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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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What is intention?

Recently, I asked A, "Can LLMs have intention?". But I'm Sorry that the word "intention" is not clearly defined in my first post. When I think about it, I realize I get confused, ...
Shriman Keshri's user avatar
6 votes
8 answers
2k views

Are there good examples of regular life being theory-laden?

There is a theory of science that says that observations are not independent of our theories. What we observe and what observations we consider relevant depends on how we conceive of what is going on. ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
771 views

Is it epistemologically self-consistent to use the scientific method to justify some beliefs and non-scientific justifications for others?

Let’s call B(p) the set of all beliefs a person p holds. We can denote S(B(p)) as the subset of beliefs held by p for which they can provide a scientific justification, and NS(B(p)) as the set B(p) ...
Mark's user avatar
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0 votes
8 answers
659 views

If the supernatural were real, would we be able to study it scientifically?

Hypothetically, if there were a supernatural realm, would it be reasonable to expect that we would be able to study it using the scientific method? On the other hand, is it possible that the ...
Mark's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
102 views

Should entities only percievable through microscopes be considered unobservables?

The Wikipedia page on unobservables states that: There is considerable disagreement about which objects should be classified as unobservable, for example, whether bacteria studied using microscopes ...
edelex's user avatar
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2 votes
8 answers
2k views

Is parapsychology a science?

The Journal of Parapsychology is a biannual peer-reviewed academic journal covering research on psi phenomena, including telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis, as well as human ...
Mark's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
136 views

What happened to the science of wisdom? [closed]

"At one time philosophy was the central intellectual discipline, now it is peripheral. Few care about the ‘latest developments’ in philosophy. Some might say there are none: that philosophy ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
92 views

Are explanations entailments?

Some philosophers say that explanations involve an entailment relation, that is if X explains Y then that means that X entails Y. Is this a valid way of understanding explanations? If not, what does ...
Bob's user avatar
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2 votes
6 answers
580 views

Is the B-theory of time only compatible with an infinitely renewing cyclical reality?

I'm not a mathematician and I may be misunderstanding some aspects of this concept. According to the B-theory of time, the flow of time is an illusion, and every point in time exists equally. If this ...
Blaxium's user avatar
  • 21
5 votes
1 answer
42 views

Is there any reference about critical rationalism with respect to historiography?

I am interested in history of the science and mathematics, and I wonder whether critical rationalism was ever suggested as a method by which to do history of the sciences or mathematics? Does it even ...
SAFI's user avatar
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7 votes
14 answers
2k views

Physical reality of physics properties

Is there an argument for the physical reality of physics properties? What I mean is the following: take force as an example. Suppose a tractor is pulling a plow with the same force as a nearby shed ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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What is the relation between the uniformity of nature and determinism?

I read about Hume's argument that the uniformity of nature is a necessary condition for inductive reasoning to be valid, but we only have inductive reasons for believing in the uniformity in the first ...
dnaik's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Presentism in Light of Relativity — It's About Time I Asked This Here

I've got a follow up question to Esmond's Does time exist if everything is in the present? and it goes like this: According to presentism, only the present moment exists. But, according to Einstein's ...
nir's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
638 views

Does time exist if everything is in the present?

In the philosophical concept of presentism, it is posited that only the present exists. The past and future do not exist. This leads me to the thought : if everything is in the present, then does time,...
Esmond's user avatar
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0 answers
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Sheldrake's Fields as Formal Causes

Why do we not consider fields as formal causes, especially in light of Rupert Sheldrake's analysis of morphogenetic fields? How does Sheldrake's hypothesis of formative causation challenge our ...
Paradox Lost's user avatar
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0 votes
4 answers
119 views

Can "Chance" be considered a metaphysic answer to the question of why evolution and similar happen to be? [closed]

So in the realm of evolution, abiogenesis but also Big Bang etc. I often get the explanation that these things happen by chance. E.g. in evolution, there is the assertion that random mutations are ...
telion's user avatar
  • 249
2 votes
8 answers
2k views

What sorts of beliefs can be justified non-scientifically?

