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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75 views

Why is everything in a different category despite similarities and similar origins?

To make my question easier to understand, assuming a no-religious stance, we are made of the atoms that make up everything else in the universe. Why are we categorized as humans, and not the stars ...
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6answers
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Is energy a physical property of material objects?

I found this assumption in this paper: 'Energy: Between Physics and Metaphysics', Mario Bunge. I am intrigued as to what is the latest on this approach. As a practicing scientist, it is hard to put ...
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1answer
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What did evolutionary epistemology discover about our tendency to guess right abductively?

C.S. Peirce wrote: "[...] if the universe conforms, with any approach to accuracy, to certain highly pervasive laws, and if man's mind has been developed under the influence of those laws, it is ...
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2answers
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What if NOBODY were an actual person? What would they be like? Is it even possible to assume that NOBODY could exist? [closed]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_a_tree_falls_in_a_forest https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Treatise_Concerning_the_Principles_of_Human_Knowledge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_relativity what ...
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1answer
124 views

What is the philosophical idea concerning knowledge behind the project of Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is a human project done collectively in a global scale. What is the philosophy or epistemology underlying this project? Has the idea been to establish sort of a "democratic" source ...
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3answers
994 views

Evidence that epistemological anarchism by Feyerabend is wrong

Feyerabend was critical of the scientific method and claimed in his book "Against method" that "anything goes". If I understood correctly he meant that there is no single ...
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0answers
78 views

What is Aristotle's view of plant generation?

In Book 1 of On the Generation of Animals, Aristotle gives his view of plant generation. In Book 1.1, Aristotle writes: But all those creatures which do not move, as the testacea and animals that ...
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1answer
118 views

Reliabilism, rule-circularity, and the "an inference rule is innocent until proven guilty"-principle

An argument is premise-circular if its conclusion is contained among the premises, and rule-circular if it endorses the reliability of the inference rule by which it was attained. A rule-circular ...
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3answers
246 views

What are the missing pieces that prevents us from deriving the laws of chemistry from physics?

What are the missing pieces that prevents us from deriving the laws of chemistry from physics? People say it's emergent properties, but it's hard to believe that there are emergent properties between ...
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2answers
48 views

Are there any formal, fully fleshed-out mathematical models that capture the Kuhnian idea of scientific revolutions?

I searched for a while and wasn't able to find any attempts of formal mathematical models. And thus the question. If you know of any formal mathematical work that is related but not on the exact same ...
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1answer
33 views

What are diversity partitioning and clustering analysis, applied to hominids & race? [closed]

Can anyone EMLI5 (or an undergrad) the terms diversity partitioning and clustering analysis please? From Winther paper over my head "The genetic reification of race" re: Lewontin-Edwards ...
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49 views

Can our creativity create probability for reality? How legitimate is modal realism?

That title is so wild but if you create say a cartoon and that universe. Does that open up the possibility that it exists somewhere in reality? Like it is now a universe that exists because you ...
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5answers
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What does 'nature' mean in Darwin's Origin of Species?

Recently, I have been reading the Origin of Species and quite a few times Darwin says that nature selects. But it seems like he is personifying nature. Could we say that nature=reality for him? And ...
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Very easy intro materials to a modern philosophy of science for statistics students and non-philosophers

I will be teaching a Statistics class next semester. A lot of the thought process behind classical statistical methods (e.g. hypothesis testing) is driven by the need of scientists to quantify ...
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1answer
61 views

Does 1. extra-, 2. intra-polation fall under abduction, induction or deduction?

How does extrapolation relate to abduction, deduction, and/or induction? Scilicet, does abduction, deduction, and/or induction fully encompass Extrapolation? Same question for Interpolation. I ...
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3answers
369 views

What is the difference between truth and fact in mathematics and science?

I am particularly curious on how one can closely talk about truths and facts with the areas of knowledge mathematics and science. I cannot seem to distinguish between these two terms with respect to ...
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3answers
829 views

Can people who deny naturalism consistently believe in science? [closed]

Naturalism is connected very much to Inductive reasoning. In science, if we see something happening again and again we generalize it into a law and we believe it as true. It will be only considered as ...
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5answers
205 views

In our best scientific theories, is there a difference between "the universe" and "reality"?

In our best scientific theories, is there a difference between "the universe" and "reality"? Are all scientific realists committed to the idea that there is a mind independent ...
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0answers
87 views

Who was the first philosopher who explicitly connected belief with habit formation?

Aristotle speaks about habit but I can't find anywere in his works any explicit connection of habit with belief. Is there any subsequent philosopher who explicitly connected belief with habit ...
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1answer
93 views

Science, where is the difference between law and principle?

Theories contain laws, definitions, explain and predict aspects of nature. A law in itself does not explain, but only reflects cause-effect relationships of empirical data (usually in the form of a ...
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4answers
262 views

To what extent is mathematics a tool to grasp the world beyond human intuition?

To what extent are mathematical formalisms an extension of intuitive reasoning to grasp the world such as in the fields of Quantum Physics and Relativity? My first thought is that when intuitive ...
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3answers
568 views

The shape and extension of the fundamental particles

You could say that particles are just 0-dimensional points. But point particles are just an idealization. If particles are taken to exist physically, and anything which has physical existence has ...
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3answers
85 views

What are the objective differences between what's real and what's fake? [closed]

If someone makes a copy of Mona Lisa, why is this "Mona Lisa" a fake Mona Lisa, and not a real Mona Lisa? Why would copies be fake? If someone "creates" something they call an &...
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2answers
166 views

Does the universe have one clock on the wall?

