Questions tagged [philosophy-of-science]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7
votes
13answers
974 views

How might science (particularly theoretical physics) be able to approach god?

I've searched over the internet but I've found no satisfactory answer so far , How might science (Particularly theoretical physics) be able to approach god? If we make the assumption that a super-...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Can we dispense with ontology in physics?

Is it possible to have a satisfactory physics which is content to describe everything in terms of operational (functional) properties? Could it therefore be the case that ontology is a useless concept ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

How to justify Occam's Razor?

I'm aware of a few justifications for Occam's (or Ockham) Razor, as it's usually understood that extra factors/complexities should not be added unnecessarily. The only truly compelling justification I ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Does Albert Einstein's interpretation of Ockham's razor violate it?

An often-quoted version of Ockham's razor (that can not be verified as being posited by Einstein himself) says "Everything should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler." Doesn't it violate ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
423 views

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 ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
5answers
271 views

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 ...
7
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
538 views

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 ...
7
votes
5answers
806 views

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 ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
411 views

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
458 views

Will fundamental physics eventually become an aesthetic construction and proceed on aesthetic grounds?

Consider the following argument: Proposition 1: The language of physics (as an empirical science) is mathematics. I think this should be uncontroversial to the majority of working physicists. ...
7
votes
4answers
210 views

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 ...
7
votes
9answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
630 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
860 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
372 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
368 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
166 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: ...
7
votes
3answers
350 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

A Popper question about corroboration

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_induction#Karl_Popper The rational motivation for choosing a well-corroborated theory is that it is simply easier to falsify: Well-corroborated means ...
7
votes
1answer
447 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
200 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
163 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
243 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
188 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
253 views

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, ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

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 ...
7
votes
5answers
409 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
334 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 ...
6
votes
10answers
5k views

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 ...
6
votes
7answers
645 views

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 ...
6
votes
8answers
289 views

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 ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
7answers
11k views

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 ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
590 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
601 views

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' ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
675 views

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 ...
6
votes
6answers
213 views

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 (...
6
votes
7answers
811 views

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?
6
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
7answers
533 views

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 ...