Eise

Philosophy (split from Sam Harris thread)

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3 minutes ago, Eise said:

Feel free to open a new  thread... I might participate.

But where to start??? I'll sleep on it...

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15 hours ago, Eise said:

@Beecee, thanks for your long and thoughtful post. As I am not retired, I cannot react in full on all your arguments now. However I want to mention one observation. You did not react on my last remark to you:

Do I believe that the only questions worth asking are scientific ones? :) Good question. Let me say that the only answers worthy of consideration are scientific answers, either empirical ones, or even strictly hypothetical: as per Krauss's book, "A Universe from Nothing"

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And I agree also: it is not science. It is philosophy! To find our way in life, we must have our facts straight. That is what science is for. But what are the right methods to find facts? And to what visions and values do we want to adhere? What are the right things to do and strive for? As soon as the discourse about these kind of topics becomes difficult and nuanced it becomes philosophy. 

Certainly, and I believe I have already commented on that, here ...

22 hours ago, beecee said:

The scientific methodology certainly is philosophy, but philosophy that was set in stone when science started making its presence felt, a long time ago. What Professor Krauss has said, [And Professor Hawking] is that philosophy of science, in that regard has done its job...the scientific methodology, was established as the most logically method of going about science. All true scientists accept that.

What I believe Krauss and Hawking are trying to say in lay terms,, is that the philosophy that we call the scientific methodology has already been established and settled and agreed to by real scientists, as distinct from the trolls and pseudoscience some like to push as science on forums such as this. The questions that science is attempting to answer now, with regard to where the universe came from, was once in the realms of metaphysics: But now we can at least give some reasonable answer to this even if still hypothetical: It does have some basis. On the why question, again I refer you to the short 7 minute video that i gave earlier...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO0r930Sn_8

 

 

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So are you a 'scientismist'? (Yep the word 'scientist' is already occupied, so I had to invent a new word for somebody who adheres to scientism. A typical philosophical move: noting that a word can be interpreted in different ways, and therefore introduce new words to keep them separated.)

:)  I'm not really into being labelled anything, including atheist. I simply find that after reading many reputable books from reputable scientists, (Hawking, Davis, Kaku, Rees, Begalman, Thorne, Carroll,  Weinberg) and listened and reviewed many posts from reputable established members on this and other science forums,  that in my opinion, scientists today are able to reasonably explain much, at least to t+10-43 sec, based on data from many particle colliders including the LHC, the many space probes we have sent aloft including the HST, COBE, WMAP,  Planck, and of course the latest scientific marvel aLIGO and its sister detector. The whys as discussed in the Feynman video may not be answerable, but you can rest assured if they are answerable, then science will find those answers in the course of time. So does that mean I adhere to scientism as you asked? If adhering to empirical science, and reasonable speculative science, rather then worrying about the philosophical why, or the mythical non scientific claims of IDers, is scientism, then perhaps I am guilty. 

Edited by beecee

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On 9/6/2017 at 0:47 AM, beecee said:

The scientific methodology certainly is philosophy, but philosophy that was set in stone when science started making its presence felt, a long time ago. What Professor Krauss has said, [And Professor Hawking] is that philosophy of science, in that regard has done its job...the scientific methodology, was established as the most logically method of going about science. All true scientists accept that.

Scientific method is not set in stone. See the early discussions in QM, and the present day ones about string theory and multiverses.

On 9/6/2017 at 0:47 AM, beecee said:

I do not agree that a great Physicist maybe a bad philosopher though. Again the philosophical ground work has already been established.

Saying this you reduce philosophy to scientific method only.

On 9/6/2017 at 0:47 AM, beecee said:

I have also in my time come across a quote attributed to Bertrand Russell, which goes something along the lines of "Science is what we know: Philosophy is what we don't know"

Well, while a nice 'bon mot' I do not agree. There is also a lot we do not know in the area of physics, but that does not make it philosophy. Physics is concerned with nature, philosophy with clarifying our thinking. They are just different disciplines. But if course the study of how physicist think might be a topic of philosophy, which btw is mostly successfully done by the physicists themselves (but not always! Yes, Krauss...)

On 9/6/2017 at 0:47 AM, beecee said:

Your second part re the relevance of "empirically unjustified answers" is also interesting. Are you referring to Krauss's book "A Universe from Nothing"?

No, I was just thinking about old-fashioned metaphysics, as a way to find out what is 'behind the scenes' of our physical world based on pure thinking.

On 9/6/2017 at 0:47 AM, beecee said:

The discovery of the Higgs, validates the previous hypothetical of a Higgs field, giving mass to elementary fundamental particles...Practical knowledge that maybe put to good use in the future...eg: (A beecee original :) ) Perhaps if in the course of time we survive for another millenium or greater, our advanced descendants maybe able to manipulate this field to give a perception of zero mass and so obtain relativistic speeds to explore the galaxy and beyond.      Again, practical.

