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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Could nature have no “physical laws” at all?

Why scientists assumes that nature have laws? Is it possible to have no laws at all? I mean that how nature behaves may vary with space and time but this doesn't mean it is unpredictable at all. It ...
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Can animals follow logical rules of inference?

I've been trying to recall a thought experiment, which I very vaguely remember to have come across either in Davidson or Dennett, that considers the following scenario: A hound is chasing its quarry ...
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Difference between a law of logic and a logical principle

The traditional notion of logic, broadly speaking) is that it is a system of laws and principles governing valid inferential reasoning (i.e. laws of logic logical principles). But what precisely ...
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382 views

Why are Heisenberg's uncertaity principle and the quantum theory considered to upset or to affect human experience of reality? [closed]

These two principles seem to have caused an uproar within the scientific community and to have supposedly disrupted notions of 'causality'. Since both features already existed before their 'discovery' ...
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124 views

How can we question someone, for their ethical behavior, if it's the result of an evolutionary process

Supposedly, nature is evolving human minds and its behavior to find an optimal point. But if "bad" behaviour is nothing but an expression of nature's evolution towards an optimum, how does it make ...
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Why scientific approach can't fully describe our reality?

As I know, one of the ideas of postmodernism is Science is not enough for a complete understanding of our reality Which arguments are used to reinforce such statements? Maybe there are some ...
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Top-down vs bottom-up approaches in science?

I am a student of a natural science but very interested in philosophy. During my studies, I have noted a perceived difference in how various disciplines approach the explanation of data they obtain. I ...
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Why do we rely upon scientific approach when its foundational axioms are assumed and agreed without proof?

Why do we rely upon scientific approach when its foundational axioms are assumed and agreed without proof? Foundation of the scientific explorations are seem to be the mathematical axioms at its root....
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How can a finite number of observations justify confidence in complex theories

First I'll tell you a bit about how (at least modern) software development works to clarify what I mean by a "test". I'll also narrow the scope to a very particular kind of test known as block box ...
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Why is science treated as if it is entirely separate from philosophy? [duplicate]

A lot of people who I have spoken with in philosophy courses treat science as if it is completely separate from philosophy. Some scientists, like Stephen Hawking when he was still alive, seem to agree ...
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4answers
755 views

“v = 1 m/s”: predicate or relation? Any literature?

This question is partially related to How does "is" work? and What is the difference between the "is" of predication and the "is" of identity?, but more specifically it ...
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What does Putnam want to say when he says that BIV is semantically impossible while physically possible?

Putnam argued the brain in vat is semantically impossible,although I think he made mistakes(referring to William Poundstone in Labyrinths of Reason). However,It's said that he recognized that the ...
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58 views

Can science deal with value?

In a lecture in Zhihu, Zhang Bu tian restates the view that "science cannot deal with value". And when a man jokingly said "Entropy increase and entropy decrease is the measure of value", Zhang argued ...
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Life as a formal system

I am curious if there is some existing work on viewing life as a formal system. In formal system we have: axioms and rules of logic (like in math AND, OR) then we derive and prove theorems I see ...
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Is there a journal or organization where one can submit (not necessarily professional) philosophical articles?

I am neither a professional philosopher nor an academic. But I do seem to like to engage in philosophical thought and sometimes have different ideas about different topics in life. I was wondering if ...
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102 views

Does there exist a class of “fundamental concepts”? How could they be recognized?

Does there exist a class of "fundamental concepts"? That is concepts, such as "parameter", "part", "range", "form" etc. that at least for me seem like "something that is hard to take away without ...
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8answers
277 views

Explaining to my 11 year old why the question “Will robots ever have feelings” is part of philosophy, not science?

My 11 year old is tasked with interpreting a Seneca quote. I started out by trying to explain to him what ethics is by contrasting 'Will robots ever have feelings?' as a question in Philosophy of Mind,...
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What are the values of science research without immediate applications?

I am reading a bit about AI research lately. One major criticism of current wave of AI boom is that many high profile papers or projects, including Google’s famous AlphaGo, have not yet found any real ...
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42 views

Was Hans Reichenbach really a logical empiricist? Did he really think that logic was empirical?

I was reading an article in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy about Hans Reichenbach 1, and I have a specific question about it that I would like to ask. There, it is said that: Reichenbach ...
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68 views

Sense-datum theory appears to be the assumption of science, but philosophers now mostly reject — why?

The SEP discussion on the Problem of Perception notes that Sense-Datum Theory is criticized, and apparently rejected by most philosophers. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/perception-problem/ The ...
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61 views

Difference between theory revision and ad hoc proposals?

What is the difference between revising a theory and creating an ad hoc explanation to save your theory? Furthermore, at what point is one forced to give up their original theory because it conflicts ...
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30 views

Does the concept of thinking/learning of something better when you have “skin in the game” originate with Taleb?

I recently read the book by Taleb in which he writes that having skin in the game with respect to something allows one to have insights about it which one wouldn't (easily?) otherwise. Since Taleb ...
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Which conception of a “ machine ” allows to call “mechanical” Descartes and Hobbes views of nature and of science?

The word "mechanical" comes from a greek word meaning " machine". However, the received definition of mechanical philosophy does not contain the concept of a machine. This school of thought is said ...
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Are definitions temporary?

