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

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3
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1answer
40 views

Anti-Realists and Constructivist interpretation of empirical dating methods?

I'm fairly interested in the realism, anti-realism debate and would like to hear, if possible by an anti-realist or constructivist, how dating methods fit into their world view. As a realist, dating ...
0
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3answers
60 views

Literature on Mathematical Universe Hypothesis beyond Tegmark?

I'm looking for further reading about the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis. I'm intrigued and would like to know to which degree this has been discussed. I'm aware and have been looking at Tegmark's ...
1
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2answers
48 views

Is this type of induction a problem?

I can understand how the verification of hypotheseses based on inductive reasoning can be problematic, and I understand that a lot of prominent figures in philosophy are in opposition to this (Popper, ...
2
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3answers
91 views

What is Kant's influence on philosophy of science and the demarcation problem?

Kant's proof of the existence of synthetic apriori knowledge was a response to Hume's fork and his views the problem of induction. Given the relevance of these two concepts to the philosophy of ...
0
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5answers
87 views

What kind of knowledge can be gathered without testing hypotheses?

Question What is the set of conditions under which a given knowledge can or cannot be acquired without testing (statistics) hypotheses? Thoughts on different fields Below is a list and definitions ...
5
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5answers
144 views

Can one speak unambiguously of “The” Scientific Method?

When people in general discuss science, they talk about the scientific method as if it was a fixed and universally agreed upon principle. In a show I saw recently by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, he explicitly ...
-4
votes
1answer
71 views

How does Quantum science and Objectivism mix? [closed]

First off please bear with me that I am entering the realm of learning about both of these topics. However from what I have gathered objectivism says that reality is the only reality and that there is ...
2
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2answers
76 views

What are the minimal requirements of a “measurement”?

Surprisingly, I have not yet found a good philosophical work on the concept of "measuring" things. Though I assume one exists. In quantum theory, of course, we encounter measurement problems, and ...
4
votes
4answers
69 views

How does a mechanism reduce 'the number of independent assumptions we need to make'?

The book only italicised; I added the majuscules. Source: pp 226-227, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn  [...] As with Boyle's law, we can say that ...
4
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6answers
398 views

How can a phenomenon be compatible with several theories?

My teacher was teaching us about path of electrons around a nucleus. He told us that many theories have been proposed about path of an electron and the latest theory is somehow different from saying ...
0
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2answers
31 views

Why do old theories take priority over new ones?

Given two scientific theories that both agree with experiment, it seems that unless the new one is much simpler, the older one is accepted. Why is this so? Examples: Special Relativity wasn't ...
0
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2answers
70 views

How might an idealist explain the empirical success of science?

In the miracles argument for scientific realism it is said that our best theories are extraordinarily successful: they facilitate empirical predictions, retrodictions, and explanations of the ...
2
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3answers
91 views

What is the relationship between Science and Religion?

I recently came across the explanation that Science explains things that can be explained, religion explains things that can not be explained. Is this true? I feel like this is true because ...
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0answers
27 views

What is a description? [closed]

I am a physicist/mathematician working on reduction of description. In my case the meaning of description is: A representation of some perceived phenomenon into a (formal) language. Are there any ...
-2
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3answers
115 views

Quantum entanglement and its implications for modern science [closed]

In light of the now undisputed existence of the phenomenon of quantum entanglement and it's implications, can any field of science (e.g. Neuroscience and, specifically, the study of consciousness) ...
2
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0answers
71 views

Reducing chemistry to physics [closed]

What is the status of reducing chemistry to physics? I mean, to be able to derive the laws of chemistry from quantum physics. From what I'm seeing online, it seems like this is considered possible in ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What are the problems with Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism (EAAN)?

Alvin Plantinga's formulation of the argument is here. I'll try to summarize it as I understand it. Natural selection selects for traits that tend to lead to survival. Some true beliefs about the ...
1
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0answers
44 views

Empirical Limits of Science [closed]

There are some limitations to the scientific method, as one of the key steps is perception and observation, be that the formulation of hypothesis or recording of results. Can anyone give examples of ...
14
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12answers
1k views

What is a straight line?

I am not a philosopher; I am an engineer with a reasonable grasp of mathematics. This question has been bothering me for a long time, and I have asked a variation of it to a mathematical community. ...
0
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0answers
12 views

Karl Popper's principle of falsification [duplicate]

Can anyone explain the falsification principle? I know that the criterion of “falsifiability” is a belief that “a theory is scientific if it makes clear predictions that can be unambiguously ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

What is the difference between pseudoscience and non-science? [duplicate]

Within the scope of the problem of demarcation there seems to be an implicit distinction between pseudoscience and non-science. Trying to make explicit what such distinction might be, I wonder: Does ...
4
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5answers
120 views

Can there be a priori truths for science?

Can there be a priori truths for science, even if science is heavily based on the scientific method with empirical evidence? What if we're using examples like theoretical physics? Please explain.
2
votes
1answer
36 views

How would an interpretivist justify using game theory?

It is often said that interpretivist theory does not, in principle, reject quantitative methods. That said, how could an interpretivist defend using a quantitative method (e.g., statistical model; ...
2
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0answers
23 views

How can rational choice theory be explanatory?

In his work, John Harsanyi appears to have taken issue with classical social theorists' account of social phenomena. For example, he criticized Max Weber's typological approach on the grounds, "If we ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Quantum Mechanics has formally undecidable problems. What is the philosophical significance of this?

A certain problem is quantum mechanics has been shown to be uncomputable. This means that although it is in a certain sense making a prediction, there is no systematic way to determine what prediction ...
15
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5answers
1k views

How to assess philosophically whether String Theory is Science or rather Metaphysics?

