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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14
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8answers
10k views

Is time a physical factor or just a concept?

When thinking of cycles and myths, one cannot pass the idea of Kronos or Kali. That brought me to form some questions about the nature of time. Three definitions for time: Time is a measure of the ...
26
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7answers
1k views

What are some works that apply an axiomatic method to something other than mathematics?

The axiomatic method is today mostly associated with mathematics. However, historically there have been some works, as for example Spinoza's Ethics, that have applied axiomatic method to philosophy, ...
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14answers
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What is a straight line?

I am not a philosopher; I am an engineer with a reasonable grasp of mathematics. This question has been bothering me for a long time, and I have asked a variation of it to a mathematical community. ...
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7answers
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Are Methodological Assumptions of StackExchange Fundamentally Flawed?

I looked here for an answer while writing a paper on evidence and scientific inference. I then saw the bold claims made by the website that the process goes as follows: Anybody can ask a question ...
18
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5answers
778 views

Do any philosophers disagree with Occam's razor?

I never bought into the razor. For example, if I have two hypotheses A and B with equal evidence, the razor would have me pick the simpler one. But personally in my mind, I create a sort of credence-...
13
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1answer
2k views

What responses have there been to Popper's idea of theory-laden observation?

One of the most appealing parts of Karl Popper's philosophy for me is the idea of theory-laden observation. To provide an unjust summary: whenever you are making an observation-statement to question ...
12
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4answers
4k views

Is Galileo's argument about falling bodies logically flawed?

Galileo's famous argument against the Aristotle's theory of falling bodies goes like this. "Let's say heavy objects do fall faster than light ones. Then it seems the heavier weight will fall with the ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What do Philosophers think about the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics?

One of the interpretations of quantum mechanics is the Many Worlds Interpretation which basically states that the universe as a whole develops like an unobserved quantum system, and any observation ...
4
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0answers
194 views

What is scientific in the social sciences? [closed]

Examples for natural sciences: physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology. Social sciences: psychology, sociology, criminology, psychiatry, political science, human geography, demography, economics, ...
4
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3answers
5k views

What is multiplicity for Deleuze?

The SEP explains in its introduction to Deleuze that "Deleuze conceived of philosophy as the production of concepts, and he characterized himself as a “pure metaphysician.” In his magnum opus ...
3
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2answers
17k views

Difference between Science and Arts

"Science provides an understanding of a universal experience. Arts provide a universal understanding of a personal experience." Mae Jemison Here is what Mae Jemison's says about her claim (source): ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Theories of Everything as a hold over from monotheism?

In his book "A Tear at the Edge of Creation", physicist Mario Gleiser argues that results from cosmology and particle physics make it unlikely that we will ever find an elegant unified theory of ...
8
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3answers
777 views

How do proponents of the Cosmological argument respond to the nature of time?

How do proponents of the Cosmological argument respond to the nature of time? Is asking what occurred before the Big Bang like asking what is north of the North Pole? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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3answers
578 views

Is the anthropic principle in physics falsifiable?

The Anthropic Principle states that the fundamental physics of the universe must allow the possibility of conscious life in the universe - as that is an observable fact. It's often qualified as ...
3
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2answers
675 views

A Kantian view on modern physics

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Immanuel Kant, in the section discussing the Critique of pure reason: In the Transcendental Analytic, the most crucial as well as the most ...
3
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5answers
5k views

Popper vs Kuhn, Science and Progression

So I've looked over multiple research papers and books and still can't grasp the idea of what the difference between Popper and Kuhn is based on their view of how science works and progresses? Based ...
12
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2answers
1k views

What are the key differences between pragmatism and conventionalism?

What are the key differences between (classical) pragmatism and conventionalism? I'm reasonably familiar with the first, and have just become aware of the second via a reference to Henri Poincaré's La ...
12
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3answers
2k views

How did the logical positivists respond to Gödel's incompleteness theorem?

In a lecture on philosophy of science I recently listened to, it was stated that Quine was the one who decisively refuted the logical positivist program. I've also read that Quine and Popper were ...
10
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4answers
787 views

Can the history of science be used to derive a philosophy of science, with regard to Kuhn's philosophy?

Was introduced to Thomas Kuhn's philosophy of science and failed to understand how and why history of science can serve for more than descriptive purposes. Further, it seems that Kuhn believes that it ...
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7answers
1k views

Why do we need a reason for believing that inductive method is necessarily true?

I've been a bit perplexed about the "problem" of induction. Hume challenges other philosophers to come up with a deductive reason for the inductive connection. If the justification of induction ...
7
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1answer
605 views

Is physicalism a current scientific consensus?

I was reading Wikipedia through materialism and physicalism article and was unable to find, whether modern scientists largely subscribe to physicalism in natural sciences. What is the scientific ...
7
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7answers
498 views

Does science provide the most accurate depiction of reality for analyzing and describing an accurate worldview?

I've been fighting throughout my philosophical reading with the question of the necessity of science as the only permitted view we (since the late 19th century) have on the world. My question might ...
6
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8answers
285 views

Is science possible in a world where a god acts?

Consider a world equipped with a god; and this god from time to time at his convenience and no other, acts in the world; and then too, that those beings who live in the world see these acts as ...
4
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3answers
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What is Kant's influence on philosophy of science and the demarcation problem?

Kant's proof of the existence of synthetic apriori knowledge was a response to Hume's fork and his views the problem of induction. Given the relevance of these two concepts to the philosophy of ...
4
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5answers
607 views

is science against philosophy? [closed]

I am asking this because I've seen articles, graphics, and quotes of science against philosophy. I believe Hawking have said something about philosophy being killed by science, this article: Dear ...
3
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2answers
356 views

Have David Wolpert's findings really “slammed the door” on scientific determinism?

