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Philosophy, Science & Reality


Randolpin
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So philosophy is just like speculation? An assertion on how we look reality? Is that what you mean?

 

 

Pretty much, yes.

 

 

 

But philosophy could be correct also, when for example it based it's premise in a solid-ground of premises.

 

It could be. But there is no way of knowing. Are realists correct or are idealists correct?

 

 

 

Science could act the same way. Science look reality by creating models of it. Philosophy look reality by speculation. The difference between them is that science create model thru evidences or observation while philosophy is merely on speculation.

 

No. The difference is that science tests its models against reality (or, more precisely, against what we can measure). Philosophy doesn't.

 

So we can show that a scientific model is correct or not. You can't do anything like that for a philosophical idea.

 

 

 

1. Everything that exist must have an explanation for it's existence.

 

This depends on what you mean "explanation". For example, planets exist because of the rules of physics. Is that what you mean by "explanation"? It is a very different sort of explanation from your building example.

 

 

 

2. The universe exist. Therefore it must have a reason or explanation why it exist.

 

You have moved the goalposts. Even if everything has an explanation, that does not mean it has a reason. A building has a reason: it was built as a house or factory or whatever. But I don't think planets have a reason, they are just a consequence of the way physics works.

 

 

 

Although science don't know yet that there must be a reason, philosophy already knows that there must be a reason, and it could be right because the premise 1 is valid.

 

Philosophy doesn't know any such thing. Your argument is fallacious.

Many interpretations/theories concerning physics are not based on evidence but fit with certain measurements/observations.(

 

Huh? Those measurements and observations are the evidence.

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So philosophy is just like speculation? An assertion on how we look reality? Is that what you mean?

 

Yes, you're starting to get it. At least you are making sense with this post.

 

 

1. Everything that exist must have an explanation for it's existence. The validity of this premise is based on what we observe in our surroundings. Buildings exist because of the builder's reason to build,plant's exist in a specific place because it adapts the place. So we see that all that exist must have an explanation why they exist. So philosophy will soundly create the next premise that:

 

But what does any of this do? How does it benefit anything for the human race? What can you apply this knowledge to? Provided that it's correct in the first place.

 

You cannot make anything that science does with this knowledge. Try to apply any philosophical reasoning to actually make any kind of output. You won't be able to.

 

This is why I personally dislike philosophy. It's just argumentation. The whole discipline is based on talking about things you would talk about in some conversations anyway. And the issue is that no objective truth can be agreed upon from those conversations. So essentially, you have nothing of use.

 

 

This depends on what you mean "explanation". For example, planets exist because of the rules of physics. Is that what you mean by "explanation"? It is a very different sort of explanation from your building example.

 

 

You have moved the goalposts. Even if everything has an explanation, that does not mean it has a reason. A building has a reason: it was built as a house or factory or whatever. But I don't think planets have a reason, they are just a consequence of the way physics works.

 

Good points, Strange, +1

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Huh? Those measurements and observations are the evidence.

Those measurements and observations are often to open for interpretations to be 'evidence'. This causes something like the Many worlds interpretation.
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Those measurements and observations are often to open for interpretations to be 'evidence'. This causes something like the Many worlds interpretation.

 

 

Turn this around: if the evidence can be interpreted multiple ways you are either leaning away from science and toward philosophy (i.e. your model is lacking) or your experiment was not designed very well. A good experiment tied in with a precise model should not leave you with interpretations to mull.

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Those measurements and observations are often to open for interpretations to be 'evidence'.

 

 

Yeeess... *Baffled ny this apparent non-sequitur*

 

 

 

This causes something like the Many worlds interpretation.

 

I. Can't. Even.

 

There are many interpretations of quantum theory. They are all supported to exactly the same extent by exactly the same evidence. That is why they are interpretations and not different theories.

 

 

Turn this around: if the evidence can be interpreted multiple ways you are either leaning away from science and toward philosophy (i.e. your model is lacking) or your experiment was not designed very well.

 

Or maybe you just need to take more and better measurements to confirm of disprove the hypothesis.

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With the caveat that we are not here to discuss the particulars or alternatives, consider the Michelson-Morely experiment. You expect to measure a fringe shift based on 30 km/s of motion. You measure basically zero. There is no room for interpretation here, in the context of what the experiment was designed to do. It rejects the model.

 

That show the power of models and science's habit of quantifying results.


 

Or maybe you just need to take more and better measurements to confirm of disprove the hypothesis.

 

True, but you should have known how much data you need. Part of "well-designed" is knowing kind of signal/noise you need and whether you can reach the required precision.

 

But — and your comment leads me to this point — the broader picture is that in science the avenue of doing a better measurement is open to you.

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Turn this around: if the evidence can be interpreted multiple ways you are either leaning away from science and toward philosophy (i.e. your model is lacking) or your experiment was not designed very well. A good experiment tied in with a precise model should not leave you with interpretations to mull.

