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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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Sheldrake's Fields as Formal Causes

Why do we not consider fields as formal causes, especially in light of Rupert Sheldrake's analysis of morphogenetic fields? How does Sheldrake's hypothesis of formative causation challenge our ...
Paradox Lost's user avatar
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4 votes
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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?
user2268997's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
403 views

Relationism, Substantivalism, and Simultaneity?

I've been breaking my head open lately over special relativity and its conception of spacetime's dynamical as well as kinematical features. One thing that has stuck in my head is that of whether the ...
The victorious truther's user avatar
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117 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 ...
augustoperez's user avatar
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595 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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
3 votes
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134 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/...
gonzo's user avatar
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3 votes
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275 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 ...
franz1's user avatar
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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-...
bautzeman's user avatar
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1 answer
98 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 ...
Vivek's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
55 views

How does dialectical causality work in practice?

I'm currently reading Evan Thompson's Mind in Life (2007). He was a collaborator of Fransisco Varela on Autopoiesis so he expands it from biological forms to, ultimately, cognitive science. It's an ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
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Academic research on technical and philosophical possibilities of the world in a computer simulator?

This question is as mainstream as it gets in online publications. But, does more serious and balanced academic research exist on this subject? If your PhD student were writing an article on this ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
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What would be a recent follow-up or alternative to Pylyshyn's 1984 book on "Computation and Cognition: Toward a Foundation for Cognitive Science"?

I was exposed to Zenon Pylyshyn's work through my master's thesis work in Cognitive Science. Recently, I picked up his 1984 book on "Computation and Cognition: Toward a Foundation for Cognitive ...
digikar's user avatar
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1 answer
71 views

Does Hume propose that causes might actually just be explained by coincidence?

Does Hume propose that what people interpret as casual connections could instead be explained by coincidence? I want to know if this is an accurate understanding. Hume says something to the effect of: ...
BigMistake's user avatar
2 votes
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52 views

Can an event that has a beginning be metaphysically necessary?

Suppose an extremely complex event occurs that is meaningful but extremely improbable under current physical laws. Suppose then, that a theist says, “God explains this better for otherwise it is very ...
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The naive, formal, and critical phases of a scientific theory

A long time ago, I read something about three stages in the development of a scientific or mathematical theory, namely the naive, the formal, and the critical phase. This appeared very natural to me, ...
user313032's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
109 views

Are there any sources linking Schopenhauerian metaphysics (will as thing-in-itself) with our contemporary understanding of physics?

I'm especially interested if there are any attempts at reconciling Schopenhauer's metaphysical will with the seeming indeterministic nature of quantum physics. Thank you.
TCL's user avatar
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2 answers
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Are information, matter and energy improper concepts?

In Proper and Improper concepts (1927) Carnap argued for the distinction between proper concepts (the ones that are explicitly defined) ”It is essential to a proper concept that for any object it is ...
Eauriel's user avatar
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Is analytic philsophy the most associated with "armchair" knowledge and is that subject to change?

*By armchair I mean knowledge one can gain by not going out into the world very far. And by my title I get the impression (perhaps mistakenly) that if armchair knowledge was lessened, so too would ...
J Kusin's user avatar
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140 views

Brute facts and the burden of proof

I'm trying my best to understand Della Rocca's article "PSR", which I believe convincingly shows that that one cannot reasonably hold that some facts are brute while others are not without a ...
Mark's user avatar
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0 answers
146 views

What is Aristotle's view of plant generation?

In Book 1 of On the Generation of Animals, Aristotle gives his view of plant generation. In Book 1.1, Aristotle writes: But all those creatures which do not move, as the testacea and animals that ...
Abhishek Yadav's user avatar
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0 answers
137 views

What Richard Rorty understands by science?

I just read Philosophy and social hope, a collection of essays by Richard Rorty. Except for the excess of academicism, I can say I’m definitely inspired by it and happy with the discussions it threw ...
Luiz Tauffer's user avatar
2 votes
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74 views

Non-traditional (individuals = graph edges) views on societies

In his book Large graphs and graph limits, mathematician and Abel prize winner László Lovász says on page 4: We can say that the whole universe is a single (really huge, possibly infinite) network, ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
61 views

Question from a high school student about role of natural sciences?

I am doing my essay on natural sciences methodology therefore, I wanted to give the example how according to the scientific method, new valid evidence could add to or correct previous knowledge. ...
General MO7's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
156 views

Material theory of induction: why not abandon induction altogether?

John Norton defends a material theory of induction, based on the idea that universal inference schemes cannot account for the strength of inductive inferences. Whether a specific induction is good or ...
Turtur's user avatar
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108 views

What's the role of logic in logical positivism?

I'm reading up on a bit of the ideas of logical positivism. It seems that the main components were the distinction of synthetic and analytic statements, and the verification principle. Without giving ...
Mark's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
329 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 ...
Cuhrazatee's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
65 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 ...
Hans's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
139 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 ...
Gabriel's user avatar
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101 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 ...
franz1's user avatar
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206 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 ...
Floyd's user avatar
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0 answers
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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 ...
Suddhasattwa Ghosh 's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
121 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 ...
user4281's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
145 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 says ...
EnlightenedFunky's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
46 views

history of philosophy side-by-side with science and art

Do you know any books which study the history of western philosophy side-by-side with: history of mathematics, or history of physics, or history of art?
exp8j's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
65 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 ...
MScholar's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
63 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 ...
gonzo's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
86 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 ...
Paradox Lost's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
149 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 ...
WZS's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
107 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 ...
kristof2014's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
144 views

Hegel's measure as gauge

In Book I, third section, first chapter of Science of Logic, Hegel makes it rather clear, I find, that the measure that he is talking about -- at least in its aspect as specifying measure -- is a ...
Urs Schreiber's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
1k 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 ...
Jacob Wakem's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
101 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 ...
Joe Lee-Doktor's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
244 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 ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Does the philosophy of data analysis exist?

Is there such a field as "philosophy of data analysis"? Questions that are of interest to me are What are the distinctive features of data analysis as opposed to other elements of ...
Sam's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
81 views

Is Benacerraf's argument circular?

I'm reading Benacerraf's What numbers could not be, where he provides the following argument against platonistic account of numbers. The only criteria we can ask for in searching the correct account ...
Dimen's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
43 views

Is partial symmetry one of the most fundamental concepts or laws of reality?

Brain is partially symmetric, planets are, most of the object that look symmetric, are actually partially symmetric. Is partial symmetry in some sense a fundamental concept of our mind or fundamental ...
Eauriel's user avatar
  • 155
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

Husserl and Science

If Husserl is not concerned with proving that the external world exists unlike Descartes then how does his findings on the nature of consciousness help to provide indubitable foundations for all ...
PDT's user avatar
  • 456
1 vote
0 answers
40 views

Reference request for books on the foundations of science

I have lately been interested in the foundations of science. I checked Wikipedia if there was an article on the foundations of science, but there was no such article. So, I am asking for books and ...
user107952's user avatar
  • 7,192
1 vote
0 answers
45 views

Thomas Kuhn applied to formal sciences

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn focuses on the natural sciences. Are there applications to formal sciences in his works or by others? In my research in the usual places, I am ...
trainyee's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

How and where do I learn philosophy?

I am very new to philosophy, in what ways can I gain deeper knowledge about the subject itself and explore all the branches and truly understand what philosophy exactly is?
Mihir Myatra's user avatar