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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

2
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1answer
81 views

Finding desirabilities and probabilities in Jeffrey's Logic of Decision

I'm trying to solve problem 16 (Ch. 5) of Jeffrey's Logic of Decision. The problem says: Suppose that A and B are pairwise incompatible propositions, and suppose that the preference ranking is as ...
0
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1answer
22 views

What does ‘Disinterestedness’ mean in the context of Mertonian norms?

With ref to the CUDOS Mertonian norms...I used to think disinterestedness mean’t striving to be objective but I now think the intended meaning was for it to be taken literally.
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0answers
25 views

Norton and Hume in thought experiments in science [on hold]

Norton believes that all thought arguments can be reformulated (and function) as arguments based on empirical premises reach a conclusion. How does Hume’s account of thought experiments differ from ...
2
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1answer
40 views

Mach and Norton thought experiments in science

Both Mach and Norton hold empiricist views on the notions of the role of thought experiments. Could someone please explain the difference? Have done some reading but it’s not totally clear.
2
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1answer
43 views

Popper and Platonism

Regarding thought experiments in science, James Robert Brown believes that thought experiments can provide knowledge of the laws of nature or the real world based on intuitive thinking (and not ...
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0answers
39 views

What difference is there between scientifically testable premises and personal biases that are tested? [on hold]

What difference is there between scientifically testable premises and personal biases that are tested? That's, when is it possible to do scientific probing that is not somehow subjectively-oriented? ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Does the pessimistic meta-induction say that best scientific theories may be untrue, or merely not true about reality?

Does the pessimistic meta-induction say that best scientific theories may be untrue, or merely not true about a mind independent reality? Might examples from the history of science of past refuted ...
6
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3answers
117 views

How can the credibility of dietary recommendations of medical sciences and EBM be upheld in light of a history of radical changes of its claims?

I know the typical argument is that science is a work in progress and is constantly self-improving. However, self-improvement demands some continuity in claims. For example, relativistic physics was ...
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0answers
23 views

Is an inductive premise an empirical premise?

Is an inductive premise an empirical premise? In developing the principle of equivalence, after seeing that bodies would free fall inertially in a box in space free of gravitation (just as it would ...
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1answer
36 views

What's the difference between XY=F and XY=0 in Jeffrey's Logic of Decision?

I'm stuck solving problem 14 in Chapter 5 of Jeffrey's Logic of Decision. The first part of the problem says: Show that in presence of prob is nonnegative (prob X≥0) and prob is normalized (T=1)...
4
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2answers
82 views

Thought experiments and empiricism

The debate between Norton and Brown regarding whether thought experiments transcend empiricism is interesting with Norton suggesting that thought experiments do not transcend empiricism. If one had ...
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1answer
35 views

Has there been any philosophical guidance regarding when to use logic vs empirical testing?

One obvious disadvantage of testing a given claim with scientific constraints is that one may never know the number of possible constraints to try, in which combinations, and in which order to modify ...
0
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1answer
38 views

What is the relation between the propensity interpretation of probability and probability in physics?

I would like to know what physicists think about the propensity viewpoint.If this latter one is in line with physics and especially Quantum Mechanics. Otherwise, what is the most coherent ...
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0answers
55 views

Is there any relation between Bhaskar's “critical realism” and recent philosophies like OOP and Accelerationism

Is there any relation between Bhaskar's "critical realism" and recent philosophies like OOP and Accelerationism. They feel broadly similar, perhaps just because both of the latter often involve post ...
2
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0answers
26 views

Does falsifiability require reproducibility according to Popper?