Well, that is highly speculative. 

On 9/6/2017 at 11:23 PM, beecee said:

Do I believe that the only questions worth asking are scientific ones? :) Good question. Let me say that the only answers worthy of consideration are scientific answers, either empirical ones, or even strictly hypothetical: as per Krauss's book, "A Universe from Nothing"

I want to amend this: the only worthy answers on scientific questions are scientific answers. But I repeatedly stated there are other question that maybe just as relevant for our lives that are not scientific questions:

On 9/5/2017 at 11:49 AM, Eise said:

The first thing is that you create a false dichotomy: between questions we (obviously!) cannot answer and questions that are answered empirically. This leaves out a whole lot of other questions, e.g. about morality, meaning of words, values, meaning of life etc. Some of these questions can be answered, some of them must be answered, because they will result in an action. E.g. in moral questions: when one stands for a choice, and one must choose, we answer the questions at least implicitly by acting as we do. Reflecting on the moral reasons for our actions is ethics.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Eise said:

Scientific method is not set in stone. See the early discussions in QM, and the present day ones about string theory and multiverses.

It most certainly is set in stone for anyone considering they are scientists!  Science explains how things work, but not necessarily why they work. QM works and is observable. String theory and its derivatives are as yet unobservable and are speculative. Anyone working outside the scientific methodology are pseudoscientists, or cranks, or any other number of assorted nuts. 

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Saying this you reduce philosophy to scientific method only.

Again, the philosophy behind the steps of the scientific method are set in stone. Yes that philosophical work, as Professor Krauss infers, is the foundation of science. Scientists are certainly indebted to the philosophical greats of the past, although personally, I see the scientific methodology more an application of logic. There work is mostly done.

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Well, while a nice 'bon mot' I do not agree. There is also a lot we do not know in the area of physics, but that does not make it philosophy. Physics is concerned with nature, philosophy with clarifying our thinking. They are just different disciplines. But if course the study of how physicist think might be a topic of philosophy, which btw is mostly successfully done by the physicists themselves (but not always! Yes, Krauss...)

Not sure what a "bon mot" is but *shrug*  you are entitled to disagree. While there is obviously still plenty we don't know in science/physics, they are also being worked on as we speak, scientifically via the scientific method. And of course the science that physicists do is governed by the scientific method, that was set in stone yonks ago. Again remember "Science explains how things work, but not necessarily why they work". The philosophers can mull over that. :) 

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No, I was just thinking about old-fashioned metaphysics, as a way to find out what is 'behind the scenes' of our physical world based on pure thinking.

Hmmm, not sure how to answer that...other then to repeat, "Science explains how things work, but not necessarily why they work". The philosophers can mull over that. :) 

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Well, that is highly speculative. 

That's part of science and the scientific methodology. But in my case and my personal hypothetical, it remains just that, as I am unable to, nor qualified enough to validate that hypothetical.

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I want to amend this: the only worthy answers on scientific questions are scientific answers. But I repeatedly stated there are other question that maybe just as relevant for our lives that are not scientific questions:

*shrug* Did you watch the Feynman video? As another critic said, Neil De-Grasse Tyson, concerning yourself with the meaning of meaning, is near meaningless. Let me add also, a reputable scientist Professor Sean Carroll, has taken to task, the critics such as Krauss, Hawking Dawkins and De-Grasse Tyson. So I do as a lay person try and see both sides. http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2014/06/23/physicists-should-stop-saying-silly-things-about-philosophy/

Perhaps I'm slightly biased being a practical hands on  man, just as probably you are slightly biased having achieved some qualifications in philosophy.

 

 

Edited by beecee

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On 17/09/2017 at 11:27 PM, beecee said:

QM works and is observable.

That is too easy. It needed a hell of a  philosophical discussion when it turned out that QM did not fulfill the expectations of classical mechanics, that we can observe the world as it is and that it is completely determined.

On 17/09/2017 at 11:27 PM, beecee said:

Nice article.

This is a nice one too.

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Now, it seems to me obvious, but apparently it needs to be stated that: a) philosophy and science are two distinct activities (at least nowadays, since science did start as a branch of philosophy called natural philosophy); b) they work by different methods (empirically-based hypothesis testing vs. reason-based logical analysis); and c) they inform each other in an inter-dependent fashion (science depends on philosophical assumptions that are outside the scope of empirical validation, but philosophical investigations should be informed by the best science available in a range of situations, from metaphysics to ethics and philosophy of mind).

Another thing to note: also here on the forum, philosophy is not rubricated under science. But as said, to think that only scientific questions (i.e. questions that potentially can be answered by science) are important in life is scientism.

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On 9/17/2017 at 5:27 PM, beecee said:

It most certainly is set in stone for anyone considering they are scientists!  