I recently read an article describing how mathematician/physicist David Wolpert's research closed the door on scientific determinism. I have huge doubts about the implied conclusion, considering the ...
3
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3answers
223 views

How do laws of nature enforce themselves?

The Humean view prevailing today is that laws of nature are mere regularities of the empirical events. However, there seems to be a difference between post factum regularities, like the Titius-Bode ...
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2answers
831 views

Are We Living in a Simulated Universe? [closed]

Isn't Quantization of Energy (or action) in Quantum Mechanics prove that our world is a Great Computer Simulation!? Are We Living in a Simulated Universe? just imagine the whole world is a great ...
9
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2answers
560 views

Is compatibilism still considered a valid approach to free will?

Has the Free Will Theorem of Conway and Kochen been taken seriously by the philosophical community? Is compatibilism still considered a valid approach to free will?
8
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3answers
755 views

What was Einstein's contribution to philosophy?

Daniel Dennett, in a lecture abut Darwin, mentions Newton, Darwin, Skinner, Turing, Gödel, and Einstein as 6 "non-philosophers" who have had a major impact on philosophy. I can see how the other 5 had ...
8
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4answers
1k views

What might be some of the most significant philosophical implications of a technological singularity?

Several prominent futurologists and technologists, most importantly Kurzweil and Moravec, have projected varying timelines for a forthcoming technological singularity in the next century or even few ...
7
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2answers
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Why did Hegel hate Newton?

A quick skim through the "Inorganic Physics" section of Hegel's Encyclopedia shows 5 separate paragraphs with reference to Newton, and all of them are disparaging. If there's a real philosophical ...
7
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4answers
207 views

Are there formal theories for grouping different knowledge areas?

What do you know about the boundaries between different bodies of knowledge, e.g. bodies of science. I think it's a common question, e.g. "where's the boundary between mathematics and physics". But ...
7
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2answers
156 views

Is there any evidence that any philosophers in Antiquity viewed space itself as a something?

In Lucretious poem De Natura, he has They [atoms] move through the void In contemporary usage a vacuum is the the removal of all matter from space, it stems from Latin adjective vacuus for empty ...
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3answers
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What is the contrast between Hume's and Locke's philosophies of science?

I'm writing an essay on Hume and was hoping to contrast his empiricism to Locke's in it. I have come across a commentary, which doesn't go into great depth; could someone explain it in a little ...
6
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7answers
721 views

How is philosophical reasoning different from scientific or logical reasoning?

Does philosophy have rules or methods for reasoning or analysis like, say, the "scientific method" in science. If yes are there any differences and what are they?
5
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3answers
761 views

How could the concept of 'evidence' be defined, and how significant is it?

What is evidence, and how much of it means that a proposition is true? Does a partial / total lack of evidence mean that a proposition should be ignored? Is the concept evidence more important to ...
5
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2answers
871 views

Did Kant consider Newtonian mechanics a priori?

Did Kant take Newtonian physics as being synthetic a priori? I get the feeling he did. If he did, how did he justify this, it seems like a huge blunder for such a careful thinker. I mean... Kant ...
4
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4answers
4k views

What are the characteristics of an 'objective' statement or argument?

Can anyone explain what an "objective" statement or argument really is? How can we decide that one statement is more objective than another?
4
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3answers
146 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. ...
4
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4answers
271 views

Is potential real?

It might be an odd question to some, but to me it strikes quite obviously as something I should've asked a long time ago :-) In physics, potential energy stands for the energy that could be realized ...
3
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1answer
179 views

How important are Quine and Feyerabend to the philosophy of science and the demarcation problem?

I've listened to two sets of lectures on the philosophy of science that treat Quine's results on underdetermination, the dissolution of the analytic/synthetic distinction, and confirmation holism as ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Does Quantum Physics Refute Ayn Rand's Objectivism?

Rand's Objectivisms' central tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective ...
3
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1answer
445 views

Have the implications of cybernetics on epistemology been studied?

I would like to know what is the state of the art. There are several approaches in epistemology, from the various variants of positivism, to pragmatism, and many others. In cybernetics a system ...
3
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1answer
85 views

Can physics talk about non-physical entities/concepts, and if not which academic department does?

Of course, for this question the physical itself needs to be defined; I'll define it simply as the popular use of it today in physics - either an actual, material substance, or a physical concept such ...
3
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2answers
138 views

Has anyone used the challenges facing the demarcation of science problem to justify religious and mystical worldviews?

Quine gave a serious challenge to the positivist program of establishing a purely observation and logic based epistemology. This essentially lead to the failure of the logical positivist's attempt to ...
3
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4answers
141 views

Is the primary aim of science predicting outcomes of experiments or understanding the nature of our world?

Scientist P observes a phenomenon X and develops a complicated ad hoc theory PR to describe X. Then scientist E reads about theory PR and he realizes that theory PR can be replaced by a much simpler ...
2
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1answer
122 views

Is a posteriori analytic philosophy just science?

Analytic philosophy primarily tries to solve problems a priori. Science can be considered to be synthetic a posteriori, based of some a priori theoretical framework. But would any conclusions that you ...
2
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3answers
389 views

Does the thermodynamic arrow of time really solve the arrow of time question?

First recalling here that physical time is not time as understood by our Sensability & Intuition - the proper sense of time; we also recall that famously Newtonian or Einsteinian Physics do not ...
2
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1answer
342 views

How would anyone know if they saw the equation of everything?

Given this answer by user34445 to the question: Final theory in Physics: a mathematical existence proof? https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/76058/final-theory-in-physics-a-mathematical-...