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What is the real difference between science and philosophy?


dimreepr
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8 minutes ago, beecee said:

Let me make a final comment on the above...I don't adhere to any particular form of science. I follow science to the best of my ability, because of its phenomenal success rate...afterall it affects our lives everyday. It has given us much, and answers many questions, and is  trying to answer more...it took us to the Moon, and has sent our probes to every planet, minor planet in our system...zeal?

Don't get me wrong, I am highly interested in physics and astronomy, why else would I have taken them as subsidiary subjects in my study? A difference between you and me is that I like the deep insights that physics deliver (I think my notorious winner is Noether's theorem, but there is more of course), less the results. Technology, the immediate child of science, has also given a lot of problems, for which we should not close our eyes. 

In Einstein's words:

Quote

Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem–in my opinion–to characterize our age. If we desire sincerely and passionately for the safety, the welfare, and the free development of the talents of all men, we shall not be in want of the means to approach such a state.

Davy's question, and why I chimed in, aims, as I said several times, on the selfunderstanding of physics. He wanted to discuss that with physicists here. 

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8 minutes ago, Eise said:

Technology, the immediate child of science, has also given a lot of problems, for which we should not close our eyes. 

Possibly a lot of problems, but also many benefits.

However the origins of philosophy, science and technology are uncertain at best and unknowable at worst.
These origins would make a worthwhile discussion thread in their own right.

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I sometimes wonder at the level of mystification here.   Wasn't science originally called "natural philosophy" and branched off from philosophy,  developing methods particular to unraveling the mysteries of nature?   I have this odd feeling that the OP question was dealt with eight pages ago, and the thread morphed into: does modern physics range beyond science and into metaphysics and epistemology ?   Which goes back to wrestling matches like Neils Bohr and Einstein arguing over the Copenhagen interpretation and quantum realism.   There's really no doubt that theoreticians do plenty of philosophy,  especially where a wavefunction is concerned.   

 

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36 minutes ago, TheVat said:

I sometimes wonder at the level of mystification here.   Wasn't science originally called "natural philosophy" and branched off from philosophy,  developing methods particular to unraveling the mysteries of nature?

One might ask what protocols were adopted when/after this branching occurred.

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1 hour ago, TheVat said:

Wasn't science originally called "natural philosophy" and branched off from philosophy,  developing methods particular to unraveling the mysteries of nature?

Yes we have discussed that aspect before.
But who did the first science or philosophy ?

What did the first man to wonder what fire was and the perhaps to try to make use of it (by experiment).

Was he doing Science or Philosophy , even though he probably could not speak to say the words then ?

And would this question be abductive thinking or what ?

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14 minutes ago, studiot said:

What did the first man to wonder what fire was and the perhaps to try to make use of it (by experiment).

I love those questions and I don't think  they are hard to answer (when you are as thick as me it is easier :)  )

 

The first man or lady might have been escaping a wild beast of some description and instinctively appreciated the protection it gave.

This appreciation may have been reinforced by repetition. So he was a proto scientist(statistician?)

 

But trying to rationalize it in his free time he may have waxed philosophical (esp if he was trying to impress  the lady)

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1 hour ago, geordief said:

I love those questions and I don't think  they are hard to answer (when you are as thick as me it is easier :)  )

 

The first man or lady might have been escaping a wild beast of some description and instinctively appreciated the protection it gave.

This appreciation may have been reinforced by repetition. So he was a proto scientist(statistician?)

 

But trying to rationalize it in his free time he may have waxed philosophical (esp if he was trying to impress  the lady)

I'm not trying to make them hard to answer, just relevant.

Good thinking on your part, both the repetition and the gallantry dimension. +1

 

Quite different from what I had in mind, but certainly not wrong and worth saying.

 

I was envisaging that in the time, even before the stone age, primitive Man would have witnessed natural fires.

Perhaps he was drawn to them because of the warmth and yes as you say he may have then discovered that other animals kept away (Science).

Perhaps he saw a natural fire from a distance and just wondered (Philosophy).

