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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Do things exist just because they exist OR they are given that existence?

We know that some phenomena do not exist, like Greek gods, but some exist, like an apple on a desk. I doubt anyone could have proposed an answer to it, but I wonder if there is something which lets ...
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According to Aquinas, why doesn't God need a cause but everything else does? Why would God resolve the problem of infinite regress?

Do you think the explanation for the universe could be something physical or does it have to be metaphysical?
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Why is Materialism central to Physics?

The realist interpretation of the Uncertainty principle posits that reality is independent of the mind of the observer, therefore all objects must objectively have a pre-existing value for any ...
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Question about anchoring and adjustment (Tversky and Kahneman) and why anchoring often yields correct judgments

I am working on a problem set and I am having some difficulty wrapping my head around a concept introduced by Tversky and Kahneman. My problem set asks the question "Why does anchoring nevertheless ...
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1answer
173 views

Did God have a choice in creating our universe?

Einstein asked this question originally : What really interests me is whether God could have created the world any differently; in other words, whether the requirement of logical simplicity admits ...
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1answer
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What distinguishes “individuals” in physics?

I'd like to ask you a question: a table is made of some atoms. It's almost empty. The table is stable because of the force between the atoms. We know that a water cup will not fall off on the table ...
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What can idealism explain, predict / make effective predictions (like science or quantitative analysis)? [closed]

What can idealism explain, predict / make effective predictions? (like science or quantitative analysis)
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4answers
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Could we develop a notion of conceivability that would allow us to imagine impossible/inconsistent/illogical things?

There are things that we cannot imagine because they are impossible (like a solution to Russell's set theory, since it is impossible to reach that solution because it is illogical.) Some months ago, ...
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2answers
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How can a belief in the 'objectivity' of the scientific method be anything other than mythical transcendence?

The Scientific method purportedly achieves the deriving of objective truth by removing the unavoidably subjective nature of human knowledge from the loop. This system claims that by following ...
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3answers
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Do HeLa cells prove immortality?

Does modern science, especially HeLa cells, prove that immortality (in the classic sense) is real (for these cells) or possible in the future?
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Deductive or Inductive [closed]

If Joe was envenomated by a black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) and received no anti-venom, then Joe will die. Joe was envenomated by a black mamba and didn't receive anti-venom. Hence, Joe will die.
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What is the word for 'regarding the structure of a theory'?

I want to analyse some thermodynamical theories, i.e. theories that are concerned with temperature, heat, pressure, volume, states, systems etc. etc. These theories obviously differ in many ways. ...
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How does the philosophy of science explore original research formulation?

Although rarely admitted or communicated, in scientific research it's quite common to change the originally formulated question once insurmountable obstacles have made an answer difficult or ...
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Is economics a science according to Popperian and Lakatosian standards? [duplicate]

According to Karl Popper's falsification criterion only a falsifiable theory is said to be a scientific theory. If this is true, is Economics falsifiable and hence considered scientific?
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Was there a “mechanist” program of early rationalists, like Descartes and Leibniz?

Leibniz and Descartes are said to put forth "mechanist philosophies," but I am having trouble identifying what "mechanist" means. Does it involve their affinity to natural science and mathematics and ...
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74 views

Solution to the Grandfather's paradox - Inverse reincarnation? [closed]

One of the premises of the grandfather paradox in time travel is that of inconsistency. I.e, going back in time to kill your grandfather or grandmother prevents your birth. The solution is simple, ...
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Does every truth have to be provable based on evidence?

I know the answer is "no" in general due to Gödel's Theory of Incompleteness, but I mean this question in a more real-world sense (i.e. scientific sense). In other words, I am talking about empirical ...
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696 views

How can complex material systems emerge in ways that allow them to transcend fundamental material structures?

One of the quandaries of reductionism from what I understand is how complex systems can emerge to overtake simple ones. This may sound convoluted, so bear with me as I try to explain. According to a ...
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Is economics a science?

In class, I made the argument that economics is not science, because it cannot undertake repeatable experiments. Someone rebutted: this would mean that I am ignore an emerging body of work, some by ...
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Please help with clarifying whether a science assumes the following axiom

It seems to me that the goal of science is to describe with the most precision the world we perceive through our senses. It seems to me that actually science has an axiom: There exists some final ...
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2answers
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Wittgenstein on Mechanics

Can someone explain what Wittgenstein was trying to say in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus ? Specifically propositions 6.341-6.343. What does he mean when he says that a system like Newtonian Mechanics ...
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5answers
331 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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1answer
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Can any philosophy of mind be empirically verified?

(This is sort of a follow-up from this question) Can dualism, materialism, or anything in between be empirically verified? There seems to be some disagreement here. This page presents both views ...
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Causality: is it possible for one attribute to be found in one node but not the others before it?

This is a rather basic question about causality, but I'm a bit confused over it (especially in terms of the "first cause" argument). Causality (from Wikipedia): Agency or efficacy that connects ...
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Prove the following facts about Conditionalization

Prove that when an agent conditionalizes on new evidence, her credence in a proposition that entails the evidence cannot decrease. That is, when H entails E, it must be the case that cr2(H)
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Where can I find arguments for animal rights?

I'm asking this question on behalf of https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/users/47/curi I'm a philosopher (and programmer) attempting to research and diagram arguments relating to animal rights. I'm ...
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4answers
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Can mathematics and physics be thought of as branches of philosophy?

