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What is the real difference between science and philosophy?


dimreepr
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1 hour ago, swansont said:

It's not contra my view. Can you point to where I introduced any claims about cannonball trajectories?

I'm trying to figure out if this is a comprehension issue or if you are being deliberately obtuse.(edit: or possibly a matter of simply not having an understanding of QM or some other areas of physics, so not being able to comment, but then, if you lack familiarity, how can you make a declaration with such certainty?)

Some physics does not describe reality, does not mean all of physics does not describe reality. (and you might note that I never made any distinction between observable and non-observable. That goalpost was moved by you)

 

First of all, a reminder for other readers. In the "Is Gravity a Force?" thread, page 2, third post from the bottom, Swansont says this:


"I argue that would be physics, and the reason that we know physics isn't trying to describe reality is because physics itself admits that it's making stuff up to make good models."


Note that this is an unqualified claim. The claim is not that physics sometimes isn't trying to describe reality. Neither is it the claim that some parts of physics aren't trying to describe reality. The claim is there for all to see in black and white: "Physics isn't trying to describe reality . . . PERIOD".  


Now to business . . .


What does it matter who brought up cannonballs? I'm asking you a question which I will now repeat:

1. Does physics try to describe the trajectory of cannonballs and other such thingies or not?

If it does, then contra your own (seemingly crazy) view, we have a case of physics trying to describe reality, and your blanket claim that physics is not trying to describe reality is false.

 

And while we're at it, here are a few more . . .

 

2. Does physics try to describe the motion of the planets or not? If it does, then contra your own (seemingly crazy) view, we have a case of physics trying to describe reality, and your blanket claim that physics is not trying to describe reality is false.

 

3. Does physics try to describe the motion of a pendulum or not?

If it does, then contra your own (seemingly crazy) view, we have a case of physics trying to describe reality, and your blanket claim that physics is not trying to describe reality is false.

 

4. Does physics try to describe the motion of falling objects?

If it does, then contra your own (seemingly crazy) view, we have a case of physics trying to describe reality, and your blanket claim that physics is not trying to describe reality is false.

 


I could fill the whole page . . . Is this really necessary?
 

Edited by Davy_Jones
typos
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3 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

First of all, a reminder for other readers. In the "Is Gravity a Force?" thread, page 2, third post from the bottom, Swansont says this:


"I argue that would be physics, and the reason that we know physics isn't trying to describe reality is because physics itself admits that it's making stuff up to make good models."


Note that this is an unqualified claim. The claim is not that physics sometimes isn't trying to describe reality. Neither is it the claim that some parts of physics aren't trying to describe reality. The claim is there for all to see in black and white: "Physics isn't trying to describe reality . . . PERIOD".  

No, that's not where the period went. I also said "physics itself admits that it's making stuff up to make good models" I did not claim that this applies to all of physics. I clarified this several time.

Rather than rebutting any of the examples I gave, you have built a straw man and attacked that.

 

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13 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

I could fill the whole page . . . Is this really necessary?

No since you are trying to show that describing reality is common to some part of Science and to Philosophy, yet the thread is about their differences, not their commonalities.

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22 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

The claim is not that physics sometimes isn't trying to describe reality. Neither is it the claim that some parts of physics aren't trying to describe reality. The claim is there for all to see in black and white: "Physics isn't trying to describe reality . . . PERIOD".  

!

Moderator Note

Your use of this fallacy has become persistent, even after it's been pointed out as such, and that's against the rules here. You need to stop.

The terms "reality" and "truth" are commonly too subjective for science, so we use words that better describe the outcomes of various mathematical models. It's really that simple and your dodgy reasoning has nothing to lean on here, so either make your case without using a strawman, or move on, please.

 
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10 minutes ago, swansont said:

No, but perhaps not for the same reason that you are thinking

I dunno, what am I thinking?

That perhaps the only member who wants to discuss the OP is the member from stoned house.

