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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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4answers
92 views

Specific questions from reading Russell's “The Problems of Philosophy”

I don’t understand the following things from Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy, page 49-52: What is meant by “we can only know what is required in order to secure the correspondence.” (...
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3answers
70 views

“Space” according to Bertrand Russell

I have a specific question in regards to understanding “The Problems of Philosophy” by Russell. In the third chapter (page 46) he writes: But the space of science is neutral as between touch and ...
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1answer
123 views

Why did Scientists still follow Newton's scientific framework, even though Kant debunked it?

Why did physicists still followed Newton's framework all the way until the early 20th century, Pre-Einstein Kant wrote a book criticizing Newtonian mechanics (metaphysics) did many physicists simply ...
2
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2answers
59 views

What is the principle of underdetermination?

While studying I read about the principle of underdetermination of scientific theories. I made some researches online but I am more confused than before. I read about the Quine-Duhem holistic thesis, ...
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2answers
64 views

What is frequentism?

I am studying for an exam and I ran into frequentism. Honestly, I don't understand anything about that. Is frequentism related to probability only? Why are probabilities understood as frequencies? I ...
5
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2answers
112 views

Understanding McDowell's Mind and World

In "Mind and World" John McDowell takes a Sellarsian approach, claiming that the given is a myth. Yet, he says, if I understand him correctly, the space of reasons is not a mere "spinning in the void",...
6
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1answer
108 views

Is essentialism compatible with naturalism?

I am not an expert and I cannot understand why essentialism is incompatible with naturalism? Why scientific laws cannot describe essential properties of objects?
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3answers
164 views

Does an infinitesimal instant of time have zero duration? [closed]

Is there a philosophical argument supporting the hypothesis that an infinitesimal instant of time has zero duration? The reference to infinitesimal includes the modern presentation of it in non-...
2
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2answers
78 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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3answers
206 views

Can randomness be random?

In mathematics, a true random number generator it's impossible, because any formula defines a process that, however complex, is not random. A random event must be unrelated to any cause or condition, ...
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1answer
62 views

Books on the logic of science

I was recently skimming through Nagels "The Structure of Science", and I wonder if there are other books that go through the philosophy of science through a logical point of view; That is, I am ...
3
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0answers
59 views

In which sense does Kuhn acknowledge the importance of metaphors in science?

Kuhn, in Metaphors and Through [1993], claims: “Metaphors play an essential role in establishing links between scientific language and the world. Those links are not, however, given once and ...
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1answer
96 views

Does Descartes identify stimulus, perception and interpretation?

Thomas Kuhn, in The Structure of Scientific Revolution, refuses the cartesian philosophical paradigm because he separates observational stiumulus from interpretation and from sensation/interpretation ...
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0answers
24 views

What is the Lange's viewpoint on laws of nature?

I am just wondering what is the Lange's philosophical perspective on laws of nature and what line of thought he follows in the contemporary debate.
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3answers
96 views

Why does science assume there is no metaphysical cause?

I'm struggling to understand why defining a scientific hypothesis as a falsifiable theory (which is what I understand to be science) means that no metaphysical cause can be taken into account. If ...
5
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1answer
104 views

What is Quine's perspective on probability?

I am curious about what Quine's perspective on probability may be and if we can say that the quinean viewpoint on modality can be considered similar to his viewpoint on probability. Is probability ...
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0answers
31 views

Is there such thing as “random” when it comes to expressionism? [closed]

I am wondering if there is such a thing as "random" when it comes to expressionism. Your brain decides things even before you've realized it. For example, if you pick something up, a fraction of a ...
0
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1answer
57 views

Differences and similarities between Kuhn and Quine about the indeterminacy of translation

About Thomas Kuhn's semantic incommensurability: Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268). According to the latter, if we are ...
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0answers
70 views

Why do the limits to the computation of the universe appear to us as fundamental physical constants? [closed]

According to the Estakhr's Principle of Physical Constants Physical Constants are Computational limits or vice versa. Why do the limits to the computation of the universe appear to us as fundamental ...
5
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7answers
258 views

If nothing happens, does time still pass?

This question may have been asked before; actually, it's definitely been asked before, since it's on the topic of whether time is real or a man-made construct, but I don't believe it has yet been ...
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0answers
23 views

What hisorical time period does Kuhn's “pre-paradigm state” correspond?

In Thomas Kuhn's analysis of scientific development, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, the "pre-paradigm state" is a condition in which all members of the scientific community practice ...
4
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1answer
60 views

Is this a limit of naive atomism? [closed]

If I define every thing as a whole made of its parts, these parts should be things as well – but made of what? If every part is composed by smaller ones, we fall in a regress that leads to ...
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 ...
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5answers
95 views

Is science a religion? [duplicate]

There are two types of people: scientists and everyone else. A scientist is somebody who studies theory and evidence to further their understanding of the world. The key word is evidence. The ...
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2answers
145 views

When do critical perspectives hinder the development of science?

