Are there questions that science can't answer, but philosophy can? I can't think of any such questions. But, perhaps there are such questions. I would like some examples. Note, such questions have to satisfy both clauses: 1) Science can't answer it but 2)Philosophy can answer it.
Yes if by answer you mean attempt to answer. But no if by answer you mean finding the correct answer.
There are some questions that arguably have answers. Those can be answered by science or atleast arguably help us get closer to the truth. There are others that don’t have a correct answer. Those can’t be answered by philosophy in general including science, where the latter is a subset of the former.
Let’s take the example of ethics. Science can’t tell you why you should do X or Y. But neither can philosophy outside of science. You can’t get an ought from an is.
Scientists don’t pretend to have the answer to questions that can’t be answered such as moral questions or when one is justified to believe X. There is no correct answer to either of these so scientists stay quiet.
Arguably, to the dismay of perhaps some here, philosophers do pretend to have these answers. They are no more qualified in answering these questions than an engineer or doctor or anyone else, believe it or not. Every justification for any position deals with the problem of regress and having foundational assumptions that can’t be justified non circularly. This applies to every human, philosopher or not.
Science can't answer ethical questions (though it might provide useful input). For example science can tell us why we love and care for our children (evolution giving rise to instinctive behaviour which improve propagation genes to future generations), but it can't tell us why we should (the main thing about being human is that we are not complete slaves to our evolutionary inheritance, we can make a deliberate choice to go against our all too human nature - generally that is for the better, but this would be an example where it would be a bad thing).
"What should I do about climate change?" is another question science can't answer. Science can tell us the likely outcome of different causes of action, but which is best is a matter of economics, politics and ethics. For instance how much suffering is it O.K. to offload onto future generations to maintain lifestyles now (which is called "discounting"). Should I take action to benefit me personally and be selfish, or should I consider the needs of society (or some compromise in the middle)? That is about personal values, and science can't help us with that.
Philosophy can answer these questions, for instance if I assume I am not in an ethically privileged position then it would be inconsistent with my beliefs to ignore the "Golden rule" (treat others in the way you would want to be treated in their position). So as I would want to be loved and cared for as a child, it is incumbent on me to love and care for mine.
The premise of this question is incorrect, in basically all particulars. It is a statement of scientism, which has not been self-examined by looking for falsifications to the asker's preferred scientistic worldview.
Science cannot establish the methodology of how to do science, that is done by philosophy. Science cannot establish a metric of goodness for a scientific study, that is done by philosophy. Science cannot identify ANY objective to pursue in one's life, including for a scientific investigation. That is generally done at a much lower level of intuition, in pre-philosophic motivations. Philosophy provides the methodology to evaluate, question and possibly change one's intuited objectives.
We humans have a wide range of subjects and questions we must answer in order to live successfully in this world. We have a range of skills that we have developed to try to answer those questions. The core methodologies are intuition, reasoning, and empiricism, and these are applied in different degrees to different questions. How to think about how to answer our multitudes of problems and questions is -- explicitly in the realm of philosophy.
One of those methodologies is the scientific process, which uses a formal empirical methodology, supplemented by deductive reasoning, and intuition to develop hypotheses. Unlike the presumption of this question, science does not provide certainty. It instead is the most precise of our empirical methodologies.
In addition to science, we use empiricism in a much less formal way to do most of our interaction with the world. Informal empiricism, operating in the first person not the 3rd person, is how we developed our world model, our belief in other minds, all practical movement and crafting skills, etc. For a simple example, how one realizes where one is when one wakes in the morning, and what to do next, is entirely based on informal first person empiricism, not science.
Engineering is an intermediate set of empirical skills that cannot satisfy the formalism of science, but is not as loose as informal empiricism.
Both mathematics, and logic, are non-science fields. Logic is a subset of philosophy, so it too provides answers that science cannot.
There are other fields of knowledge that are intrinsically not amenable to science, and are more wholistic and intuitive than pure empiricism can address. These include the humanities of history, literary theory and criticism, comparative mythology, etc. It also includes the fine arts: acting, theater, sculpture, pictorial art, architecture, landscaping, etc. are methods to communicate and affect people that cannot be characterized scientifically, or even fully characterized empirically, as we have no currently plausible method to pursue any of these without significant elements of intuition and holism within them.
And ultimately, values and goals cannot be set scientifically. Morality, ethics, these are philosophic questions.
Note that NONE of these methodologies provides certainty. Within each of these fields, one can dispute basically every question. And how to address that -- is a philosophic question.
Yes there are such questions. I agree with the answer of @Dikran Marsupial.
Adding to his/her answer I want to point out the following distinction between answers from science and answers from ethics, the latter considered a typical philosophical domain:
Science bases its answers on facts, while ethics bases its answers on norms. A scientific claim is an indicative (= it is), while an ethical claim is an imperative (= it ought to be). Therefore scientific explanations can be confirmed as right or wrong. While ethical norms can be confirmed as targeted-aimed or misleading in the light of a fixed goal.
Many of the "Philosophy of ..." disciplines cut straight to the heart of this question, such as the philosophy of mathematics or (ironically) the philosophy of science.
For example, science cannot answer the question resolved by Turing's Halting Problem or Godel's incompleteness theorem. They are resolved from the logical application of axioms, not from subjecting a hypothesis to empirical scrutiny. For that matter, modern scientific practice with its P values and effect sizes makes extensive use of probability, but the very questions of "What is probability?" and "What is the relationship between Bayesianism or Frequentialism?" are fundamentally philosophical questions.
