# What is the real difference between science and philosophy?

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4 hours ago, studiot said:

The principle of creating a critical mass of fissionable material.

How is that philosophy and not actual science?

4 hours ago, studiot said:

I don't understand the allusion.

atomic interactions implies chemistry.

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11 minutes ago, swansont said:

How is that philosophy and not actual science?

atomic interactions implies chemistry.

Of course it is Science.

I don't see the issue.

Do you hold that something that is part of Science cannot also be part of Philosophy.

Therefore there is no overlap ?

There is Mathematics (and Physics and other Science) in Music, which is part of Art.

Is there no overlap there ?

But just as there is plenty of Maths, Science etc that is not Music and plenty of music that is not mathematically based, so knowing the principle of and atomic explosion will not by itself enable you to build a bomb.

And I have already laid out my stall that modern philosophy is about the principles of other disciplines.

IOW it is their principles that form the overlap.

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7 hours ago, swansont said:

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)

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

Notice the "like". It was offered as a comparison, an analogy.

What I did say (non-comparatively) was indeed philosophy, in particular the philosophy of science, that is, the examination of what TheVat and myself have been calling metascientific issues (questions about science as a whole, as opposed to the nuts and bolts of any given theory).

That is, there are people who devote careers to examining issues such as method, demarcation (how, if at all, is science to be demarcated from non-science?), confirmation, evidence, falsification, explanation, scientific modes of inference, scientific epistemology (are scientific claims to knowledge worthy of belief?), realism, antirealism, etc., etc.

To my mind, it is the most obvious of platitudes, and by no means impertinent or condescending, that one who has devoted a career to studying X is likely to know more about X than one who has not, just as the professional historian of science is likely to know more about the history of science than the average working scientist.

Were I, say, to stand up in front of a group of physicists and lecture on the ins and outs of some esoteric physical theory, I would no doubt make a complete fool of myself. It seems, however, that certain scientists (including some here) labor under the misapprehension that they can wax lyrically on philosophy--having read little or nothing on the subject--and not sound woefully naive. (ask Eise -- he/she appears to be philosophically literate)

A few examples might help. Among other absurdities, the following views have been expressed during my short time here:

1. Science in general, or physics in particular, does not describe, or does not try to describe, reality. (How exactly is describing the trajectory of a cannonball, say, not describing reality?)

2. Knowledge does not imply truth.

3. Certain members continue to speak of "The Scientific Method". (I'll happily quote you philosophically literate scientists who say as I do -- there is no such thing; it's a myth).

4. The model is not the reality (er, true, but why does anyone need to be told this? No one--except the insane, perhaps--thinks a model Boeing 747 is a Boeing 747)

I could go on . . .

None of this is intended to be offensive to anyone. It's my own personal hope that we might all learn from each other. It's the reason I'm here.

Edited by Davy_Jones
added "the history of" - typo
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26 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

ask Eise -- he/she appears to be philosophically literate

Eise wears two hats; he is both a Physicist and a Philosopher.

It seems to me Philosophy has appropriated the word 'knowledge' to have a specific meaning to Philosophers, aside from the meaning us lay-folks give it.
You could say that the cannonball and its trajectory are true and real, but what if we eventually discover our universe acts as  a holographic projection ?
Or that we actually live in the 'Matrix'?
Will your definitions then change ?

This is by no means a fault of Philosophy.
Physics does it also.

Maybe we should ask Eise about the difference between 'force' and 'geodesic deviation', as it pertains to gravity, and which is 'true' and 'real'.

Edited by MigL
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10 minutes ago, MigL said:

It seems to me Philosophy has appropriated the word 'knowledge' to have a specific meaning to Philosophers, aside from the meaning us lay-folks give it.

I respectfully suggest not, sir. You use the word as everyone else does. Your intuitions just need to be "teased" a little. Two pages ago I said this:

QUOTE

Well, guys, on your account--that knowledge doesn't imply truth--we should be able to say the following:

"It was once known that the Earth is flat. It is now known that the Earth is (roughly) spherical. The Earth has been known to be both flat and spherical."

Now, no one has dibs on how the English language has to be used. Speak any way you like. All is I can say is: if you'd be willing to give a lecture to 100 knowledge thirsty students and say that (above), your cajones are bigger than mine.

