45 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

Do you have a proof that we don't hold ourselves to higher standards? There's actually a rather interesting little corner of mathematics called "proof theory." It deals with the question of what a ...
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  • 17.2k
20 votes

When did philosophers decide philosophy was not useful, and why?

I will enlarge upon Nuclear Wang's reply by turning the question around a bit, as follows. When did natural philosophers (also known as scientists) decide that philosophy was not useful, and why? I ...
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19 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

If I'm understanding your question correctly, then you're basically asking "why doesn't philosophy have the same level of rigor as mathematical proof?" I think there's two parts involved in ...
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17 votes

Why isn't the dictum "something can't come from nothing" a matter of consensus?

I disagree with your assertion that physics has nothing to say about this. There was a time when "nothing" was thought of as a box with no contents. Then it was discovered that it contained ...
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15 votes

When did philosophers decide philosophy was not useful, and why?

In the old joke, a college president complains to his physics professors that they are always asking for expensive equipment. All the mathematics teachers need is pencil, paper, a wastebasket, he says,...
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14 votes
Accepted

Are there philosophical theories that are either confirmed or refuted by the majority of experts?

Yes, there are many "philosophical theories" that have been refuted by the majority of experts. An obvious example is Thales identification of "water" as the irreducible substance. Many pre-Socratic "...
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14 votes
Accepted

How is Philosophy related to Science?

I find it useful to approach this question from the bottom up. You made a philosophical argument: My argument is that there is no way to deny the sure success of the sciences (like Physics, ...
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14 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

Philosophical theories are more like scientific theories than mathematical theories, in that they have empirical content. As such, there aren't any (universally agreed upon) "first principles" that ...
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  • 3,759
14 votes

When did philosophers decide philosophy was not useful, and why?

Philosophy became more limited in scope during the 19th century. In the time of the ancient Greeks, philosophy encompassed all forms of knowledge, but specialized subfields of physics, medicine, ...
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13 votes

What makes something mathematics?

Both definitions are outdated. As Husserl put it already back in 1901: "Only if one is ignorant of the modern science of mathematics, particularly of formal mathematics, and measures it by ...
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  • 40.7k
13 votes

Are there philosophical theories that are either confirmed or refuted by the majority of experts?

A problem in your question has to do with the concept of refutation and confirmation. If you think of refutation as empirical refutation, then trivially, only empirical sciences refute hypothesis. ...
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13 votes
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What is the distinction between mysticism and metaphysics?

Per Russell's "mysticism and logic", the difference between mysticism and logic (He uses the term logic as a tag for reason and the scientific method in general) is purely epistemic. They are two ...
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10 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

A proof is only as strong as the axioms it is built upon. Mathematics works over a very limited number of strong axioms to work with, which gives it a limited number* of things that can be proven, but ...
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10 votes

What is the difference between western and other philosophies?

Western philosophy (as commonly understood) is a set of philosophical systems originating in the Middle East and Europe that are heavily influenced by biblical hermeneutics (talmudic argumentation) ...
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10 votes

Why isn't the dictum "something can't come from nothing" a matter of consensus?

Because "something can't come from nothing" leads to infinite regress/explanatory failure when you ask the question, "Where did things come from?" We will assume that "...
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9 votes
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"→" is the symbol for material implication. Is there such a thing as "immaterial implication"?

There is no "immaterial" implication. The term "material implication" originated with Bertrand Russell, The Principles of Mathematics (1903); see Part I : Chapter III. Implication and Formal ...
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9 votes
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How to implement the so called 'principle of charity'?

You are right that reading means interpreting, and we can never be sure that we did not misinterpret the author's intentions. But it is as with any human endeavor, we are fallible. The principle of ...
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9 votes
Accepted

What is the argument for Heidegger's claim that philosophy can only be done in Greek and German?

First, I want to mention an important rule (which of course has caveats), but the accuracy with which a philosopher writes about the history of philosophy is in general inversely proportional to their ...
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9 votes

Is arguing pro choice because "a woman has the right to control her body" invalid?

I don't think it's the best argument for someone on the pro choice side (apart from being useful at persuading others perhaps). The reason I don't think it's a very strong argument (and I'm pro-...
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  • 473
9 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

Because it would then cease to be philosophy. Philosophy sees itself as the progenitor of all the sciences, as its questions lead to the paradigm shifts upon which branches of science are founded. ...
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  • 346
9 votes

What is the logical distinction between “the same” and “equal to?”

Non sequitur I'll go off of the example in the comments, namely “One dollar” = “money” : “Nickel” = “money.” Therefore, “one dollar” = “nickel.” This is non sequitur - there's no logical reason to ...
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  • 1,202
8 votes

Are areas of philosophy besides logic subjective?

I think you're mixing up two questions, what parts of philosophy or approaches to philosophy employ the idea of truth, and what parts of philosophy are true. Logic, epistemology, and philosophy of ...
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  • 5,398
8 votes
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Is it thought that analytic philosophy is in decline after the linguistic turn?

Good overviews of the more recent history of analytic philosophy are Burge's Philosophy of Language and Mind: 1950-1990 and Philosophy of Mind: 1950-2000 (ch.20), the philosophy of science side in a ...
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  • 40.7k
8 votes

What am I missing in texts that say things that are so obvious as to seem pointless?

When something appears so obvious that it is uninteresting and yet one knows that others do not find it obvious at all, what one may be missing is understanding what is at stake for them. Why do they ...
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  • 18.9k
7 votes

Is our Philosophy, the Human Philosophy, the only possible Philosophy which can exist?

You have answered your own question, in part: there is no particular reason why some non-human entity could not have philosophy based in part upon, for instance, Xyoqi, which is something that said ...
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  • 15.7k
7 votes

What makes something mathematics?

From a modern point of view mathematics is considered the science of formal structures. Simple examples of such structures are topological spaces, groups, vector spaces, differentiable manifolds. A ...
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  • 20.5k
7 votes

Is philosophy about organizing our ignorance?

"A man might say, with enough truth to justify a joke: 'Science is what we know, and philosophy is what we don’t know.'" -Bertrand Russell “Philosophy for Laymen” Universities Quarterly 1 (Nov 1946), ...
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