The misnomer here is that there is no single "scientific method". There are a bunch of different options, depending on the nature of the work, so in that sense, the scientific method is not set in stone. Which is probably a discussion of its own.

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11 hours ago, swansont said:

The misnomer here is that there is no single "scientific method". There are a bunch of different options, depending on the nature of the work, so in that sense, the scientific method is not set in stone. Which is probably a discussion of its own.

Hmmm are you sure? let's look at what a scientists, any scientists does....makes an observation, or observes an experiment.....formulate a hypothesis as to the why...collect all the data and consider what can be predictive from that  hypothetical....if predictions successful, publish for proper peer review and consideration. This is what most scientists do and is considered compulsory. 

12 hours ago, Eise said:

Another thing to note: also here on the forum, philosophy is not rubricated under science. But as said, to think that only scientific questions (i.e. questions that potentially can be answered by science) are important in life is scientism.

I don't agree. Scientism is simply a made up word, probably by an annoyed philosopher. Science and the scientific method I believe do know their limitations

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3 hours ago, beecee said:

Scientism is simply a made up word, probably by an annoyed philosopher. Science and the scientific method I believe do know their limitations

Science and the scientific method are no persons, so they do not know of limitations. Scientists, and science fans however do not always.

I wrote about scientism elsewhere, under a slightly different perspective, namely 'science as religion' : except point 1, it are different forms of scientism:

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  1. Having no real knowledge about what science really is, and see it as something one can believe or not, as if it is a religion. Without any clear ideas how science differs from any other believe, either be it a religion, or some other world view, science is just another world view, that for some unreflected reason somebody takes as true, maybe while (s)he likes technical gizmos, or falls in love with scientific types. What is missing is the capability to be critical.
  2. The trust that science will eventually solve every human problem. E.g., one must not worry about global warming, science will find a solution: extract CO2 from the atmosphere, using nuclear fusion, or build gigantic solar panels in tropical areas. Said otherwise, we do not have to take any responsibility, ‘they’ (scientists) will solve it for us.
  3. Related to 3: the faith that every aspect of human life, be it morality, aesthetics or politics can in principle be understood by science, and in this way can take responsibility from us. It is the idea that norms and values can in principle derived from basic scientific facts only.
  4. The idea that only things that scientifically can be proven are valuable for us, because they bring gain and power to us via technology. This is more or less the opposite of 3. Instead of using science for ethics, aesthetics, and politics, these are thrown away as unscientific. Science becomes a value in itself.

 

 

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5 hours ago, beecee said:

Hmmm are you sure? let's look at what a scientists, any scientists does....makes an observation, or observes an experiment.....formulate a hypothesis as to the why...collect all the data and consider what can be predictive from that  hypothetical....if predictions successful, publish for proper peer review and consideration. This is what most scientists do and is considered compulsory.

Makes an observation? What determines the observation he makes? How many observations does he ignore? How does he choose which observations will garner his attention? How will he observe? What levels of precision and accuracy will he strive for? Why will he choose these values?

Observes an experiment? On what basis does he choose that experiment? How does he select the criteria? How does he validate the experiment? What simplifications does he make? Why does he discard alternative designs?

Formulate a hypothesis? Why does he choose this milieu in which to frame his hypothesis? Why does the hypothesis take form A, rather than form B (favoured by his rivals)? What observations does he decide to exclude from his hypothesis as irrelevant? Why does he so define them?

Collect all the data? Really? All the data?

There is more than enough leeway within each of these questions for great variety of methodology. I strongly suspect that many scientific investigations begin with the hypothesis then work backwards through experiment and observation in order to validate it. The Scientific Method as described by science historians and philsophers is an ideal, conceptual framework, not the reality of in-the-trenches science.

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2 hours ago, Eise said:

Science and the scientific method are no persons, so they do not know of limitations. Scientists, and science fans however do not always.

The scientists that follow the scientific method, obviously do know those limitations as I have discussed previously. 

23 minutes ago, Area54 said:

The Scientific Method as described by science historians and philsophers is an ideal, conceptual framework, not the reality of in-the-trenches science.

As the foundation stone to the workings of science, the reality is that it is simply what one logically applies from the observational and experimental data, and the follow up research of one's peers.  In more detail ......

Image result

https://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=https://www.sciencebuddies.org/Files/5084/7/2013-updated_scientific-method-steps_v6_noheader.png&imgrefurl=https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/science-fair/steps-of-the-scientific-method&h=496&w=415&tbnid=EeJkq_6OZAXuwM:&tbnh=160&tbnw=133&usg=__B_nVLp3Ok9pRvZaXq0hTVDzsaeo=&vet=10ahUKEwjv6KKCxcLWAhVDn5QKHWoOAd0Q9QEILDAA..i&docid=AA2g1H3Ak7hPoM&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjv6KKCxcLWAhVDn5QKHWoOAd0Q9QEILDAA

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7 hours ago, beecee said:

Hmmm are you sure? let's look at what a scientists, any scientists does....makes an observation, or observes an experiment.....formulate a hypothesis as to the why...collect all the data and consider what can be predictive from that  hypothetical....if predictions successful, publish for proper peer review and consideration. This is what most scientists do and is considered compulsory. 

