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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9
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6answers
1k views

Are philosophy and science mergeable today?

In the past, both Philosophy and Science were one. However, because of the vastness of Science, it was cut off. I am inclined to go along the same line of thinking, but, is there a way to merge both ...
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9answers
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What is the difference between Fact and Truth?

I'm curious about the difference between Fact and Truth. I was searching on the internet if I could find it. But still I'm confused about the exact meaning. I first read the forum discussion here Fact ...
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25answers
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Why is there something instead of nothing?

A simple but fundamental question. The "something" means the whole Universe (known and unknown), it could be represented as the reality version of the set of all sets, which is itself debated. It ...
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22answers
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In what sense is atheism scientific?

I have been reading a bit of Dawkins and the like and they all seem to hold a very strong viewpoint on atheism and its associated ideology. I have not found a direct citation for this but he ...
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15answers
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Is there anything that is totally random?

When I say totally random, I mean absolutely random, not pseudorandom. If I want to say "totally random" numbers such as 1,26,17,4,1 and 27, although I see them to be totally random, they aren't. ...
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3answers
268 views

Have the exact sciences tried to obtain their legitimacy from “outside” the human being?

I'm not really specialized in the history of science. But it seems for me that as the time passed, the exact sciences tried to do that. For example: The second is measured in relation to the spinning ...
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11answers
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If everything is theory laden, how can one argue against climate change deniers?

Per Quine's results from "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", the Duhem-Quine thesis, and later results such as those of Kuhn and Feyerabend, all empirical observations are theory laden. Even widely accepted ...
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4answers
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What differentiates the scientific method from other methods

From the controversy in this question, I would like to know what differentiates "the scientific method" from other method. I'm asking for differentiation, rather than a definition, because ...
2
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1answer
211 views

Is Reality an intersection of Incompatible Ontologies?

Empiricists do not ask questions about the ontological status of mathematical or logical structures. Idealists don't explain how Ideas are developed, or how technological advancement in general takes ...
62
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12answers
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How can an uneducated but rational person differentiate between science and religion?

I recently found myself unable to respond to the statement "But the big bang theory is just another creation myth!" during a science vs. religion argument. I found it very difficult to explain the ...
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15answers
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In which way does quantum mechanics disprove determinism?

I've heard this pop up in a discussion with my physicist/engineer roommates, but didn't care to ask at the time. Now I'm mighty curious about it. Wikipedia doesn't really seem to say much on this ...
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14answers
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Is there an alternative to the scientific method?

Intro The scientific method is a key process of how we acquire knowledge and may shape our understanding of the world. If I am not mistaken, this method has been defined several times during our ...
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4answers
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Is geometry mathematical or empirical?

Is Euclidean geometry a mathematical theory, or is it a theory of empirical science? If taking it to be a mathematical theory would it be due to having alternative geometries? If so, is it in some ...
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897 views

Why have those scientists who rejected or opposed philosophy, still succeeded?

Preface: I know nothing about physics, and little about philosophy. This Scientific American article of 2015 May 8, this question, and this blog post of 2009 Nov 11 by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci ...
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4answers
976 views

How can the physical world be an abstract mathematical structure?

This is Tegmark's short formulation of the "mathematical universe" (paraphrased by detractors as "reality made of math"), and he goes out of his way to stress that he means the "is" literally:"Whereas ...
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3answers
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Philosophy - Does the block universe theory of time mean that life will repeat after death?

I have suffered severe anxiety, sadness, regret, and depression since I was 13, I had 2 trapped-feeling panic attacks when I was 13 I am now 17 and fighting off frequent urges to have a trapped-...
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9answers
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What basis do we have for certainty in current scientific theories?

Given there is much past scientific belief that we now know NOT to be true, what basis do we have for the seemingly increasing certainty in our scientific beliefs held today being true? On the one ...
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9answers
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Why is scientism philosophically wrong?

I think a combination of science and philosophy alone leads to closer to truth. Why is it that it is wrong to think that science alone leads to truth? Isn't empirical truth the only one we can be ...
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6answers
46k views

What is the relationship between philosophy and science?

While philosophy and science as held as separate disciplines (and often taught in completely different colleges within a university [i.e. College of Liberal Arts vs. College of Science]), it is ...
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7answers
505 views

How would you know if nonobservable entities exist?

Nonphysical entities cannot be observed. Therefore such entities cannot be verified by observation. How could statements like "God exists" be even considered true? Why would anyone appeal to the ...
6
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2answers
284 views

Have any philosophers applied the concept of “underdetermination” to non-scientific contexts?

Most resources I've found on underdetermination approach the subject within the context of science. That's definitely a fascinating area of study, but I'd like to explore ways of applying ...
6
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4answers
280 views

Is there a boundary on 'physical'?

I have asserted many times here that physicalism as degraded into an undecidable question, and I would like to see how strong my understanding is. It seems to me that whenever we approach the ...
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6answers
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Have professional philosophers contributed to other fields in the last 20 years?

