Questions tagged [philosophy-of-science]

for applied philosophical questions about the study of science, the pursuit of scientific knowledge, and the scientific method

97 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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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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272 views

How do disjunctive antecedents work in Marc Lange's stability concept of laws of nature?

I'm an ecology student who's dabbling into philosophy of science. I'm currently writing a term paper on laws of nature (with a focus on ecology as a special science) and try to wrap my mind around ...
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2answers
269 views

Are the “laws” of deductive logic empirically verifiable?

"Is Logic Empirical?" strongly suggests a question that I would like very much to get a handle on. That phrase is a title of an article by Hilary Putnam, and, according to synopses/reviews, the ...
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113 views

Explanation vs. prediction in statistics and in the philosophy of science?

In the realm of statistics and machine learning, a lot of discussion has arisen recently around the difference between explaining and predicting: That the two are not the same, and that the difference ...
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194 views

Philosophy of Physics/Mathematics PhD with Mathematics/Physics undergrad (no philosophy undergrad)

I've found that I'm really interested in some research in the philosophy of mathematics and physics that's currently happening at various institutions. However, I don't have much experience in ...
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47 views

Name of Principle Giving Precedence to a More General Hypothesis

As far as I know, there is a principle that gives precedence to a theory that is more general than a more specific one, i.e the more general one is more acceptable. What is the name of that principle?
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73 views

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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93 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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114 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
241 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, ...
3
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3answers
181 views

Causality: is it possible for one attribute to be found in one node but not the others before it?

This is a rather basic question about causality, but I'm a bit confused over it (especially in terms of the "first cause" argument). Causality (from Wikipedia): Agency or efficacy that connects ...
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64 views

Is there anything left in contemporary epistemology and science from the German Idealism?

Kant, Reinhold, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel.. Is there anything left from the Kantian movement today in the thoughts of knowledge and nature? The question is focused especially after Popper essentially "...
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1answer
72 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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111 views

Reference request - philosophy of history of science

I am interested in exploring philosophical aspects of the history of science, or philosophy of history of science, if you will. Are there any canonical texts dealing particularly with the philosophy ...
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56 views

Why is there no “Mario Bunge” entry in the SEP? Where could I find a valuable presentation of Mario Bunge's philosophy?

I only have a rudimentary knowledge of Mario Bunge's philosophy. But what I've read in the Ontology part of his Treatise of basic philosophy seems much promising. I'm astonished that Bunge is not ...
2
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82 views

Quine, subjective probability and QM

I have just read Confessions of a Confirmed Extensionalist where Quine says: “Probability? Of events? Restore extensionality (...). Of states of affairs? Treat quotationally, like de dicto. How much ...
2
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1answer
315 views

What is the relevance of applicability to the natural sciences in pure mathematics?

I think I am coming to a good, new understanding of the relationship of pure mathematics to the natural sciences. A major concern of mine is just how reliable is rigorous (characteristically "pure") ...
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50 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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122 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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48 views

Philosophical way to look at classical interpretation of probability

I was thinking about the classical interpretation of probability. They make the assumption that determinism obtains in the natural world. Hence, probability is epistemic. Can I see that as a form of ...
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78 views

Kierkegaard and Natural Sciences

Is there any overlap in Kierkegaard's work and Philosophy of Science? If my memory is not misleading, Søren's journals had plenty of mathematical and scientific examples, but used for the most part to ...
2
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0answers
36 views

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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186 views

Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics - Argument explanation

I would be grateful if someone could explain me this argument from Philosophy of Physics in plain English. I'm not sure how Albert arrives at his conclusion and I lack the mathematical skills to ...
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57 views

Arguments in scientific discussion and questioning administration on decision making

While we may have a no-holds barred attitude to prove a point in a scientific deliberation, we have to be little more responsible while questioning the decision making of an administration (assuming ...
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98 views

Why didn't Newton pursue philosophy?

Why didn't he pursue philosophy in the same way Leibniz did, many "natural philosophers" during that time often delved into many fields since it wasn't really required to specialize yet, but it seems ...
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106 views

Philosophy and Reading: Towards Math, and Physics

I was reading a book about learning philosophy for beginners called Introduction to Philosophy Classical and Contemporary Readings Edited by John Perry, Michael Bratman, John Martin Fischer It ...
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53 views

What is Malebranche's explanation for the source of human error?

An omnibenevolent God would not deceive us or cause us to be in error, thus the gifts from cannot be the source of error. Rather sin confuses our faculties and prevents us from using them as they ...
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56 views

What was Putnam's position re truth and/or word/world relationship at the time of his death.