Can I be justified in believing in a proposition X through a justification that doesn't meet the standards of the scientific method? What sorts of beliefs would be justifiable in this way (non-...
Mark's user avatar
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6 answers
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Why is time, when viewed objectively, in reverse from when it's viewed subjectively?

Consider the following sentence: (Example A) "We need to go into the future and away from the past." Every physicist sees time like Example A. The observer is moving towards some point in ...
Fomalhaut's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
80 views

Is science an emergent phenomenon? [closed]

I often wonder if science is never-ending and the universe is finite or infinite in complexity. But perhaps, the universe and the scientific observations are infinite because science is an emergent ...
Max's user avatar
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1 vote
6 answers
654 views

Are there non-scientific ways to have a justified belief in levitation?

Levitation, as a paranormal phenomenon, has been reported more than once. For instance, it is not totally uncommon to hear about reports of levitation among exorcists (e.g., see these sources). Is it ...
Mark's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
486 views

How do you respond to this common critique of American Pragmatism?

I frequently argue the virtues of anti-epistemological pragmatism(neopragmatism) with people who hold more traditional epistemological views. The most common argument that I hear is: Well, if we take ...
Dylar's user avatar
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9 votes
6 answers
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Does Popper's falsifiability criterion hold any utility?

I understand that Popper's falsifiability criterion is meant to demarcate science from pseudoscience. But, is that all one can expect from it? I mean I do not care about science, but the values it ...
FirstAxiom's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
858 views

What were the reactions to Hume's problem of induction from scientists practicing in the field?

I'm well aware of all the discussion in the field of philosophy of science spurred by Hume's formulation of the problem of induction: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/ My question ...
Francesco Ghizzo's user avatar
14 votes
9 answers
3k views

Is science value-free?

Some people, like Sam Harris, say that science has values of its own. According to him, even a statement like "Water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen" is value-laden. But I don't ...
user107952's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Does the philosophy of data analysis exist?

Is there such a field as "philosophy of data analysis"? Questions that are of interest to me are What are the distinctive features of data analysis as opposed to other elements of ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 541
3 votes
4 answers
70 views

Does any interaction necessarily imply emergence in physics and chemistry?

I would prefer to limit the discussion by the fields of classical (not quantum) physics as well as chemistry. I wonder if the concepts of «emergence» and «emergent properties» bring anything new into ...
S. N.'s user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
55 views

How does dialectical causality work in practice?

I'm currently reading Evan Thompson's Mind in Life (2007). He was a collaborator of Fransisco Varela on Autopoiesis so he expands it from biological forms to, ultimately, cognitive science. It's an ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
47 views

Is consciousness a means of our species or a consequence of accumulated knowledge? [closed]

Consciousness for me is you being conscious of being in a body. It separates from the human body, for me, consciousness is the "being" of the "human being". So, is it a means of ...
Augosto's user avatar
  • 59
2 votes
2 answers
141 views

Nature of objects and their location in space [closed]

Suppose we know that there is a pointlike object moving around in space. We want to know or measure it's location, so we attempt to find the object. This is done my looking around. We get a point ...
Location's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
43 views

Are all the “needs and wants” of the universe already thought of?

Technology is always progressing and science appears to be bottomless. But is there a limit to the needs and wants of a living being? Our ancient ancestors weren’t that much different than us. I’m ...
Max's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
598 views

Are there any philosophies related to different structures of organization of information?

I am interested to explore different ways to organize information, for example in different libraries and archives or even museum. And I wonder whether there are philosophies that discuss the ...
SAFI's user avatar
  • 741
-3 votes
3 answers
257 views

A question about the Notion of Limits in Mathematics [closed]

When we say ( Lim{x → x0} f(x) = k ), are we implying exact equality or merely approaching?
HAMDI ABDERRAHMENE's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
102 views

Is the universe "one-sided"? [closed]

I have asked this question on Physics Stack Exchange, but it was closed because it does not deal with mainstream physics, that is, physics for which some paper has been published. I think it is worth ...
DanielFBest's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
1k views

Causation in physics equation

Granted that physicists have always been concerned about causation, the laws of physics stated in terms of equations have nothing to say about causation. Are they correlational laws, causal ...
quanity's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
206 views

Why Do Magnetic Field Lines Point Clockwise Around a Current? [closed]

ANSWER TO QUESTION Moving charges produce magnetic fields. A negative moving charge (i.e., an electron) produces a North Pole which points anticlockwise around a moving current. A positive moving ...
Teragreg's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
454 views

Is the principle of uniformity of nature an abduction or an analogy?