At that time his tools/weapons would have been sharpened sticks or heavy wooden clubs.

Somehow one on his sharp sticks got into a fire but was charred a bit rather than burned. Perhaps he pulled it out again.

And then he found the charred end of the stick was harder and stronger than the original.

Or perhaps it did catch fire and he was attacked whilst pulling it out and discoverd that waving a burning stick at a predator drove it away.

 

There was a lot of perhaps or maybe in that tale it's really all supposition, but palusible.

So the Science made him think and the thoughts led to better Science, which led to better thoughts...

Or was it the other way round ?

Or did they develop together ?

 

Other thoughts are welcome which is why I said it would be a good topic for another thread.

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7 hours ago, Eise said:

Davy's question, and why I chimed in, aims, as I said several times, on the selfunderstanding of physics. He wanted to discuss that with physicists here. 

I understand Davy's questions. Not being a smarty, but I have a few questions if you could answer for me...my thoughts/answers are in brackets after each question.[1] So do you believe we know the true nature of gravity? [NO][2] Do you accept that sciencetific theories are useful models that do not necessarily aim for truth and reality? [yes] [3]Do you agree that perhaps if there is a truth and/or reality that science may one day accidentley discover it? [possibly] [4] Do you accept that the further any scientific model matches our observations, and keeps making successful predictions, it does get ever more certain? [yes] [5] Do you think perhaps if  that  "certainty" is reached, it could be this truth/reality?[possibly] [6] Is there any truth or reality to be found? [dunno] [7]Might it be impossible to find? [dunno but in reality, and until we have one all encompassing theory, it may as well be]

These are the questions that have created the furore of some philosophers on this forum, and with me. I have answered all bar one with simple yes/no/dunno/possibly answers.

7 hours ago, Eise said:

A difference between you and me is that I like the deep insights that physics deliver

I'll surprise you now....no actually no difference. I would love to know the deeper insights of gravity, and why it presents itself in the presnce of mass/energy. I would love to know the exact nature of the still hypothetical quantum foam...I would love to understand properly, the nature of infinity...I would love to understand how a finite universe [if the universe was shown to be finite] could be. And so would any damn scientist worth his or her salt.

And thanks for the reasonable approach. 

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Why do you care?

"If you don't like gay marriage, don't marry a gay person"- Jim Jefferies

Ever heard of a Canadian fella by the name of Jordan Peterson? Your style seems very much like his.

4 hours ago, geordief said:

I love those questions and I don't think  they are hard to answer (when you are as thick as me it is easier :)  )

 

The first man or lady might have been escaping a wild beast of some description and instinctively appreciated the protection it gave.

This appreciation may have been reinforced by repetition. So he was a proto scientist(statistician?)

 

But trying to rationalize it in his free time he may have waxed philosophical (esp if he was trying to impress  the lady)

😉 Nice and like studiot +1

Edited by beecee
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13 hours ago, beecee said:

And thanks for the reasonable approach. 

You're welcome. Therefore my reactions.

But before I start, until now I never declared what my position is: I only defended that Davy asked reasonable questions and also had reasonable arguments. So, here we go:

13 hours ago, beecee said:

[1] So do you believe we know the true nature of gravity? [NO]

I have no idea what 'true nature' of anything means. For me it is the believer in the 'true nature' of anything, who should tell me what the method is by which she can declare this is a justified claim. I am pretty sure that most philosophers would shoot holes in such a justification. So my answer would be the same as in the Zen koan 'Does a dog has Buddha nature?'.

13 hours ago, beecee said:

[2] Do you accept that sciencetific theories are useful models that do not necessarily aim for truth and reality? [yes]

I agree only with the first part of your sentence: the minimum one can say about scientific theories is that they are useful. I think one could say that science also aims for truth, but surely not in the sense of 'The Truth', but for a simpler concept of truth: that they can predict observable phenomena. 'Reality' cannot be an aim, that is a category error. Theories are 'language entities', not the reality they describe.