We can define an "electrical device" as a device that works with electricity etc. Suppose that the theory of electromagnetism would be proved wrong in the future. Would then make sense to speak about "...
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71 views

Does human evolution have a purpose? [closed]

Ignor your Guess whatever is it , you are christian or Boddist or Muslim or Jew ,or something like that , I ask people here :Does human evolution have a purpose ? Note I would be interest to see ...
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Why is postmodernism apparently so ill-perceived in philosophy of science?

In the introduction to Massimo Pigliucci's book Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem, a collection of essays about the topic, I found the following bit: (...) we ...
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What's the relation of semiotics to cybernetics?

I was looking at the wiki page of Jakob Johann von Uexküll where I saw a diagram that resembled a simple feedback model of cybernetics. What's the relation of semiotics to cybernetics?
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Is it true that the Epicurean philosophical tradition lead to less advances in (proto) science than the Stoic one?

That Epicurean philosophy was such in it's doctrines that perhaps prevented the Epicurean philosophers of extending maths and science. If this is true why is it?
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Does imaginary numbers correspond to a real phenomenon? [duplicate]

Note: this is not a realism-esque question on the reality of numbers. Also, to not be confused with this question, I'm not questioning the usage of these numbers. As far as I know, every numerical ...
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268 views

Is it possible to explain the difference between isomorphism and homomorphism without resorting to advanced mathematical concepts?

I am reading and trying to understand in particular the structuralist set-theoretic conception that is based on the semantic view, and they talk about the relationship between the model and its target ...
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61 views

Who are the philosophical successors of Kuhn?

That improved and extended his concepts in the 'Structure of the scientific revolution'.
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Who are the philsophical successors of Sellars?

Have these philosophical successors of Sellars written books or papers presenting an overview of Sellars' work along with their latest work which built on it?
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Do inductivists and Karl popper's theory have mutually exclusive ideals? Are they complementary and/or similar in any way?

I can only see they differences between the two and their limitations. Could someone extend my knowledge?
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Why a theory is still used after proven wrong?

When a new theory is introduced and predicts phenomena that the previous theory couldn't should the previous theory be abandoned? For example Einstein's Special Relativity. We still use Newtonian ...
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Does aleatoric uncertainty exist?

I am wondering whether the distinction into epistemic and aleatoric uncertainty really makes sense. The way I have understood it (and Wikipedia seems to define it) the distinction is: epistemic ...
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Is there any conceptual influence of Sellar's 'Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind' on “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”?

I skimmed over Sellars paper and I noticed some (perhaps superficial) similarities with Kuhn's book. I suppose there were earlier works that are closely similar conceptually to Kuhn's work that may ...
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When dependance exists between two quantities?

Suppose we have two quanitities X and Y and we try to find out if a third quantity Z depends on them. 1st case Changing the X holding Y constant doesn't change Z. 2nd case Changing the Y holding X ...
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What kind of inference do we need to confirm the form of an experimental law?

Imagine scientists observe a linear correlation between two measurable quantities x and y in some type of phenomenon. They induce an experimental law: y=kx. However, the degree of precision of their ...
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103 views

Book recommendations on philosophy of science [duplicate]

I am looking for an introductory book that deals with logic, scientific method and philosophy of science( with greater emphasis on the latter). I don't want any historical approach but rather an ...
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90 views

Is it possible to fully automate scientific observation?

I've started reading Michael Polanyi's Personal Knowledge. In the second chapter Polanyi states the following "fact" regarding scientific observations: "The derivation of data and checking of data ...
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What types of theories are there?

How do I describe the difference between a theory that is purely descriptive in nature, vs one that is predictive? I.e. the former gives a rigorous description of the physical state of a system, while ...
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226 views

Neil deGrasse Tyson says philosophy is “distracting”. How would you respond?

this is old, but here is the full article: https://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2014/05/22/why_does_neil_degrasse_tyson_hate_philosophy.html How would you respond to someone who says philosophy ...
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202 views

When does the concept of “sense data” first appear in philosophy?

The wikipedia article on the "sense data" references a bunch of 20th century philosophers. Is the concept(or something closely related to this) earlier than that?
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Argument for Emission theory or extramission theory

I read on Wikipedia and T.S.Kuhn's book that Emission theory or extramission theory prevailed for around two thousand years. I want to ask that if light beams came out of eyes then how was the fact ...
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Newbie Questions on the Demarcation Problem [closed]

1) Is Astrology Science? Popper says science is distinguished from non-science by whether the subject in question is falisfiable. So would Astrology and homeopathic medicine be considered science? ...
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187 views

In light of COVID-19, what scientific justification is there for CERN? [closed]

Among the myriad of questions pertaining to scientific research and any cost/benefit analysis might justify said research which has been amplified by the current pandemic crisis, one glaring one is ...
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66 views

Is the “SAID principle” science?

Within sports science the SAID principle asserts that the human body adapts specifically to imposed demands. For example lifting heavy weights make you better at lifting heavy weights, whereas running ...
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269 views

Is Quantum Bayesianism a viable solution to interpretational problems of quantum mechanics? [closed]

I noticed that Quantum Bayesianism (Qbism) seems to solve a number of issues in QM like non-locality, decoherence and the measurement problem. But I am not sure if physicists and philosophers would ...
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477 views

Why is memetics not more widely accepted?

The idea of a meme, as an idea which self-replicates subject to Darwinian evolution, was conceived by biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene. Psychologist Susan Blackmore developed the idea ...

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