Pretty sure, and I don't think it's what most scientists do.

Einstein looked at theory, and developed a new theory based on what he thought up. He then published. Others later confirmed it through experiment. There's a lot of theoretical work done this way.

Scientists at the LHC are doing (or have done) experiments to confirm existing theory. They didn't observe anything beforehand. How could they? They need the collider and its high energy to observe things! They might observe something new — they are engaged in a search for new physics, after all — but that hasn't happened yet.

IOW, sometimes experiment pushes theory forward, sometimes it's the other way around.

Then there's repeatability. That's not the same for something you do in a lab vs e.g. astronomy. It's not like you can observe a supernova or black hole merger any time you want.

 

 

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1 hour ago, swansont said:

Then there's repeatability. That's not the same for something you do in a lab vs e.g. astronomy. It's not like you can observe a supernova or black hole merger any time you want.

Many examples of this sort are present within geology. The rocks may be regarded as the end product of a "laboratory" experiment that the geologist seeks to interpret. The literature shows that the interpretations are almost as varied as the number of observers. Some use them (the rocks) to confirm a hypothesis, others to refute it, others to initiate a new one and some as a form of stamp collecting.

beecee, your graphic is no more than a repetition of your previous statement and does not address in any way the points I raised.

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2 hours ago, beecee said:

The scientists that follow the scientific method, obviously do know those limitations as I have discussed  stated previously. 

If this were true, then there would be no 'scientismists' under scientists. That is just not true. I would even say: the best physicists can reflect about the status of their science. Doing so, they are not doing science, but philosophy. And I would add, if they end up with scientism, they have done their philosophical job badly. 

As a counterpoint to your fixed believe in one single scientific method, set in stone for ages, read this Wikipedia article about 'epistemological anarchism'.

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11 hours ago, swansont said:

Pretty sure, and I don't think it's what most scientists do.

Einstein looked at theory, and developed a new theory based on what he thought up. He then published. Others later confirmed it through experiment. There's a lot of theoretical work done this way.

Yes, he developed a new theory by observing what existing thought/theory could not explain properly. He developed work done by previous notable scientists, made some assumptions that would alleviate the problems with the existing theory/thought, and that aligned accurately with what the maths told him. I'm not sure if that is discarding the scientific methodology. What I have said is that the framework of the scientific method, (logic) is what is set in stone, noting that this "logic" is governed by what we observe and our explanation for it.

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Scientists at the LHC are doing (or have done) experiments to confirm existing theory. They didn't observe anything beforehand. How could they? They need the collider and its high energy to observe things! They might observe something new — they are engaged in a search for new physics, after all — but that hasn't happened yet.

Scientific theory is always being tested, including GR, isn't that the name of the game?

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IOW, sometimes experiment pushes theory forward, sometimes it's the other way around.

Agreed, but does this discard the scientific method as understood being the foundation of science?

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Then there's repeatability. That's not the same for something you do in a lab vs e.g. astronomy. It's not like you can observe a supernova or black hole merger any time you want.

Again, agreed, but I don't see that as a negative: Scientists know that sometimes patience is necessary: Einstein had to wait 3 years for confirmation of GR and gravitational lensing.

9 hours ago, Area54 said:

Some use them (the rocks) to confirm a hypothesis, others to refute it, others to initiate a new one and some as a form of stamp collecting.

And then probably after further finds, much more thought, some other observations, a consensus is formed: Some may disagree, just as some are still disputing the GWS discovery as further validating GR: I don't really see that as discarding the scientific method.

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 beecee, your graphic is no more than a repetition of your previous statement and does not address in any way the points I raised.

My point is simply that the scientific method is the foundation stone of science...without it we open the door to pseudoscientific claims, myth and other woo.

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There is more than enough leeway within each of these questions for great variety of methodology. I strongly suspect that many scientific investigations begin with the hypothesis then work backwards through experiment and observation in order to validate it. The Scientific Method as described by science historians and philsophers is an ideal, conceptual framework, not the reality of in-the-trenches science.

Whether one begins with an hypothesis, or an observation does not imo invalidate the foundation or conceptual framework.

9 hours ago, Eise said:

As a counterpoint to your fixed believe in one single scientific method, set in stone for ages, read this Wikipedia article about 'epistemological anarchism'.

I havn't as yet read the full article, but this continued philosophical discussion on the scientific methodology is interesting to say the least. :) 

Let's look at the scientific method again. I see it as an application of common sense and logic based on what we observe. If we decide to hypothesise first, and experiment or observation shows we are wrong, we take another tack. That is logic. What I'm trying to say is that imo the scientific methodology is the application of this logic and that we, all of us use it everyday, and used it even before it was labelled the scientific method.