So I was just wondering, we know that Popper said critical perspectives towards the scientific method is important and empirical falsification. But I was just wondering, is there ever a real world ...
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2answers
88 views

Is it problematic to use indeterministic models for deterministic processes

The title basically says it all. My question is whether it is problematic that deterministic processes such as coin tosses are modelled as indeterministic random processes by Frequentist statisticians....
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1answer
112 views

Is the whole debate Kuhn-Popper contained in “Criticism and Growth of Knowledge”?

In the Preface of I.Lakatos and A.Musgrave's Criticism and Growth of Knowledge, I read that the book is the fourth volume of the Acts of the International Congress of Philosophy of Science (London, ...
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1answer
31 views

Where dows Kuhn talk about intension of concepts?

Kuhn talks about changement of concepts during scientific revolutions and says it affects both their intension and extension, and that within the new paradigm old terms, concepts, and experiments fall ...
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4answers
182 views

What makes epistemology unscientific?

Epistemology is called a branch of philosophy and not science. There are several epistemic theories some of which actually were mainstream sometimes. But it appears that, for example, some of them ...
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2answers
227 views

How can I use logical positivism in the philosophy of education?

Logical Positivism is a teacher centered philosophy that rejects intuition, matters of mind, essences, and inner causes. This philosophy relies on laws of matter and motion as valid, and bases truth ...
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4answers
217 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 ...
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0answers
157 views

How can I apply logical positivism in the philosophy of education?

How can I apply logical positivism in the philosophy of education? How would I use logical positivism to explore why teachers teach (objectives), what should be taught (curriculum) and how should ...
2
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1answer
49 views

Peter Lipton's response to Stanford's problem of unconceived alternatives/ 'underconsideration'

In his book, "Inference to the Best Explanation", Peter Lipton lays out a response to Stanford's problem of unconceived alternatives (also referred to as the problem of underconsideration) by saying ...
3
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3answers
130 views

Can you prove a scientific theory is true?

I've heard many scientists claim that science is not based upon assumptions we believe are true, but upon factual truths found empirically via the scientific method. For example, they claim the fact ...
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0answers
43 views

Philosophy of Science and the nature of observation: what counts as 'observable'?

In the realist-antirealist debate within philosophy of science, the distinction between the 'observable' and 'unobservable' is made very often though I have seen that this distinction is also ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Is Frankenstein's monster tantamount to positive proof in Science?

Specifically Biology presents some problems for me. For instance, now that we have Evolution we know what to look for. Thus we are bound to observe some adaptations, and over time even new species. ...
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3answers
114 views

Cosmology - What are the problems with the theory of Eternal Return?

I have been thinking of Niestzche's Eternal return theory and how it could be possible that everything we do and our entire history and the universe will be repeated exactly the same again, and again ...
3
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0answers
102 views

Is 't Hooft cellular automaton compatible with Floridi's Informational (Structural) Realism?

Informational (Structural) Realism (by Luciano Floridi) relates to digital physics ideas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics) As Floridi himself says in one of his articles (http://philsci-...
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4answers
140 views

Where does science end?

Being a physics student I have been behind many mysterious actions of nature, but when we remove one of these mysteries another pops up. Does science end anywhere? Or are these mysteries just ...
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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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1answer
67 views

Looking for Sources on Philosophical Discussion of Modern Atomic Theory

I'm currently planning a research project which tracks the development of atomic theory in the physical sciences (though mainly physics since that's my subject). In the last section I want to discuss ...
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2answers
111 views

The viability of holding a neo-Aristotelian metaphysics?

I want to ask a few questions and sort of vent my frustration as well as analyze an acknowledged ignorance of the subject matter on this post. I possess a minuscule but possibly still workable idea of ...
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3answers
97 views

If a false scientific theory is seemingly 'proven', and contributes to the progress of society, is proving it wrong detrimental?

If, some well known and extremely well respected scientist of the modern world makes a seemingly unmistakable correlation between x (eating 33 bananas a day for instance) and y (ease in anxiety). The ...
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2answers
50 views

Accuracy vs. Understanding In Science

Suppose I have a theory A that can predict all experimental outcomes, E, in a particular domain of interest almost exactly. Now suppose later a second theory is developed B that cannot predict ...
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0answers
62 views

Does it matter possessing knowledge about the Universe if it is going to end?

To be specific, I'm referring to physical reality. Moreover, this question might seem awkward at first glimpse. Well, it does not appear that there are any meaningful relations between the end of the ...
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2answers
71 views

Why was the creation of philosophy so important to contributions in science and human development? [closed]

Why was the creation of philosophy so important to us humans? After all, we are curious and we always want answers, and philosophy was a field of thinking that helped develop sciences. But how did the ...
6
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1answer
106 views

What did Kuhn specifically say about “history for philosophical purposes”?

Kuhn had little formal philosophical training but was nonetheless fully conscious of the significance of his innovation for philosophy, and indeed he called his work ‘history for philosophical ...
2
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4answers
196 views

Drawing from a box that contains all the Natural numbers

This question is basically about the fact that there exists no uniform distribution over the set of all Natural numbers. Imagine a situation in which we would draw from an urn that contains one ball ...
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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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70 views

Should scientists stand against anything that cannot be statistically tested?

As I see it, scientists have three categories of non-science. Theories that actually have been falsified with data showing they are wrong. Theories that cannot be tested regardless of technological ...