1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

My nemesis is your nemesis...

:)

Edited by studiot
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44 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

What does it matter who brought up cannonballs? I'm asking you a question which I will now repeat:

1. Does physics try to describe the trajectory of cannonballs and other such thingies or not?

Not that Swansont needs me to answer for him ...

You must realize, Davy_Jones, that Physics treats the trajectory of a cannonball by considering forces acting on its center of mass, or center of gravity. 
That is, as a point mass.

Is that your 'true reality' ???

We may not know much concerning Philosophy, but you have no clue about Physics ( nor reality, for that matter ).


Maybe we ( actually you ) should start over, and, instead of being antagonistic and telling us what is wrong with our world view, try to learn from each other.

Edited by MigL
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7 minutes ago, MigL said:

Is that your 'true reality' ???

Agreed it is 'reality' and 'true', which are the problems.

Neither are scientific terms.

 

Both Science and Philosophy have a commonality in that they have both developed a discipline specific language, terminology and symbolism.

But that is as far as it goes because many if not most of the concepts these refer to only occur in their respctive disciplines.

 

What I see happening here is the attempt to apply the language, terminology and symbolism of one discipline to the language terminology and symbolism of the other.

It is not suprising to find that therefore that this fails because for instance the 'reality' and 'truth' of Philosophy, have no counterpart in Science.

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I think some of this tension (admittedly manufactured) over terms could resolve if it's seen that both science and philosophy (analytic Western philosophy seems to be what people refer to) do share some tools in common.   One is formal logic.   A specific and serviceable definition of truth,  based on a logical definition,  can be employed in both science and philosophy.   If a proposition corresponds accurately to a state of affairs in the world, it is true.   A large cohort in both hard sciences and philosophy would agree to that definition and the logical connection there.   Rich Feynman and Bert Russell could shake hands.  Such a true proposition doesn't have to make an earth-shattering revelation of some underlying reality,  it just has to be empirically adequate in its domain.  

 

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1 hour ago, studiot said:

What I see happening here is the attempt to apply the language, terminology and symbolism of one discipline to the language terminology and symbolism of the other.

Thank you whoever like my post but I must admit a serious boo boo, rather worse than my frequent spelling errors.

I meant to say

What I see happening here is the attempt to apply the language, terminology and symbolism of one discipline to the language terminology and symbolism   concepts of the other.

 

19 minutes ago, TheVat said:

I think some of this tension (admittedly manufactured) over terms could resolve if it's seen that both science and philosophy (analytic Western philosophy seems to be what people refer to) do share some tools in common.   One is formal logic.   A specific and serviceable definition of truth,  based on a logical definition,  can be employed in both science and philosophy.   If a proposition corresponds accurately to a state of affairs in the world, it is true.   A large cohort in both hard sciences and philosophy would agree to that definition and the logical connection there.   Rich Feynman and Bert Russell could shake hands.  Such a true proposition doesn't have to make an earth-shattering revelation of some underlying reality,  it just has to be empirically adequate in its domain.  

 

I agree that both have sufficient stake in formal logic that some ptocesses may be directly transferred, even though the symbolism may be different.

However for the concept 'truth' such a concept would (and does) take the form of rewriting DeMorgan, Karnaugh and so on in different notation.

The concept of 'truth' you have offered in your post and I have highlighted fails for the same reason as I have already given in my example of the butterfly wingspan masurement.

such terms as 'corresponds accurately' and 'state of affairs' are too wooly for Science.

Both accurate and state have very specific meanings in Science.

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7 hours ago, swansont said:

That doesn't really mean that someone is on to something. Crackpots hit a sore point with scientists, precisely for the opposite reason.

These blokes obviously are not crackpots. But just as obviously, I see it as a  scientists duty to rectify and invalidate some of the potential dangerous utterences by crackpots...the current misinformation doing the rounds with covid19 is a good example.

