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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The Unreasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics in most sciences

In 1960, the physicist Eugene Wigner wrote the article "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences" explaining how unexpected it is that mathematical formalism can ...
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Is there evidence for claims that specific actions are moral due to intrinsic, objective features of those actions?

The phrase moral realism will be used to cover the idea that actions can be right or wrong, permitted or forbidden, etc. due to qualities that are internal to the objective nature of those actions. ...
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Can emotions be logical? And can logic and emotion co-exist?

Logic and emotion tend to be considered as polar opposites. When someone is empathetic or generally emotional, they are not claimed to be logical. The parts of the brain responsible for logic and ...
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Does time have a changing speed?

Based on my own personal experiences and responses from other people I have questioned time is more than numbers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that it is a fact that pleasure speeds up ...
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5 answers
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Can hatred and retribution be justified and rationalized without free will?

Without free will, our behaviour would be no different from any other natural phenomenon, Sam Harris and other determinists claim: https://imgur.com/bIrWOJI “Compare the response to Hurricane Katrina,...
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"You never know until you try"?

Is it not possible to know our preferences for sure until we try? Do we have to try eating things to know whether or not we actually dislike the foods? Where does this saying stop? Do we have to try e....
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We know Classical Mechanics is wrong. But can we also say every other theory is wrong except the Theory of Everything?

Classical Mechanics (CM) or Quantum Mechanics (QM) is technically wrong. That doesn't mean they are irrelevant or have less significance, but they are wrong regardless of how accurate they are. Can we ...
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Is it ever appropriate to say a phenomenon is unexplainable?

Scientific research involves the investigation of difficult problems, and constantly tries to explain the unknown through observations and logical reasoning. Take a situation like finding a cure for ...
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A new way to answer "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

So, this is not going to be an answer, but rather a viewpoint that demands heavy questions. For a second, forget about the question and come to dreaming. In a dream, through personal experiences, I ...
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Does causation exist?

It is often claimed that radioactivity, virtual particles popping in and out of existence, quantum mechanics, etc have no causes. That at the level of fundamental physics, causes and effects are ...
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On the connection between science and reality

My question is basically targetting various sciences that we use to understnad the real world and how we form laws in them. For example, in physics, we first see sometthing in the real world. Let it ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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On physical existence. Do virtual particles of QFT exist?

Existence is a polysemic and difficult word to define. Almost certainly numbers (and other well-defined mathematical objects) exist in a different way than a real physical object (the chair I sit in, ...
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Proper Philosophical Texts on the Philosophy of Science

I am a college freshman majoring in Philosophy and Physics. I am interested in the Philosophy of Physics, but before that, I would like to get an idea of general philosophical issues in the sciences. ...
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6 answers
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What is the difference between a Belief and Truth

I was interested in the definition of truth, i followed this post What is the difference between Fact and Truth? what I understood is that truth is anything I believe in or appears to be accurate ...
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Difference between Truth and Fact [duplicate]

I was interested in the difference between truth and fact. For me, truth is a belief that appears to be from a perspective. and a fact is an undeniable reality. Is this way of thinking correct? How ...
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Is gravity a natural manifestation of universal egoism? [closed]

What bothers me is the possibility that egoism could be an intrinsic trait of existence in general. So we have gravity whereby masses pull each other towards themselves. An objection could be that ...
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What's the justification for holding concrete more than abstractions?

What are the justications that make concrete more real or more important than abstractions like ideas and thoughts?
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Paradoxes never exist in nature, so why does the grandfather's paradox make sense in physics?

Paradoxes don't exist in nature, so why does the grandfather paradox make sense in physics? This question has no mathematical or physical answer and can only have a philosophical answer. Seemingly ...
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1 answer
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Why is a child not a mere extension of their "parent(s)"?

If "reproduction" were an organism replicating and making a copy of itself, how is a child/offspring not a mere extension of the "parent(s)"? In humans, the human child/offspring ...
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When does something cease to exist?

For humans, legally speaking, someone who's "brain dead" is confirmed to have ceased to exist. But what about philosophically speaking? What makes someone who they are? If we are our bodies, ...
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Is it possible to reconcile post-structuralism with the scientific method?

Post-structuralist thought seems, to me, to be quite hard to argue with as a concept. Clearly, we understand the world through language, which both stems from culture, loading concepts with cultural ...
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Does consent exist? [closed]

If we are our bodies and nothing else?
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Does modern science and physics support solipsism?

Does modern physics and science support solipsism? Does modern physics and science have any evidence that solipsism is true? Do physicists and scientists support solipsism?
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Understanding the nature of units of measurement

In the world we deal with concrete 'unit' quantities, the 'units' are very concrete, ten pencils, for example we can tell the difference between one pencil and another and we can also trace and ...
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2 answers
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What does philosophy of science say about an example that "supports" a hypothesis but at the same time seriously undermines it?

A hypothesis can be seriously weakened by an example that supports it. Assumption: No one can be taller than 9 feet. Example: There is a person who is 8 feet 1 inch tall". The discovery of such a ...
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When does 'number' become 'quantity'?