Let me give an example I was personally involved in: Many years ago while driving home from work after an afternoon shift, [1500hrs to 2300hrs] I saw what is loosely described as a UFO...it was a small blue disk, that was moving on the horizon for around 20 seconds and the size of the apparent diameter of the overhead full Moon. It then disappeared. I went home, turned on the TV, but there was no reported sighting. I showered and went to bed...Woke the next morning and checked the TV again and the local paper...no reports, no nothing, zilch, nada. I came to the possible conclusions that (1) I was hallucinating, (2) It was something else but it did not look like a plane or helicopter, (3) It was a UFO....with the emphasis on the "Ü" for unidentified. I did not jump to the conclusion that I was being buzzed by some Aliens even though I doubt very strongly that we are alone in this universe. I see that as using proper deductive reasoning or the scientific methodology, and dismissing the crank pseudoscientific, jumping to an emotional conclusion. 

I hope that indicates where I am coming from.

Edited by beecee

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I think that the discussion about scientific method, if it is set in stone, is a topic in itself. This is my last reaction on this here. Open another thread if you want.

The point in this thread is just that philosophy is a discipline in itself, that it can give important intellectual insights, but that it is not a science. A physicist reflecting on his way of working is philosophising. A physicist reflecting on what the status of his theories is, is philosophising. Any human reflecting on the basic assumptions and values behind his thinking is philosophising. Any human reflecting on the validity of his values is philosophising. Any human reflecting on the precise meaning of concepts he uses in his thinking is philosophising. And if this person has made a academic career in  the systematic study of these kinds of reflecting, he is a philosopher.

What philosophy definitely is not: another way of trying to find out how the world around us is: that is the domain of the sciences.

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Interesting thread.

There was a question that was brought up early in this thread that was not well answered, and I thought an answer was appropriate. Everyone is talking about philosophy as if it were one type of study. It is not.

Here in the US we practice mostly Western Philosophy, which is the philosophy that I study and try to work. Western Philosophy is also called analytic philosophy because the emphasis is on analysis. One has to consider that we can not analyze something without something to analyze, so yes, evidence is rather important. This is the philosophy that aligns most closely to science, and I would assume that Philosophy of Science would be part of Western Philosophy.

There is also Continental Philosophy which I do not understand as well, but from what I know, it is much like Western Philosophy but places a stronger emphasis on tradition, wisdom, and intuition. This philosophy would also work well with science.

There is also Eastern Philosophy, which is closer to religions like Buddhism. Eastern Philosophy does not seem to require much physical evidence and works mostly through the inner mind, observations, and experience. This philosophy does not necessarily align with science.

Then there is personal philosophy, which is a person's attempt to find truth in their own reality.

All of the above philosophies have one thing in common; they all seek knowledge. But knowledge is true, not imaginings or assumptions or biases or beliefs or opinions based on imaginings, assumptions, biases, or beliefs. This is what philosophy is all about, sweeping away the nonsense to find the truth. That would be the clarity that Eise is talking about, and why philosophy is a discipline.

 

I agree with Bertrand Russell.

"Science is what we know." It would be a little difficult to use the scientific method on something if we do not know what that something is.

"Philosophy is what we don't know." Philosophy studies what we suspect, or what conflicts with other knowledge, or what there is only some evidence for, but not enough to call it knowledge. Philosophy puzzles out the truth of it, then once it is known, passes it to Science for testing.

Because many things are now known, some people think that philosophy is obsolete -- they are fools. Philosophy will be obsolete when all things are known, or never -- whichever comes first. IMO

Gee

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On 9/29/2017 at 3:37 AM, Gees said:

Here in the US we practice mostly Western Philosophy, which is the philosophy that I study and try to work. Western Philosophy is also called analytic philosophy because the emphasis is on analysis. One has to consider that we can not analyze something without something to analyze, so yes, evidence is rather important. This is the philosophy that aligns most closely to science, and I would assume that Philosophy of Science would be part of Western Philosophy.

Question for you: why would philosophy of science still be a an academic discipline when the scientific method is set in stone?

On 9/29/2017 at 3:37 AM, Gees said:

There is also Continental Philosophy which I do not understand as well, but from what I know, it is much like Western Philosophy but places a stronger emphasis on tradition, wisdom, and intuition. This philosophy would also work well with science.

Interesting way of seeing it. Roughly you have a point, but still very rough. I have studied philosophy in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and I was taught about all kind of philosophers, analytic or not. (I would not label analytic philosophy 'Western', in contrast to 'Continental'. Is western Europe not Western?). Analytic philosophy is relatively young, it arose in the beginnings of the 20th century. It has a special interest in the use of language, but some outskirts of it were trying to be too scientific,  and so completely missed the boat ) e.g. behaviourism as basis of an explanation of the mind. 

