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

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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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5answers
1k views

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
139 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
59 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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1answer
23 views

Difference between Inference and Prediction [closed]

Can somebody tell me, what ist the difference between inference and prediction, concerning Philosophy of science/Statistics? Thanks
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5answers
231 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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5answers
114 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
58 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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12answers
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
185 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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1answer
100 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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53 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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4answers
178 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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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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1answer
65 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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0answers
33 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
57 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
71 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
217 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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5answers
117 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
22 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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2answers
106 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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6answers
275 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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39 views

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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2answers
92 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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3answers
81 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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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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2answers
66 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
43 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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1answer
852 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
44 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
243 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
153 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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1answer
40 views

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 ...
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7answers
272 views

How Does Modern Science 'Know' there is no God? [duplicate]

As pointed out in this question, there is no hard scientific evidence of the existence of an existentially all-powerful being. As there is no direct evidence that there is a God, there is also no ...
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12answers
397 views

Belief in God in the context of modern science

My question is this: How can someone living in such a world and age possibly believe in God? To elaborate, I think I understand where religion and the belief in supernatural stems from. It was our ...
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4answers
168 views

Causation, Correlation, and the Scientific Method

It is widely known that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. However, after recognizing that the correlation alone doesn't prove causation, what needs to happen in order to evaluate ...
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37 views

Philosophically (through logic and reason) how does one get to liberty, freedom, destiny from positivism--raw science?

Auguste Comte was so 'positive' that there could be no metaphysical system, no explanation of essences (no need for such in an 'enlightened' age). He thought citizens should be trained only to look ...
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3answers
94 views

What can science assert

According to Lawrence Krauss, science cannot not exactly say 'always' or 'never'. We all know that's for sure because most of science theories relies on inductive arguments. But then he adds: 'What ...
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3answers
78 views

Philosophical bravado in science

[TLDR: is the argument in the last quotation a fallacy?] I'm an (academic) engineer, and I've been reading some papers on cybernetics from the 1950s and 60s. I found it striking how often the authors ...
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16answers
10k views

Why aren't creationism and natural science on the same level? (Or are they?)

In the infamous creation museum a strategically very shrewd exhibit, where a scientist and a biblical scholar both study the same fossils, is being presented: The sign says “different ...
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2answers
83 views

Can science remain objective when it is embedded in a world of politics? [closed]

Is science objective or, like other social creations, fundamentally tied to politics? First, science is operated by humans and its data and interpretations come from a political human who must always ...
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2answers
55 views

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

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
73 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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2answers
79 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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4answers
138 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
112 views

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

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
52 views

Human belief systems and reason [closed]

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
64 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 ...