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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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14
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1answer
564 views

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 ...
14
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6answers
944 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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3answers
461 views

Are there JTB epistemologies which reject the knowledge of some Gettier problems, but in which religious experiences still justify belief?

Such is my current worldview that there is no religious experience or numinous feeling that could justify faith in any god. This is because, in the wake of a slew of discoveries about the ...
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5answers
2k views

Have there really been paradigm shifts?

After reading about Kuhn's work, this question still keeps me wondering: Have there really been paradigm shifts, like Kuhn states? The examples of paradigm shifts often include the switch from ...
13
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4answers
994 views

Why does Popper think there are no a priori synthetic statements?

Lately I´ve been reading Poppers "Logic of Scientific Discovery" and I am especially interested in his critics of induction as a scientific method. When he trys to show that a principle of induction ...
13
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3answers
427 views

What is the relation between proof in mathematics and observation in physics?

Recently in his 2015 Hirzebruch Lecture in Bonn, Arthur Jaffe re-amplified his famous perspective that finding proof in mathematics is analogous to making experimental observation in physics. In ...
13
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1answer
704 views

What did John Passmore mean when he reported that logical positivism “is dead”?

The philosophical school of logical positivism (which later became known as "logical empiricism") was a type of analytic philosophy that attempted to combine empiricism with rationalist epistemology. ...
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
3k views

What makes Humans different from a chemical computer?

Are we all robots? Is our DNA the 0's and 1's of computer code? Are we an advanced computer system, with instead of keyboard and mouse input... input from our senses. Our database being our brain ...
12
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5answers
8k views

What are some resources on the philosophy of computer science?

Are there any links between philosophy and computer science? What resources might be useful for a programmer learning philosophy?
12
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9answers
4k views

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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4answers
5k 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 ...
12
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4answers
7k views

What is the difference between dogma and an axiom?

My understanding of axioms is that they are self evident truths that require no proof, which in my mind is similar to a dogmatic belief in the sense that dogma is a set of beliefs or doctrines that ...
12
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9answers
713 views

Is there any reason to believe that there are things which science cannot tell us?

Science can only tell us a posteriori synthetic truths, can this category extend to all propositions about the world. Surely the only things which can by known ONLY by a priori analytic are ...
12
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3answers
948 views

Is the scientific method, itself, falsifiable?

Fundamental to science is the concept of hypotheses being falsifiable. A falsifiable hypothesis, naturally, is one which could be proven wrong by empirical experimentation or observation. Karl ...
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 ...
12
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5answers
6k views

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”, ...
12
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1answer
5k views

Representation versus cartography in Deleuze and Guattari?

Can someone help me contextualize and concretize the theme of representation (what they sometimes call "tracing") versus cartography ("mapping," "diagramming," even "meta-modeling", etc.) in Deleuze ...
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 ...
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18answers
3k views

Confusion about reasoning in science [closed]

Situation 1: One puts the hypothesis (Call it hypothesis H1) that "there exists a force of attraction between every two masses". One obtains a high degree of belief in this hypothesis by testing it ...
11
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7answers
2k views

Is it inappropriate for politicians to make rules governing scientific research?

Robinson Meyer, in a recent article in The Atlantic, quotes law professor Wendy Wagner as follows: People who are not scientists are telling us how scientific synthesis and analysis should be done.....
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6answers
2k views

Quantum Mechanics and Logic [closed]

I heard several times that the results of quantum mechanics (double-slit experiment for instance ) challenge our logic. One example of that is the famous physicist Lawrence Krauss. He keeps ...
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6answers
1k views

What does “to cause” mean?

What does it mean, strictly, for one event to "cause" another? If I throw a ball, does the movement of my arm cause the ball to move, or are they simply correlated events? If you say the arm caused ...
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9answers
1k views

Is a proof still valid if only the author understands it?

Some time ago I was reading about the recent Shinichi Mochizuki's proof for the famous ABC conjecture. It's enormous and so incredibly difficult that at that time virtually nobody was able to ...
11
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3answers
808 views

Why is epistemology done from a phenomenological point of view?

I'm currently in a class where we are studying, among other things, the philosophy of perception. The papers we have read so far, for example Grice's "The Causal Theory of Perception" and Strawson's "...
11
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7answers
2k views

When does absence of evidence imply evidence of absence?

