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What is the real difference between science and philosophy?


dimreepr
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Just now, swansont said:

As I have asked before, what philosophy will help me align a laser into a single-mode optical fiber?

It's far from obvious to me that philosophers of science, or philosophers of any kind, are trying to help scientists align a laser into a single-mode optical fiber . . . any more than a plumber is.

What they are trying to do, I daresay, is bring some measure of clarity and understanding.

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3 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

It's far from obvious to me that philosophers of science, or philosophers of any kind, are trying to help scientists align a laser into a single-mode optical fiber . . . any more than a plumber is.

What they are trying to do, I daresay, is bring some measure of clarity and understanding.

It seems to me that Science says "The laser will never be clear at the other end of the optical cable unless it is correctly aligned"

 

Edited by studiot
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Just now, Davy_Jones said:

It's far from obvious to me that philosophers of science, or philosophers of any kind, are trying to help scientists align a laser into a single-mode optical fiber . . . any more than a plumber is.

What they are trying to do, I daresay, is bring some measure of clarity and understanding.

Which is beside my point.

One can't validly make the blanket assertion that scientists, as a whole, would benefit from philosophy, and then carve out such exceptions (oh, we were ignoring experimentalists. And certain aspects of theory. And...)

You want to say that people investigating e.g. foundational aspects of science would benefit from philosophy, then sure, go ahead. I think you will find that most of those people are already doing that. 

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2 hours ago, Eise said:
On 9/6/2021 at 8:45 AM, MigL said:

One is based on evidence/observation; the other on mental gymnastics.
( no offense meant, Eise )

When it is no offense, what is it?

Gymnastics ( mental or otherwise ) are not useless.
Mental gymnastics sharpen the mind and help refine our thought processes.
( I have alluded to this in a previous post )

Are we heading towards the conclusion that Philosophers use the word 'knowledge' to mean justified true beliefs, while the rest of us ( Physicists included ) use it to mean a commonly accepted, evolving, body of information ?

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20 minutes ago, swansont said:

Which is beside my point.

One can't validly make the blanket assertion that scientists, as a whole, would benefit from philosophy, and then carve out such exceptions (oh, we were ignoring experimentalists. And certain aspects of theory. And...)

You want to say that people investigating e.g. foundational aspects of science would benefit from philosophy, then sure, go ahead. I think you will find that most of those people are already doing that. 

 

Well, first of all, it was TheVat who said that (the blanket assertion thing), not me.

Personally speaking, I believe a little delving into the philosophy of science would help scientists understand their own enterprise better . . . and perhaps avoid making very silly "metascientific" statements (i.e. statements about science) as people such as Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss routinely do.

I know it's a hard pill for many scientists to swallow that they may not be the most knowledgeable people when it comes to metascientific questions.

No one does science better than scientists; it does not follow, however, that no one knows more about science than scientists.

You would concede, I assume, that a professional historian of science is likely to know more about the history of science than your average working scientist?

No one plays baseball better than the players themselves; it does not follow that the players are the most knowledgeable people about baseball.

Edited by Davy_Jones
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16 minutes ago, Eise said:

Hi Studiot, yes, I was intentionally a bit short, because dimreepr does not like long answers (Oh, am I mean...).

No, you just assume I'm not able because I have brittle bone disease, it's like having an eye spy contest for the blind.

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6 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

Personally speaking, I believe a little delving into the philosophy of science would help scientists understand their own enterprise better

And this underscores my point. You are admittedly not a physicist much less an experimental physicist, and yet you are making a proclamation about how experimental physicists should go about their jobs. 

And physicists are hardly alone at getting annoyed when people start telling them how to do their jobs.

 

Quote

No one plays baseball better than the players themselves; it does not follow that the players are the most knowledgeable people about baseball.

I think the number of people who never played baseball who are knowledgeable about baseball, to the point at being able to tell an accomplished player (on par with a scientist) is quite small. There is some knowledge you can't appreciate without having done it.

“The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.” (Hugh Keough)

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2 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

No, you just assume I'm not able because I have brittle bone disease, it's like having an eye spy contest for the blind.

I was impressed to learn that the ball used in paralympic blind football contains a bell.