Numbers themselves are simply conceptual objects, but when does number become a quantity? Is the 'cardinality' of a set a 'quantity'? it is a count but we represent it with just a number that we ...
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Can dysfunctional objects preserve their identities?

There is a claim that dysfunctional objects no longer belong to a specific category. For instance: eyes are pairs of globular organs of sight. An eye is an object that sees. An eye that ceases to be ...
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What are the philosophical solutions to "ship of Theseus" problem of identity?

Ship of Theseus is a thought experiment in which every piece of a ship kept in a harbor is replaced one at a time. The questions are: would the end result be the same ship or a new ship? If it is not ...
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Can categories be objective rather than socially constructed?

There are claims that categories are socially constructed and subjective. For example: "there's no such thing as specie or life. They are socially constructed"* Are there philosophies in ...
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Can functions and dysfunctions exist without teleology?

I feel as if something such as "the heart evolved to beat and pump blood" or "the function of the heart is to beat and pump blood" relies on the teleological belief that organs ...
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Ontology of quantities and Zero quantities

How does the ontological status of quantities allow us to discuss the empty value (0) of a given quantity? For example, we may say that there is 'no distance' between two points but may also say that '...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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How can non-existence be caused?

If something didn't exist and came to exist at some point; it will cease to exist at some point. Things come from non-existence and return to the non-existence they came from so how can "non-...
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What is meant by a more "general" theory?

It is often said that special relativity is more general than Newtonian mechanics. Is there any precise meaning of what is meant by more "general"? I would consider a theory A more general ...
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What is the last definition of "science"? what is its difference with knowledge?

I want to know is there a unite definition of "science"? my guess is "NO"! What do philosophers means by science that they can't define it? what is its difference with knowledge?
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What does "unnatural" mean?

If humans are part of nature; everything that we do is as natural as birds building nests. So why is a bird's nest considered natural while a human's building is considered unnatural? Don't human-made ...
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Do the limitations of science prevent the creation of only one true version of science?

I was recently intrigued by the following comment made by Ricky Gervais in this discussion with Stephen Colbert (Timestamp: 3:50). If we took every science book, right, and every fact and destroyed ...
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Have the indispensability arguments been examined for probability theory?

Indispensability arguments are widely known in the philosophy of mathematics, the idea being (roughly) that we should commit to the existence of those mathematical entities that are indispensable for ...
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2 answers
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Does science blind itself by validating theories using just equations

The theory of general relativity has a lot of math to say the least. It is one of the most successful theories that mankind has ever made. And yet we still don't know how gravity works. sure we have ...
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Can a backwards infinite regress account for its own existence?

Suppose we have a domain of discourse D with an infinite collection of elements, and suppose that it is the case that the existence of each element x is dependent upon another element y (or collection ...
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Subatomic particles and Freud’s subconscious entities

I am thinking about Freud’s id and super-ego and wondered about their scientific aspects. You might then say that although these entities cannot be observed and therefore don't exist in some sense, ...
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10 answers
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The problem of Motion

I recently heard that motion, the observation that things move, or rather change, was considered a real philosophical problem. What is the status of that question? Can someone e point me to an essay ...
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Can reincarnation be proved using a mixture of scientific reasoning and philosophical belief?

Let's go through the logic first. The following statements are suppositions that must be chronologically accepted. Matter is neither created nor destroyed. Matter is made up of atoms. I am made up of ...
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5 answers
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Do breakthroughs in mathematics lead to breakthroughs in other scientific disciplines, vice versa, both, or is there no relationship?

I asked this question in the Mathematics StackExchange, but I was told it might be better posted here in the Philosophy StackExchange. I heard a professor say once that Einstein's mathematics led him ...
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Can a copy of something be more than a mere extension of that thing?

If something named A is copied, and we name the copy B, is it philosophically correct to argue B is not A and A is not B? That A is not in two places at once just because it has a carbon copy?
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How can something have a "beginning"?

Everything comes from pre-existing materials. Not nothing. If so, where and when does something begin to exist? How can "creation" make sense if something comes from something, and not ...
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Existence of Time in void

In perfect void can we define time? Does time make any sense in absence of events? Is time related to event? For instance we use Cesium atom's frequencies as measure for one second but if there is ...
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2 answers
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How can "life" begin at "conception"?

If the cells that come together and develop into a fetus are "alive" and "living", how can "life" begin at "conception"? "Life" began billions of ...
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Scientifically is fate pre-written?

Thermodynamics state that when a event will start and when will it end! Kinetics define how quick the process will end will it forever or finish within blink of eye is kinetically pre-defined. ...
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Are there secular, mind-independent morals and values?

A mind-independent morality is one that applies to all species. It is not dependent on humanity, consciousness and opinions. Ignorance and lack of awareness would not affect the immorality of an ...
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How can objects and categories be mind-independent?

Everything is made of the atoms that make everything else. That means everything has the potential to be broken down and turned into everything else. For instance, a "table" can be broken ...
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