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

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Is science political?

To get things started, here are a few (not a complete list) ways science may be political. The method is operated by humans and its data and interpretations come from a political human who must ...
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23 views

How do social sciences today tend to see the contributions of biology and other natural sciences?

The old debate "nature" vs. "nurture" has given space to a new debate between "natural sciences" vs. "postmodernism" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_wars, ...
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1answer
35 views

Problem of old evidence

I've come across the so-called "problem of old evidence" in Bayesian statistics/epistemology. First, let me summarize the problem as I see it so we're on the same page. Suppose I have a theory ...
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Do biology and other sciences enlighten our understanding of human nature? [on hold]

In the past there was a hot debate about the "nature" vs. "nurture" problem. Today I know a lot of people who "concluded" this is settled and, as some "postmoderns" put it, "there is no truth", how ...
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2answers
50 views

Holism, reductionism and emergence

I try to understand the difference between holism and reductionism and I wonder whether the concept of emergence belongs to the first one or whether it is just "holism through the eyes of a ...
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1answer
48 views

What is the opposite of the reductionist approach?

I am searching for two opposite words in philosophy of science to describe two opposite approaches in physics. To illustrate what I am searching for I will use statistical physics and particle physics ...
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3answers
91 views

Speculative realism: Does changing law of nature collapse the ancestral argument?

Lets say, I am an astronomer, Bob Down jr. When I was twelve years old I was a perfect naive realist. I did know nature as something bigger and more powerful than me. Not that I had no power. No ...
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2answers
50 views

Human belief systems and reason

Belief puts people into action, but often action is needed before belief to develop something in order to be able to believe in it in the first place, or at least so it seems. It seems to me that ...
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1answer
45 views

Bayesian Confirmation - Justifying Bayes's Rule

I'm reading through these notes I found online, and I'm having a bit of trouble distinguishing Bayes's Theorem and Bayes's Rule. The central idea of Bayesian Confirmation Theory is that the our ...
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field concept - historical and contemporay perspectives?

Can someone give me some reference (or insight) on the development of the field concept in physics. In particularly, the period between 17th century Newton/Leibniz notion of force/action-at-distance ...
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46 views

Are “intelligent systems” really intelligent? [closed]

For the scope of this question, let's consider an intelligent system as something with the properties of accomplishing some kind of goal(s). By this definition, all people are technically intelligent ...
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2answers
47 views

In a way, isn't everyone biased somehow? [closed]

You hear people say that you ought to see an "expert" to get unbiased viewpoints. Isn't that largely based on the assumption that experts are unbiased? Or is it believed that smarter people in, say, ...
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Hegel's measure as gauge

In Book I, third section, first chapter of Science of Logic, Hegel makes it rather clear, I find, that the measure that he is talking about -- at least in its aspect as specifying measure -- is a ...
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5answers
92 views

Must consciousness display intentionality?

Husserl affirmed intentionality as characteristic of consciousness. If matter can be conscious, as in Lucretious atoms of anima, and in Tegmarks baroque but physicalist constructions; must matter, to ...
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4answers
352 views

What is the intersection of Physics & Philosophy?

(I've already asked this question on Meta, but as one answer (by Joseph Weissman) pointed out this is already a philosophical question; so I thought it worth asking here). I've asked a number of ...
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1answer
37 views

wavefunction and contextuality

According to the French philosopher Michel Bitbol, the "deep-lying connection between the contextual character of observables, and the wave-like form of probability distributions was demonstrated ...
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42 views

Why Did Scientists as a Group Tend Toward Atheism After the Enlightenment? [closed]

Many of the greatest enlightenment natural philosophers were theists. By the 20th century, this had drastically changed. I personally do not see any development in science which in any way diminishes ...
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3answers
96 views

On the foundations of physics

Scientific theories in physics have to be validated by experiments. But experiments are to be interpreted in the context of scientific theories. Isn'it like a snake biting its own tail? For example, ...
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10answers
403 views

Is there any reason to believe that there are things which science cannot tell us?

