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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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17 views

Comparisons between two notions of existence

I have the following, rather naive question: To what extent can the a priori existence of mathematical objects be reasonably compared with the seemingly a posteriori existence of objects established ...
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Is science based on David Hume's “A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence”?

"A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence. … no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more ...
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Humean Supervenience and the Mosaic

I have read a lot of times the definition of Humean Supervenience and the usual quote by Lewis according to which Humean supervenience is “ It is the doctrine that all there is to the world is a vast ...
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71 views

Science, religion, or philosophy? [closed]

Necessary introduction. Pierre  Teilhard de Chardin's  Omega Point Theory is a belief system related to convergence towards divine unification. Tippler's version of this theory relies on ...
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1answer
52 views

Causality of effects of alcohol to the brain [closed]

According to Judea Pearl's book The book of Why it took several decades to establish a scientific consensus that smoking causes lung cancer (amongst other diseases). I was wondering whether it took a ...
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6answers
168 views

Is scepticism about human-caused climate change a pseudoscience?

National Center for Science Education, have described climate change denial as pseudoscience. However,IMHO there are some valid arguments based on empirical data that contradict the "hockey stick" ...
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2answers
112 views

Importance of technology in Western thought

Ours is a world which is full of promises that advanced technology, such as autonomous cars, cloud computing, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence will somehow bring forth a future worth ...
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3answers
304 views

The conflict of creationism and evolution. How can we know the truth?

the demands of evolution and creation cannot be reconciled with each other because they represent two fundamentally different, mutually hostile, and mutually exclusive systems. They do not ...
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68 views

Some questions on causality and modern science

Note: I'm translating the vocabulary from Spanish so there may be some erroneous terms. If so, please edit them. In Causality: the place of the causal principle in modern science by Mario Bunge, the ...
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1answer
49 views

Aristotle's explanation of change

I am a bit confused as to how Aristotle accounts for change (accidental and substantial). I seem to understand the idea of a substance being the compound of material and form to some degree, but how ...
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4answers
242 views

What is the value of a formal model in science?

In science we often use formal models (by which I mean a mathematical structure composed of assumptions, variables, and equations, which might be solved/simulated to derive analytical insights and/or ...
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1answer
66 views

What is different between causation and causality [closed]

What is different between causation and causality? And, if there is any difference, do most philosophers recognize it or is it just common among UCL or Cambridge scholars? Thank you for your answer ...
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1answer
21 views

what makes “historical explanation” differ from “initial condition-covering law explanation”?

Does anyone have an argument that can refute the following statement? In a deterministic world, historical explanation cannot be different from "initial condition - covering law explanation."
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122 views

Question about conditionalization and probability

I am working on a problem set and I am not sure if I am heading in the right direction. The scenario: "Suppose three identical boxes are presented to you, and you are told that one box contains two ...
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1answer
84 views

What are main references on decolonization of knowledge/science?

Here and there I hear a lot about decolonization of knowledge or science. What does that mean? What thinkers believe that knowledge or scientific knowledge or scientific practices or academic ...
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76 views

Do things exist just because they exist OR they are given that existence?

We know that some phenomena do not exist, like Greek gods, but some exist, like an apple on a desk. I doubt anyone could have proposed an answer to it, but I wonder if there is something which lets ...
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44 views

Question about anchoring and adjustment (Tversky and Kahneman) and why anchoring often yields correct judgments

I am working on a problem set and I am having some difficulty wrapping my head around a concept introduced by Tversky and Kahneman. My problem set asks the question "Why does anchoring nevertheless ...
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4answers
130 views

What distinguishes “individuals” in physics?

I'd like to ask you a question: a table is made of some atoms. It's almost empty. The table is stable because of the force between the atoms. We know that a water cup will not fall off on the table ...
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6answers
192 views

According to Aquinas, why doesn't God need a cause but everything else does? Why would God resolve the problem of infinite regress?

Do you think the explanation for the universe could be something physical or does it have to be metaphysical?
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112 views

How can a belief in the 'objectivity' of the scientific method be anything other than mythical transcendence?

The Scientific method purportedly achieves the deriving of objective truth by removing the unavoidably subjective nature of human knowledge from the loop. This system claims that by following ...
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3answers
85 views

Do HeLa cells prove immortality?

Does modern science, especially HeLa cells, prove that immortality (in the classic sense) is real (for these cells) or possible in the future?
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2answers
286 views

Did God have a choice in creating our universe?

Einstein asked this question originally : What really interests me is whether God could have created the world any differently; in other words, whether the requirement of logical simplicity admits ...
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2answers
253 views

What is the word for 'regarding the structure of a theory'?

I want to analyse some thermodynamical theories, i.e. theories that are concerned with temperature, heat, pressure, volume, states, systems etc. etc. These theories obviously differ in many ways. ...
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1answer
100 views

How does the philosophy of science explore original research formulation?

Although rarely admitted or communicated, in scientific research it's quite common to change the originally formulated question once insurmountable obstacles have made an answer difficult or ...
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1answer
36 views

Is economics a science according to Popperian and Lakatosian standards? [duplicate]

According to Karl Popper's falsification criterion only a falsifiable theory is said to be a scientific theory. If this is true, is Economics falsifiable and hence considered scientific?
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1answer
245 views

Was there a “mechanist” program of early rationalists, like Descartes and Leibniz?

