Questions tagged [philosophy-of-science]

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

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Clarification of definitions of physical quantities

What "a measure" means in definitions? I was trying to find a proper definition of temperature and then I got into some troubles. I always thought of temperature as: Temperature = a measure ...
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Material theory of induction: why not abandon induction altogether?

John Norton defends a material theory of induction, based on the idea that universal inference schemes cannot account for the strength of inductive inferences. Whether a specific induction is good or ...
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2answers
37 views

What is it called when two theories ultimately become one theory in science?

I am trying to think of an example of scientific explanation whose scope was in fact broader than we initially thought. The idea would be the following: Initially, we used H (the explanation) to ...
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1answer
56 views

Are unfalsifiable statements valid? Two Medical Doctors met with Jesus and wrote a statement about it

I'm interested in your take on unfalsifiable statements. Please consider the following scenario: Let’s say two medical doctors living together, Bill & Janet, claims that they met “Jesus” in their ...
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1answer
142 views

Does falsifiability imply meaningfulness and what are some of the drawback of falsifiability? [duplicate]

This is a combination of basically two different questions, but they are interrelated. My first question is pretty simple. Can we equate falsifiability and meaningfulness? I think at least in the ...
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5answers
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How do rationalists justify the scientific method?

From what I understand rationalism allows some knowledge to be acquired innately, and that rationalism was created as the opposite of empiricism. Since the scientific method assumes that knowledge is ...
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110 views

Does Hume's Fork have a third prong?

If so, does it have a name? I'm especially interested in search terms that I can use for further reading. In physics, we're familiar with the distinction between "relations of ideas" and &...
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3answers
106 views

Are there examples of the narrowing scope of scientific explanations?

I am trying to think of an example of scientific explanation whose scope was in fact more limited than we initially thought. The idea would be the following: Initially, we used H (the explanation) to ...
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0answers
26 views

How can we differentiate between change and progress in the area of arts and natural sciences? [duplicate]

I'm studying a branch of philosophy, which is theory of knowledge and I need to investigate this question. I think that in art, it is difficult to say there is progress... whereas natural sciences ...
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3answers
246 views

According to Chalmers, can neuroscience resolve the “hard problem of consciousness”?

This is a question that aims to clarify Chalmers's "hard problem of consciousness". Suppose one day neuroscientists figured out how exactly to reproduce all (or virtually all) human ...
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Quine and the Myth of the Given

To give you some background details about myself: I have a deep interest in Quine's work and Naturalism in Philosophy; I have been independently studying and reading Quine's work and his relation to ...
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2answers
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Was Peirce the first to distinguish objective and subjective possibilities?

I was reading IEP article about C.S Peirce where some of his logical notations for modal logic are presented, and one them seem to make a distinction between a subjective formula and an objective one....
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1answer
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Is having “skin in the game” always beneficial in “thought and action” as Taleb seems to think?

I was skimming through the tweets about Taleb when I saw one from one of his former [friends][1] which was about Taleb's "skin of the game" that was about it say that is neither necessary ...
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4answers
248 views

Goals and benefits of the process abstraction for minds

What is the philosophical importance of abstraction in regard to philosophy of mind? People seem to use abstraction all of the time, however, can someone please bring a concrete example that ...
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115 views

Did Peirce's semiotics influence Saussure's own semiotic theory?

I am assuming that Saussure's semiotic theory came after Peirce's. Is there any indication that Saussure was aware of Peirce's theory? If not then was there any philosophical/scientific development(...
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50 views

Does Gödel believe in the existence of his rotating universe?

I am wondering whether Gödel believe ain the existence of his rotating universe since he is a mathematical Platonist. I am also wondering in what entities believe mathematical platonists. For example: ...
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16 views

What are David Lewis' perfectly natural properties?

I have read a few things on David Lewis either his papers and SEP entry etc. unfortunately I still struggle to understand lots of concepts from this philosopher. First, what are the perfectly natural ...
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1answer
36 views

If multiple hypotheses can explain the same set of facts, is it possible to tell which one is ultimately true? [duplicate]

Given a set of observable facts, let's suppose that there are multiple hypotheses compatible with those facts that can explain them. Is there any way to tell which one of these hypotheses is ...
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1answer
17 views

References on philosophical aspects of experimental design

I am an engineer working in molecular neuroscience field, hence getting exposure in both solving practical problems (how to image fish brain) and molecular bio questions (do neurons X connect to ...
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4answers
190 views

Is faith required to believe any axiomatic assumption the scientific method is built upon?

It's my understanding that the scientific method builds upon certain axiomatic assumptions, such as uniformitarianism and the principle of induction. Is faith required to believe these axiomatic ...
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2answers
81 views

What is the difference between 'sense-data' and 'facts'?

There appear to be times when philosophers use these terms 'sense-data' and 'facts' synonymously, and at other times as distinct entities. Is there philosophy that speaks to characterize the ...
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2answers
45 views

Philosophy of science: Determinism and indeterminism in statistical methods of science

A variable is modeled as a random variable in a statistical model, often without reference to the question of whether it is random in reality. For example, when the outcome of a coin flip is modeled ...
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1answer
205 views

Are holist underdetermination and contrastive underdetermination mutually exclusive in any ways?

My understanding of Quine's view of holist underdetermination and how it connects to his holist view of science is summarized well by this quote: The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, ...
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53 views

Philosophy and science [duplicate]

Is philosophy still considered as 'mother of science' nowadays? Because i don't know relevance philosophy with the term mother of science in this days. (21st Century)
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Causality, Universal and Particulars, Evolution, and Theology

In a Socratic dialogue I wrote published in issue 122 of "Philosophy Now", I have Socrates conversing with a scientist (Moe), on a park bench. Socrates has come down from the clouds to take ...
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3answers
127 views

To what extent does a hypothesis have to be testable to be regarded as scientific?