That's true. But an experiment is not necessary tied in a model. interpretation can decide in which model.

Take the Holographic Principle for example. There is imo a lot that points to the validity of the Holographic Principle yet depending on your interpretation there is nothing that points to its validity.

Science is very open for interpretation until there is sufficient or very strong evidence, concerning the interpretation.

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Sorry, I was not very active recently, so I chime in a bit late.

 

1. Is philosophy more advance than science in understanding reality because it can form ideas even when there is no experiments performed or observations (While science on the other hand can't step forward because it relies on data)?

 

The question supposes that science (which science?) has the same object as philosophy. That is just not true. The question is like 'what is louder, red or green?'.

 

2. Is philosophy always correct? Are there instance that science prove philosophy?If philosophy always correct, we can rely solely to philosophy than science.

 

Of course philosophy is not always correct. And science is neither. And again, while philosophy and science have different domains of interest, one cannot be a replacement for the other.

 

3. Is philosophy as accurate as science?

 

Depends on which science. Psychology, history, literature, sociology are not so much accurate as e.g. physics. Philosophy surely tries to be as consistent as possible, but again, even if philosophy would be more accurate than physics, it is not a replacement for it, because it has a different research domain.

4. When can we say that a question become philosophical? Can we say that philosophy is an advance science? If yes then we can conclude that the only task of science is to prove philosophy ( is it correct?).

 

Every science has its philosophical corners, namely there where the concepts or methods that are used in that science are reflected. Sometimes this is necessary, if a science discovers that it does not make progress, and this might be related to its most fundamental concepts or methods. And sporadically an outsider might notice that some aspects of a science are like an emperor without clothes, and sometimes this person is philosopher. But I think this is pretty seldom.

 

So, no, science does not prove philosophy at all. Philosophers however should take care that they do not leave their area of speciality, and propose ideas that are in conflict with established science.

If I repeated some answers already given, I was to lazy now to read the complete thread...
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That's true. But an experiment is not necessary tied in a model. interpretation can decide in which model.

Take the Holographic Principle for example. There is imo a lot that points to the validity of the Holographic Principle yet depending on your interpretation there is nothing that points to its validity.

Science is very open for interpretation until there is sufficient or very strong evidence, concerning the interpretation.

 

 

AFAIK the holographic principle is (currently) an untestable part of an untestable theory. So I don't see where interpretation comes into it.

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So philosophy is just like speculation?

 

No, it isn't. And what do you mean with just speculation?

 

In the first place there are different kinds of speculation:

  • By lack of knowledge about certain facts, one can speculate about what would be the case (e.g. crime cases).
  • Theory developing in science. One tries to find a theory that explains more facts than existing ones, but which empirical verification (or falsification) is still outstanding. Speculation in science however should always be consistent with most known facts. So 'Einstein was wrong!' is a very bad speculation, because relativity has been confirmed by many facts.
  • Not bothered by any real knowledge in the field, propose all kinds of wild ideas.
  • Thinking about reality 'behind the scenes', e.g. questions about what reality really is, about God, etc.

Good philosophy is neither of them, accept maybe some questions in the fourth category; but I personally do not favour such kind of questions.

 

An assertion on how we look reality?

 

Not quit clear what you mean. Philosophy surely is not about empirical reality. For that we have the sciences. And it certainly is not some 'assertion'. But philosophy is the reflection on how we think about reality. Its aim is to uncover the presumptions we use, ambiguities in concepts, and eventually to criticise them. It tries to find out how we think, and how we should think if we want to get at valid conclusions.

 

Philosophy look reality by speculation.

 

No, no, and no. None of the 4 forms of speculation above is philosophy. Philosophy is an academic discipline, a training in clear thinking in the domain of reflections on fundamental questions. Thereby it might be that philosophy never finds final answers: but that does not mean it is therefore speculation. One could say philosophy's aim is intellectual insight.

 

Let me give a sample argument.

1. Everything that exist must have an explanation for it's existence. The validity of this premise is based on what we observe in our surroundings. Buildings exist because of the builder's reason to build,plant's exist in a specific place because it adapts the place. So we see that all that exist must have an explanation why they exist. So philosophy will soundly create the next premise that:

2. The universe exist. Therefore it must have a reason or explanation why it exist. Although science don't know yet that there must be a reason, philosophy already knows that there must be a reason, and it could be right because the premise 1 is valid.

 

As Strange already did, a philosopher would point out to you that you mixup causes and reasons. There are 2 ways you can explain why a building exists:

  • it exists because stones were piled together with the correct cement between them etc.
  • it exists because people needed a place to live in.

The first is the question for the cause, the second for the reason. We know that in nature many things exist without a reason, they only have causes. For the universe as a whole the question might not be that clear, but at least there is no logical reason to assume that there is a reason why the universe exists.