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Just now, swansont said:

And this underscores my point. You are admittedly not a physicist much less an experimental physicist, and yet you are making a proclamation about how experimental physicists should go about their jobs. 

And physicists are hardly alone at getting annoyed when people start telling them how to do their jobs.

Er, 'scuse me? Where did I tell you how to do your job?

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4 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

Er, 'scuse me? Where did I tell you how to do your job?

"Personally speaking, I believe a little delving into the philosophy of science would help scientists understand their own enterprise better"

I quoted it earlier.

 

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A fine example of the difference that arises around the overlap between Physics and Philosophy would be the construction of an atom bomb.

(Yes swans I am being provacative not calling it nuclear)

The philosophy of how to build an atom bomb can be found in several boys own and other popular magazines.

Yes the principles are all there but the articles would not enable anyone to build a successful bomb.

You need the special extra physics knowledge that physicists would bring that was not and never has been part of philosophy.

Just look at the number of (famous) specialists that were needed to bring the first one to fruition.

Edited by studiot
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To paraphrase Mark Twain,  metaphysics is for contemplating,  epistemology is for fighting over. 

BTW, there are exceptions to the earlier "It may be worth noting that,  logically,  to know that one is getting closer to the truth requires knowing where that truth resides."

The measurement of how much soda is in a bottle, for example.   You don't know its volume,  but as you keep pouring the soda into a volumetric cylinder,  you know with certainty that you are getting nearer and nearer to the answer.   There are many observations in science that are analogous to this.   

It also illustrates the transition from belief to true belief (aka "knowledge").  I believe there is a half liter of soda in the bottle.   When I'm done pouring,  I know there is a half liter.   

 

 

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@swansont

How exactly is suggesting that a little philosophy might help you in understanding your enterprise better to be construed as me telling you how to do your job?

It's like me saying to a baseball player "If you read some history of baseball you might understand baseball better."

And him retorting "Don't tell me how to do my job!!"

 

In other words, a non-sequitur.

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7 minutes ago, studiot said:

A fine example of the difference that arises around the overlap between Physics and Philosophy would be the construction of an atom bomb.

The philosophy of how to build an atom bomb can be found in several boys own and other popular magazines.

Yes the principles are all there but the articles would not enable anyone to build a successful bomb.

You need the special extra physics knowledge that physicists would bring that was not and never has been part of philosophy.

Just look at the number of (famous) specialists that were needed to bring the first one to fruition.

I would think the role of philosophy would not be about the "how" of building a nuke, but rather the "why"?  As in,  why would this ever be a good idea?   

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27 minutes ago, TheVat said:

I would think the role of philosophy would not be about the "how" of building a nuke, but rather the "why"?  As in,  why would this ever be a good idea?   

This would moral pholosophy of atom bombs, not the philosophy of the physics of atom bombs (which I specified).

 

38 minutes ago, TheVat said:

BTW, there are exceptions to the earlier "It may be worth noting that,  logically,  to know that one is getting closer to the truth requires knowing where that truth resides."

Glad you came up with an alternative example to mine to demonstrate this point.

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3 hours ago, dimreepr said:

I think, perhaps, it's the language; as Markus said in another of my topic's, if you understand the language of mathematics, you can just shut up and calculate and come to the same conclusion's as any other physicist.

To avoid any ambiguity, I'm a philosophy convert.

 

It is a bit difficult just to shut up calculate when some of the mathematical conceptions are impossible to prove physically, like infinity. 

Edited by Conscious Energy
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1 hour ago, Davy_Jones said:

@swansont

How exactly is suggesting that a little philosophy might help you in understanding your enterprise better to be construed as me telling you how to do your job?

It's like me saying to a baseball player "If you read some history of baseball you might understand baseball better."

And him retorting "Don't tell me how to do my job!!"

 

In other words, a non-sequitur.

You did not say history, you said philosophy. Those are different disciplines. So please, don't move the goalposts.

You're basically telling the ballplayer they don't understand baseball well enough, And you, as someone without any baseball creds. 

They might retort "Don't tell me about baseball" or even "WTH does philosophy have to do with baseball?" (something, as with the laser alignment issue,  I would be interested in finding out)

 

 

28 minutes ago, Conscious Energy said:

It is a bit difficult just to shut up calculate when some of the mathematical conceptions are impossible to prove physically, like infinity.