13 hours ago, beecee said:

[3]Do you agree that perhaps if there is a truth and/or reality that science may one day accidentley discover it? [possibly]

See my answer on 1. We simply cannot know. So, no.

13 hours ago, beecee said:

[4] Do you accept that the further any scientific model matches our observations, and keeps making successful predictions, it does get ever more certain? [yes]

Here we agree, as long a we do not fall for the illusion of 'absolute certainty'. In limited contexts we can have absolute certainty, but not if we start talking about the 'true nature of things', or the 'Truth about the Universe'.

13 hours ago, beecee said:

[5] Do you think perhaps if  that  "certainty" is reached, it could be this truth/reality?[possibly]

No, see my reaction at 4. 

13 hours ago, beecee said:

[6] Is there any truth or reality to be found? [dunno]

True propositions are surely possible, 'reality' only as far as it appears to us.

13 hours ago, beecee said:

[7]Might it be impossible to find? [dunno but in reality, and until we have one all encompassing theory, it may as well be]

It is impossible to determine that we found it. It presupposes that we can look' behind the scenes'. We can't.

14 hours ago, beecee said:

I'll surprise you now....

Ah, well. It is because of what you wrote before:

21 hours ago, beecee said:

Let me make a final comment on the above...I don't adhere to any particular form of science. I follow science to the best of my ability, because of its phenomenal success rate...afterall it affects our lives everyday. It has given us much, and answers many questions, and is  trying to answer more...it took us to the Moon, and has sent our probes to every planet, minor planet in our system...

These are all more or less practical results. And that is not trivial for me. The use humanity makes of technology has given us very much, no question. But it also gave us a lot of problems, and some of them might kill us all (but that would be another discussion). See it as an ambiguity in my position about science: on one side we are on the brink of destroying ourselves because we do not make reasonable use of the results of science; on another side, science is warning us about this fact, and shows us possible ways out; and on still another side, as I said before, I love the insights science gives us about the world we live in.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Eise said:

These are all more or less practical results. And that is not trivial for me. The use humanity makes of technology has given us very much, no question. But it also gave us a lot of problems, and some of them might kill us all (but that would be another discussion). See it as an ambiguity in my position about science: on one side we are on the brink of destroying ourselves because we do not make reasonable use of the results of science; on another side, science is warning us about this fact, and shows us possible ways out; and on still another side, as I said before, I love the insights science gives us about the world we live in.

Isn't this the real difference?

Philosophy seeks for the truth of life as it is "'Does a dog has Buddha nature?'." Yes, a dog can't help it, it has no idea about tomorrow, so if it's fed and watered it can sleep easy.

Science seeks to solve an equation. Sure, we get better car's through science and maybe that solves the problem of car's, but it doesn't ask why we need car's, tomorrow. 

 

 

 

If we use our intelligence to predict a reason to fear, then we'll never sleep easy.

I'm not saying science isn't valuable; I'm just asking, why is it more valuable? 

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1 hour ago, Eise said:

I agree only with the first part of your sentence: the minimum one can say about scientific theories is that they are useful. (i) I think one could say that science also aims for truth, but surely not in the sense of 'The Truth', but for a simpler concept of truth: that they can predict observable phenomena. (ii) 'Reality' cannot be an aim, that is a category error. Theories are 'language entities', not the reality they describe.

@Eise


I'd like to comment on a few things you said above, with all due respect, as I feel they lie at the crux of a great deal of confusion, both in this thread and the two others I've participated in since joining. (note the numbers I added)

 

(i) See my post right in the middle of page 6 (pertaining to Bas van Fraassen's "constructive empiricism"), and @TheVat's reply a few posts below.


The way you're using the word truth here corresponds exactly to what van Fraassen calls empirical adequacy. Indeed, many scientists and philosophers--those of an antirealist bent--would concur with you: Science should aim for empirical adequacy, saving the appearances, capturing the phenomena, describing observable reality (these are all synonymous) . . . and stop right there!