UNQUOTE

Would you feel comfortable saying something like that?

10 minutes ago, MigL said:

You could say that the cannonball and its trajectory are true and real, but what if we eventually discover our universe acts as  a holographic projection ?
Or that we actually live in the 'Matrix'?
Will your definitions then change ?

Radical skepticism of the Cartesian demon or the brain in a vat type always lurks in the background. I'm not sure it can be refuted.

That said, it's not a position that is taken seriously these days -- even by philosophers.

(Though you can always count on one or two exceptions)

Edit: You might say we all work on the assumption that we are not brains in vats or victims of a Cartesian demon or puppets in the Matrix.

It causes me no sleepless nights. How about you?

Edited by Davy_Jones
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Yes.
Knowledge is information.
Information changes in quality and quantity.

I ask you, sir, what will you say is 'true' and 'real' when our understanding of the universe's mechanisms change ( as in the previously mentioned Holographic Principle ), or perhaps, you can tell us what is 'true' and 'real' at the Quantum level ( maybe you can compare to the trajectory of that cannonball ).

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41 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

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

Notice the "like". It was offered as a comparison, an analogy.

What I did say (non-comparatively) was indeed philosophy, in particular the philosophy of science, that is, the examination of what TheVat and myself have been calling metascientific issues (questions about science as a whole, as opposed to the nuts and bolts of any given theory).

That is, there are people who devote careers to examining issues such as method, demarcation (how, if at all, is science to be demarcated from non-science?), confirmation, evidence, falsification, explanation, scientific modes of inference, scientific epistemology (are scientific claims to knowledge worthy of belief?), realism, antirealism, etc., etc.

To my mind, it is the most obvious of platitudes, and by no means impertinent or condescending, that one who has devoted a career to studying X is likely to know more about X than one who has not, just as the professional historian of science is likely to know more about the history of science than the average working scientist.

Were I, say, to stand up in front of a group of physicists and lecture on the ins and outs of some esoteric physical theory, I would no doubt make a complete fool of myself. It seems, however, that certain scientists (including some here) labor under the misapprehension that they can wax lyrically on philosophy--having read little or nothing on the subject--and not sound woefully naive. (ask Eise -- he/she appears to be philosophically literate)

A few examples might help. Among other absurdities, the following views have been expressed during my short time here:

1. Science in general, or physics in particular, does not describe, or does not try to describe, reality. (How exactly is describing the trajectory of a cannonball, say, not describing reality?)

2. Knowledge does not imply truth.

3. Certain members continue to speak of "The Scientific Method". (I'll happily quote you philosophically literate scientists who say as I do -- there is no such thing; it's a myth).

I could go on . . .

None of this is intended to be offensive to anyone. It's my own personal hope that we might all learn from each other. It's the reason I'm here.

I really don't see the relevence of this to the topic which is clearly stated

What is the real difference between Science and Philosophy.

Well we can do this in formal set theory

Let S be the set of all matters Science and P be the set of all matter Philosophic

Then the real or total difference is

$S \cup P - S \cap P$

or if you prefer

$\left| {S - P} \right| + \left| {P - S} \right|$

If  you consider they have no matters in common (no overlap) then

$S \cap P = \emptyset$

and the difference comprises the whole of Science and Philosophy combined.

Edited by studiot
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26 minutes ago, MigL said:

I ask you, sir, what will you say is 'true' and 'real' when our understanding of the universe's mechanisms change ( as in the previously mentioned Holographic Principle ), or perhaps, you can tell us what is 'true' and 'real' at the Quantum level ( maybe you can compare to the trajectory of that cannonball ).

My own position would probably lie closest to that of Bas van Fraassen's "constructive empiricism". Roughly:

1. Scientific theories/statements are truth applicable (They are the kinds of things that can be true or false)

2. The epistemic warrant is insufficient to believe anything science says about unobserveable reality

3. Science aims for "empirical adequacy", i.e., saving the appearances.

26 minutes ago, MigL said:

Knowledge is information.
Information changes in quality and quantity.

Hmm, information can be true or false, right? (One can get bad [i.e. untrue] information)

Knowledge is, by defintion, true.