Science can only tell us a posteriori synthetic truths, can this category extend to all propositions about the world. Surely the only things which can by known ONLY by a priori analytic are ...
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3answers
119 views

How do laws of nature enforce themselves?

The Humean view prevailing today is that laws of nature are mere regularities of the empirical events. However, there seems to be a difference between post factum regularities, like the Titius-Bode ...
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90 views

Is the science Physics allowed to ignore the rules of Philosophy of Science resp. the Scientific Method [closed]

The Scientific Method in Science determines that premises, on which a theory is based, must be experimental verified, when possible. It is however possible that theories of the past are based on ...
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146 views

Can definitions be experimentally tested?

The present Wikipedia article on the Scientific method, section "Elements of the scientific method" states: Four essential elements of the scientific method are iterations, recursions, ...
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1answer
56 views

Kuhn's demarcation criterion

What was Kuhn's demarcation criterion to determine whether something is or is not science? I know that he spoke about paradigms, but do those define what is or is not science? Or is it about puzzle ...
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3answers
385 views

Is homeopathy verifiable?

Would homeopathy be verifiable according to the logic positivists (and thus science)? On the one hand, one could, in principle, observe patients recovering after being given a homeopathic medicine. ...
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306 views

Is Galileo's argument about falling bodies logically flawed?

Galileo's famous argument against the Aristotle's theory of falling bodies goes like this. "Let's say heavy objects do fall faster than light ones. Then it seems the heavier weight will fall with the ...
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2answers
54 views

Is medicine falsifiable?

Would modern medicine be falsifiable according to Popper? What about alternative medicine, such as homeopathy? My problem with this, is that I imagine such falsification depends on double blind ...
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1answer
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An article by Jacob Pandian [closed]

There is an article named "The Dangerous Quest for Cooperation Between Science and Religion" by Jacob Pandian. I could not find it online. The article is also in a book Science and religion: Are they ...
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609 views

What is the philosophy behind the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics?

Perhaps it is a stereotype, but I assumed that most physicists are empirical realists (external reality affects our senses, and science infers a representation of it from sensory data). At the same ...
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5answers
117 views

Would this morality be truly objective?

I'll be working on the assumption that the general scientific consensus is correct and that the evidence does, indeed, point inescapably towards the fact that we are primates with a well-developed ...
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3answers
89 views

Dark Forest Postulate used to explain the fermi paradox?

This is the founding premise of science fiction "The Three Body Problem" It starts with two axioms Survival is the most important goal of every civilization Every civilization will continue to ...
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1answer
58 views

Is a posteriori analytic philosophy just science?

Analytic philosophy primarily tries to solve problems a priori. Science can be considered to be synthetic a posteriori, based of some a priori theoretical framework. But would any conclusions that you ...
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4answers
152 views

Is there a boundary on 'physical'?

I have asserted many times here that physicalism as degraded into an undecidable question, and I would like to see how strong my understanding is. It seems to me that whenever we approach the ...
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3answers
227 views

What purpose do mathematics and philosophy serve epistemologically (compared to sciences)?

Kant did not consider them sciences, but meta-disciplines that study a priori conditions of doing science. Indeed, both mathematics and philosophy permeate all empirical sciences to varying degrees, ...
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3answers
166 views

Was Kant right about space and time (and wrong about knowledge)?

According to Kant our empirical experience is synthesized from sensations through categories. Apparently, unconscious "productive ability of imagination" mediates the process using the schemes of ...
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3answers
179 views

Do mathematician always agree at the end?

I know it's a off beat question but I thought philosophical answer would be better. I've been trying to study some different sciences in my life, ranging from biology to mathematics, and if I try to ...
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In what way(s) does popular New Atheism fail to be philosophical?

I've seen some derision against the popular New Atheism movement, in particular against Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris (particularly interesting since he makes a big deal that ...
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244 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 ...
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2answers
112 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 ...
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180 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; ...
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1answer
67 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") ...
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1answer
68 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? ...
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3answers
78 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 ...
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170 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 ...
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5answers
715 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 ...
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5answers
143 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 ...
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1answer
56 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 ...
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1answer
52 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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163 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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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? ...