On 9/29/2017 at 3:37 AM, Gees said:

There is also Eastern Philosophy, which is closer to religions like Buddhism. Eastern Philosophy does not seem to require much physical evidence and works mostly through the inner mind, observations, and experience. This philosophy does not necessarily align with science.

Why should philosophy look for physical evidence? Physical evidence is for physicists. 

Most of (ancient!) eastern philosophy tries to help to reach Enlightenment. Most of the Hindu-philosophies do this by building extended metaphysical frameworks about the essence of the world and of ourselves, and therefore, as you say, do not fit well to science. OTOH (original) Buddhism accentuates the importance of sticking to experience: the Buddha mostly refuses to answer if there is a god, if the universe is infinite or infinite, if there is a life after death etc etc. And given his idea of 'no-self' (i.e. there does not exist an independent existing self (or soul)), Buddhism fits very well to modern science.

On 9/29/2017 at 3:37 AM, Gees said:

All of the above philosophies have one thing in common; they all seek knowledge. But knowledge is true, not imaginings or assumptions or biases or beliefs or opinions based on imaginings, assumptions, biases, or beliefs.

The question is "knowledge of what?". If it is knowledge of anything empirical, then this is not a task for philosophy, but for one of the sciences.

On 9/29/2017 at 3:37 AM, Gees said:

"Philosophy is what we don't know." Philosophy studies what we suspect, or what conflicts with other knowledge, or what there is only some evidence for, but not enough to call it knowledge. Philosophy puzzles out the truth of it, then once it is known, passes it to Science for testing.

And speculation about empirical facts, still belongs to science. It can be bad science (crackpots), and can be good science if it has the prospect of being empirically proven. But it never is philosophy. (Is string theory science, mathematics, or philosophy? Why?) The idea that as soon as some part of philosophy gets 'grown-up' it becomes science is surely not uptodate. There might have been a time that everything except mathematics and astronomy was called (natural) philosophy, but it surely was not a process of philosophy splitting of one science after the other, not leaving anything for itself.

On 9/29/2017 at 3:37 AM, Gees said:

Because many things are now known, some people think that philosophy is obsolete -- they are fools. Philosophy will be obsolete when all things are known, or never -- whichever comes first.

When we know everything, science is obsolete too. We do not need scientists anymore, no laboratories or observatories. We would only need engineers, to be creative with all the known laws of nature, and design new technologies based on it.

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1 hour ago, Eise said:

When we know everything, science is obsolete too. We do not need scientists anymore, no laboratories or observatories. We would only need engineers, to be creative with all the known laws of nature, and design new technologies based on it.

 

I haven't been following this thread, but thought I'd take a look and, after all that analysis, this last line caught my fancy.

 

The opposite of analysis is synthesis, rather than creation which is different again.

So many terms and a full study process will probably involve all three these days.

Deployment of synthesis and or creation is more difficult than analysis in my experience.

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On 9/27/2017 at 6:54 AM, Eise said:

 

What philosophy definitely is not: another way of trying to find out how the world around us is: that is the domain of the sciences.

Not being too well-versed in either Science or Philosophy, i don't really have any particular axe to grind, so i would just like to say that i think that both disciplines have equally important roles  to play in dealing with the problems the world faces today: Science to tackle the practical problems like pollution, climate-change and over-population; Philosophy to disarm the harmful religious, political and nationalistic ideologies that are threatening all our well-being. I hope both can succeed - in tandem - because they must: one without the other may not be enough.

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Posted (edited)
On 9/1/2017 at 7:22 AM, Eise said:

Oh, and this one is beautiful too:

Thanks for that link!!! Bravo

I liked this


This is progress understood as clarification, the sort of thing that Wittgenstein (himself not exactly a shining example of clarity) was presumably thinking of when he said that “Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.”


Enter referent analysis.

The first few chapters of The Tyranny of Words by Stuart Chase, 1938, was a very valuable book for me.

Edited by scherado
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Eise;

Thank you for your response. Please consider my thoughts below.

 

6 hours ago, Eise said:

Question for you: why would philosophy of science still be a an academic discipline when the scientific method is set in stone?

I asked this same question in another forum and got two answers that seem to be reasonable. The first was that science has become so diverse that no  one can know all of it. Science has branched off in so many different directions that some studies may support or oppose studies in other branches, so Philosophy of Science tries to find and compare these different studies. The second reason was that the scientific method is not set in stone. As Swansont noted above, Science has had to develop different methods to test, and these methods have to strictly adhere to philosophical principals or they will not be valid science. So Philosophy of Science tries to get rid of the crackpots. All of this information is second-hand and hearsay, so if you really need to know, Wiki it or Google it.

