31

Sounds like one version of Pascal's Wager, which the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article labels as The Argument From Superdominance, giving this quote from Pascal: “God is, or He is not.” But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this ...


18

I recently answered a similar question on physics.SE here. What is special about the probabilities of quantum mechanics is that the randomness cannot be explained by a theory of nature that is both local and realist, while classical probabilities can. Quoting myself: A "local hidden variable" theory is basically the classical idea of how the world ...


16

It may be a misnomer to say rationalism was created to oppose empiricism, but I see what you are getting at. All rationalism claims, is that some knowledge about the world comes a priori - either innate or by thought alone. This doesn't say all knowledge has to come from thought. So, it is kind of agnostic about the scientific method here. Descartes tried ...


13

I accept the framing of your question, on basically all levels, since this is a topic of great interest to me. You will find that the history of physics contains some very nice examples of where completely "abstract" mathematical inventions (i.e., having no apparent relation to reality) were later found to be exactly what was needed to furnish a rigorous ...


10

First, is your assumption based on the ancient Greek or a modern translation? The implication that it is 'explicit' to you has more to do with the translation of words and conceptual contexts involved to a native thinker. Second, the grouping of Asian philosophies together in opposition to Greek is not the grouping done by most scholars. An out of print book ...


9

In the world of physics, things can get very very large, but not infinite. For example, if a physical model of some phenomenon predicts an infinite result in some circumstance, it signals a hard limit on that model's applicability, and it means there are physics that the model does not contain which are important in that particular case. It is then the job ...


9

First off, rationalism predates empiricism. Rationalism is arguably the normative mode of philosophical enquiry all the way back into prehistory; clearly (for instance) most of ancient Greek philosophy falls closer to the rationalist camp than the empiricist. Empiricism was a late Western technique developed to deal with some of the failings and foibles of ...


8

The thought experiment is known as Chrysippus’s Dog and goes back to the named ancient Stoic. It was discussed by many modern philosophers, including Dennett, see Chrysippus’s Dog as a Case Study in Non-Linguistic Cognition by Rescorla for a survey. Here is the description of Chrysippus's dog given by Sextus Empiricus: "[Chrysippus] declares that the ...


7

I object to the framing of your question, on basically every level. Among "many high profile papers or projects" obviously comparable to AlphaGo, (or more importantly AlphZero), is Watson, because it was the first computer system to beat human supremacy at Jeapardy. From the Wikipedia page on Watson: "Current and future applications: Healthcare IBM ...


7

First, let's concede there are two conceptions of the infinite. One is the potential and the other is the actual. As for excluding the infinite, I think it's fair to say that the answer is a resounding no. One of the greatest advancements of science was Galileo's quantization of science; of course, one often then mentions the great leap of Newton and ...


7

Understanding randomness in terms of compressibility or entropy is fairly standard in information theory, but I don't believe it can be called philosophically satisfying. To achieve that, it would have to explain how 'random' is used in philosophical and scientific contexts. 'Random' is in practice a highly equivocal and confusing term. In ordinary usage, ...


6

First of all, using the example of AlphaGo for this question is interesting, as it is research made and funded by a for profit corporation. Arguably then, Google's executives do see some values in that research for the future of their company. As many other answered, you can see it as an investement: there may not be immediate return on it, but if it can be ...


6

The statement "The ball is red" can be rewritten with subject-predicate form: "Red(ball)" where "Red( )" is a predicate (a property predicated of something) and "ball" is the subject (an object of which the "redness" is predicated). In this form, there is no "is". This is the background for the assertion that, in statements like that above, "is" is not a ...


5

Sometimes research does not have a direct practical objective. Sometimes research is done simply because people find it interesting, it captivates their imagination and gives them a sense of purpose. I would include in the later category space exploration. Some could ask Why would you invest billions of dollars into space telescopes when you could spend it ...