I think that they can be viewed like that, with some suitable definition of philosophy. Then mathematics could be defined as one of the branches of philosophy in which theories are built on ...
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How is Philosophy related to Science?

I asked this question about Scientism and the answers there quite brilliantly explained to me why Scientism is philosophically inconsistent. But I just want to know: What is the relationship between ...
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Do some philosophers believe there is no present, past, and future — and if so how on earth do they?

Nor does 20th (21st) -century physics countenance the idea that there is anything ontologically special about the past, as opposed to the present and the future. In fact, it fails to use these ...
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Is mathematics a mental idea?

Is mathematics a mental idea? According to this answer, a mental idea cannot exist without a mind. If mathematics is a mental idea, what does this imply about the laws of physics which can be ...
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1answer
62 views

Confusion about the nature, defininition, and subject of study of Epistemology, Gnosiology and Phillosophy of Science

I am confused with the terms and the branches of phillosophy. Here is an example where all 3 terms were used. I always though phillosophy of science and epistemology were the exact same thing while ...
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Post-Positivism's Relationship to Post-Modernism

In A Nice Derangement of Epistemes by John H. Zammito, he attempts to "deflate" certain "extravagant gestures in philosophy of language" as he believes they "threaten to undermine indispensable canons ...
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Relation of Gödel's incompleteness theorems and Karl Popper falsification

Falsifiability is considered a positive (and often essential) quality of a hypothesis because it means that the hypothesis is testable by empirical experiment and thus conforms to the standards of ...
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Why does the universe obey scientific laws?

As far as anyone is aware, the universe consistently acts according to predictable laws (and scientific inquiry exists to determine those laws). Is there any metaphysical reason for this? Is such a ...
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1answer
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Corroboration in Popper's system

Why corroboration gives to a theory increasing "value", as he states in his "logic of scientific discovery". The question is simple, but I need a complex answer, one that can't be used to justify ...
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2answers
115 views

Epistemology and definition of Theory in Science

Which branch of philosophy is the authority and thus has the capacity to define what IS theory in science? I have linked to the definition of Theory by Simon Blackburn in Oxford Dictionary of ...
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Does Popper's theory of falsification apply to mathematics?

Mathematics is generally & popularly judged a science in the basic duality: science - humanities. As enemies and collaborationists. The border heavily & fiercely policed. However, it seems to ...
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What is the Anti-Realist and Constructionist interpretation of empirical dating methods and existence of the past?

I'm fairly interested in the realism, anti-realism debate and would like to hear, if possible by an anti-realist or constructivist, how dating methods fit into their world view. As a realist, dating ...
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Are the “laws” of deductive logic empirically verifiable?

"Is Logic Empirical?" strongly suggests a question that I would like very much to get a handle on. That phrase is a title of an article by Hilary Putnam, and, according to synopses/reviews, the ...
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3answers
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Understanding Kant vs. Hume for a non-philosopher

I am trying to self-study a bit of philosophy. I am an applied mathematician by trade, and am therefore drawn to Kant's work on the limits of human knowledge, in particular his exchange with Hume. I ...
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263 views

Has science ever disproved philosophical theories?

I am aware that science and philosophy, in their modern guise, are two separate beasts that never cross the same domains but sometimes it happens that philosophy influences science and that science ...
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297 views

Determinism vs Indeterminism debate

I need to find an article/website/book which offers a brief survey of the dispute determinism vs indeterminism (with no or really few references to the free-will problem). I need them for a high ...
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Leo Strauss' Critique of Modern Science

I recently read Leo Strauss's views on modern science, as expanded in Alan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind". In a (very small) nutshell, Strauss had the extraordinary idea that modern ...
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How to reconcile that physicists and science educators use the word “theory” incompatibly?

When science denialists say "just a theory", they are roundly chastised. Science educators (teachers, reporters, essayists, etc) are united that the word theory has a strong requirement: Berkeley: "a ...
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What is the difference between 'accidental' and 'contingent'?

What is different between 'accidental' and 'contingent'? I thought that accidental contains intentional notation while Contingent does not. But there could be an intentional action that turns out to ...
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4answers
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When writing scientific papers Why there is not a standard to declare all the things based on which a person will argue?

Lets say I am a scientists and I want to write a scientific paper about some matter of a physics for example. In that paper I would say for example that the universe is expanding (or some other well ...
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Boltzmann brain - how are the laws of physics presented?

Does the Boltzmann brain scenario also assume that the laws of physics are presented consistently for each individual brain? In other words: 1) Why do we assume that the types of brains fluctuated ...
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Noam Chomsky vs 9/11 Truth movement. Is Noam's Logic legit?

When Noam Chomsky was asked about what he thought about the collapse of building 7 at the University of Florida in 2013, he replied that only a minuscule part of the scientific community backed up the ...
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What exactly is the CTMU?

http://www.ctmu.org/ So recently I read about this guy with a really high IQ, Chris Langan, who crafted an ultimate theory of reality - CTMU, Cognitive-Theoretical Model of the Universe - which he ...
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What is Quine’s Confirmation theory?

I have just read that Quine relies on his confirmation theory to establish if a scientific theory is “valid” or not. But I am not sure to have understood what is Quine’s confirmation theory and why ...