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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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Why did the quest for an objective universal demarcation criteria had been deemed untenable after Kuhn?

I know that Kuhn had developed his own demarcation criteria to determine whether something is science or not. But according to my lecturer the quest for an universal demarcation criteria had been ...
0
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1answer
58 views

Defending the value of Moral Philosophy against Scientism

What are the best arguments against someone who believes 'Moral philosophy is useless, what we call morality is simply evolutionary instincts to do what we were designed to do as a species'. This ...
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3answers
3k views

Can something exist without energy?

Einstein showed that energy is matter; for something to exist in a physical sense it must be incarnated as matter. So on the face of it - it seems that the answer should be no. However what about ...
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2answers
305 views

If there is anything that could behave like a god, is it then a real god?

Let's assume that the our universe's physics allows time travel. This is my main assumption! Let's further assume that there is an quite intelligent, invulnerable being, that found a way to achieve ...
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2answers
52 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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1answer
135 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 ...
3
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5answers
105 views

Can an exception ever “prove” a rule?

It is a common thing to say that, when an "exception" is found, this proves (as in it provides evidence) there is a rule (or succinctly stated as "the exception proves the rule"). Is there a logical/...
10
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5answers
336 views

To what extent was Galileo's trial a conflict between science and religion?

In an answer to another question (https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/50328/8160), I mentioned Galileo as an example of religion contradicting science. Several comments criticised that. I posted ...
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1answer
802 views

Explain Ramsey sentences in simple terms

Can you explain Ramsey sentences in simple terms, maybe giving some concrete examples? I can't seem to understand them (everything about them), no matter how hard I try.
6
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3answers
119 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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2answers
3k views

Why do the professional mathematicians believe blindly in so meaningless concepts as Infinity? [closed]

To refute such a concept as Infinity (or many infinities) in mathematics doesn't at all require all that big efforts mainly from its own definition in mathematics. To explain this very simple fiction ...
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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Norton and Hume in thought experiments in science [closed]

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
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 ...
2
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1answer
41 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.
3
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1answer
89 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 ...
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0answers
40 views

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

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? ...
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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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2answers
79 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?
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1answer
37 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)...
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3answers
3k views

What did Russell intend to achieve with “The Impact of Science on Society”?

I have been reading Russell's "The Impact of Science on Society" and I found it to be a very strange book. This book has become like a Bible to some conspiracy theorists, and I can see why. However, I ...
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4answers
268 views

Philosophy - Does Einstein's Block Universe theory prove Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory is true?

If the Past, Present, and Future all exist in exactly the same way, then every single moment would be a ‘Now’ moment for me. it would also mean that me being dead in the future is equally real in the ...
4
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2answers
83 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 ...
2
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3answers
131 views

Is it possible to make sense of reality that is independent 'our understanding'

Kant has a famous quote; Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind This suggests we can't understand anything without (independently of) the use of concepts, which ...
3
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4answers
185 views

How is intelligent design different from (say) archeology?

I'm asking this here as a devil's advocate question because this was closed on skeptics before it received a proper (IMHO) answer. So, to state the question, if inferring from an object's properties ...
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5answers
1k views

Is homeopathy verifiable?

Would homeopathy be verifiable according to the logic positivists (and thus science)? On the one hand, one could, in principle, observe patients recovering after being given a homeopathic medicine. ...
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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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3answers
186 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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4answers
133 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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0answers
27 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: ...
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3answers
211 views

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
92 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 ...
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0answers
216 views

Are humans becoming more hive-like? Does this have philosophical implications?

Have any philosophers taken up human hive-like behaviour and its implications? EO Wilson and others have outlined eusociality, a mode of group selection acting in addition to selection at the ...
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6answers
2k views

Can we dispense with ontology in physics?

Is it possible to have a satisfactory physics which is content to describe everything in terms of operational (functional) properties? Could it therefore be the case that ontology is a useless concept ...
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8answers
3k views

How can something exist, but never be created?

This question applies to both religion and science. According to my religion at least, God is subject to natural laws, he did not create all matter in the universe, but instead created the universe ...
2
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3answers
298 views

Is there a limit beyond which mathematics, if used correctly, cannot be applied to reality?

And if so, why, and which? Take this case: If I've two apples and I believe that with two more I'll have four apples, then I implicitly believe that summation applies to reality. Yet there are ...
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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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1answer
95 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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4answers
800 views

What are the problems with Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism (EAAN)?

Alvin Plantinga's formulation of the argument is here. I'll try to summarize it as I understand it. Naturalistic evolution selects for traits that tend to lead to survival. Some true beliefs about ...
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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 ...
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6answers
137 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. ...
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3answers
116 views

Are moral obligations real?

Are moral obligations real? For examples of moral obligations, I raise politics: to hold elections that allow voters to determine a change in government authority seems to be a moral obligation for ...
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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 ...
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0answers
100 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 ...
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5answers
1k views

Should multiverse theories be rebranded as meta physics?

I answered a question here with a quote with the following quote from Cosmologist George Ellis. “Similar claims [about a multiverse] have been made since antiquity by many cultures. What is new is ...
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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 ...
2
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1answer
154 views

Time - Does the Big Crunch mean our existence would be cyclical?

Given Nietzsche's Eternal Return philosophy, would the Big Crunch mean that our existence is cyclical, and therefore coincide with Eternal Return philosophy?
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5answers
4k views

What is the opposite of the reductionist approach?

I am searching for two opposite words in philosophy of science to describe two opposite approaches in physics. To illustrate what I am searching for I will use statistical physics and particle physics ...
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1answer
65 views

Where did Kuhn draw a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation?

About Thomas S. Kuhn, In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy I read: Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268) Which is the ...