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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Why should science be falsifiable?

Why should science be falsifiable? Furthermore, should disciplines - like astrophysics that are extremely hard to experiment on - be considered as a science in a standing point of philosophy? I know ...
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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 ...
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Difference between math and physics in terms of describing the/a universe?

"The difference between math and physics is that physics describes our universe, while math describes any potential universe" This was one of my math professor's arguments in trying to convince me to ...
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Is meditation valid to study consciousness scientifically?

In the study of consciousness, neuroscience observes mental phenomena through physical correlations, using techniques such as fMRI, PET and EEG. These are considered valid and reproductible, and can ...
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To what extent are observations theory laden?

I understand the concept of how all observations are theory laden and how it works as a critique of the positivist program. From this link: Theory-ladenness of observation holds that everything ...
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Is World Deterministic?

I think that all the events of the world are just the results of the application of the rules of nature on the previous situation of the world. Our thoughts or efforts are also completely ...
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988 views

Does the electromagnetic field physically exist?

I really don't know much about philosophy, but my question is whether philosophers have a notion of "physically exists" and what it would mean. I would say it's clear that a particle like an electron ...
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Social theory of science?

A lot of philosophers of science try to explain what science is through a normative approach. That it, they try to show what are norms and standards the satisfaction of which make a theory or practice ...
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How would you know if nonobservable entities exist?

Nonphysical entities cannot be observed. Therefore such entities cannot be verified by observation. How could statements like "God exists" be even considered true? Why would anyone appeal to the ...
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Is philosophical naturalism circular reasoning?

I'm a steadfast proponent of science and logic, but it's been occurring to me lately that this belief in the veracity of science may be just that, a belief---no different than a theist's beliefs in ...
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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 ...
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What are the relations between supervenience, grounding and emergence in philosophy of science?

So, I am wondering if anyone could help me with the notions of grounding (supervenience?) and emergence in the modern discussions in philosophy of science. What are they and what is the relation ...
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Best books on philosophy of physics

I'm looking for recommendations on graduate level books concerning philosophy and physics, or preferably the philosophy of physics. I'm currently reading 'After Physics' by David Albert, and 'The ...
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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 ...
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Is science just a more refined and effective method of philosophy?

I'm a word geek and it came upon me to look up the word philosophy tonight: philosophy - the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. The thing that ...
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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 ...
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809 views

How do Kripke's rigid designators and the necessity of identity relate to the Duhem-Quine thesis?

The Duhem-Quine thesis refers to the underdetermination of scientific theories and the fact that it is impossible to test scientific theories in isolation, we always need to make background ...
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368 views

Why are minds not considered part of the external environment?

I will try to be as specific as possible here: philosophers of mind often specify two levels of existence and/or explanation, the mental and the physical, even if they don't subscribe to dualism. ...
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362 views

What are the philosophical consequences of employing computers to do science and mathematics?

In recent years the steadily increasing computing capacity of computers has led to a lot of new areas in science. In most cases the computer is used to process huge sets of data which cannot possibly ...
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157 views

Are miracles compatible with our belief in empirical predictions?

I read the SEP entry on miracles a while ago and plan to take a shot at Hume's Of Miracles soon. Before I get started - I cannot understand how miracles even make sense. Here's my thinking so far: ...
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342 views

Do mathematician always agree at the end?

I know it's a off beat question but I thought philosophical answer would be better. I've been trying to study some different sciences in my life, ranging from biology to mathematics, and if I try to ...
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444 views

Who was to first to apply the reductionist hypothesis to science?

I don't have much background in philosophy, but I recently read an interesting paper about "emergence" (Anderson, 1972). In that paper, Anderson relates to the "reductionist" hypothesis. When and by ...
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196 views

Reading for philosophy of statistics / statistical inference

Had a quick look around and although there are some questions on statistics there is not one that asks this specific question. I am about to return to university to study a masters in a statistical ...
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Does human progress ultimately reduce individuals to Nietzsche's last men?

Human progress – technological, scientific, social, etc. – seeks to reduce, and ultimately totally eliminate, the aspects of life we perceive as unpleasant – loss, tragedy, suffering ... However, an ...
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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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What role does “counting histories” play in Deutsch's critique of the “simulation argument”?

In his book The Beginning of Infinity, David Deutsch argues that there is a problematic assumption behind the simulation argument that "virtually all instances of us are in ... simulations and not in ...
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How does strong evidence imply truth?