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33 minutes ago, swansont said:

When it comes to philosophy? I’d want the take of the philosophy crowd. 

Sure. http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2012/04/lawrence-krauss-another-physicist-with.html

Let me say that I certainly believe that Krauss over stepped when he called Albert a  “moronic philosopher,” On the up side, Krauss later did also apologise for his remark...

Edited by beecee
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52 minutes ago, swansont said:

When it comes to philosophy? I’d want the take of the philosophy crowd. 

Would "Does physics (try to) describe reality?" be considered more of a scientific question or a philosophical question?


Is this question amenable to employment of "the scientific method"?


Apparently not.


Is there any experiment we might perform to shed some light on the question?


Apparently not.


It would appear, then, that the question is more philosophical in nature than scientific.


So, with regard to your comment above, as thanks for offering my philosophical "take", among other slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, I got accused of being obtuse, suffering from comprehension issues, various other insults sprinkled liberally throughout the thread (to which, some of you may have noticed, I invariably turned the other cheek), a downvote or two, and a rap on the knuckles from a moderator.


Ponder that while I ponder the limits of hypocrisy here.
 

Edited by Davy_Jones
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9 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

Would "Does science (try to) describe reality?" be considered more of a scientific question or a philosophical question?

 


It would appear, then, that the question is more philosophical in nature than scientific.
 

 I see the question as mute. The facts are science models and the theories are always open for modification and/or improvement. That answers admirably, and inference or search for the truth and reality nonsense...which as I mentioned is more akin to religious faith then to any science.

15 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

So, with regard to your comment above, as thanks for offering my philosophical "take", among other slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, I got accused of being obtuse, suffering from comprehension issues, various other insults sprinkled liberally throughout the thread (to which, some of you may have noticed, I invariably turned the other cheek), a downvote or two, and a rap on the knuckles from a moderator.

 My comments often were a result of your own less then complimentary remarks, the difference being, I failed to add at the end, "I'm only joking" 

But if you take any offence against my criticism of what you have claimed, then I apologise.

 

In my search for the philosophers view/critique of Krauss, I came upon another critique of philosophy by the late great Stephen Weinberg......

Here is a sample of what he said...again as I see it, more a critique on the limitations of philosophy and the encroachmnet of physics into that arena....

http://joelvelasco.net/teaching/167win10/Weinberg against philosophy.pdf

"Physicists get so much help from subjective and often vague aesthetic judgments that it might be expected that we would be helped also by philosophy, out of which after all our science evolved. Can philosophy give us any guidance toward a final theory? The value today of philosophy to physics seems to me to be something like the value of early nation-states to their peoples. It is only a small exaggeration to say that, until the introduction of the post office, the chief service of nation-states was to protect their peoples from other nation-states. The insights of philosophers have occasionally benefited physicists, but generally in a negative fashion—by protecting them from the preconceptions of other philosophers. I do not want to draw the lesson here that physics is best done without preconceptions. At any one moment there are so many things that might be done, so many accepted principles that might be challenged, that without some guidance from our preconceptions one could do nothing at all. It is just that philosophical principles have not generally provided us with the right preconceptions. In our hunt for the final theory, physicists are more like hounds than hawks; we have become good at sniffing around on the ground for traces of the beauty we expect in the laws of nature, but we do not seem to be able to see the path to the truth from the heights of philosophy. Physicists do of course carry around with them a working philosophy. For most of us, it is a rough-and-ready realism, a belief in the objective reality of the ingredients of our scientific theories. But this has been learned through the experience of scientific research and rarely from the teachings of philosophers. This is not to deny all value to philosophy, much of which has nothing to do with science. I do not even mean to deny all value to the philosophy of science, which at its best seems to me a pleasing gloss on the history and discoveries of science. But we should not expect it to provide today's scientists with any useful guidance about how to go about their work or about what they are likely to find".

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Quote

 

It would appear, then, that the question is more philosophical in nature than scientific.