You should learn about renormalization.

1 hour ago, studiot said:

A fine example of the difference that arises around the overlap between Physics and Philosophy would be the construction of an atom bomb.

(Yes swans I am being provacative not calling it nuclear)

Well that would go back to Nobel and the invention of dynamite.

Quote

The philosophy of how to build an atom bomb can be found in several boys own and other popular magazines.

What philosophy, specifically?

 

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1 hour ago, studiot said:

This would moral pholosophy of atom bombs, not the philosophy of the physics of atom bombs (which I specified).

 

 

My point was not that there couldn't be philosophical considerations of the physics, but that one feature of philosophy is that it can allow us to consider which branch of philosophy is of the most value in determining a course of action.  While the physics of atom bombs is well-understood and the making of them is more a matter of refining engineering principles, the more pressing question might be whether they should be made or not, and whether engineers should assist governments that ask them to design them.  Hence my suggestion that the branch of ethics is relevant here. 

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41 minutes ago, TheVat said:

My point was not that there couldn't be philosophical considerations of the physics,

Really ?

So why did you specifically exclude it ?

3 hours ago, TheVat said:

I would think the role of philosophy would not be about the "how" of building a nuke

 

At least you accede there is such a thing as philosophy of physics.

 

1 hour ago, swansont said:

What philosophy, specifically?

The principle of creating a critical mass of fissionable material.

1 hour ago, swansont said:

Well that would go back to Nobel and the invention of dynamite.

I don't understand the allusion.

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Philosophy, at least as I understand it, pertains to everything.
But I have to ask ...

3 hours ago, studiot said:

I was impressed to learn that the ball used in paralympic blind football contains a bell.

What happens when the ball is dropped, and the bell stops ringing ?

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24 minutes ago, MigL said:

What happens when the ball is dropped, and the bell stops ringing ?

I did say football didn't I ?

Perhaps you understand it better as soccer.

The bell rings as you kick it along the ground.

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9 hours ago, Eise said:

Of course, but it is not strange. When a well known physicist makes such denigrating remarks about philosophy, where it is clear as day that Krauss knows next to nothing about what is actually happening in academic philosophy.

I doubt that. And you are doing exactly  what you are accusing Krauss of.

9 hours ago, Eise said:

From a philosophical point of view: no. For those interested in cosmology, of course, it is a good read (yes I read it). beecee, to understand the qualities of philosophy you must know what actually is being done at philosophical faculties. And to be honest, I think you have no idea. 

Yes, great read, and yes again, my interest in philosophy is pretty basic and sometimes dismissive, for reasons shown in this thread by some.

9 hours ago, Eise said:

  I am afraid Davy_Jones is exactly on point: knowledge is commonly taken to mean 'justified true belief'. So false knowledge does not exist. What exists is people believing they have knowledge, and which turns out to be mistaken for knowledge. What Ptolemy beautifully shows: to make precise predictions of solar system events, Copernicus was a step back. So he had other grounds postulating his heliocentric model. Only when Kepler, based on precise astronomical observations by Tycho Brahe, came with his ellipses, the predictions really improved.

  So, no. You confuse 'having knowledge' with 'believing to have knowledge'.

I'm really not that interested or concerned with your's or Davy's pedantic and semantic take on the subject, particularly when the general application and knowledge is as I say, at least with the average Joe Blow, of which I am one. And of course while Ptolomy's was useful [still used today] like Newtonian, it has been superceeded in many cases, by a model that is supported by observational data. The error of Ptolomy, [which you, like Davy has mysteriously brushed aside] is that his Earth centered view was taken as true, factual and real, ably supported for many centuries by the church, and the equally mistaken premise that the Earth and man was/is the centre of God's creation, despite the unscientific nature of such supernatural nonsense.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=false knowledge

"Beware of false knowledge: It is more Dangerous then Ignorance. George Bernard Shaw.

9 hours ago, Eise said:

  So, no. You confuse 'having knowledge' with 'believing to have knowledge'.