Leibniz and Descartes are said to put forth "mechanist philosophies," but I am having trouble identifying what "mechanist" means. Does it involve their affinity to natural science and mathematics and ...
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2answers
80 views

Solution to the Grandfather's paradox - Inverse reincarnation? [closed]

One of the premises of the grandfather paradox in time travel is that of inconsistency. I.e, going back in time to kill your grandfather or grandmother prevents your birth. The solution is simple, ...
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1answer
702 views

How can complex material systems emerge in ways that allow them to transcend fundamental material structures?

One of the quandaries of reductionism from what I understand is how complex systems can emerge to overtake simple ones. This may sound convoluted, so bear with me as I try to explain. According to a ...
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10answers
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Is economics a science?

In class, I made the argument that economics is not science, because it cannot undertake repeatable experiments. Someone rebutted: this would mean that I am ignore an emerging body of work, some by ...
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1answer
78 views

Wittgenstein on Mechanics

Can someone explain what Wittgenstein was trying to say in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus ? Specifically propositions 6.341-6.343. What does he mean when he says that a system like Newtonian Mechanics ...
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1answer
55 views

Prove the following facts about Conditionalization

Prove that when an agent conditionalizes on new evidence, her credence in a proposition that entails the evidence cannot decrease. That is, when H entails E, it must be the case that cr2(H) is greater ...
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72 views

Where can I find arguments for animal rights?

I'm asking this question on behalf of https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/users/47/curi I'm a philosopher (and programmer) attempting to research and diagram arguments relating to animal rights. I'm ...
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1answer
64 views

Confusion about the nature, defininition, and subject of study of Epistemology, Gnosiology and Phillosophy of Science

I am confused with the terms and the branches of phillosophy. Here is an example where all 3 terms were used. I always though phillosophy of science and epistemology were the exact same thing while ...
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74 views

Post-Positivism's Relationship to Post-Modernism

In A Nice Derangement of Epistemes by John H. Zammito, he attempts to "deflate" certain "extravagant gestures in philosophy of language" as he believes they "threaten to undermine indispensable canons ...
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1answer
33 views

Corroboration in Popper's system

Why corroboration gives to a theory increasing "value", as he states in his "logic of scientific discovery". The question is simple, but I need a complex answer, one that can't be used to justify ...
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2answers
120 views

Epistemology and definition of Theory in Science

Which branch of philosophy is the authority and thus has the capacity to define what IS theory in science? I have linked to the definition of Theory by Simon Blackburn in Oxford Dictionary of ...
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8answers
5k views

Does every truth have to be provable based on evidence?

I know the answer is "no" in general due to Gödel's Theory of Incompleteness, but I mean this question in a more real-world sense (i.e. scientific sense). In other words, I am talking about empirical ...
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5answers
273 views

Has science ever disproved philosophical theories?

I am aware that science and philosophy, in their modern guise, are two separate beasts that never cross the same domains but sometimes it happens that philosophy influences science and that science ...
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3answers
225 views

Understanding Kant vs. Hume for a non-philosopher

I am trying to self-study a bit of philosophy. I am an applied mathematician by trade, and am therefore drawn to Kant's work on the limits of human knowledge, in particular his exchange with Hume. I ...
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201 views

How to reconcile that physicists and science educators use the word “theory” incompatibly?

When science denialists say "just a theory", they are roundly chastised. Science educators (teachers, reporters, essayists, etc) are united that the word theory has a strong requirement: Berkeley: "a ...
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2answers
139 views

Please help with clarifying whether a science assumes the following axiom

It seems to me that the goal of science is to describe with the most precision the world we perceive through our senses. It seems to me that actually science has an axiom: There exists some final ...
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4answers
80 views

When writing scientific papers Why there is not a standard to declare all the things based on which a person will argue?

Lets say I am a scientists and I want to write a scientific paper about some matter of a physics for example. In that paper I would say for example that the universe is expanding (or some other well ...
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1answer
48 views

Boltzmann brain - how are the laws of physics presented?

Does the Boltzmann brain scenario also assume that the laws of physics are presented consistently for each individual brain? In other words: 1) Why do we assume that the types of brains fluctuated ...
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2answers
94 views

Leo Strauss' Critique of Modern Science

I recently read Leo Strauss's views on modern science, as expanded in Alan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind". In a (very small) nutshell, Strauss had the extraordinary idea that modern ...
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610 views

What is the difference between 'accidental' and 'contingent'?

What is different between 'accidental' and 'contingent'? I thought that accidental contains intentional notation while Contingent does not. But there could be an intentional action that turns out to ...
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2answers
55 views

What is Quine’s Confirmation theory?

I have just read that Quine relies on his confirmation theory to establish if a scientific theory is “valid” or not. But I am not sure to have understood what is Quine’s confirmation theory and why ...
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3answers
127 views

What kind of questions can science answer?

Please bear with me, as I am self-studying philosophy as a beginner. My questions are about the limitations of empirical science. During my reading of some books, I've come across statements of the ...
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3k views

Does Darwin owe a debt to Hegel?

I just realized that Darwin's theory of evolution is very much historicist, and resembles Hegel's notion of an arc of history: evolution is progressive and moves with purpose in an almost dialectical ...
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2answers
51 views

What is the difference between instrumentalism and operationalism?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has the following definitions for these two perspectives on science: Instrumentalism: "the view that theories are merely instruments for predicting ...
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29 views

Why jain philosophy denies indeterminate stage of perception?

Ok ,so I'm reading now Indian philosophy and I found that Buddhism and many other Indian philosophy recognise both ' determinate and indeterminate stage of perception ' while jainas don't !