 

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Interesting way of seeing it. Roughly you have a point, but still very rough. I have studied philosophy in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and I was taught about all kind of philosophers, analytic or not. (I would not label analytic philosophy 'Western', in contrast to 'Continental'. Is western Europe not Western?). Analytic philosophy is relatively young, it arose in the beginnings of the 20th century. It has a special interest in the use of language, but some outskirts of it were trying to be too scientific,  and so completely missed the boat ) e.g. behaviourism as basis of an explanation of the mind. 

I will take a "rough" point over no point any day. Most of my education regarding academic philosophy came from a few books and the internet. After high school, I had an opportunity to go to college, but I wanted to study philosophy. My Uncle, a self-made millionaire, offered to pay for college, but did not think philosophy worth his money, so I declined his very generous offer. Eventually I went into law. I envy you your education. 

I did not choose the labels, so whether it is Western or Continental philosophy, I suspect that philosophers will use any tool that gets to the truth. The term "emphasis" was used to explain that a conflict between pure analysis and tradition/intuition will be resolved by the philosopher's belief in which is more valid -- so s/he tends to lean one way or the other. I suspect that Continental Philosophy is more balanced, so although it may move slower, the steps are more sure.

 

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Why should philosophy look for physical evidence? Physical evidence is for physicists. 

If you say so, but don't tell the neurologists, or chemists, or biologists, or ecologists, etc.  They may not understand your point. (chuckle)

But to answer your question; to keep it real. Science has a natural limitation built into the scientific method -- you can not test something that you do not know about. Philosophy has no such limitation. You can philosophize about anything that you can imagine, so would you call that philosophy? I would call it garbage, or maybe Fluff. In order to keep from  wandering off into the land of Fluff, a philosopher needs to bear in mind anything that is real and incorporate that evidence into the philosopher's considerations. This is the difference between imaginings and knowledge.

 

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Most of (ancient!) eastern philosophy tries to help to reach Enlightenment. Most of the Hindu-philosophies do this by building extended metaphysical frameworks about the essence of the world and of ourselves, and therefore, as you say, do not fit well to science. OTOH (original) Buddhism accentuates the importance of sticking to experience: the Buddha mostly refuses to answer if there is a god, if the universe is infinite or infinite, if there is a life after death etc etc. And given his idea of 'no-self' (i.e. there does not exist an independent existing self (or soul)), Buddhism fits very well to modern science.

Most of what you are talking about above is the religious aspects of Eastern Philosophy. A lot of the Eastern philosophies work very well with psychology, and I have read that some of their idea seem to relate to new ideas in Physics. When I first read some of Spinoza's ideas, I was happy to see that someone else thought like I do regarding consciousness. It was in that article that Spinoza's concept of consciousness was compared to some Eastern philosophy. I don't remember which one, but can look it up if you are interested.

 

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The question is "knowledge of what?". If it is knowledge of anything empirical, then this is not a task for philosophy, but for one of the sciences.

Nonsense. In order for it to become "knowledge", it first must be interpreted. Philosophy is good at interpreting.

 

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And speculation about empirical facts, still belongs to science. It can be bad science (crackpots), and can be good science if it has the prospect of being empirically proven. But it never is philosophy. (Is string theory science, mathematics, or philosophy? Why?) The idea that as soon as some part of philosophy gets 'grown-up' it becomes science is surely not uptodate. There might have been a time that everything except mathematics and astronomy was called (natural) philosophy, but it surely was not a process of philosophy splitting of one science after the other, not leaving anything for itself.

Science can speculate all it wants, but if it wants to be "good science" it will adhere to the principals set down by philosophy.

Well, I am kind of old, so maybe I am not up-to-date, but this is the way I see it. Philosophy interprets what something is, or should be, and passes it to Science. Science tests it and learns all about it, then passes that information on. Industry finds a way to make money off of it, and abuses our environment/people. Philosophy and Science together look for a solution and find one. Someone employs the solution to correct the prior problem and inadvertently creates a new problem. Round and around it goes.

Examples:  

We thought that insects attacking our food products should be eliminated. Science agreed and invented insecticides killing off bees and butterflies and poisoning people. Oops. So then we brought in beetles, which have become a new pest problem. Oops.

We thought that people should be able to lead longer healthier lives. Science agreed and invented vaccines, antibiotics, and many medical miracles. Now our population is growing too fast because people are not dying, so people are not having babies. Oops. Soon we may have more people collecting Social Security than people paying it. Oops.

We thought that there must be a better way to kill off the American Indians without killing ourselves. We attacked their food source, killing the buffalo. Science provided the repeating firearms and the railroad. What we did not know was that the buffalo grass was the only thing that stopped erosion in times of drought, hence the Dust Bowl. Big OOPS.