Edited by Davy_Jones
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1 minute ago, Davy_Jones said:

Scientific theories are truth applicable (They are the kinds of things than can be true or false)

The theories are certainly real, and that they make true predictions in applicable circumstances.
But they tell us that the underlying 'reality', which you think Physics should be responsible for, is nothing more than indeterminate mathematical constructs like wavefunctions and fields.
Even your cannonball and its trajectory is a wavefunction being influenced by a field. That is the knowledge we currently have; do you have the cojones tostand in front of people and say it is 'true' and 'real' ?

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20 minutes ago, MigL said:

The theories are certainly real, and that they make true predictions in applicable circumstances.
But they tell us that the underlying 'reality', which you think Physics should be responsible for, is nothing more than indeterminate mathematical constructs like wavefunctions and fields.
Even your cannonball and its trajectory is a wavefunction being influenced by a field. That is the knowledge we currently have; do you have the cojones tostand in front of people and say it is 'true' and 'real' ?

No, I don't.

See 2 and 3 (my last post)

Edit: I'm saying we may have (indeed almost certainly do have) good reason to believe what scientists tell us about trajectories, i.e., observable reality.

What I balk at is believing any causal-explanatory, behind-the-scenes account (i.e. the story about unobservable reality) of why cannonballs behave as they do.

Edited by Davy_Jones
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37 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

Notice the "like". It was offered as a comparison, an analogy.

And analogies are limited in application, some actually are invalid.

39 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

A few examples might help. Among other absurdities, the following views have been expressed during my short time here:

1. Science in general, or physics in particular, does not describe, or does not try to describe, reality. (How exactly is describing the trajectory of a cannonball, say, not describing reality?)

2. Knowledge does not imply truth.

3. Certain members continue to speak of "The Scientific Method". (I'll happily quote you philosophically literate scientists who say as I do -- there is no such thing; it's a myth).

I could go on . . .

None of this is intended to be offensive to anyone. It's my own personal hope that we might all learn from each other. It's the reason I'm here.

[1] The only person so far suggesting an all inclusive meaning, is yourself. The models and theories formulated by physicists are judged by their usefullness and the fact that room is always left for future improvement or modification. eg: As we all know by now, we do not yet understand the true reality of gravity. There are others if you wish.

[2] Knowledge certainly does not imply truth or reality, if they exist...knowledge also can be "false knowledge" as already defined and as understood in general by most, not withstanding any unecessary semantics and/or pedant.

[3] Quote away! It's not a myth, and is based originally on reasoned philosophy. Of course depending on the exact discipline, the methodology may vary in small ways.

The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries). It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings. These are principles of the scientific method, as distinguished from a definitive series of steps applicable to all scientific enterprises.

Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, the underlying process is frequently the same from one field to another.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Your last comment is not offensive at all, at least not taken that way by me, despite some undertones of facetiousness and sarcasm sprinkled thoughout the thread....including by myself also. Obviously you are just wrong, and just as obviously, have given non applicable and weird answers, based more on being philosophically facetious, then any needed correction. And at least part of the reason why I sometimes treat such unecessary philosophy with disdain and rejection.

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My favorite historical tidbit regarding the scientific method is that Francis Bacon may have died from conducting a scientific experiment in the preservation of meat,  by going outside and stuffing eviscerated fowl with snow; he became quite chilled and developed fatal pneumonia.  (a close second,  in favorite historical tidbits, is that his mother Anne's maiden name was Cooke... in marrying Sir Nicholas Bacon,  she thus became....)

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1 hour ago, TheVat said:

My favorite historical tidbit regarding the scientific method is that Francis Bacon may have died from conducting a scientific experiment in the preservation of meat,  by going outside and stuffing eviscerated fowl with snow; he became quite chilled and developed fatal pneumonia.  (a close second,  in favorite historical tidbits, is that his mother Anne's maiden name was Cooke... in marrying Sir Nicholas Bacon,  she thus became....)

Speak of the devil . . .

If you'll notice, in the sketch of "The Scientific Method" that beecee has posted above, one (supposedly) begins with an observation/question in the absence of any hypothesis. The hypothesis, we are told, comes later (Step 3).

This is indeed representative of the "Baconian method" usually described as inductivism. On this account, one does not bring a hypothesis to the "raw, neutral, unladen-by-theory" data/facts; rather, we are led to believe, the theory is somehow already in the data just waiting to be teased out, so to speak.

Charles Darwin, just to name one, was less than impressed . . .