The formidable philosopher of science and mathematics, Hillary Putnam, died last year, at 89, shortly [relatively] after his retirement. His was an intellectually peripatetic career. Though he ...
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2answers
232 views

Fallibilism and truth by science

I know that a fallibilist believes that our current beliefs may not be true but i'm trying to argue that one can be a fallibilist and also believe that science progresses towards the truth. Does it ...
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82 views

Does Every Logic Have the Potential for Violent Measurement?

Measurement, in the broad sense, involves useful abstractions and logical applicability that allow us to survey environmental data with extreme precision and prediction. The tools or instruments used ...
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125 views

How can rational choice theory be explanatory?

In his work, John Harsanyi appears to have taken issue with classical social theorists' account of social phenomena. For example, he criticized Max Weber's typological approach on the grounds, "If we ...
2
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1answer
165 views

Would truly random events be strictly equivalent to events without a cause?

There are a couple of questions (one, another) about this topic, and as I was thinking about this for a while, I started wondering whether there has been any systematic research into this that raises ...
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93 views

field concept - historical and contemporay perspectives?

Can someone give me some reference (or insight) on the development of the field concept in physics. In particularly, the period between 17th century Newton/Leibniz notion of force/action-at-distance ...
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971 views

Materialist Epistemology?

In a normal theory of knowledge, a person's phenomenal consciousness is taken as basic. Thus, the sciences are an attempt at explaining the "world" that affects phenomenal consciousness. Excising ...
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66 views

Is the Anglo-Analytical tradition founded on rejecting the principle of sufficient reason?

In this blog-post on a criticism of Nagels book Mind & Cosmos the author makes the assertion: This is no surprise because analytical philosophy was founded in the act of rejecting PSR. Our ...
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2answers
101 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
54 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 ...
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34 views

Natural/Artificial distinction

Is there in reality a distinction between natural and man-made products? Can airplane be considered natural as much as a squirel or a mountain?
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33 views

David Lewis and probability

I have read a general overview on David Lewis in order to have an idea of his philosophical perspective and in particular about humean supervenience. I am wondering how Lewis considers probability in ...
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68 views

How and why Aristotelian essentialism is a problem for Quine?

I cannot understand how and why the Aristotelian essentialism is problematic for Quine. I have tried to read articles on the theme but probably I am not smart enough to understand them. Could you ...
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25 views

What is Quine’s reductionism?

I am especially interested in how reductionism is related to the fact that even though science broadly comprehends a number of subjects, physics is paradigmatic.
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50 views

What are the accomplishments of critical theory vs. logical positivism

Coming from a natural science viewpoint I find that logical positivism is much more important for scientific research than is critical theory. I've read the critics/flaws of logical positivism and ...
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1answer
38 views

Is there any correlation between Quine’s underdetermination and bayesian issues of old evidence and new theories?

Bayesianism has some faults some of them are the problem of old evidence and the issue of new theories. Are these two problems linked to Quine’s underdetermination? Or are they contrasting it? What is ...
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1answer
83 views

Must an analysis of Being precede the positive sciences?

In the first few pages of Being and Time Heidegger writes: such an inquiry [into foundations]... still needs a guideline... it remains naive and opaque if... it leaves the meaning of being in ...
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2answers
106 views

Does linguistic idealism imply scientific anti-realism, and are any existentialists committed to anti-realism for that reason?

Does linguistic idealism imply scientific anti-realism? By scientific anti-realism I mean the opinion that the unobservable world we study with science is not real, not mind independent. By ...
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64 views

What were Hegel's criticisms of Newton?

I recently read this thread THREAD describing the relationship between Hegel and Newton. Apparently, Hegel misread Newton's principia, and criticized a specific point of science on Newton. This is ...
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Which kinds of academic revolutions has philosophy of science indentified so far and when?

Recently, I had an interdisciplinary discussion with some friends about Industry 4.0, internet of things,...which brought up the question, which kind of academic revolutions apart from industrial ...
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30 views

Is there a philosophical position for and against the idea that every causal entity contributes to every effect?

Is there a philosophical position for and against the idea that every causal entity can in principle contribute to every effect? So do some e.g. physical explanations claim that entities of type X ...
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45 views

About the advantages of the propensity perspective on probability

I am wandering what are the advantages of the propensity perspective on probability. Why would it be better to explain probability in physics? Except for the fact that it solves various problems of ...
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64 views

What approach, choosing from Barnes and Bloor from SSK, or Kitcher from ESK, best described current practices in economics

Can someone help me with this question, because I can't get the answer myself, would like to start a discussion as well. SSK is the sociology of scientific knowledge and ESK is the economics of ...