Cyclical dynamics are ubiquitous in the universe with spatial/temporal extents varying over many orders of magnitude. Each dynamical structure has its own tempo and is likely to be a consonance of ...
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80 views

A Take on Application of Mathematics

The passage: "To introduce rigorous mathematics, I believe it's essential to discuss the whys and establish a core relation between mathematics and application. Mathematics begins with ...
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1answer
71 views

Interpreting Sevcenko quote about technology

(...) let's divide the experience (rollercoaster ride) into three parts. The first is continuous, methodical and persistent ascent (...). This phase represents the period from the 16th century to the ...
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1answer
104 views

Heisenberg, Copenhagen and probability in QM

My question is about The Copenhagen interpretation of QM. I am confused about what entities this interpretation of QM presupposes. Heisenberg says that quantum states represent the knowledge an ...
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7answers
1k views

Is the dichotomy between natural and unnatural defensible?

Are not the dictionary definitions of natural and unnatural inconsistent? Why wouldn't whatever humans create (e.g. money, plastic bags, books, internet, laptop, lamp, buildings, airplanes, etc) be ...
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1answer
91 views

Is there any theory which formalises the “facts” of a scientific field?

Informally, we could collect a number of statements, propositions, assertions, or facts which are ideally in a purest, most elementary or fundamental form. For example, instead of leaving belief in ...
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4answers
112 views

Is it impossible to have a universe without inertia?

E=MC^2, so energy and mass are the same. Mass is the measure of inertia. Inertia is the resistance to change. The more energy something has, the more inertia it has (it is easier to stop a ball going ...
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1answer
36 views

What type of subjective probability is adopted by Quine?

I am wondering what type of subjective probability is adopted by Quine. Is Quine sympathetic towards de Finetti's probability or Bayes'ones?
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Does empirical science need of the Past-Future hypothesis? [duplicate]

Scientism is the claim that science is the only source of knowledge. I was reading a article about scientism that argues that the PFT is needed to science. We can conclude, therefore, that the PFT is ...
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1answer
115 views

What are strong and contemporary arguments for rejecting scientism?

Introduction I read this article by Hietanen, J., Turunen, P., Hirvonen, I., Karisto, J., Pättiniemi, I. and Saarinen, H. (2020), How Not to Criticise Scientism. From the article, there are various ...
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1answer
109 views

There is some simple refutation of scientism?

Scientism (Science as Ideology) is the thesis that claims that the emphirical science is at least the best source of knowledge. Two of the most important classifications of scientism are: Strong ...
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1answer
68 views

Does Kuhn give an example of failed puzzle-solving?

Kuhn considers "puzzle-solving" to be a feature of normal science, i.e., attempts to solve problems that, according to a paradigm, are supposed to be solvable within certain constraints. He ...
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1answer
159 views

Positivism and Scientism

Positivists have been criticized for their scientism when in fact it seems that antipositivists are the ones that support scientism. Positivists try to exclude things from the label science, knowledge,...
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5answers
465 views

Essential reading list in the philosophy of science

I'm a mathematician, not a philosopher, by education. I would like to get some reading suggestions to get acquainted with the philosophy of science as intended today. I am mainly talking about the ...
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1answer
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Reality-related mathematical axioms

We are often told (Feynman i.a.) that mathematics is different from science in that the results are not measurable. We might take the speculation a bit further and wonder if indeed mathematics is ...
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1answer
138 views

According to Logical Positivism, why is it that for a statement to be meaningful, its contradiction must also be meaningful?

I am trying to understand the argument for the supposedly paradoxical nature of the verifiability criterion. The argument goes as follows: Suppose that the principle of verifiability is itself ...
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5answers
171 views

Are all beliefs ultimately rooted in faith?

For the purpose of this question let 'belief' mean anything a person accepts to be true for whatever reason - in particular if someone 'knows' something they also 'believe' in it. I read this old ...
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2answers
81 views

What Logic fallacy is Person 1 using in this?

Person 1: Vaccines can cause Autism Person 2: If it can cause Autism, why does all the Studies not support that in any way? Person 1: Actually I'm not saying it does but "Maybe" it can cause ...
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1answer
67 views

Which Philosophers talk about the Future. the technologies beyond AI and John Searle?

I like philosophy since long time ago I know a little about Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Hegel, Marx, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Leibniz. I like his work but there is a topic that I am really ...
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Do abilities have position? [closed]

Do abilities have position? For example, there is an object with elasticity, and the object is on the desk, then elasticity is on the desk?
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1answer
59 views

What are theories which are not scientific called (such as theories in history)?

Related to this question/answer, if something is not considered a "scientific theory", but it is still a theory of how events and evolution might have unfolded, what kind of theory is it? ...
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2answers
127 views

Are zero meters equal to zero seconds? [closed]

Is ? This would seem somewhat logical given the mathematical properties of physical units, but also not necessary.
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2answers
478 views

Unobserved quantum state of the universe

I am not completely sure that this is the right place to ask this question, but it is clearly not a normal question about quantum mechanics. I am considering the quantum state of the universe. I have ...
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2answers
91 views

What threat to the external validity of a study is not also a threat to its internal validity?

I understand the gist of all the definitions of internal and external validity I encountered to be the following: Internal validity is the extent to which confounding factors can be ruled out to ...
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3answers
250 views

Feynman's name of the bird

Consider this quote by Richard Feynman (from "What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character, edited by Ralph Leighton, 1988, available at archive.org):...
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What does Carnap mean by the extensionality requirement in an observational language?

In his article Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts (Section II), he lists the requirements proposed for any language L to be meaningful. However, I don't understand what he means exactly ...
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1answer
106 views

Will this break the laws of physics? [closed]

Suppose, we somehow made a time machine and go back to the past or go in the future and we come back bringing a 10kg object from past or future. Now, in present the mass of universe is increased by ...

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