Quote

Philosophical accounts of the nature of science, or of the 'scientific method', are, in part, accounts of the relation, or relations, of theory and experiment in science. A simplistic view of the history of philosophy of science since the eighteenth century would show one philosophy, inductivism, holding sway for a century and a half before being replaced by hypothetico-deductivism. Francis Bacon is usually blamed for inductivism, a position that we all now plainly see as silly. Indeed, over a hundred years ago, Charles Darwin, who publicly gave lip-service to the 'Baconian method', privately ridiculed inductivism, saying that "one might as well go into a gravel pit and count the pebbles and describe the colours".

- Robert N. Brandon, "Concepts and Methods in Evolutionary Biology", p147

also . . .

Quote

How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view, if it is to be of any service.

- Charles Darwin

and just one more . . .

Quote

Facts do not 'speak for themselves'; they are read in the light of theory

- S. J. Gould, essay "The Validation of Continental Drift", found in "The Richness of Life", p 291

Edited by Davy_Jones
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Re various claims here, there & everywhere to the effect that physics, or science in general, does not, or does not try to, describe reality ("All we do is construct models for their instrumental accuracy, we make no claims to the reality of theoretical entities, we leave that to the metaphysicians & philosophers, etc., etc.") . . .

Well, I'm up to Lecture 20 now in prof. Don Lincoln's (see the "Is Gravity a Force?" thread for details and price) wonderful series "The Evidence for Modern Physics" entitled "How We Search for Dark Matter".

Right off the bat, at the 00:10 min mark, prof Lincoln opens with a no-holds-barred:

"In the last lesson I laid out some of the reasons why scientists believe that dark matter is real."

Now, I'm honestly not trying to be a pest here, folks.

What I am trying to make recognized is that, contrary to certain members' protestations, this is the way scientists/physicists, or at least a great many of them, routinely talk.

Pay closer attention for yourself from now on.

Edited by Davy_Jones
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On 9/7/2021 at 4:43 AM, MigL said:

According to Eise, Philosophy can help direct the thought process in order to solve a Physics problem, and, as such, is a valuable discipline.

Hmm, I do not think so. Physicists solve physics problems, philosophers philosophical problems. However, sometimes physicists stumble on limits where they do not come further (best example is the beginnings of quantum physics). That means it are physicists themselves who 'go philosophical'.  Questions about reality, objectivity, what measurements are etc come up. At that point physicists might find it useful to have some overview of what philosophers have to say, or maybe even better, just have some philosophical training. But philosophers saying what physicists have to do is not something they are waiting for, especially not of philosophers who have no idea about physics (oh yes, during my study philosophy I heard the most abstruse ideas about physics from my fellow students. Not so much from teachers/professors, luckily enough)). But just hear what post-modernists have to say about science...

On 9/7/2021 at 4:43 AM, MigL said:

Our knowledge of the way things work, the mechanisms of the universe, is increasing; I don't know what that has to do with 'truth'.

Just in support of Davy: truth belongs to the very definition of knowledge.

On 9/7/2021 at 4:43 AM, MigL said:

In this case I have to agree mostly with Davy. There is a, maybe unsolvable, tension between what scientists do, ('acquiring knowledge') and their understanding of it. My educated guess (therefore the 'maybe unsolvable') is that it might be impossible to understand the relation between language and 'reality'.

18 hours ago, studiot said:

Yes Philosophy (got it spelled right this time) overlaps many other disciplines.

I would not say 'overlap', even if the border between science (do not just think physics here) and the 'philosophy of that science' can be vague.

17 hours 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.

That is definitely not philosophy. Different topics, y'know. What you seem to mean is that there are higher level descriptions which do not suffice to actually build an atomic bomb.

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25 minutes ago, Eise said:

That is definitely not philosophy. Different topics, y'know. What you seem to mean is that there are higher level descriptions which do not suffice to actually build an atomic bomb.

Note there are several succeeding posts representing a discussion with swansont about this, culminating in my last post couched in set theory that everyone seems to want to ignore.

The set theory one can also be expressed in English, logic theory in connective words (and or etc) , logic theory in symbols,

and a geometrical representation as a Venn diagram.

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11 hours ago, beecee said:

And you are doing exactly  what you are accusing Krauss of.