I have seen a great number of individuals who take a step from "There is overwhelming evidence to suggest theory X is true" to "Theory X is true." (I think I misworded the former sentence ...
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Is there a literature theory of science and math texts?

I'm compiling a list of ideas and recommendations on how to read math and physics books with the aim of taking apart the presented content, classifying the provided information and, to some extent, ...
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Current research on experimental philosophy and the philosophy of technology?

X-Phi, the practice of performing philosophy based on experimental measures from the "real world" tends to concern itself with moral philosophy testing. As I'm finishing up my thesis on the philosophy ...
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Is there a term for the absence of evidence fallacy with regard to scientific falsification?

If one looks at the roots of science, it is not founded on being right, but on being easy to prove wrong. Popper's concept of falsification puts this in words. I see many who see the absence of ...
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How can a belief in God be reconciled with modern science?

My question is this: How can someone living in such a world and age possibly believe in God? To elaborate, I think I understand where religion and the belief in supernatural stems from. It was our ...
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Is something creating itself nonsense?

There seems to me to be a big trend among scientist, many if not all of the atheist variety, that think that the universe could somehow create itself. Stephen Hawking goes on to say... Bodies such ...
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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 ...
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Can logic be without time?

I think logic is dependent on time. My reasoning is that all of the basic logic concepts are based on axioms that are observations in time (so basic that they do not require proof). This then leads ...
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How can probability statements be falsified?

Have studied recently some about philosophical views of probability and ran into an interesting problem put forward by Popper: According to Popper, probability statements are not strictly ...
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How can a phenomenon be compatible with several theories?

My teacher was teaching us about path of electrons around a nucleus. He told us that many theories have been proposed about path of an electron and the latest theory is somehow different from saying ...
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Do good explanations have to be true?

Is it so that whenever one gives an explanation to a question starting from 'why' or 'how' the explanation that we receive in return always is true in nature? From one perspective, an explanation is ...
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Is one commiting the “argument from authority” fallacy and/or the “consensus fallacy” when one refers to a scientific consensus when asserting truth?

Bob and Alice disagree regarding subject X. Alice holds view A regarding subject X. Bob holds view B regarding subject X. View A and view B are quite contradictory views. Both can not be true at ...
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How does Popper overcome this critique?

Suppose P and Q are falsifiable theories (in the Popperian sense). Then it seems to me that 'P and Q' is a falsifiable theory (we can refute it by refuting A, or by refuting B), and so too is 'P or Q' ...
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Can we know the fundamental nature of space and time?

Can you please point me to an argument by a notable contemporary philosopher arguing why we may know the fundamental (metaphysical) nature of space and time? In a recent answer to a question I wrote ...
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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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Are there any aspects of science which do not change over time?

I`ve read this artilce about Historicist Theories of Scientific Rationality. All the theories seem to state that the science is evolving over time, i.e. it changes in cumulative or revolutionary way (...
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Is consciousness information?

In living organisms with a brain, consciousness arises from the way neurons are interconnected with each other, hence, an arrangement. Just like an arrangement of particles in the universe consist of ...
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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?
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Theories in science that make claims that are not empirical in nature

Does it make sense in science to have theories that make claims that are not empirical? By a non-empirical claim, I mean something that cannot be tested by means of observation or experimentation. I ...
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How should we choose between different theories according to Rorty, based on Kuhn?

Popper tried to distinguish a scientific framework from a non-scientific framework ( like Marxism or Psychoanalysis, according to him) by suggesting the criterion of falsification. Kuhn suggested ...
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Are “'why' questions” useful in or applicable to the study of science?

Based on the lively discussion of this question over at physics.stackexchange, I thought it might be useful to ask it here as well. The kernel of the debate is whether or not "why" questions are ...
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Is it logically valid to say that an event will happen if all the conditions favouring that event are present?

Is it valid to say that if all the conditions for an event E to happen will happen if all the conditions favorable for it to happens namely n1,n2,n3.... are present & all the factors which may ...
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How do quantum-mechanical worlds relate to possible worlds?

I am not really familiar with the metaphysics of the "worlds" from the Many Worlds Interpretation of QM. How do these worlds relate to possible worlds in the Lewisian sense? Lewis wrote a short piece ...
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What responses have there been to Mises' theory of praxeology?

In his treatise Human Action, Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises attempts to establish economics not as an empirical science, or a mathematical theory, but as a synthetic a priori endeavor he ...