I can see how the idea of falsifiability (rather than some form of verificationism) could support a demarcation between science and pseudoscience. Here is the Wikipedia definition of falsifiability: ...
2
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4answers
129 views

Truth in Science vs. Truth in Math

Two scientists independently try to solve a problem to predict a certain phenomenon. The two scientists come up with different answers, but both of their solutions seem logical to each other. How do ...
2
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3answers
181 views

What is consciousness

Is it a question that science may answer? This article became the root of my thinking. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/mar/01/consciousness-eight-questions-science
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2answers
90 views

Why is modern physics still connected to Western notions of time? [closed]

as Rasheedah Phillips says “Afrofuturism uses a completely different construct of time and engages a different notion of time consciousness and notion of the future than does the European brand of ...
3
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1answer
93 views

Who/What is the source of knowledge?

This question mostly pertains to physics and math, but I think it fits best on this site. I am not very familiar with philosophy, so I apologize if my question is not very formal. Essentially, the ...
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0answers
55 views

Does a level I multiverse implicate a very long life? [closed]

Let's suppose that there are infinite level 1 universes, agreeing with physicist like Max Tegmark and even before them with philosophers like Giordano Bruno. Now, please follow this thought ...
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3answers
55 views

Can hypotheses have parts that are supported or falsified individually?

Can an hypothesis that is part of the scientific method have multiple parts which can be falsified or supported individually? Let's say the experiments provide evidence that Part A models correctly ...
2
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6answers
132 views

Can a theory become a law?

I'm just trying to speak properly and the definitions of fact, hypothesis, theory and law are quite mixed in my head. Some background The following are not perfect definitions but some ideas. ...
2
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0answers
99 views

AGI and Quine's conundrums:underdetermination and holism

How has [or will] the prevalence of “big data” – the exploding plethora of information and computing power to classify, categorize and correlate it, combined with Artificial General Intelligence, or ...
1
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1answer
41 views

Explaining the Termination Risk of Simulation Technologies

There is a recent article in Erkenntnis that discusses termination risks related to the simulation hypothesis [1]. That is, if we are living in a computer simulation, are there risks that might ...
3
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0answers
60 views

Looking for a book to compliment Zammito and Mohanty in understanding the ethos of post positivistic realism

There are two books which I consider to be indispensable to an understanding of contemporary western culture’s post-truth/alternative facts (scientific and cultural post modernism/structuralism/...
7
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5answers
220 views

Social theory of science?

A lot of philosophers of science try to explain what science is through a normative approach. That it, they try to show what are norms and standards the satisfaction of which make a theory or practice ...
2
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1answer
48 views

What does it mean to say that the relation between evidence and hypotheses is “syntactic”?

Positivists construe the relation between evidence and hypotheses to be syntactic (L1990, 23). Consequently, "what would count as evidence for a hypothesis is determined by the form of the ...
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1answer
46 views

The definition of “scientific community”?

What is a "scientific community"? What are its features? I am looking for rather recent and widely received definition of "scientific community".
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2answers
105 views

What is the most basic thing? [closed]

I wanted to know that what is the most basic or the basicestest thing that makes up the universe? Just like a wall is made up of bricks and bricks are made up of atoms and atoms are made up of ...
3
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2answers
148 views

Is Occam's razor about finding the “Best” or the “Worst”?

William of Ockham would, in the 14th century, scarcely have imagined how much Philosophy of science could change. Then when Bacon gave us Inductivism in the 17th century, an immediate synergy can be ...
6
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5answers
3k views

Do good explanations have to be true?

Is it so that whenever one gives an explanation to a question starting from 'why' or 'how' the explanation that we receive in return always is true in nature? From one perspective, an explanation is ...
4
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2answers
61 views

Are all unobservables in physics very small?

Are all unobservables in physics very small? I think I've read that the interior of the sun is an unobservable, and so entity realists like Ian Hacking have to claim we can't know anything at all ...
4
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3answers
62 views

What is evidence?

I know I should know what evidence is, but I have been unable to find an in-depth definition of it. I originally thought that it was a when an argument against a theory or hypotheses was proven ...
11
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7answers
2k views

Is it inappropriate for politicians to make rules governing scientific research?

