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 philosophical approaches towards social philosophy and social relations do we know?

Personally I can name two scientifically oriented examples: In critical realism (M. Archer, T. Lawson, D. Elder-Vass, etc.) social relations are being studied on an intersubjective level as "an ...
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47 views

A same object being analysed by different fields of study

I've been studying Bachelard lately and I haven't been convinced by his propositions that different sciences can't study the same object. I know that "the object of a science" is not a ...
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Why is it valid to ponder if unexplained phosphine on Venus may have an biological source?

(This is my first question here and I apologize and can edit if it's out of place or formed improperly or has other issues.) The September 20, 2020 news of phosphine found in the clouds on Venus has ...
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51 views

Does postmodernism hold that science is one social narrative among many, no better or worse than any other way of knowing?

I'm reading postmodern theory, and it seems to be all allusion and beating around the bush. I'm having a hard time getting at what the foundational ideas are. One thing I have heard is that ...
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4answers
162 views

How to define truth, in the context of scientific theories

It seems that scientific theories are not infallible, since it is conceivable that they will be proven wrong (or at least partially wrong), and be replaced by better theories. Thus, they are not ...
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2answers
131 views

Did Godel consult Einstein on his work? [closed]

I have been told that Kurt Godel was among the Mathematicians that Einstein consulted on occasion in his work. Can anyone tell me if this is true or not, or if it is at least plausible? If it is ...
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8answers
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Does science require the exclusion of the “infinite”?

And if so, are there any interesting implications? According to the storyline, Galileo launched modern science by declaring the necessity of rendering physical events countable. What is countable must ...
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3answers
397 views

How is spacetime as a construct defined by philosophers? [closed]

Is spacetime a construct? If spacetime is a construct, is space taken individually a construct, and is time taken individually also a construct, and time and space combined a construct? Does the ...
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1answer
59 views

Does this sentence of Kant contains in an embryonic form some of the critical parts of his later work, “Critique of Pure Reason”?

In the universal silence of nature and in the calm of the senses the immortal spirit’s hidden faculty of knowledge speaks an ineffable language and gives [us] undeveloped concepts, which are indeed ...
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214 views

How narrow is the Measurement Problem in QM? [closed]

I realize that the "Measurement Problem" is an issue unique to the highly technical field of quantum mechanics. But is it ever discussed in philosophy in relation to more general issues of ...
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2answers
67 views

Copernicus vs Kepler vs truth [closed]

I have always felt uneasy about the step from the Ptolemy to the Copernicus system describes as objective truth. I note that Thomas Aquinas had the same feeling: “…Reason is employed in another way, ...
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1answer
193 views

Is probability in classical physics always bayesian?

I am wondering how probability is intended in classical physics. I have read a number of articles where it is said that probability in classical physics is generally intended in subjectivist terms as ...
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1answer
40 views

Can you give other examples of skeptical hypotheses that haven't been mentioned yet?

I need some help with my philosophy homework. We were told to formulate our own skeptical hypothesis and use it as part of a radical skeptical argument, and that the skeptical hypothesis needs to be ...
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104 views

Is there a universally accepted definition of what constitutes 'science' from a philosophy of science perspective?

The term science gets bandied about so much that it is not always clear what is meant. This is fine in conversation, etc. But it becomes problematic when the question becomes, is there a proper domain ...
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9answers
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What is unique about the quantum state of superposition?

In the state of quantum superposition, as most famously illustrated by Schrodinger's Cat, we have a well-defined set of probabilistic outcomes that is not determined until observed. The cat is then ...
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40 views

Two approaches of thinking in scientific discovery, any research on the efficacy of those?

I have noticed that there are two major ways of thinking when it comes to exploring unknown problems (that is, scientific discovery) - (a) one is to gather as much data as possible by doing ...
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1answer
67 views

Scientific inquiry not using the 5-step method

As a result of my recent interest in the field of epistemology, I read that there is no such thing as a unique scientific method. However, during my medical studies I had been told that every ...
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0answers
30 views

Scientific realism vs. theory change: Would a causal theory of reference make referential continuity trivial?

Scientific realists sometimes resort to a causal-historical theory of reference in order to reconcile realism with theory change roughly as follows. If the reference of some expression is not ...
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2answers
423 views

In quantum physics, does zero probability imply impossibility?

Suppose I have a particle whose quantum state is known to be exactly spin-up along the z-axis. Then suppose I measure its spin along the z-axis. Quantum mechanics (QM) states that the probability of ...
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4answers
232 views

Just how seriously is virtue ethics under attack by moral psychology?

K.A. Appiah, in his "Experiments in Ethics" (2008), gives a rather drastic picture of the attack virtue ethics finds itself under by moral psychology. In a nutshell, (a vast amount of) ...
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1answer
62 views

Hegel Something-Other confusion

From Julie E. Maybee's Picturing Hegel: An Illustrated Guide to Hegel's Encyclopaedia Logic (p. 71): I have no idea what's going on here. As I try to understand it: The positive connection (the being ...
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1answer
89 views

Statements about real world

We make statements like "This table is composed from atoms". This statement must be true or false. But what if tomorrow the atomic theory is completely abandoned and we work with another ...
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2answers
94 views

What exactly is Time and Space? [closed]

Question description so that anyone can evaluate and answer accordingly I don't know what is the formal process for a theory to get accepted by the science community, please guide me on how to proceed ...
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0answers
18 views

Was Sellar the first philosopher to posit that someone's scientific view of the world is partially build on his/her normative values?

I was reading a text by Bas van Fraassen that casts some doubts about Sellar's manifest and scientific images and I was wondering of how much of the formers theory was new to him. So was Sellar the ...
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5answers
222 views

Philosophical assumptions underlying science

I am a medical student and have been interested lately in the foundations of the scientific research method I have been taught. I've read that there is in fact no such thing as a unique scientific ...
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1answer
84 views

What is the relationship between the primitive notion and a priori?

The primitive notion is the origin of definition to avoid circularity since definition must be defined by other terminologies which involve new definitions. So in maths we have set, point, space and ...
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1answer
44 views

Term clarification

I just want to know whether if the two terms "Characteristics" and "Properties" are same or different in science. If these two terms are different in science then explain giving ...
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Are there any generalization of the lexical hypothesis that are being studied in philosophy?

The lexical hypothesis according to wikipedia is related to the following two postulates: The first states that those personality characteristics that are important to a group of people will ...
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1answer
186 views

Should I study philosophy of science directly, or after understanding other branches of philosophy?

I wanted to learn philosophy of science and started with reading A historical introduction to the philosophy of science but found it surprisingly hard because a lot of concepts were unfamiliar to me. ...
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1answer
225 views

Physics, “the beginning of time” and common sense

If we accept the result of big-bang theory that time does not indefinitely extend back in the past, how can this result be smoothly integrated with the common-sense view that for every time-instant ...
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1answer
70 views

H{+}: “absence of evidence = evidence of absence?” — Is it necessarily informally logically fallacious to claim H{+}? Or are there exceptions? [duplicate]

Absence of Evidence =|= Evidence of Absence Does this proposition always hold (true), or are there exceptions? Is it a logical fallacy to claim: “absence of evidence is evidence of absence”? How is ...
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1answer
65 views

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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1answer
127 views

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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41 views

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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1answer
393 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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3answers
141 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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10answers
440 views

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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61 views

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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1answer
68 views

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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2answers
111 views

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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1answer
82 views

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
760 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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60 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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54 views

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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96 views

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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2answers
115 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
305 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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3k views

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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44 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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