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Quine thinks that humans as a group can "confirm" one another's findings. His view resembles, in some sense, the old idea of summa ratio. That the truth builds up over the generations. On the other hand, it is based on his common sense type attitude to science and not an apodictic attitude of certainty with respect to either intellect or the senses. Whereas ...


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In your last sentence you seem to have found the heart of the matter: science can tell us things about things that can be completely unrelated to it. The epistemological limitation is a quality of that relationship, not of the object itself (an object that, like the potential simulation of this reality, can have ontological implications) - science does not ...


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Meaning can be found in action -- therefore if you find meaning in life (whatever that means for you) but you die sometime, your meaning likely dies with you. In such an event I'd say that life has no meaning unless it's always existing -- namely because "the meaning of life" is multifaceted and could mean various things. You can't reasonably argue of "...


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The older view was that causality was like goodness, it was something that had no proper empirical existence. It's not like a stone in the road that one just comes across. The issue rests on some from of distinction between experience and intellect. Causality, like goodness, may have a real existence in the world, but must be derived through reasoning and is ...


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We always have to keep in mind that science makes models of the universe. It does not 'prove' truths or facts or do anything of that nature. This is the case with mathematics as well, though it's harder to see because the things mathematics models are far more abstract; I'd even go so far as to say that modeling is the basic activity of reason. Science is ...


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I see this discussion as deriving from the fact that, once one mathematizes time as a coordinate dimension, like the three coordinate dimensions of space, then everything being 'measured' by the system is in some sense 'all there at once', i.e there is no notion of time 'flowing'. Personally, I think these people are confused, inferring as a property of ...


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The evolutionary biologist (and student of the history of science), Stephen Jay Gould writes in his book Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History, chapter entitled Darwin and Paley Meet the Invisible Hand: Where did Darwin get such a radical version of evolution? Surely not from the birds and bees, the twigs and trees. Nature helped, but ...


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The notion of evolution in the sense of different species descending from a common ancestor predates Hegel, Darwin's contribution was the theory of natural selection to explain how the process happens, along with lots of empirical evidence for common descent and local adaptive processes such as Darwin's finches. Darwin's own grandfather Erasmus Darwin (1731 -...


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Instrumentalism is a pragmatic school of thought which asserts what is real (ontology) and what is true (epistemology) are ideas that aren't answerable and thus is an antirealist position. This is contradistinction to scientific realism. From WP's entry on instrumentalism: According to instrumentalists, a successful scientific theory reveals nothing ...


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Instrumentalism is a statement about what a theory is. A set of instructions. It modifies the earlier notions of theory, stemming from Descartes and Galileo, as themselves producers of modifications of the Classical view (of what a theory is). Operationalism, I speak only from looking at the article you cite, is, or seems to be, about the status of ...


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Darwin I should have thought that Darwin's theory of evolution does not recognise anything like an 'arc of history'; that evolution is not progressive, and that it moves with no purpose (cf. R.Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker). Darwinian evolution, working causally through random variation and natural selection, is naturalistic, non-directional and non-...


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Whatever we call a Universe as Universe or as God manifesting as Universe, and whatever we propose a universe of matter composed of Atoms or One Metaphysical Conscious Entity called GOD, whatever, all of these still Things. There's no (Thing) Infinite. Any Thing to be a Thing must be Finite. So, there can't be Infinite Multiverse. But, may there be ...


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No one sees, touches, hears, smells or tastes an electron. Things do not need to be evident to be empirical, they just need to ultimately have notable effects. The main problem with all of these things is not that they are not empirical, it is that the environment in which they are observed has an agenda contrary to being understood. If you ask me whether I ...


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Allow me to express a generally unpopular (but apropos) perspective... As I see it, the entire centuries-long empiricist/rationalist divide boils down to an attempt to legislate the scope and definition of the word 'empirical'. Science and philosophy are meant to deal with an obvious tension between two obvious points: We cannot deny that someone has an '...


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Empirical means an epistemological property of being of and/or derived from experience. Experience can be either the subjective (psychological states) or objective (experiment) kind, so non-empirical experience is an absurdity. To answer according to the spirit rather the letter; do inaccessible phenomena fall into the domain of science? Yes, science can ...


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There's The Logic of Reliable Inquiry by Kevin Kelly, which develops a formal learning theory framework to address philosophical problems about scientific inquiry.


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Karl Popper - The logic of scientific discovery - it is a classic book about methodology and Philosophy of science. The concept of falsiability is crucial to understand modern epistemological debates.


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I've read about Boltzmann brains somewhere but just assumed it was another one of these speculative thought-games that physicists make up when they the real problems facing them in quantum gravity get too hard and they need to let their hair down a little. This, I think, is confirmed by the fact that the wikipedia page on this does not name who exactly came ...


