can philosophers speak about time in the same way, i.e. as a standalone subject, ...
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6answers
1k views

Have professional philosophers contributed to other fields in the last 20 years?

Here are some quotes from Scott Aaronson's interview: progress in math and science — think of natural selection, Godel’s and Turing’s theorems, relativity and quantum mechanics — has repeatedly ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Determinism vs Indeterminism debate

I need to find an article/website/book which offers a brief survey of the dispute determinism vs indeterminism (with no or really few references to the free-will problem). I need them for a high ...
0
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3answers
96 views

Are the most fundamental questions about existence outside the scope of scientific inquiry?

Would you say this is a controversial point, or one most people in the sciences would agree on? Despite all our scientific progress in explaining (at least superficially) why things happen the way ...
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1answer
64 views

What is the absolute ultimate subject (like math, literature, etc)? [closed]

Seems like all subjects are branches of more general subject. Pretty much all sciences seem to find their roots in physics but physics is just math. There are many branches of math but still all just ...
4
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4answers
311 views

Will superdeterminism, if proven, make science useless?

Superdeterminism states that no experiment we perform has complete freedom, so no matter what you are trying to learn about how things work out in nature, nature will tell you what it wants to tell ...
2
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3answers
122 views

How does Desire create the Real?

In Holland's Introduction to Schizoanalysis, the author states that Desire produces the Real analogously to the production of evidence in a courtroom: Desire structures and invests our perceptions. ...
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2answers
55 views

What does philosophy exactly do? [closed]

I need your help understanding philosophy. For some reason, I'm not understanding the objective of this subject. Frankly, I only had 1 semester of philosophy so maybe it isn't enough to really ...
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4answers
225 views

Can we measure the effort to create a mathematical theory in terms of energy?

Sir Karl Popper says that products of our mind, like speech, music, math,... are things on their own. We create them. We put effort in them. I wonder where the difference of creating these things, is ...
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2answers
76 views

Epistemology of “Creationism Debate”

Epistemologically, is there any difference between a belief in non-interventionist evolution and a belief in young-earth creationism? If so, what is it? I'm not interested in the question of whether ...
0
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4answers
138 views

Determinism and P=NP

This one has been busting my brain for quite a while now. As far as physics currently tells us, we live in a world where the physical laws are inductive but not deterministic, because at some ...
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5answers
283 views

What empirical evidence would exclude the Intelligent Designer hypothesis?

While there aren't indisputable (to say the least) arguments supporting the Intelligent Designer thesis, I had never seen (or imagined myself) an argument that could definitively debunk this ...
2
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1answer
66 views

Does the thermodynamic arrow of time really solve the arrow of time question?

First recalling here that physical time is not time as understood by our Sensability & Intuition - the proper sense of time; we also recall that famously Newtonian or Einsteinian Physics do not ...
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3answers
91 views

Is all we need to know really already known? [closed]

As the modern science progresses, we find more and more things which match those written in ancient texts. For example the orbits of various planets were accurately known 100s of years before they ...
3
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3answers
145 views

When does absence of evidence imply evidence of absence?

There is a well known maxim that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. In his book "The Black Swan", Nassim Taleb advocates this using a medical example - something along the lines of no ...
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0answers
65 views

Is Poppers criticism of Kant valid?

Hume applying rationality to causality showed that it could not exist - the question is then how does it exist. Kants reply was to place it in the mind. Popper discusses this in his *Conjectures & ...
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3answers
213 views

Does Poppers theory of Falsification apply to mathematics?

Mathematics is generally & popularly judged a science in the basic duality: science - humanities. As enemies and collaborationists. The border heavily & fiercely policed. However, it seems to ...
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3answers
235 views

Physics, Theoretical Understanding and the Limits of Human Knowledge/Understanding

During an interview with Discover magazine, Roger Penrose makes the claim that a lot of the most theoretical physics, a la the physical theories that try to account for the discrepancies and ...
3
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1answer
80 views

Is there a theory with only observable quantities?

In Nitzens & Bichlers Capital as Power, they quote from Weinbergs Dreams of a Final Theory: I pointed out [to Einstein] that we cannot, in fact, observe such a path [of an electron in an ...
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2answers
141 views

If there is anything that could behave like a god, is it then a real god?

Let's assume that the our universe's physics allows time travel. This is my main assumption! Let's further assume that there is an quite intelligent, invulnerable being, that found a way to achieve ...
7
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1answer
83 views

What did Russell intend to achieve with “The Impact of Science on Society”?

I have been reading Russell's "The Impact of Science on Society" and I found it to be a very strange book. This book has become like a Bible to some conspiracy theorists, and I can see why. However, I ...
4
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5answers
197 views

“Why” vs. “How” in the Experimental Sciences

Based on the lively discussion of this question over at physics.stackexchange, I thought it might be useful to ask it here as well. The kernel of the debate is whether or not "why" questions are ...
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2answers
69 views

Scientific paradigms comparison

What could be a good reason for substituting a scientific paradigm (as Kuhn defined it) with a new one? For example why copernican astronomy was substituted by newtonian's?
3
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1answer
121 views

Feyerabend's criticism against the fetishes of rationalism

Why does Fayerabend see observation terms, scientific method and fixed standards as fetishes of rationalism?
2
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2answers
85 views

Philosophy and History of Science in Lakatos

what does Lakatos mean when he writes "Philosophy of Science without History of Science is empty, History of Science without Philosophy of Science is blind"?
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1answer
67 views

Explain Henri Bergson's stance on Time and Space?

I understand that he was, in general, a positivist or realist thinker; however, I am confused when he begins to talk about time existing as two points (A and B) and its differences from a ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Not knowing original (scientific) research fallacy

I was having a discussion with a friend after one too many Gin and Tonics about UK drugs policy. I recently read "Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs" by ...
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2answers
126 views

Is this a 'bug' in positivism?

In this speculative article - a view from the future, historians ponder the failure of civilization in face of the global warming - the authors criticize positivism as one problem in facing global ...