String theory substitutes basic particles with infinitesimal strings in order to reconcile the seemingly incompatible theories of gravity and of quantum world. But those new elements - the so called ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Would truly random events be strictly equivalent to events without a cause?

There are a couple of questions (one, another) about this topic, and as I was thinking about this for a while, I started wondering whether there has been any systematic research into this that raises ...
3
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0answers
57 views

Are there any critical responses to Peter Winch?

In The Idea of a Social Science, Winch takes a hard stance against naturalistic and positive accounts of social phenomena. In fact, he argues that we cannot understand the meaning of social action ...
2
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3answers
105 views

Where does the philosophical community stand on the eternal universe hypothesis?

Universal eternality has been entertained for millenia. However, from my reading and to my understanding, the idea of an infinite universe has met considerable criticism over the past century. The ...
4
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3answers
152 views

Is the unobserved universe quantum mechanical? [closed]

According to some interpretations of quantum mechanics, in our daily life we perceive classical reality because we, as the observers, collapse the wave function to perceive the environment around us. ...
1
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2answers
82 views

Who keeps track of science? [closed]

Who keeps the track of all the scientific facts and theories, what authority keeps the evidence? Where are all the scientific resources centralized(it seems they should be) and accessible? Are they in ...
12
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3answers
190 views

What are the philosophical consequences of the undecidability of the spectral gap?

An article published in Nature yesterday proves that finding the spectral gap of a material based on a complete quantum level description of the material is undecidable (in the Turing sense). One of ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Does the Big bang imply Absolute time? [closed]

The Big bang was conceived after an empirical discovery made a few decades later than Einstein's theorizing of Special relativity. All our physical space appears to have expanded from singular point, ...
4
votes
2answers
82 views

How has big data affected theory formation, underdetermination and the realist/construtivist debate? [closed]

How has [or will] the prevalence of “big data” – the exploding plethora of information and computing power to correlate it – impact[ed] (i) the scientific method’s theory/hypothesis formation, (ii) ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Did Aristotle know that Moon revolves around the Earth?

Of course he did. But I can not think of a justification available to Aristotle that wouldn't equally justify that Sun revolves around the Earth. Yet "Aristotle knew that Sun revolves around the ...
3
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4answers
239 views

What is the difference between cause and explanation?

I have just completed an introductory course in the philosophy of science. In it, the distinction was made between cause and explanation using the example of identities. So, for example, if we use ...
11
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4answers
567 views

Can the history of science be used to derive a philosophy of science, with regard to Kuhn's philosophy?

Was introduced to Thomas Kuhn's philosophy of science and failed to understand how and why history of science can serve for more than descriptive purposes. Further, it seems that Kuhn believes that it ...
0
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1answer
45 views

What are the two methods that philosophers use to assess such sweeping theories?

Theories: Post Modern theories of science embrace two principles: Social Reductionism: every example of theory change in science can be explained entirely in terms of the social dynamics (or ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

What are some philosophical implications of relativity?

what are the implications of relativity? does it imply for example that there is no center to spacetime? ie despite that the universe started from one point, there is no real center, every frame of ...
3
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2answers
142 views

Abduction in philosophy of science [closed]

What is abduction in philosophy of science? What could make it preferable to induction and deduction?
7
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5answers
375 views

What are some good books on phenomenology for a mathematician?

I have a background in Mathematics, and am starting to wander into the complex realm of Philosophy. I'm interested in trying to understand what is the meaning of the scientific investigation in ...
32
votes
7answers
2k views

Are Methodological Assumptions of StackExchange Fundamentally Flawed?

I looked here for an answer while writing a paper on evidence and scientific inference. I then saw the bold claims made by the website that the process goes as follows: Anybody can ask a question ...
4
votes
6answers
553 views

Recommended discussions of light and “the speed of light” in modern philosophy?

The concept of "light" described by modern physics seems, to me at least, an incomprehensible bundle of properties: a "universal constant," the "maximum speed," a "wave-particle" phenomenon, the ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

What is the philosophical position asserting that science is a mere tool for prediction?

I have heard of this philosophical position according to which science, or at least physics, does not provide us with an actual description of reality, but is a mere tool to predict the outcome of ...
1
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0answers
46 views

Can someone provide proper criticism of the author's view in this article? Since I am from east, I may be prejudiced towards his statements [closed]

Can someone provide proper criticism of the author's view in this article? Since I am from east, I may be prejudiced towards his statements ...
7
votes
2answers
360 views

What is critical rationalism?

In the philosophy of science classical rationalism equates rationality with proof and proof with Truth. What is the meaning of rather 'critical rationalism'? Is it the view advocated by Popper by ...
10
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4answers
427 views

Is geometry mathematical or scientific?

Is Euclidean geometry a mathematical theory? Or is it a scientific theory? If taking it to be a mathematical theory would it be due to having alternative geometries? If so, is it in some way related ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Faith in science [duplicate]

Is faith in science comparable to religious faith? Scientists aren't dogmatic in the sense that they review their theories whenever they are contradicted by new experiments, but still, they have faith ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

What is the underdetermination of theories in philosophy of science?

What is the underdetermination of theories in philosophy of science? Is it the lack of ability to choose between alternative scientific theories? If so how can it be that more than one theory ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

What is conventionalism in philosophy of science?

I study philosophy of science and fail to grasp the idea of conventionalism (Poincare, Duhem) that came to replace inductivism. What is the idea of conventionalism and why was it offered? What is its ...