There is a well known maxim that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. In his book "The Black Swan", Nassim Taleb advocates this using a medical example - something along the lines of no ...
11
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2answers
317 views

Did Kuhn “recant”?

I've heard (from a source which now escapes me) that later in his life Kuhn retreated from some of the more relativistic claims of The Structure of Sceintific Revolutions. Specifically, I think I ...
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4answers
1k views

Is a theory that can only be disproved with an infeasable test still scientific?

If I understand Karl Popper's reasoning correctly, a theory is 'scientific' if there can be devised a test that tries to disprove it; i.e., it must be falsifiable. Now, imagine a theory that ...
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11answers
7k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
519 views

Why are physicists debating the “multiverse” so detached from professional philosophy?

Something curious is happening in some corners of fundamental physics these days, and I am wondering if professional philosophers of science are fully aware of this, or else why there is not more ...
11
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2answers
291 views

Is there a connection between Kants thought & the observer-dependent interpretation of quantum mechanics?

Kants copernican revolution placed the observer squarely back into universe. The universe wasn't just an objective reality out there, but also entangled up in our own ways of knowing and perceiving at ...
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10answers
5k views

“God doesn't play with dice”: does QM's randomness really contradict religion?

Everyone knows Einstein's popular phrase on Quantum Mechanics - "God doesn't play with dice", implying that the randomness theory that the universe "popped" into existence randomly doesn't align with ...
10
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10answers
14k views

Was Einstein a philosopher?

Albert Einstein described the fact that he believed in 'god'; yet, he did not define that god as a personal god who actually existed as a separate being. He used the concept to describe everything ...
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6answers
988 views

What are some good books on phenomenology for a mathematician?

I have a background in Mathematics, and am starting to wander into the complex realm of Philosophy. I'm interested in trying to understand what is the meaning of the scientific investigation in ...
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13answers
2k views

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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11answers
7k views

Does philosophy belong to empirical science or formal science?

According to Wikipedia, science can be divided into empirical science (such as natural science and social science) and formal science (such as mathematics, logic, statistics). I was wondering if ...
10
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6answers
553 views

Can one speak unambiguously of “The” Scientific Method?

When people in general discuss science, they talk about the scientific method as if it was a fixed and universally agreed upon principle. In a show I saw recently by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, he explicitly ...
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6answers
2k 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 ...
10
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7answers
954 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 ...
10
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6answers
794 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 ...
10
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6answers
47k 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 ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Was Bishop Berkeley part of the Enlightenment and if so - how did it fit his adherence to religion?

In his The Analyst Berkeley argued, among other things, that mathematicians must not "submit to Authority, take things upon Trust" and so expressed a view of the Enlightenment. This made me think: if ...
10
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4answers
800 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 ...
10
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3answers
434 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 ...
10
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4answers
4k views

Is there a modern, secular argument for the soul?

In modern times it is common to think the soul is a religious belief. Even though the original arguments for the soul were not religious (e.g. Plato and Aristotle, and more recently Descartes, ...
10
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1answer
572 views

How did materialists historically fit magnetism into their model?

Going by its Wikipedia page, materialism has been largely discredited due to advances in physics as it cannot explain phenomena such as gravity which apparently exist without the connivance of matter. ...
10
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3answers
536 views

What would a quantum interpretation without ontology be like?

Luboš Motl keeps insisting quantum mechanics invalidates ontology, and has made ontology obsolete, just like phlogiston. What would metaphysics without ontology look like, where words like "existence" ...
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4answers
255 views

Are there any good non-technical discussions of what a scientific theory is?

So, I'm teaching a course on Scientific Realism in the fall. I wanted to start off with a unit titled "What is a theory?" to make sure all of my students are on the same page and to prepare them for ...
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3answers
1k views

How is Bayesian reasoning related to the scientific method?

Back in September 2006, Scott Aaronson wrote a famous blog post giving 10 Reasons to believe that N!=NP. In March 2014, he wrote a more ambitious post about The scientific case for N!=NP. He claims: "...
10
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1answer
672 views

Does going from a singular to existential statement make it non-scientific for Popper?

In "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" (section 15) Popper argues that an 'isolated' (a term he introduced in the English translation, which seems to be used in a very vague way) purely existential ...