In the vein of verificationism and related to problems of falsifiability as per Karl Popper, I ask the following: Let's say hypothesis X is proposed in order to account for a certain set of observable ...
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1answer
76 views

Name for a logical fallacy: confusing measures in argumentation

I have encountered a line of reasoning in my research which seems to be fallacious. An example is if you wanted to know something about the general health of an individual, you could measure many ...
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2answers
196 views

Is there a distinction between laws of nature and laws of physics?

I have heard the terms "law of nature" and "law of physics" used interchangeably, but is there any difference between them?
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264 views

What documented justification is there for using physics to describe the nature of reality?

One of the earmarks of empirical/materialistic research and documentation is its insistence on rejecting and dismissing any subject matter that it deems irrelevant. This has always appeared to me just ...
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140 views

Occam's razor on unobserved arbitrary information

By Occam's razor, a simpler theory that could explain all the phenomena is more likely correct. But there are factors in the universe that are just random. (Even if not, we could think about a ...
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4answers
330 views

Why are theories of Greek philosophers so ineffectual?

The philosophy of science is to explain many natural phenomena with simple and least number of axioms(=hypothesis). As Albert Einstein writes in his book, The Evolution of Physics at page number 56: ...
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What's the role of logic in logical positivism?

I'm reading up on a bit of the ideas of logical positivism. It seems that the main components were the distinction of synthetic and analytic statements, and the verification principle. Without giving ...
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135 views

Should scientist be free to research anything they want? [closed]

Should scientists be free to research whatever they want, assuming it does not harm/hurt anyone or animals.
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1answer
256 views

How can we differentiate between change and progress in the area of math and ethics?

I'm studying epistemology, and I want to use reason and language as tools for carrying an investigation. How do I discuss the subjectivity inherent in change and progress, and also whether change and ...
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2answers
90 views

Are there examples of ideas that rationally-trained persons agree on?

This question is meant for a bit of fun as a comedic corollary to JDH's top-voted question, "What would it take in a book to convince a rational person that it had been written by or directly ...
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2answers
149 views

Why does a hypothesis not self-defeat under fallacy of the gaps?

I was listening to an atheism-vs-theism debate on YouTube, and the two debaters came to a disagreement when talking about God of the Gaps. Person A: "If we look at all the evidence, we can see ...
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639 views

Is this mathematical answer to randomness question philosophically satisfying?

The question was asked on this page Is there anything that is totally random? but I was not allowed to answer due to lack of reputation. Yet I wonder if my mathematical answer that follows is ...
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What is the name behind the concept of believing in God based on this logical deduction?

From my memories, there is a well defined definition / concept / name for the following: A scientist chose to believe in the Christian God because of the following logic: If God does exist, then you ...
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1answer
99 views

Why did Western Science/Philosophy “Desacralize” nature? [closed]

What I mean is, i have heard it claimed that European science and thought "Desacralized" nature in the sense taking away the mysticism and spirituality of nature. I'm thinking of Marimba Ani'...
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110 views

Why do we call “A or B Theories of Time” instead of “A or B Hypotheses of Time”?

Why do we call "A or B Theories of Time" instead of "A or B Hypotheses of Time" when the concepts are not yet proven by empirical evidence? We know, hypothesis: a supposition or ...
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4answers
193 views

How can scientific objectivity be possible in a phenomenological world?

Consider this question as a thought experiment. If human perception of the sensible world is phenomenological in nature, then all experience and apperception are fundamentally veneers or glimpses or ...
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4answers
213 views

How do we know that this is the truth? [closed]

I am not a philosophy student, academically. But I have watched a lot of videos and studied some of the content regarding the here and there philosophy of the existentialism, religion, relations of ...
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98 views

What philosophical approaches towards social philosophy and social relations do we know?

Personally I can name two scientifically oriented examples: In critical realism (M. Archer, T. Lawson, D. Elder-Vass, etc.) social relations are being studied on an intersubjective level as "an ...
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63 views

A same object being analysed by different fields of study

I've been studying Bachelard lately and I haven't been convinced by his propositions that different sciences can't study the same object. I know that "the object of a science" is not a ...
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Why is it valid to ponder if unexplained phosphine on Venus may have an biological source?

(This is my first question here and I apologize and can edit if it's out of place or formed improperly or has other issues.) The September 20, 2020 news of phosphine found in the clouds on Venus has ...
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Does postmodernism hold that science is one social narrative among many, no better or worse than any other way of knowing?

I'm reading postmodern theory, and it seems to be all allusion and beating around the bush. I'm having a hard time getting at what the foundational ideas are. One thing I have heard is that ...
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4answers
177 views

How to define truth, in the context of scientific theories

It seems that scientific theories are not infallible, since it is conceivable that they will be proven wrong (or at least partially wrong), and be replaced by better theories. Thus, they are not ...
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1answer
145 views

Did Godel consult Einstein on his work? [closed]

I have been told that Kurt Godel was among the Mathematicians that Einstein consulted on occasion in his work. Can anyone tell me if this is true or not, or if it is at least plausible? If it is ...
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Does science require the exclusion of the “infinite”?

And if so, are there any interesting implications? According to the storyline, Galileo launched modern science by declaring the necessity of rendering physical events countable. What is countable must ...
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2answers
405 views

How is spacetime as a construct defined by philosophers? [closed]

Is spacetime a construct? If spacetime is a construct, is space taken individually a construct, and is time taken individually also a construct, and time and space combined a construct? Does the ...

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