So, with regard to your comment above, as thanks for offering my philosophical "take", among other slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, I got accused of being obtuse, suffering from comprehension issues, various other insults sprinkled liberally throughout the thread (to which, some of you may have noticed, I invariably turned the other cheek), a downvote or two, and a rap on the knuckles from a moderator.


Ponder that while I ponder the limits of hypocrisy here.

 

- me (above)

 

 

Allow me one brief interruption, if you will. I feel compelled, on principle, to protest this.

What was the reason for that rap on the knuckles from the moderator again? Well, read for yourselves above.

The crime I stand accused of, or at least one of them, is addressing a philosophical question . . . in the philosophy forum . . in the idiom of philosophy . . . and not in the idiom of science.

"The terms "reality" and "truth" are commonly too subjective for science, so we use words that better describe the outcomes of various mathematical models. It's really that simple . . ." - mod

Now, I wonder how that would work in the physics forum, say . . .


"Hey! You can't speak the language of physics in the physics forum!! You might confuse the philosophers!!" - mod

Somehow I think not.

As you were, and pardon the intrusion.
 

Edited by Davy_Jones
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3 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

Would "Does physics (try to) describe reality?" be considered more of a scientific question or a philosophical question?

To most Physicist, that is a non-sensical question.
To Philosophers, apparently it invokes a lot of distress and hand -wringing ( I didn't want to say sanctimonius posturing; I need to be civil ).
Why the concern with what Physics does ?
 

3 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

So, with regard to your comment above, as thanks for offering my philosophical "take", among other slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, I got accused of being obtuse, suffering from comprehension issues, various other insults sprinkled liberally throughout the thread (to which, some of you may have noticed, I invariably turned the other cheek), a downvote or two, and a rap on the knuckles from a moderator.

If I have insulted you in any way, I apologize.
I don't give downvotes, so you got none from me, as a matter of fact, you got my upvote in the Gravity thread.
I appreciate your Philosophical take, much as I have appreciated Eise's over the years.
Keep it coming.
Just don't be so critical of our Physical take.

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6 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

The crime I stand accused of, or at least one of them, is addressing a philosophical question . . . in the philosophy forum . . in the idiom of philosophy . . . and not in the idiom of science.

If you stand accused of any crime at all I would gently suggest that it is the one of not addressing a philosophical question.

Or perhaps I should say the set philosophical question.

The OP made it crystal clear that his question (you are right it was deliberately posed as a philosophical question) was about differences between Science and Philosophy. In fact the OP only mentioned difference in the singular and I have asked if folks think there is only one difference, a point which has generally been ignored.

It was was not the question (in many eyes here including mine)  you seem to be addressing which could be roughly phrased

What does Philosophy think of Science and Science think of Philosophy ?

This difference between the OP question and the one you appear to be addressing is probably the reason for all the pushback.

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9 hours ago, beecee said:

Sure. http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2012/04/lawrence-krauss-another-physicist-with.html

Let me say that I certainly believe that Krauss over stepped when he called Albert a  “moronic philosopher,” On the up side, Krauss later did also apologise for his remark...

Now it would be nice if you would comment on the arguments in that link. Or on my old posting I linked to. Then we could get a real discussion, instead of making sneering remarks to each other.

Just to note: one of the most important viewpoints in this article is the answer on the OP question I began with: philosophy and physics have different topics. And, as I hope you also really read the article yourself: Albert really is a philosopher and a physicist. So it would be worth to read his criticism on Krauss, who is 'just' a good physicist.

Just to be clear: I do not approve of the cynical remarks of Davy ('seemingly crazy' as just one example). But I think he laid his finger on a sore point: physicists do not speak with one voice in this matter, sometimes even a single physicist  spouts contradicting views. I don't know if somebody noticed in a previous posting of mine in this thread: in the 'Magnetism' video of Feynman makes very good points about such 'what is' questions. On the other side, in his QED series, he states clearly: 'This is how nature really works'. If he would have been consistent, he should have said something like 'this description really works'. 