Really? I know a little philosophy and physics. Enough to recognise crackpots in both disciplines. And where Krauss surely is a good physicist (cosmologist?) at the terrain of philosophy he is a crackpot. Of course I stumbled over the few lines where he talks pejoratively about philosophy. But by the quality of the arguments, one recognises the value of these remarks: none.

11 hours ago, beecee said:

I'm really not that interested or concerned with your's or Davy's pedantic and semantic take on the subject

If you do not like semantics, then philosophy is definitely not your thing.

11 hours ago, beecee said:

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.

So it once was true that sun orbited earth? But when it was true, i.e. a perfect fitting model of reality, then once the sun really orbited the earth. And it stopped at the day Copernicus came with his heliocentric model? Davy (and I) are not confused. We see how complicated it is to give a correct account what happens in science. And as said earlier, I believe that the problem is grounded in the difficulty to account for the relation between language and 'reality', i.e. what is talked about.

I am not 100% sure if I can also speak for Davy, but it is not about the praxis of science, the value of its insights, or its undeniable value for developing new technologies. Science works, that should be clear. It is about the selfunderstanding of science.

12 hours ago, beecee said:

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.

Do you know the true nature of anything? (I am afraid I don't).

I think a better criterion for'approaching the truth' is the increasing domain of theories: Ptolemy was OK for predicting celestial observations (but we would never have been able to send New Horizons to Pluto...), with Kepler the picture was greatly simplified, with Newton a connection with earthly phenomena was made (same explanation for falling objects and orbiting celestial bodies), and Einstein, making gravity Lorentz invariant (if this is a good description of GR) was even able to predict new phenomena. What we see is continuing extension of the domain of application theories. One could say, the more encompassing a theory is, the better it is. But if that means that we are 'closer to the truth' would suppose that we know there is some truth out there (how would we know that) and we are closing in.

Another kind of example: we have a very extended theory of the electron. We know how it behaves in all kind of situations. It might be that there is nothing more to add to it. Suppose this is the case, do we  then know the true nature of the electron?

12 hours ago, beecee said:

we still do not know the true nature of gravity.

I would translate that, conform my musings above, that we know we do not have a complete theory of gravity: GR fails for the centre of black holes and the big bang. But when we have one (empirically validated), would we then know the true nature of gravity? Or are we a bit more humble, and say we have a pretty good understanding of gravity, because we can calculate through every possible situation we know of in which gravity is essentially involved?

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11 hours ago, studiot said:

Of course it is Science.

I don't see the issue.

The topic of the thread is the difference between science and philosophy, so the whole premise here is that there are distinctions between the two, i.e. we are looking at the bits that do not overlap. Pointing to science and calling it philosophy is not in keeping with that premise.

11 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

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

Notice the "like". It was offered as a comparison, an analogy.

Analogies are useful when you have a topic that cannot be easily conveyed and you want to present the information in a simpler format.

But that's not the case here.

I was asking for an example even before you stated "I believe a little delving into the philosophy of science would help scientists understand their own enterprise better" and an example would suffice. Instead you offer an analogy. One that I don't think is particularly apt, since I can envision scenarios where knowing history might help, and can't envision one where philosophy might help. Which is what prompted my request for an example.

If all you have to offer is an analogy, it suggests you don't have an example, which then begs the question about the source of your belief.

11 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

A few examples might help. Among other absurdities, the following views have been expressed during my short time here:

1. Science in general, or physics in particular, does not describe, or does not try to describe, reality. (How exactly is describing the trajectory of a cannonball, say, not describing reality?)

"Does not describe" and "does not try to describe" are very different things and AFAICT only one has been offered in discussion.

But even if we take the obvious one: the cannonball trajectory is not reality, let me ask this: how do we know that the cannonball is not, in reality, moving in a twelve-dimensional space but it's just that we can only perceive three spatial dimensions, and the projection of those twelve dimensions onto our three-dimensional perception is a sphere moving along that trajectory? How can we be certain about this?

And is there anything about Newtons laws of motions, used to derive the trajectory of the ball, that can be inferred as an attempt to confirm that the ball is or is not in a twelve-dimensional space?