5

The "classical" form of quantum mechanics (no hidden variables or "pilot waves") maintains that a state exists as a superposition of all possibilities until the act of measuring that state causes the associated wavefunction to collapse. The collapse of the wavefunction then follows the probabilities for each possible state (for example, ...


5

The key characteristic of a quantum superposition is that all superposed states are equally real (or potentially real) at the physical level. This is quite different from a classical probability, which assumes that one state is real and the probability reflects our ignorance of the true state of affairs. That, basically, is it. We know this to be true ...


5

The set-theoretic definition of infinity is not "countable or uncountable," i.e. is not read off the concept of countability. Afaik the definition is, "A set is infinite if and only if it can be put into a one-to-one correspondence with one of its proper subsets." Or even, "A set is finite if it is not infinite," that's ...


5

Law of nature, in the philosophy of science, a stated regularity in the relations or order of phenomena in the world that holds, under a stipulated set of conditions, either universally or in a stated proportion of instances. So the Britannica This is very abstract but it does cover all the "laws of physics" which are things like Newton's three ...


5

Rationality is essentially human logic plus empirical facts. Science is essentially a systematic and rigorous application of human rationality. The scientific method is therefore rational. Thus, rationality precedes science but science is designed to perform better. There are several important empirical facts concerning rationality. First, it is possible to ...


4

While this may strike others as an opinion-based question, I am going to buck that trend and claim that science itself answers this question, and therefore, properly cited, is a question that is a good fit for our site. So, don't let anyone inside or outside the analytic science school of thinking dissuade you from asking about the relationship between ...


4

You must realize that "common sense" views about the operation of the physical world are of no use at all when considering the earliest times in the big bang. In that regime (of order ~ one Planck time) the concept of time itself loses its physical meaning i.e., it makes no physical sense to talk about time intervals shorter than the Planck time (...


4

I do not think "consult" is the right word. They worked together at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, became personal friends, their offices were nearby and they had many conversations. Todorov tells the story of their friendship in Kurt Goedel and His Universe, see also Berlinsky's Einstein and Gödel. But that only happened after 1940 ...


4

Short Answer From the perspective of a scientific athiest, the natural sciences require very specific types of processes, reasoning, and evidence to validate the existence of beings. To start with the narrative of God and then conduct science to find explication and empirical results sufficient to explain that narrative has not gone well for even natural ...


4

First, let's define faith. What makes faith different from mere trust ? An effective definition is "belief in something without, or even in spite of, the evidence". Boarding a plane trusting it will not crash is not faith, because thousands of planes take of everyday and don't crash. Sitting on a chair trusting it won't break is not faith, because ...


4

A cursory search hints that Matthias Bartelmann is a serious researcher and he is coauthor of The Notion of Aether: Hegel versus contemporary physics, in Cosmos and History, 2015, vol. 11, no. 1, p.41-69, not a very serious journal, but the paper seems to be worth looking, at least for interested readers. Btw Hegel wrote a (youthful) dissertation on the ...


4

It's conceivable that science will go through an infinite series of progressively finer explanations as you say (or potentially infinite but actually only during the finite time humans exist). This possibility assumes that the universe has no "base level" we can discover. On the subject of progressively finer scientific explanations, Asimov's ...


4

To my knowledge, there is, regrettably, no textbook-style source on the theory of definition. However, Definitions and Definability: Philosophical Perspectives (edited by J. H. Fetzer et al, Springer, Synthese Library, 1991) is quite accessible to the novice and freely available from Springer. As it is for many topics in philosophy, I would recommend you to ...


4

I think this SEP article does a decent job at that: Bonaventura (ca. 1217–1274), one of the most renowned theologians of the time, explicitly places emphasis on the sign's relation to the significate, claiming that … a sign has a twofold comparison: both to that which it signifies, and to that to which it signifies; and the first is essential and the ...


3

Eventually, there is use of it! Take for example number theory, it was not directly applied to any fields for a long time, since history started, although there were indirect applications. It was not until the 1970s, that cryptography make extensive use of it! It is prominently seen in the most popular public-key cryptographic algorithm, RSA.


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