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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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Ultimate goal of science?

Sorry if I seem to be redundant about this or if my exposition is not clear enough. May you help me clarify about what to rationally expect for the 'final explanation' that science could give us when ...
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51 views

Can anyone explain the concept of “being-thus”?

I was reading a letter from Einstein to Max Born that says something like this: It is further characteristic of these physical objects that they are thought of as arranged in a space-time ...
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1answer
41 views

Can a different universe be built with three dimensions? [on hold]

Can you theoretically create a universe that will have the same dimensions but will look different? For example, a paper that has a limit, or another similar dimension can it be different?
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23 views

Introducing some sources about the meaning of life in science

Can someone introduce me some books of great scientists (especially physicists) about the philosophy of life or meaning of life?
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47 views

What are the accomplishments of critical theory vs. logical positivism

Coming from a natural science viewpoint I find that logical positivism is much more important for scientific research than is critical theory. I've read the critics/flaws of logical positivism and ...
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1answer
24 views

Is there any correlation between Quine’s underdetermination and bayesian issues of old evidence and new theories?

Bayesianism has some faults some of them are the problem of old evidence and the issue of new theories. Are these two problems linked to Quine’s underdetermination? Or are they contrasting it? What is ...
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1answer
77 views

Do we really know that the laws of physics are consistent with our observations?

The question of whether your observations are consistent with the laws of physics is pretty much a mathematically defined question. To say that the laws of physics are consistent with your ...
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3answers
65 views

Albert Camus's thoughts on Science in the “Myth of Sisyphus”

I am not able to completely comprehend his thoughts on science from the below excerpts from The Myth of Sisyphus. I would appreciate insights. And here are trees and I know their gnarled surface, ...
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78 views

Quine, subjective probability and QM

I have just read Confessions of a Confirmed Extensionalist where Quine says: “Probability? Of events? Restore extensionality (...). Of states of affairs? Treat quotationally, like de dicto. How much ...
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2answers
68 views

Can shapes be relative from different perspectives? [closed]

Can a material thing (being) have different shapes at the same time? I mean, can the sun be circular and quadratic at the same time? And can it be just as material. To simplify the question. Can a ...
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1answer
73 views

Must an analysis of Being precede the positive sciences?

In the first few pages of Being and Time Heidegger writes: such an inquiry [into foundations]... still needs a guideline... it remains naive and opaque if... it leaves the meaning of being in ...
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0answers
26 views

Probabilistic, indeterministic and random in QM

This is a question about terminology used in QM since I need to clarify this aspect. Is “probabilistic” a synonym of “indeterministic”? And in case they are not synonyms, what do they exactly mean? ...
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3answers
120 views

Testing scientific theories inside a simulated universe

The background of my question relies on the following points. Quine-Duhem thesis: it is difficult to test a theory with an experiment, because the test would rely on other theories. The discussion of ...
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3answers
105 views

Probability calculus and Quantum Mechanics [closed]

I am not an expert and probably this question highlights this. Anyway, is the probability calculus used in Quantum Mechanics? Does the concept of probability adopted in Quantum Mechanics satisfy the ...
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0answers
75 views

Distributions of outcomes in Quantum Mechanics

I have read an answer here about the probabilistic nature of QM and I am curious about why QM is able to predict only distributions of outcomes of an experiment. To be clearer, is QM’s inability of ...
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1answer
80 views

What is Wittgenstein referring to in 4.113

Philosophy limits the disputable sphere of natural science Does this refer to the demarcation problem (what is natural science) or occam's razor (what is the best explanation)? Or is it meant ...
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4answers
2k views

What does this Jacques Hadamard quote mean?

What does this Jacques Hadamard quote mean? The shortest path between two truths in the real domain passes through the complex domain. Is this a philosophical statement? what is its mathematical ...
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1answer
85 views

What justified consciousness is an experience and not an thing? [closed]

No philosophers has justified that consciousnesses can be measured. Many philosophers have tried to describe the mind, but are there any specific scholars who describe justified methods to describe ...
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2answers
118 views

Is skepticism a contentious issue? [closed]

I haven’t thought much about the application of the idea ‘skepticism’ since the first year of my philosophy program, because it had already been sorted out to my satisfaction and the satisfaction of ...
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0answers
52 views

How is justification related to truth?

We all learned to believe in true belief; some of us don’t anymore. I’ve found that better ideas are available to us if we don’t. Some ideas are better (better justified by evidence and logic) than ...
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1answer
53 views

Ontology of space/time

Are space and/or time considered abstract objects or concrete objects? They seem causally inert yet more real than the typical abstract objects we think of.
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2answers
64 views

Does natural science assume indirect realism?

The wiki on Direct and Indirect Realism seems to claim that indirect realism is part of natural science. The wiki defines indirect realism as follows: indirect or representative realism [is] the ...
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1answer
141 views

Why Quantum Mechanics states that nature is probabilistic? [duplicate]

I am new here and I am studying the philosophical implications of Quantum Mechanics. I read somewhere that QM and determinism are mutually exclusive and that QM involve a number of philosophers to ...
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4answers
157 views

What's the role of certainty in discussions about philosophical positions?

Karl Popper was one of the twentieth century’s preeminent philosophers of science. He was an avowed realist who was dedicated to the correspondence theory of truth. In his seventh decade of life, ...
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3answers
137 views

Is fallibilism a better option than absolute certainty?