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Many like to think that fundamental randomness of the nature proves that God exists! It's the God who is in driver's seat to 'determine' what should happen and when. Science and it's philosophy cannot, in principle, determine the future, not even current state precisely. Science however has proved that it can determine macro scale events precisely and ...


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"Mathematicians wish to treat matters of perception mathematically, and make themselves ridiculous... the mind.. does it tacitly, naturally, and without technical rules." - Pascal, Pensées Big data and narrow AI have minimal impact on the underdetermination thesis. In effect, the computational practices are a natural extension of essentially well-understood ...


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Presumably, if there really were things like Boltzmann brains, most of them would be giving rise not to an ordered experience like ours, but rather very chaotic ones. (For the remainder of this answer, when I say "Boltzmann brains" I include things like it that would give rise to disordered experiences.) For example, even if the Boltzmann brain by extreme ...


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Linguists are not always that fond of methods using sciences other than linguistics itself. But certainly there are ways to explain why the word hound is related to hunt; Canis is related to tooth and kalba is related to saliva (drewling). The languages that use these different words are spoken in countries where the dog had different cultural significances. ...


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Theories are only explanations of what we observe, and how to predict future actions. They are not explanations of the 'thing' in itself. D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson says in his book On Growth and Form (p 288): For as Newton said, to tell us that a thing "is endowed with an occult specific quality, By which it acts and produces manifest effects, is to tell ...


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Only if you don't believe time started (which Boltzmann found unconvincing.) The notion of Boltzmann Brains relies on Boltzmann's original notion that the low-entropy nature of our universe (and its tendency to therefore increase in entropy whenever possible) is part of an eternity of random fluctuations in entropy, going back and forth. But an infinity of ...


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According to Vincenzo De Risi, referenced by Wikipedia's article on Geometry, geometry today is related to space as follows: (page 1) Today the definition of geometry as the science of space is generally accepted by both epistemologists and mathematicians. To use the suggested form of relationship, this would mean that "space and geometry are related by ...


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Assuming space is an aspect of the material world, the geometry of space may be thought of as the theoretical formal expression or model of the properties we believe are those of space on the basis of empirical evidence. Both necessity and possibility are relevant here but only as modalities of our representation of space. We think of space as having ...


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The cited article references a paper by Sean M. Carroll which provides an overview of Boltzmann Brains (BB). Carroll views BBs not as a reality, but as a way to test whether a cosmological theory is plausible or not. The rule of thumb goes something like this: if the cosmological theory allows BBs then reject the cosmological theory. (page 23) We ...


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In short, propensities are, precisely, the quantum mechanical probabilities. In a classical, deterministic, world we set up approximations to the ideal of a repeatable experiment being understood that each experimental run differs from the others in small mechanical variations. In a classical context propensities are thus extracted from the deterministic ...


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The short answer is that as a continental philosopher, Heidegger wanted to look at hidden assumptions built into Western philosophy. Unlike the logical positivists who attempted to formalize scientific inquiry by restructuring it's metaphysics to disallow much subjective philosophical discourse as meaningless (ethics? Meaningless!), Heidegger looked to show ...


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The natural world is a complicated place. I've never heard of any reasonable scientist or philosopher of science claim only one theory is needed to understand a phenomenon. Theories, like words in a paragraph, support each other in order to function. Some scientific theories are more important than others, such as the theories of relativity, quantum theory, ...


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Mathematics is language. All languages exist on verbal levels of our intellect. Laws of physics exist independantly of mathematics or any other form of language. Laws of physics are observable and can be expressed mathematically.


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In the world of mathematics, there are postulates and theorems which with time have been settled i.e., rigorously proven to be true or discarded as false. Those known mathematical facts then furnish the basis for further mathematical reasoning; in this sense, mathematics has been incrementally built up over time via the accumulation of such knowledge. In ...


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Philosophy and science should not be confused. In philosophy something may be proven or demonstrated. As Edward Feser puts it (page 235), philosophical arguments are more like (though of course not exactly like) the proofs of geometry than they are like the probabilistic hypotheses put forward in empirical science. One could, of course, try to show that ...


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The Wikipedia article on constructivist epistemology may provide the key references and overview you are looking for. Regarding philosophy of science and constructivism they write: Thomas Kuhn argued that changes in scientists' views of reality not only contain subjective elements, but result from group dynamics, "revolutions" in scientific practice and ...


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There is no single and clear definition of God. But typically we can say that every concept of God agrees that God is a power with intelligence and decision making ability to influence any event in the universe. I would suggest that we can further divide above definition in clear separate points: 1. Power 2. Intelligence 3. Influence any event that will ...


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