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

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Control in scientific experiment [on hold]

Very vaguely, I remember natural science experiments being described as a struggle to create / isolate / ?, some process or entity - and measure it. Does this (very vague - please do fill in the ...
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8answers
3k 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
158 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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77 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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1answer
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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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164 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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68 views

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
60 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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31 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
55 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
69 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
212 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
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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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2answers
45 views

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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104 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
268 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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38 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
54 views

“The Logic of Emotion” by Robert C. Solomon

What is this essay talking about? Did anyone read this before? Solomon thinks that emotions can be logical and he talks a lot about many kinds of emotional theories. If you have read it, would you be ...
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2answers
88 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
79 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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18 views

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
50 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
851 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
43 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
242 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
151 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
259 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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10answers
314 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
164 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
92 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
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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
71 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
77 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
131 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
62 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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26 views

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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2answers
49 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
55 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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0answers
58 views

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
101 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
389 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 ...