Fallibilism is the epistemological thesis that no belief (theory, view, thesis, and so on) can ever be rationally supported or justified in a conclusive way. Always, there remains a possible doubt as ...
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6answers
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Falsification in Math vs Science

In the beginning it was thought that the statement 1+1=0 is false, and necessarily so. However, with the birth of modular arithmetic, it was found that indeed, 1+1 does indeed equal to 0 (in the mod 2 ...
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1answer
118 views

How should “knowledgeability” be defined? Is it merely w.r.t. to best scientific knowledge? [closed]

How should "knowledgeability" be defined? Is it merely w.r.t. to best scientific knowledge? What about things that science cannot measure? Or are there other "reasonable" forms of knowledge? Why ...
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3answers
161 views

The tree of knowledge

A group of scientists come into a hostel and start studying people's behaviour. They create subgroups sorting by countries, jobs, habits, and so on; build models to predict whether someone is up to ...
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4answers
199 views

Does evolution always entail progress?

It was Darwin who first introduced the concept of Evolution in his Evolution Theory. However, whenever he and in general people speak about Evolution, I always have the feeling that they connote it ...
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2answers
101 views

Does linguistic idealism imply scientific anti-realism, and are any existentialists committed to anti-realism for that reason?

Does linguistic idealism imply scientific anti-realism? By scientific anti-realism I mean the opinion that the unobservable world we study with science is not real, not mind independent. By ...
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1answer
109 views

Is there a world behind you when you do not look behind your back? [closed]

There is a very famous philosophical question that almost all of us have heard before: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? My question is a little ...
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0answers
59 views

What were Hegel's criticisms of Newton?

I recently read this thread THREAD describing the relationship between Hegel and Newton. Apparently, Hegel misread Newton's principia, and criticized a specific point of science on Newton. This is ...
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0answers
125 views

Which kinds of academic revolutions has philosophy of science indentified so far and when?

Recently, I had an interdisciplinary discussion with some friends about Industry 4.0, internet of things,...which brought up the question, which kind of academic revolutions apart from industrial ...
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0answers
57 views

Why do there exist “logical fallacies” that are not really consistent logical fallacies?

Why do there exist "logical fallacies" that are not really consistent logical fallacies? By logical fallacy, consider e.g. ad hominem. By consistent logical fallacy I refer to a type of logical ...
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1answer
88 views

Could generalization of scientific theories be possible by just adding an ad hoc hypothesis?

In a seventeenth century world the Newtonian model did mostly very well to describe how gravity works in the universe and did well with most empirical evidence of that time. Of course now we know that ...
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2answers
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Is “Societal Science” impossible?

Is "Societal Science" impossible? Social science one can understand as dealing with more concrete groups, but to suggest that someone can study and predict societies sounds absurd. Also, it seems ...
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2answers
67 views

Is the idea of potential energy (from physics) influenced by the idea of potentiality found in Aristotelian metaphysics?

Aside from the common usage of the term 'potential,' was the development of the idea of potential energy influenced by the Aristotelian idea of potentiality and actuality, at least historically? ...
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3answers
169 views

Are we seeing useless physics today [closed]

Are we seeing useless physics today? By useless physics I refer to for example the study of multiverse(s): it is useless because there is no use for it to mankind - except that there are physicists ...
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1answer
315 views

What is the relevance of applicability to the natural sciences in pure mathematics?

I think I am coming to a good, new understanding of the relationship of pure mathematics to the natural sciences. A major concern of mine is just how reliable is rigorous (characteristically "pure") ...
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6answers
136 views

Can a theory that is now wrong be right in the future?

For example we take as granted that energy is conserved (Energy conservation Principle). Imagine someone “build” a theory where the energy conservation doesnt apply. Scientific community should reject ...
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4answers
132 views

Would philosophy still exist if there was no life? [closed]

Would philosophy still exist without life? For example, for us humans, philosophy answers big questions and sort of governs society. But is philosophy something that would exist without life? On this ...
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1answer
183 views

Can our universe be a pocket in a bigger unseen eternal universe?

Taking time as a fourth dimension is due to Einstein because of the speed of light being fixed. But why should such a finding have so important consequence on our philosophical contemplation of ...
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1answer
66 views

Are paradigms still the driving force of scientific revolution?

I read long time ago about Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn's demonstrate that scientific paradigms are the driving force that makes science go on, but more for social reasons than ...
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Is there a philosophical position for and against the idea that every causal entity contributes to every effect?

Is there a philosophical position for and against the idea that every causal entity can in principle contribute to every effect? So do some e.g. physical explanations claim that entities of type X ...
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3answers
98 views

If the universe is flat, how can the Earth be round? [closed]

Just another silly question that may deserve a wise answer.
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261 views

Are the “laws” of deductive logic empirically verifiable?

"Is Logic Empirical?" strongly suggests a question that I would like very much to get a handle on. That phrase is a title of an article by Hilary Putnam, and, according to synopses/reviews, the ...
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6answers
277 views

What are examples of causes that do not require energy to produce an effect?

As a comment to an answer Conifold mentioned that "Causes may not require any energy to produce the effect". After thinking about that, I couldn't come up with any such causes outside of metaphysical ...
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191 views

Philosophy of Physics/Mathematics PhD with Mathematics/Physics undergrad (no philosophy undergrad)

I've found that I'm really interested in some research in the philosophy of mathematics and physics that's currently happening at various institutions. However, I don't have much experience in ...
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4answers
265 views

Where is the line between Quantum Mechanics and Relativity?

I've asked the question below on Physics SE but it seems an answer may not be straight forward... Question: Is there any answers from Epistemology or philosophy-of-science? Its often said QM is ...
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1answer
44 views

Null Hypothesis Appearing in Everyday Life [closed]

What are examples of a Null Hypothesis we use in everyday life but do not recognize?