Robinson Meyer, in a recent article in The Atlantic, quotes law professor Wendy Wagner as follows: People who are not scientists are telling us how scientific synthesis and analysis should be done.....
3
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3answers
127 views

Objectivity in science

In my view scientists make experiments and get results. Then, usually they interpret these results (theories). We may agree that experiments' results are objective, at least if they are reproducible. ...
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0answers
36 views

Would Popper have argued that a coin toss is indeterministic?

I know that Popper was an adovcate of the propensity theory of probability, i.e. probabilities are understood as properties of sets of generating conditions. Furthermore I (think) I have read that ...
3
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1answer
100 views

Random Emergence

In De Caelo 300b, Aristotle introduces the idea of the random emergence of the natural: "it is possible that with this disorderly motion some of the elements might have unified in those combinations ...
3
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1answer
50 views

Is there a fundamental difference between hypothetical explanations in sociology and natural sciences?

According to Explanandum and Explanans on Wikipedia: An explanandum (a Latin term) is a sentence describing a phenomenon that is to be explained, and the explanans are the sentences adduced as ...
2
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0answers
42 views

Philosophical way to look at classical interpretation of probability

I was thinking about the classical interpretation of probability. They make the assumption that determinism obtains in the natural world. Hence, probability is epistemic. Can I see that as a form of ...
2
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0answers
68 views

Kierkegaard and Natural Sciences

Is there any overlap in Kierkegaard's work and Philosophy of Science? If my memory is not misleading, Søren's journals had plenty of mathematical and scientific examples, but used for the most part to ...
3
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1answer
101 views

Are there examples of when verificationism doesn't hold in Physics?

Are there examples of when verificationism doesn't hold in the context of Physics? I intend to relate this to some discussion of Einstein's use of verificationism to discard Ether in the magnet ...
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2answers
211 views

Does free will contradict the theory of infinite universes

Let's imagine that we live in a world with infinite universes. One of these universes is the same as the one we live in, except for one change: this morning I choose to cut off my leg for some reason, ...
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0answers
18 views

What does Latour mean by (-/non/post/)modernism?

There is a summary on wikipedia of We Have Never Been Modern which says Latour viewed modernism as an era that believed it had annulled the entire past in its wake.[29] He presented the antimodern ...
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0answers
41 views

Foucault and scientific revolutions

In the famous debate between Foucault and Chomsky (link), Foucault argues that there is no human nature really because, among other things, a scientific revolution in some science is just a revolution ...
4
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2answers
115 views

Question about the “catch-all” hypothesis as a response to the “bad lot” objection

In response to van Fraassen's "bad lot" objection, I have seen in multiple papers (and in the response of Lipton, from what I remember) refer to the idea of the use of a 'catch-all' hypothesis which ...
2
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1answer
48 views

What are some of the most successful responses to van Fraassen's “bad lot” argument against explanatory inference?

As the question asks, what are the most successful responses to van Fraassen's "bad lot" argument against explanatory inference? By 'successful' I just mean most widely accepted or argued for. Or ...
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8answers
213 views

Can we ask an infinite amount of questions or is there a limit to how many questions we can ask? [closed]

I've been thinking about the nature of questions and answers to questions. Can I ask people opinions on whether they think it is possible to ask an infinite amount of questions or do we as human ...
3
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3answers
103 views

How, in layman's terms, does one argue against solipsism and/or the denial of Occam's razor?

Lately I've been listening to lots discussions with conspiracy theorists and science-deniers, and I've noticed that, when their position is challenged with evidence, their responses generally fall ...
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4answers
116 views

Why do we think objects and beings are real? [closed]

How can we tell if we are real and not a simulation that we perceive to be real. Given we know not what the universe is except what we perceive it to be. What if galaxies are just but other ...
2
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4answers
92 views

Specific questions from reading Russell's “The Problems of Philosophy”

I don’t understand the following things from Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy, page 49-52: What is meant by “we can only know what is required in order to secure the correspondence.” (...