So my thought is that we are entirely too dumb as a specie to worry about either, Philosophy or Science, running out of work any time soon. (chuckle)

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When we know everything, science is obsolete too. We do not need scientists anymore, no laboratories or observatories. We would only need engineers, to be creative with all the known laws of nature, and design new technologies based on it.

Knowledge is accumulative. We can never know everything, so your argument is moot.

Gee

 

Studiot;

4 hours ago, studiot said:

I haven't been following this thread, but thought I'd take a look and, after all that analysis, this last line caught my fancy.

 

The opposite of analysis is synthesis, rather than creation which is different again.

So many terms and a full study process will probably involve all three these days.

Deployment of synthesis and or creation is more difficult than analysis in my experience.

The problem, as I see it, is that sometimes people will employ synthesis without taking the time to analyze what they are putting together.

Gee

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Gees said:

The problem, as I see it, is that sometimes people will employ synthesis without taking the time to analyze what they are putting together.

In what way are you suggesting that this invalidates the synthesis process itself or the efforts of those who employ it correctly?

 

8 hours ago, Gees said:

But to answer your question; to keep it real. Science has a natural limitation built into the scientific method -- you can not test something that you do not know about.

I am not convinced by this statement.

Accidental discoveries for instance.
Or tests between opposing hypothesis.

Edited by studiot

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Studiot;

 

9 hours ago, studiot said:

In what way are you suggesting that this invalidates the synthesis process itself or the efforts of those who employ it correctly?

In no way. Maybe you missed the word "sometimes" in my post? You stated that you thought synthesis was more difficult than analysis, in your experience. Maybe so. In my experience analysis helps us to understand a problem so it also helps synthesis in finding a solution. They are both necessary. An example might be in problem solving. It is amazing how many people can come up with solutions to a problem without knowing what the problem actually is.

 

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I am not convinced by this statement.

Accidental discoveries for instance.
Or tests between opposing hypothesis.

 

Probably because you are a science person. Whether discoveries are made by accident or intentionally, they still deal with the known. Science tends to dismiss anything that is not, or can not, be known. For an example of this I will use something that I don't think anyone will dispute -- religions, spirituality, and "Gods". Most science people will dismiss religious ideas as nonsense or imaginings. I can not.

Nonsense and imaginings do not produce the consistent and pervasive physical evidence that can be found all over the world regarding religion. There are temples and churches, idols and icons, and sites of worship that were built and designed with great care for thousands of years, probably tens of thousands, and seem to be a historical fact of most, if not all, cultures. This is a little too much coincidence and too much evidence for me to ignore. There is a truth here, but it is unknown.

Gee

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2 minutes ago, Gees said:

Studiot;

 

In no way. Maybe you missed the word "sometimes" in my post? You stated that you thought synthesis was more difficult than analysis, in your experience. Maybe so. In my experience analysis helps us to understand a problem so it also helps synthesis in finding a solution. They are both necessary. An example might be in problem solving. It is amazing how many people can come up with solutions to a problem without knowing what the problem actually is.

 

Probably because you are a science person. Whether discoveries are made by accident or intentionally, they still deal with the known. Science tends to dismiss anything that is not, or can not, be known. For an example of this I will use something that I don't think anyone will dispute -- religions, spirituality, and "Gods". Most science people will dismiss religious ideas as nonsense or imaginings. I can not.

Nonsense and imaginings do not produce the consistent and pervasive physical evidence that can be found all over the world regarding religion. There are temples and churches, idols and icons, and sites of worship that were built and designed with great care for thousands of years, probably tens of thousands, and seem to be a historical fact of most, if not all, cultures. This is a little too much coincidence and too much evidence for me to ignore. There is a truth here, but it is unknown.

Gee

Yeah, sure, but that is because science was virtually non existent. Humanity could not explain the Moon, Sun, night and day, even Summer and Winter. They had a need for an explanation and the easiest explanation was some deity or creator. We now know better. We are even able to reasonably explain the whole observable universe, at least back to t+10-43 seconds. We don't need any mythical deity anymore.

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33 minutes ago, Gees said:

In no way. Maybe you missed the word "sometimes" in my post?

No I did not miss the sometimes.

But since you made a statement, conditional on the sometimes, I asked about the times when that holds true.

Since I offered two mutually exclusive possibilities (the third not said being a combination) the reply "In no way" is puzzling to say the least.

37 minutes ago, Gees said:

Whether discoveries are made by accident or intentionally, they still deal with the known.

I am sorry we are havng such trouble communicating, but I certainly can't agree that discoveries deal with the known.

Surely that is a self contridiction?

How is something a discovery if it is already known?

I stand by my scenarios, perhaps some examples might help?

1 )Van Leeuwenhoek discovered something no man had ever seen or had any idea existed.

He named these things 'animalcules'.

He was the first man to see microscopic organisms.

2) Galileo dropped two cannon balls from the tower of Pisa to see which one would land first.

A test between two different theories.

 

I am sure I could find many many more examples.

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