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11 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

It seems, however, that certain scientists (including some here) labor under the misapprehension that they can wax lyrically on philosophy--having read little or nothing on the subject--and not sound woefully naive. (ask Eise -- he/she appears to be philosophically literate)

I think the problem is that many physicists think about old fashioned, classical metaphysics. If you read a history of physics (and/or astronomy) you partially read about the same bunch of people as when you read a history of philosophy: Thales, Heraclitus,  Plato, Aristotle, ..., Kant, just to name a few. There we have explicit 'explanations' about the physical world, and in the light of modern physics they are mainly wrong.

On the other side, there are philosophers who seem to think that they can talk about physics as peers of real physicists. That can cause some irritation with physicists of course.

And then there are the irritations here in the thread, and having a background in philosophy and in physics (a background, @MigL, I am definitely not a physicist (as I use to say, I am at most a 'half-cooked physicist')), I would say that beecee does not understand what exactly you are aiming at. Again and again he comes with the same (kind of) 'bon mots' about philosophy, that are taken out of context (Russel), are just nice sounding one pointers (Shaw), or have themselves no idea what modern academic philosophy really does (Krauss).

@beecee, for all clarity: Davy is not aiming his arrows at science itself; they are  aimed at its self-understanding. And this self-understanding is hopelessly naive in the 'shut up and calculate camp'. The other camp, that of the 'what is it exactly all about camp' have an inclination to become philosophers: reflecting on basic premises and methods of their science, eventually developing new concepts or methods. And there philosophers can learn just as well something from these kind of physicists as some physicists can learn something from philosophy. It's not all just black and white.

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14 hours ago, beecee said:

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.

I know how a car work's, but when it breaks down I have to trust a mechanic to fix it, I have no alternative but to have faith that he/she can.

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59 minutes ago, Eise said:

Really? I know a little philosophy and physics. Enough to recognise crackpots in both disciplines. And where Krauss surely is a good physicist (cosmologist?) at the terrain of philosophy he is a crackpot. Of course I stumbled over the few lines where he talks pejoratively about philosophy. But by the quality of the arguments, one recognises the value of these remarks: none.

Is he? Perhaps the facts are as he states...nothing wrong with philosophy per se, it is the foundation of the scientific method, it's the philosophers generally speaking, and there own efforts to go above and beyond sensibility and reason.

"Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself":  Henry Louis Mencken.

1 hour ago, Eise said:

If you do not like semantics, then philosophy is definitely not your thing.

We all philosophise [is that a word? ☺️] It's the silly extent some see the need to go to, indugling in pedant and semantics. The facts stand as per George Bernard Shaw's quote and the dictionary reference, that sometimes [as in the Ptolomy era] accepted knowledge or belief is found to be false knowledge in the course of time. Even if your pedant and semantics was justified, in essence, it was only a red herring as you know exactly what is meant. I do give you that much credit.

1 hour ago, Eise said:

So it once was true that sun orbited earth? But when it was true, i.e. a perfect fitting model of reality, then once the sun really orbited the earth. And it stopped at the day Copernicus came with his heliocentric model? Davy (and I) are not confused. We see how complicated it is to give a correct account what happens in science. And as said earlier, I believe that the problem is grounded in the difficulty to account for the relation between language and 'reality', i.e. what is talked about.

The actual belief of the day, was that the Sun and everything else, in fact the whole universe, orbitied the Earth...While with regards to the solar system,  it is a useful model, it was not seen as a model in that era...it was seen as reality, aided and abetted by the church, under the misapprehension that we were some god's chose disciples and so the center of his whole creation. It wasn't of course reality of course but still a useful model. The only complication rests with you [and Davy] playing one-upmanship.

1 hour ago, Eise said:

I am not 100% sure if I can also speak for Davy, but it is not about the praxis of science, the value of its insights, or its undeniable value for developing new technologies. Science works, that should be clear. It is about the selfunderstanding of science.

You need to talk to Davy about that.

1 hour ago, Eise said:

Do you know the true nature of anything? (I am afraid I don't).

I believe we have some idea about certain things, but obviously not others. Again you need to talk to Dave about that. My view, supported of course by science in general, and the scientific method, is that theories and models, simply describe based on our observations and experimental results. The goal of scientific models is not about truth and/or reality, whatever that maybe, and if it exists at all. But if by chance, science should accidently discover this truth/reality stuff, then all well and good. I believe I have said that many times now, but Davey cannot comprehend. Yes, you need to talk to him.