Is the principle of uniformity of nature an abduction or an analogy? To what type of reasoning does the principle of uniformity of nature belong? Is it abduction, analogy, deduction? Here they refer ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 579
2 votes
1 answer
50 views

Distinction between classical essential (primary) and non-essential (secondary) properties of matter vs. modern primary-secondary qualities?

Primary qualities according to modernity (Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes) are qualities that are quantitative/mathematical. Everything else cannot be reduced to mathematics—e.g., a sensible is a secondary ...
ashadow4u's user avatar
-7 votes
1 answer
66 views

What is a rigorous refutation for subjective extrapolations of scientific research? [closed]

Imagine you are confronted with the choice to use marijuana or not, and you wonder, “what might the longterm effects be, good or bad?” If you look at the Wikipedia page for ‘marijuana’, you might find ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
242 views

Are there cases where psychology has offered successful scientific explanations for phenomena that neuroscience hasn't?

Firstly, is there a distinction between a psychological explanation and a neuroscientific one for the same phenomenon? Imagine if I posed a question to the entire field of psychology, seeking the best ...
Mark's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
131 views

Whose perspective on evidence is correct: Hitchens's razor or Carl Sagan's? [closed]

Hitchens's razor states, "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence," while Carl Sagan argues, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." ...
Stellan Coder's user avatar
3 votes
7 answers
1k views

Can falsehood be measured? If so, would it be continuous or discrete?

This question occurred to me after reading the question "Does it make sense to say that one false scientific theory is closer to the truth than another?" From what I gathered, the only way ...
Hooman's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
559 views

What are some critiques of my philosophy about approaching claims of truth using the scientific method? [closed]

mathematician here. I occasionally go down philosophy rabbit holes and end up in some dark mental states. It always stems from examining the foundations of mathematics. As a foreword, I am not making ...
Fraser Pye's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
374 views

Is there such a thing as “science”? [closed]

This thought has been on my mind for a long time. It was reinvigorated by this question. The most cliche presentation we hear about what “science” is in everyday discourse is something like: a ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

What inconsistencies arise from a first, or uncaused cause?

If it's uncaused it didn't begin, but then if it causes something, that itself couldn't begin thus the effect must have been coexisting. If it's uncaused, it means it can't be reached via external ...
Myers Hertz's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
87 views

Is there a neutral alternative term for Brandolini's law?

As you may know, Brandolini’s law states: The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it. I am looking for a term that shows the ...
Tangent's user avatar
  • 71
0 votes
3 answers
96 views

Is there a partly physical nature to infinitesimal limits that connects the utility of calculus with the quantized nature of small-scale physics?

One argument against calculus being physical is that since quantum mechanics has a quantized discrete nature, then physics does not truly have infinitesimal quantities. Yet, calculus and its ...
William Solomon's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
164 views

Is there some sort of disconnect between the math we use and our "observed phenomena" in reality?

So my question comes from two questions on this site one of them being my own, How small can we measure space? and Is the (surprising) applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact ...
How why e's user avatar
  • 1,418
2 votes
0 answers
46 views

Academic research on technical and philosophical possibilities of the world in a computer simulator?

This question is as mainstream as it gets in online publications. But, does more serious and balanced academic research exist on this subject? If your PhD student were writing an article on this ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
79 views

Does ontological commitment to unobservables in science give one ontological commitment to causality?

If we have ontological commitment to an unobservable like electrons, are we ontologically committed to the causal relationship between their existence and the observable phenomena we use to know that ...
edelex's user avatar
  • 1,079
17 votes
6 answers
12k views

Why is Dawkins not respected amongst philosophers?

After reading peoples’ opinions of Dawkins over the years where he is known to be arrogant and brash, I decided to actually delve into what he says and watch some of his videos and read some of his ...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar

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