Nup, but you like Davey, are confusing the fact that through the ages, the belief in any particular system, was true knowledge, and as per Ptolomy, taken quite literally as true and real. It was essentially false knowledge and false belief in that knowledge.

9 hours ago, Eise said:

  Nope. Given the definition of knowledge (justified true belief) false knowledge is a contradiction in terms. 'False beliefs' exist, but not false knowledge.

I think it really would be interesting to go into detail about the Ptolemy-Copernicus topic. Why do we say Copernicus' view is closer to the truth than Ptolemy, whereas the concrete predictions that followed from Ptolemy were more precise than those of Copernicus?

 On the first sentence, tell that to George....On your second paragraph, because with today's Satellites, ISS, standing and walking on the Moon six times, space exploration to all the planets and even minor ones, the Hubble telescope, the many technologically advanced Earth based scopes, we know that the solar system is situated in the outer part of a spiral arm in a spiral galaxy, just one of many gravitationally bound galaxies in our group, which is just a small part of billions of other galaxies that inhabit the observable universe. A pretty real, truely factual situation, based on our technology today. So just to recap over a couple of threads, while we are pretty near certain of the geography of the solar system, galaxy and observable universe, most scientific theories/models do not have truth/reality as their goal, whatever that truth and reality is. eg: we still do not know the true nature of gravity.

 

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Such faith, the god of the gaps argument in reverse.

Not at all....Most educated folk call it trust. The scientific method is by far the best system we have. Your "god of the gaps" inference is weird to say the least, and evidently totally invalid.

9 hours ago, Eise said:

I always wonder how physicists could say philosophy is useless, during them making philosophical remarks or ponderings.  Take the famous Feynman video about 'what is magnetism'. He nearly does not talk physics: instead he is pondering what such 'what is ...' questions factually mean, and what physics can say about it (not what physics says about it). In another video he explains the role of experiment in science. But that is not physics either. So what is it? To give a hint: it starts with 'ph' but ends with 'y'... To repeat my disclaimer:

Philosophy. It must haven been the quality of the philosophy lectures he visited.

 

Actually as I said, and Krauss's, examples of where practical and theoretical physics, takes over from the uncertainty of philosophy. But hey! I'm no philoospher as you already noted. I'm also no scientist, as I readily admit, so I actually see my view as far more valid and real, then the philosophers that have come together, like birds of a feather, sticking together, to attempt to drown out the audacity of this lay person 😁   Audacious maybe...close to the truth, certainly, and the explanation as to why Krauss's utterences, created such a hue and cry from our philosophical friends.

Or perhaps because of some of the many quotes by reputable scientists and others, critical of philosophy that do exist, and that I have throughout this and another thread, listed here.

Edited by beecee
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9 hours ago, dimreepr said:

I think, perhaps, it's the language; as Markus said in another of my topic's, if you understand the language of mathematics, you can just shut up and calculate and come to the same conclusion's as any other physicist.

The most famous counterexample to this would probably be Einstein and the solutions to his General Relativity Field Equations.

Einstein had only one solution and was flabberghasted when other came up with more solutions, first  De Sitter and then Friedmann etc.

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7 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

No one does science better than scientists; it does not follow, however, that no one knows more about science than scientists.

No one does Philoosphy better then philosphers: it does not follow however that no one knows more about philosophy than philosophers. eg: George Bernard Shaw...Carl Sagan...Richard Feynman

4 hours ago, TheVat said:

My point was not that there couldn't be philosophical considerations of the physics, but that one feature of philosophy is that it can allow us to consider which branch of philosophy is of the most value in determining a course of action.  While the physics of atom bombs is well-understood and the making of them is more a matter of refining engineering principles, the more pressing question might be whether they should be made or not, and whether engineers should assist governments that ask them to design them.  Hence my suggestion that the branch of ethics is relevant here. 

Leo Szillard comes to mind.....A Hungarian physicist involved with the physical construction and theoretical physics of the bomb, that dared to philosophise about it being dropped on Japan, after the defeat of Hitler. Yes, we all philosophise, going on the definition of philosophy by philosophers. We all think about certain things and their practical and moral value everyday...we are all philosophers, although as Eise noted, I know nothing about philosophy. 😉

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