1 hour ago, Eise said:

I think a better criterion for'approaching the truth' is the increasing domain of theories: Ptolemy was OK for predicting celestial observations (but we would never have been able to send New Horizons to Pluto...), with Kepler the picture was greatly simplified, with Newton a connection with earthly phenomena was made (same explanation for falling objects and orbiting celestial bodies), and Einstein, making gravity Lorentz invariant (if this is a good description of GR) was even able to predict new phenomena. What we see is continuing extension of the domain of application theories. One could say, the more encompassing a theory is, the better it is. But if that means that we are 'closer to the truth' would suppose that we know there is some truth out there (how would we know that) and we are closing in.

That is near exactly what I have been saying. Scientific theories and models are about usefullness and the goal is not truth and reality, whatever that is and if it even exists, Even our best model of gravity, GR fails at t+10-45th seconds and the core of BH's, so obviously it cannot be a true description of reality. I've rattled that off to Davey many times....Check out the gravity thread. With all due respect, you need to check out what I and davey have been saying, as you have come in late, this has now been argued on in two threads.

1 hour ago, Eise said:

Another kind of example: we have a very extended theory of the electron. We know how it behaves in all kind of situations. It might be that there is nothing more to add to it. Suppose this is the case, do we  then know the true nature of the electron?

Of course not. And in essence, that's not the prime goal of the model. [the true nature]

1 hour ago, Eise said:

I would translate that, conform my musings above, that we know we do not have a complete theory of gravity: GR fails for the centre of black holes and the big bang. But when we have one (empirically validated), would we then know the true nature of gravity? Or are we a bit more humble, and say we have a pretty good understanding of gravity, because we can calculate through every possible situation we know of in which gravity is essentially involved?

The latter of course, as that is what I have been saying all olong in two threads. 🙄

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2 hours ago, studiot said:

You said:

20 hours ago, studiot said:

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.

That what you call 'philosophy of how to build an atom bomb' is just a higher level description of how an atomic bomb works. It explains the basic physical principles of the atomic bomb. It is definitely not philosophy.

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16 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I know how a car work's, but when it breaks down I have to trust a mechanic to fix it, I have no alternative but to have faith that he/she can.

Correct, but personally, knowing a little bit about cars, and I will observe at make sure he knows what he is doing, and of course get a reputable mechanic in the first place. You do understand that we have Mavericks in all parts of society, including, yes, even scientists. You see the reason why you lose respect as a "philosopher", is simply because you are trying to belittle science, and inferring religious faith as the same as scientific trust...I see the results of science everyday.

31 minutes ago, Eise said:

@beecee, for all clarity: Davy is not aiming his arrows at science itself; they are  aimed at its self-understanding. And this self-understanding is hopelessly naive in the 'shut up and calculate camp'. The other camp, that of the 'what is it exactly all about camp' have an inclination to become philosophers: reflecting on basic premises and methods of their science, eventually developing new concepts or methods. And there philosophers can learn just as well something from these kind of physicists as some physicists can learn something from philosophy. It's not all just black and white.

Gee, funny I agree, except on your claim about Davey not taking aim at science. But hey, I could possibly be wrong, but if you have the time, check out all I have been saying and what Davy has been saying and a couple of rather silly inferences and of course what I have said.

Edited by beecee
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2 minutes ago, beecee said:

Correct, but personally, knowing a little bit about cars, and I will observe at make sure he knows what he is doing, and of course get a reputable mechanic in the first place. You do understand that we have Mavericks in all parts of society, including, yes, even scientists. You see the reason why you lose respect as a "philosopher", is simply because you are trying to belittle science, and inferring religious faith as the same as scientific trust...I see the results of science everyday.

Yet you cite the scientific method with all the zeal of a priest citing the bible.

You understand your bible in much the same way as a priest does, it's what you've been taught, not what you've learned for yourself.

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1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

Yet you cite the scientific method with all the zeal of a priest citing the bible.

Much as you site your philoosphy over many disciplines, with all the zeal of Buddah.

2 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

You understand your bible in much the same way as a priest does, it's what you've been taught, not what you've learned for yourself.

I may mot be a philosopher old friend, nor a scientist, but I'm pretty good at sorting the wheat from the chaff, be that philosophers or scientists, and as such of course, am able to approach things without bias.

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