 

The philosopher would show you that your '... why ...' (in 'all that exist must have an explanation why they exist') is ambiguous, because it can refer to an explanation in term of causes, or an explanation in terms of reasons. You shift the meaning of what an explanation is between 'Buildings exist because of the builder's reason to build' and 'all that exist must have an explanation why they exist'.

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AFAIK the holographic principle is (currently) an untestable part of an untestable theory. So I don't see where interpretation comes into it.

If interpretation is no part of it then how can physicists create different models, while they have acces to the same science? Edited by Itoero
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If interpretation is no part of it then how can physicists create different models, while they have acces to the same science?

You make different assumptions about what's going on. One model of gravity was that heavier objects fell faster than lighter ones. That was rejected once it was tested. But there is no room for a different interpretation of the results; under gravity alone objects fall with the same acceleration.

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You make different assumptions about what's going on. One model of gravity was that heavier objects fell faster than lighter ones. That was rejected once it was tested. But there is no room for a different interpretation of the results; under gravity alone objects fall with the same acceleration.

That's true, you can't interpret the validity of measurements. But you can interpret the meaning of measurements.

The bell theorem debunks local hidden variable theories.

The idea that this shows an indeterministic nature of the universe is an interpretation.

 

Gerard t hooft first developed the holographic principle. It's basically a quantum gravity model.

I don't think he meant it to be part of string theory.

I've read Leonard Susskind gave it a precise string-theory interpretation.

He gave his own interpretation...

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That's true, you can't interpret the validity of measurements. But you can interpret the meaning of measurements.

The bell theorem debunks local hidden variable theories.

The idea that this shows an indeterministic nature of the universe is an interpretation.

 

Gerard t hooft first developed the holographic principle. It's basically a quantum gravity model.

I don't think he meant it to be part of string theory.

I've read Leonard Susskind gave it a precise string-theory interpretation.

He gave his own interpretation...

 

 

There is no data to interpret for quantum gravity or string theory.

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In the end all philosophies revolve around "humanism". They try to explain the relation between humans/humans and universe.

For me pursuing aesthetics and sciences are ways of experiencing the world/universe and are fulfilling humanism.

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You need a 3rd party that shows which interpretation is correct.(when you interpret something)

This does not exist when you deal with religion. Interpreting verses of holy book is therfor pointless, although it can give personal 'enlightenment'.

In science, scientific evidence can fulfil the job of a 3rd party.

Interpretations concerning quantum mechanics might turn into scientific theories based on scientific evidence.

Edited by Itoero
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First, I don't mean that "making stuff" count as philosophy. As I understand, philosophy requires logic to operate. So, philosophy is more on logic while science is also requires logic but with evidences also. I hope this makes clear to you.

 

Well, it's clear to me that, without evidence, you are making stuff up.

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Never had much use/respect for philosophy or philosophers until Eise joined us.

Glad you're here.

 

Thank you for the accolades. I hope I will not disappoint you.

 

However, you made a lot of statements:

 

o You never had use for philosophy

o You never had use for philosophers

o You never had respect for philosophy

o You never had respect for philosophers

 

Which ones apply? And which did I (hopefully) end? Can you use philosophers now? :unsure:

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You haven't yet, Eise.

As to philosophy...

I used to think it was a useless discipline, and so, by extension, people who practiced it, did nothing useful.

Does that clarify things ?

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Many scientists also studied philosophy.

I think philosophy can give you a more creative mind.

 

It can also give you a more analytical and critical mind. Something for you to study?

You haven't yet, Eise.

As to philosophy...

I used to think it was a useless discipline, and so, by extension, people who practiced it, did nothing useful.

Does that clarify things ?

 

Not really... But I am doing something useful: I am participating in philosophical questions on the science forum! :cool:

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I liked your simple explanation that, while science teaches us how to analyze the problem at hand, philosophy teaches us how to think about the problem at hand. Which sometimes guides the scientific analysis.

I.E. it is not a useless discipline, but can be quite useful, if applied in the right situations.

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Please excuse my philosophical knowledge in the past weeks in this forum. This forum helps me clarify what is philosophy. This enables me now to share my idea about philosophy. Philosophy as what someone said here, is neither correct nor wrong. But my idea is that, there are correct & wrong philosophies. Example of correct philosophy I want to assert is Universalism and example of wrong philosophy is Relativism. Let me explain why the first is correct contrary to the last mentioned philosophy. Universalism is correct because base on my understanding, there is what we call absolute truth of reality.According to wikipedia, when we say absolute truth, this is the truth which is valid in all times and places. In this case, it is seen as eternal or as absolute. Examples of this absolute truth are mathematics, natural rights etc.

 

This leads me to the conclusion that philosophy is important because it seeks the absolute truth provided that we speculate soundly, interpret facts properly and so we have the correct philosophy.IMO, some philosophies are wrong because some philosophers wrongly speculate and interpret facts.

Edited by Randolpin
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