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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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1answer
55 views

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

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
65 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
49 views

Does a level I multiverse implicate a very long life?

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
53 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
97 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
94 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 ...
0
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0answers
84 views

Kolmogorov probability theory and axioms [closed]

Just a quick question: is anyone able to explain me the Kolmogorov axioms and probability Theory in an understandable fashion? I am experiencing lots of issues with that and why lots of philosophical ...
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0answers
44 views

Is calling Marxism a pseudo-science letting Marxists off the hook? [closed]

Is calling Marxism a pseudo-science letting Marxists off the hook? I think a pseudo-science is a failed science, right, One that is degenerating? But does saying that, in effect, Marxism is a failed ...
1
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1answer
35 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
57 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/...
6
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5answers
210 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 ...
1
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1answer
44 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
45 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
100 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
137 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
839 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
58 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
58 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
124 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
97 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
47 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
36 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
67 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
87 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
206 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
16 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
38 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
111 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
47 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 ...
0
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8answers
208 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
93 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
115 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 ...
3
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4answers
86 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.” (...
2
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3answers
62 views

“Space” according to Bertrand Russell

I have a specific question in regards to understanding “The Problems of Philosophy” by Russell. In the third chapter (page 46) he writes: But the space of science is neutral as between touch and ...
1
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1answer
118 views

Why did Scientists still follow Newton's scientific framework, even though Kant debunked it?

Why did physicists still followed Newton's framework all the way until the early 20th century, Pre-Einstein Kant wrote a book criticizing Newtonian mechanics (metaphysics) did many physicists simply ...
2
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2answers
58 views

What is the principle of underdetermination?

While studying I read about the principle of underdetermination of scientific theories. I made some researches online but I am more confused than before. I read about the Quine-Duhem holistic thesis, ...
3
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2answers
59 views

What is frequentism?

I am studying for an exam and I ran into frequentism. Honestly, I don't understand anything about that. Is frequentism related to probability only? Why are probabilities understood as frequencies? I ...
4
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2answers
104 views

Understanding McDowell's Mind and World

In "Mind and World" John McDowell takes a Sellarsian approach, claiming that the given is a myth. Yet, he says, if I understand him correctly, the space of reasons is not a mere "spinning in the void",...
6
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1answer
106 views

Is essentialism compatible with naturalism?

I am not an expert and I cannot understand why essentialism is incompatible with naturalism? Why scientific laws cannot describe essential properties of objects?
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3answers
156 views

Does an infinitesimal instant of time have zero duration? [closed]

Is there a philosophical argument supporting the hypothesis that an infinitesimal instant of time has zero duration? The reference to infinitesimal includes the modern presentation of it in non-...
2
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2answers
71 views

What's the difference between logical modalities and physical modalities?

I am just wondering what's the difference between the two. I would say that there is something different, but honestly I can't define what it is exactly. What do you think?
3
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3answers
189 views

Can randomness be random?

In mathematics, a true random number generator it's impossible, because any formula defines a process that, however complex, is not random. A random event must be unrelated to any cause or condition, ...
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1answer
62 views

Books on the logic of science

I was recently skimming through Nagels "The Structure of Science", and I wonder if there are other books that go through the philosophy of science through a logical point of view; That is, I am ...
3
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0answers
51 views

In which sense does Kuhn acknowledge the importance of metaphors in science?

Kuhn, in Metaphors and Through [1993], claims: “Metaphors play an essential role in establishing links between scientific language and the world. Those links are not, however, given once and ...
0
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1answer
96 views

Does Descartes identify stimulus, perception and interpretation?

Thomas Kuhn, in The Structure of Scientific Revolution, refuses the cartesian philosophical paradigm because he separates observational stiumulus from interpretation and from sensation/interpretation ...
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0answers
24 views

What is the Lange's viewpoint on laws of nature?

I am just wondering what is the Lange's philosophical perspective on laws of nature and what line of thought he follows in the contemporary debate.
3
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3answers
94 views

Why does science assume there is no metaphysical cause?

I'm struggling to understand why defining a scientific hypothesis as a falsifiable theory (which is what I understand to be science) means that no metaphysical cause can be taken into account. If ...
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1answer
102 views

What is Quine's perspective on probability?

I am curious about what Quine's perspective on probability may be and if we can say that the quinean viewpoint on modality can be considered similar to his viewpoint on probability. Is probability ...