As a pragmatic implication, there is a serious problem with the presumption that science is the only worthwhile route to truth. For example, a terrifying number of people have enough mathematical training to know how to calculate a P value, but don't have the epistemological depth to know what that means beyond "The magic number I need to get my paper published." On this one, as it happens, science can spot that its standard practices didn't actually work by measuring the number of papers which fall down under replication attempts. It has finally done so, after much pain and waste. That's why there is finally discussion about the replication crisis and people get warned against things like "p hacking". But even now, to understand why the problem occurs, they have to turn to philosophy.
The claims that everyone is as good at philosophy as everyone else and that only science can be true are both vacuous nonsense. There is very much disagreement in philosophy, and for people who need consensus this can be very unsettling. Does that mean we only know scientific facts? I don't think so.
On a more serious note, the Wikipedia article Outline of Philosophy mentions the fundamental branches of traditional Western philosophy:
- Aesthetics (what is art and beauty);
- Epistemology (what can we know);
- Ethics (what should we do);
- and Logic (how should we reason).
Of these, surely Aesthetics and Ethics are outside the realm of science. There are, for sure, overlaps (e.g. game theory in Ethics, physiology of perception in Aesthetics) but the fundamental questions are not scientific (in the sense of nature sciences).
A more principled discussion might be in order here: I'd contend that "human condition" and "human culture", fuzzy as the terms may be, are emergent phenomena. Even if we say that humans are essentially complex natural phenomena which strictly follow the laws of nature (which in particular implies the absence of gods and "soul" as something not based in ordinary matter): Even if we do that, natural science is not the right tool to investigate the emergent complexity of humanity. It is as if one tried to use quantum physics to analyze a chess game. Yes, the figures are all condensed matter etc., but that is not what we are interested in here, and the approach misses the point.
Yes, we are all carbon, but that does not determine what we consider beautiful.
Philosophy, by nature, deals with questions outside the realm of where there are settled, reliable, widely accepted answers. All philosophical questions are unsolved and/or controversial, by definition.
If a philosopher does definitively solve a question, it passes out of the realm of philosophy. All sciences originate in solved philosophies.
So the original question misunderstands the relationship of science and philosophy. They are different kinds of inquiry, and one leads to the other. There are no current questions that philosophy has a solution to that science lacks, but future sciences might yet be born from work philosophers are doing today.
There is no reasonable (e.g. not already ruled out by physics) question science can't potentially answer, but there are questions that it can't answer right now, which philosophy might do better at for the moment. So the answer to the question is it's not really needed in the first place.
What's telling about the other responses is that certain fields are considered outside the realm of science. This is due to social sciences being somehow separated from natural sciences, as if humans don't obey scientific laws. So the social sciences are regarded as somewhat pseudo-sciences. Morals and ethics are just what people want, that comes from their evolution, and balanced out with what others want (i.e. the golden rule). Humans are gregarious and co-dependent, thus ostracism is an extreme measure, basically a death penalty in human history. But a bear is fine doing so. Even neanderthals show evidence of taking care of disabled people. But there is a balance of how much people tend to do for each other.
Science can tell people what they should do in some cases already, like if they want to have electricity in a home, they should wire things up as required. The reason science doesn't tell people what they should do in society is precisely because social sciences aren't real sciences. Economics, politics, ethics, social psychology, and others, are not treated fully as real sciences, they work to make people cope with how things are, not how they should be, i.e. what people want. So the golden rule can't be applied at a societal level, not because science can't answer that, but because it's being prevented from doing so. Science is biased to what humans need. But if people don't put resources into science figuring out what people need, science can't advance. Science is evidence based, theories (ultimately based on math) only explain evidence that is already accepted. Hypotheses are just hypotheses.
Society is an optimization problem where incentives need to be created that encourage better conditions for all, what should be produced, what people should work on, what resources to use. It's the only way for humans to all thrive in the long run. Is there a risk humans are too lazy? No, this goes against basic evolution, no animal is evolved to be excessively lazy. Though some are more lazier than others, no species ever died out from laziness.
Is there any social science theory as of now to build off of? Yes, at least one. Enough evidence is there. How do people share a piece of cake? One cuts, the other chooses. This optimizes fairness and satisfaction, and most likely and even cut. So to apply this on a societal level, whoever chooses how resources are divided gets the last choice and portion of the resources. Then they would have an incentive to put resources into social sciences, because they would want to improve things for themselves to a livable standard, and everyone else would be as good off.
To think humans can live together well without real social science would be like thinking they could get to the moon without science. Is is possible to throw things in a pile until a random rocket ship is made? For anyone who did the calculation on whether computer chips writing random letters, filling up the universe since the start of time (instead of, say, monkeys with typewriters), would have a good chance of writing a sentence of Shakespeare, the answer is no.
What incentives do we have now? Acquire more for oneself, lest one becomes someone who struggles to get by. Societal problems are a byproduct of that. Scientific discoveries on how to share could fix them.
Yes. Why? Science is not interested in the reason behind F = ma. As who studied science (astrophysics) I think that if you ask "why", science will fall short always.
-"why is the force igual to the mass time the acceleration? (with constant mass)"
-"because thats what experiments show"
-"yeah, but why?"