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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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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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189 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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159 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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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 ...
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1answer
78 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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135 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 ...
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108 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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146 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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306 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
68 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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126 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
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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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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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65 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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3answers
157 views

How does one judge “complexity” of assumptions for the purposes of “best explanation”?

The context for this question is from assessing theological arguments from the point of view of 'inference to the best explanation'. In philosophy (and science), we may wish to argue that some ...
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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 ...
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1answer
108 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 ...
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4answers
202 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
215 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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72 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 ...
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2answers
71 views

Philosophy and Mindset

All humans can think, question and make decisions. Because of that, all humans are philosophers according to their mindset. Does any philosopher argue like that? Is this True of False?
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1answer
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Resources on materialism and physicalism?

I was wondering if there is anyone here who could recommend specific books or information specific resources from assorted philosophers on the topic of materiality and physicality? I've finished ...
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1answer
26 views

With regard to the methodological incommensurability, does Kuhn talk about astrology?

According to Kuhn's methodological incommensurability, puzzle-solutions from different eras of normal science are evaluated by reference to different paradigm and methods. This implies that what was ...
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366 views

Good resources for philosophers to learn more about quantum mechanics?

It is easy to find high-level descriptions of the implications of quantum mechanics, but they always seem a bit handwavy to me, or at least it is hard to know whether those interpretations are really ...
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1answer
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Kuhn: in what sense is the changed part of an old taxonomy redefined in terms of an “unchanged part”?

The problematic nature of translation arises from two assumptions. First, as we have seen, Kuhn assumes that meaning is (locally) holistic. A change in the meaning of one part of the lexical structure ...
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What is uncomfortable science (Tukey 1954)?

I came across the term "uncomfortable science" on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncomfortable_science) where it is defined: Situations where the same data is used for model development (...
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1answer
159 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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1answer
114 views

If time is going to end, then did it have a beginning? How do we know time will end?

Why do most physicists believe time is finite? What proof do we have that time is not infinite and therefore will never end? And how can 'time' actually come into existence if something coming into ...
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2answers
76 views

Philosophy - If Space and Time are infinite and therefore infinite copies of us would end up existing, then wouldn't we still be gone after we die?

I have a question pondering in my head that if Space and Time are infinite, then does that mean that Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory is true in the way that my life would recur that when 'I' ('I' ...
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1answer
111 views

Philosophy - Is Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory true?

Is Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory true? I am extremely worried that it is because of the very likely fact that Einstein's Block Universe theory is true, and what renders Einstein's Block Universe ...
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4answers
335 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 ...
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1answer
108 views

Philosophy - If both the Rebound Universe and Block Universe theories are true would that mean Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory true?

If the Block Universe is true, and if the Rebound Universe is also true where the universe goes from Big Crunch to Big bang then doesn't that mean that the Block Universe is shaped like a circle where ...
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Does believing in a Christian God logically imply believing in miracles?

Assume you are a Christian and you believe that the descriptions of the life of Jesus are facts. Things like turning water into wine magically, walking on water and other miracles seem to be ...
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557 views

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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is perceptual / observational incommensurability equivalent to ontological incommensurability?

perceptual/observational—observational evidence cannot provide a common basis for theory comparison, since perceptual experience is theory-dependent Kuhn expresses or builds on the idea that ...
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2answers
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What kind of incommensurability does Kuhn claim rules out convergent realism?

A standard conception of the transition from classical to relativistic physics is that although Einstein's theory of relativity supersedes Newton's theory, what we have is an improvement or ...
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1answer
71 views

Is There a World That Exactly Mimics Our Own?

If parallel universes do indeed exist and if we are just viewing one tiny part of reality, is it possible that in an alternate universe there would appear an exact replica of our world? Note: I ...
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Where did Kuhn write his last thoughts about incommensurability?

Kuhn continued to develop his conceptual approach to incommensurability. At the time of his death he had made considerable progress on a book in which he related incommensurability to issues in ...
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1answer
46 views

What did Kuhn exactly say about the inscrutability of reference?

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 translating one language into another, there are ...
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533 views

Where does Kuhn talks about the five characteristics for the choice of theory?

Kuhn (1977, 321–2) identifies five characteristics that provide the shared basis for a choice of theory: 1. accuracy; 2. consistency (both internal and with other relevant currently accepted ...
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Kuhn's essay “Reflections on my critics” is named [1970b] or [1970c]?

About Thomas Kuhn's essay Reflections on my Critics I found two different refereces: In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy it's reported as [1970c], see: 1970c, “Reflections on my Critics”, ...
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1answer
68 views

Is it true that modern statistics was created to prove eugenics? [closed]

Karl Pearson, Francis Galton, R.a Fisher were all prominent figures in the development of modern statistics and were all proponents of Eugenics. Is this true that it was a scientific/mathematical ...
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1answer
84 views

Can physics be approached from a worldview that's not naturalistic?

This is both a theoretical and practical question. Physics (at least university-taught physics) is often based upon Newton's basic worldview, a naturalistic worldview that's said to be the ...
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1answer
79 views

which books or essays “Kuhn [1981]” is referred to?

I found a quote by Thomas Kuhn and the source reports: Kuhn [1981] but I cannot find that year in his bibliography . By googling "Kuhn [1981]" I found the following: What are Scientific ...
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3answers
188 views

Does a philosophy become a science once it can be tested?

Considering that physics used to be called Natural Philosophy. But then it became a "science" once there were numerical predictions and tests. Also when you look at Russell's theory of logic and ...
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174 views

Should all religions and science simply be called philosophies? [closed]

It could be argued that there are three great competing philosophies in the world right now. Democracy, Communism and Islam. Now because one of these philosophies also includes the presumption of a ...
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4answers
128 views

On the determination of scientific consensus

The question: Are there any philosophers or sociologists who have written about the process in which the scientific community decides that a body of evidence is enough to consider a particular theory ...
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3answers
125 views

Does engineering have an intrinsic moral dimension?

If you think engineering has an intrinsic moral dimension, please share your point of view. I think it does, but I would love to hear other points of view.
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Any book/article that talks about a difference in what science achieves and what society wants/needs?

I'm not trying to ignite a discussion on the topic, simply a reading reference for someone who talks about any difference between the academia and society - for example I've seen a book (published ...