 

From your Weinberg quote:

9 hours ago, beecee said:

Physicists get so much help from subjective and often vague aesthetic judgments that it might be expected that we would be helped also by philosophy, out of which after all our science evolved. Can philosophy give us any guidance toward a final theory?

To answer the question: in first order, no, of course not. Different topics, y'know. Physicists study nature, and try to develop theories that in the end describe physical observations. However, in second order, sure they can profit from philosophy. Not just by knocking on the doors of the philosophy department and ask for help, but by reflecting on the basics of their methods. Is there no heavy discussion among physicists if the idea of the multiverse is still science? Is there no heavy discussion among physicists if it useful to spend so much resources on string theory, because it has not made one single empirically testable prediction? These are not discussions about how nature 'really works' or 'correctly described' or how you want to name it. These are philosophical discussions. 

I can only add, that from my experience, one can profit having some philosophical background when discussing such topics. Not because one finds ready answers in philosophy, but because it gives a mindset to improve the quality of the discussion. I do not plead that physicists should simply hear on what philosophers have to say; I plead to name some activities of physicists for what they really are: philosophy.

17 hours ago, studiot said:

 

22 hours 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? 

Eise says 'might be'.

This is a very ill quantified statement. A Philosopher's statement (no offence intended)

I think you misunderstood my point. The sentence is an introduction to a simple thought experiment, which is described in the sentence thereafter.

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1 hour ago, Eise said:

I think you misunderstood my point. The sentence is an introduction to a simple thought experiment, which is described in the sentence thereafter.

I did not misunderstand your point, I just did not reply to it.
Edit : I actually think it a good philosophical example of meaning, but not of difference. /Edit

I was noting your introduction of a vague notion of probability (not incorrectly since this is philosophy) and contrasting this with a fuller but more complicatd scientific version (since that was the op question).

Vive la difference.

1 hour ago, Eise said:

....................

Just to note: one of the most important viewpoints in this article is the answer on the OP question I began with: philosophy and physics have different topics. And, as I hope you also really read the article yourself: Albert really is a philosopher and a physicist. So it would be worth to read his criticism on Krauss, who is 'just' a good physicist.

Just to be clear: I do not approve of the cynical remarks of Davy ('seemingly crazy' as just one example). But I think he laid his finger on a sore point: physicists do not speak with one voice in this matter, sometimes even a single physicist  spouts contradicting views. I don't know if somebody noticed in a previous posting of mine in this thread: in the 'Magnetism' video of Feynman makes very good points about such 'what is' questions. On the other side, in his QED series, he states clearly: 'This is how nature really works'. If he would have been consistent, he should have said something like 'this description really works'. 

 

..................

To answer the question: in first order, no, of course not. Different topics, y'know. Physicists study nature, and try to develop theories that in the end describe physical observations. However, in second order, sure they can profit from philosophy. Not just by knocking on the doors of the philosophy department and ask for help, but by reflecting on the basics of their methods. Is there no heavy discussion among physicists if the idea of the multiverse is still science? Is there no heavy discussion among physicists if it useful to spend so much resources on string theory, because it has not made one single empirically testable prediction? These are not discussions about how nature 'really works' or 'correctly described' or how you want to name it. These are philosophical discussions. 

I can only add, that from my experience, one can profit having some philosophical background when discussing such topics. Not because one finds ready answers in philosophy, but because it gives a mindset to improve the quality of the discussion. I do not plead that physicists should simply hear on what philosophers have to say; I plead to name some activities of physicists for what they really are: philosophy.

.

In general I agree with the sentiments/sense of all of this particularly the last paragraph. +1

But is it about differences ?

If a philosophical line of thought is added to or taken on by a scientific one are they then different ?

I fully admit to having been seduced into off topic posting in some of my posts in this thread, it is very easy to do.

Edited by studiot
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