Here are some quotes from Scott Aaronson's interview: progress in math and science — think of natural selection, Godel’s and Turing’s theorems, relativity and quantum mechanics — has repeatedly ...
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9answers
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Does True Randomness actually exist? [duplicate]

I tend to think of randomness as a lack of complete information when it comes to knowing something. If we look at the history of probability theory it centers on a lack of knowing the exact outcome of ...
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2answers
805 views

Is Science about Truth or Adequate Models?

Is it the general view amongst philosophers of science that science isn't about truth but rather adequately predictive models and therefore it doesn't make sense to speak of a scientific theory as ...
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11answers
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Any argument against determinism?

I'm a very logical person. I like mathematics, software engineering, physics... everything in that area. Also I'm an anti-theist. My understanding of the universe: If you would take every atom (as ...
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9answers
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What is the meaning of “There are questions that science can't answer”?

I've recently come across several statements to the effect "there are questions science can't answer", mostly from proponents of religion and mysticism, but also from scientists and secular ...
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17answers
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How can a belief in God be reconciled with modern science?

My question is this: How can someone living in such a world and age possibly believe in God? To elaborate, I think I understand where religion and the belief in supernatural stems from. It was our ...
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13answers
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Can belief in science be considered a form of theism?

Based on the problem of induction, nobody can assert with absolute certainty that the laws of science (i.e. physics, chemistry, etc,...) will hold all the time, in every part of the universe. ...
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9answers
944 views

Is science just a more refined and effective method of philosophy?

I'm a word geek and it came upon me to look up the word philosophy tonight: philosophy - the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. The thing that ...
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2answers
554 views

Structural Realism vs. Scientific Formalism?

How exactly do structural realism and scientific formalism differ? Are they compatible, or is this another rehashing of, say, the rationalism vs. idealism debate? I know Galileo, Kepler, et al. were ...
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9answers
570 views

Why does science carry so much weight in philosophy when it is highly fallacious?

Science works like this: We observe some phenomenon X. We form one or more hypothesis about what the relationship between X and something else might be. We evaluate the predictive power of the ...
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9answers
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Shouldn't fallibilism be a reason to abandon science?

The Wikipedia page on Fallibilism (currently) makes the intriguing claim that "Fallibilism is related to Pyrrhonistic Skepticism, in that Pyrrhonists of history are sometimes referred to as ...
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1answer
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How does Quine answer the metaphysician's charge that scientism is self-refuting?

General scientism seems to hold that due to the predictive powers of our scientific methods, such methods are preferred to other methods of knowledge, such as metaphysics (radical scientism claiming ...
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To what extent are observations theory laden?

I understand the concept of how all observations are theory laden and how it works as a critique of the positivist program. From this link: Theory-ladenness of observation holds that everything ...
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1answer
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What is the underdetermination of theories by evidence, and how does it square with scientific realism?

What is the underdetermination of theories in philosophy of science? Is it the lack of ability to choose between alternative scientific theories? If so, how can it be that more than one theory ...
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7answers
5k views

What are the foundations of philosophy?

I'm a student majoring in mathematics. I've taken a course in mathematical logic and a course in set theory. My problem is basically that I'm always finding philosophical concepts, for example syntax, ...
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3answers
863 views

Is the simulation hypothesis outside of science?

On the question of the simulation hypothesis (i.e. that reality is a simulation), a friend of mine once remarked he didn't accept it on the grounds of Ockham's razor. To me (with my admittedly ...
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10answers
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Is the universe isomorphic to a universal turing machine?

I often think about problems that require an understanding of the very essence of computation and its inherent limitations. So, my questions are as followed: Is the universe isomorphic to a universal ...
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8answers
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Is Mathematics considered a science?

Science, generally is analyzing information gathered from observing phenomena, and coming up with theories to try and explain the phenomena. Then, attempting to predict a new phenomenon before it ...
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6answers
764 views

Is it possible that I see color differently?

Is it possible that I see color differently; for example what I call 'red' is 'blue' in your vision. Edited.. As we know the science of color, nothing is colored. Red is not "in" an apple. The ...
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5answers
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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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5answers
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Does science reject Aristotle's final cause?

To quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Here Aristotle recognizes four types of things that can be given in answer to a why-question: The material cause: “that out of which”, ...
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3answers
424 views

Is Feyerabend confusing discovery and justification when he criticizes the scientific method?

I am reading Feyerabend's "Against Method", where he uses Copernicus's (and Galileo's confirmation) discovery of the fact that the Earth orbits around the Sun and other examples to show that ...
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2answers
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What is wrong with Popper's theory of falsification? [duplicate]

Popper popularized the notion that empirical science can not be verified, only falsified. Isn't he right? How can someone verify a theory? To me, it does not seem possible. However, you can easily ...
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2answers
996 views

Ought we only form beliefs based on sufficient empirical evidence?

In The Outsider Test for Faith, John Loftus often makes statements like: Faith, as I argue, is an irrational leap over the probabilities. Probabilities about such a matter are all that matter. We ...
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0answers
284 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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1answer
129 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
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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/...
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1answer
239 views

How should science approach non-empirical phenomena?

I am not talking about miracles, religious revelation, or artistic expression, but something more mundane. There is a lot of "empirical" evidence that the Riemann hypothesis is true, the scare quotes ...