But as I've been pointing out time and time again, not all scientists share this antirealist view. A great many feel that the aim of science is to not only describe observable reality, but to go beyond the appearances, and--at least try--to provide a causal-explanatory account of what's going on behind the scenes. In other words, they feel science should aim at truth as it is commonly understood (the correspondence theory of truth), and not simply empirical adequacy. These people are known as scientific realists.

 

 

(ii) Again, I can only express utter bafflement when people say things like this (not because it's false; precisely the opposite -- because it's so obviously true!). No one, surely, thinks a painting of sunflowers is trying to be or become actual sunflowers. No one thinks a model Boeing 747 has ambitions to metamorph into the real thing. And surely no one thinks a scientific theory is aiming to become that which it describes/represents. The salient question, rather, is whether scientific theories aim to descibe or represent reality. (I'll just use describe hereafter)


Your "Theories are 'language entities', not the reality they describe" above is exactly analogous to saying "Paintings of dogs are not real dogs". True, of course, but who needs to be told this?

(But also note, not everyone thinks scientific theories are linguistic in nature. This is the so-called "syntactic view" of theories associated with the logical positivists. Check out the currently popular "semantic view" of theories associated with van Fraassen and others.)

Now, where I come from, everyone thinks scientific theories aim to get observable reality right . . .  at the very least! The dispute, as I've explained above, is over whether they should try to do more. The realists say yes, the antirealists no.

So, in short (cf. your remarks above), describing observable reality is an aim whether you're a realist or an antirealist. Describing both observable and unobservable reality is an aim . . . if you're a scientific realist.
 

1 hour ago, Eise said:

It is impossible to determine that we found it [= truth - Davy]. It presupposes that we can look' behind the scenes'. We can't.

This is precisely what the scientific realist denies! The realist claims that it is possible to generate true theories, to construct theories that not only describe observable reality (which no one denies), but unobservable reality as well.


What you say is quite correct: We cannot look behind the scenes, we cannot hold our theories up against unobservable reality for a direct comparison, and we can never enjoy certainty that our theories are true, but--the realist holds--we can have good reason to believe that our theories are true, and that's enough to claim knowledge.


Consider: you leave some cheese out overnight. It's gone the next morning. You might reasonably infer, perhaps incorrectly, that there's a mouse in your house . . . that was never observed! You are making an inference to unobserved causes. And there's a good chance you'd be right.


This is analogous to what the scientific realist claims. We can have good reason (though not certainty) to believe that theories about unobservable entities are true. The warrant for belief might take the form of


1. Inference to the best explanation (as above - the mouse is the best explanation)


2. If a theory not only accommodates the facts (i.e. is empirically adequate), but also yields new and surprising predictions--which are subsequently confirmed--then we have good reason to believe the theory is true. Yes, really true!


etc., etc.

Just think of that dude, wozzizname . . . Semmelweiss? who came up with the germ theory of disease. That's precisely what he was doing: positing unobservable (at that time) causes and inferring to the truth of his theory by dint of inference to the best explanation. And we now think he was right!

 


Hope this helps a little. Interested to hear any comments you may have, sir. Peace!
 

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13 minutes ago, Davy_Jones said:

@Eise
I'd like to comment on a few things you said above, with all due respect, as I feel they lie at the crux of a great deal of confusion, both in this thread and the two others I've participated in since joining. (note the numbers I added)

 

(i) See my post right in the middle of page 6 (pertaining to Bas van Fraassen's "constructive empiricism"), and @TheVat's reply a few posts below.


The way you're using the word truth here corresponds exactly to what van Fraassen calls empirical adequacy. Indeed, many scientists and philosophers--those of an antirealist bent--would concur with you: Science should aim for empirical adequacy, saving the appearances, capturing the phenomena, describing observable reality (these are all synonymous) . . . and stop right there!


But as I've been pointing out time and time again, not all scientists share this antirealist view. A great many feel that the aim of science is to not only describe observable reality, but to go beyond the appearances, and--at least try--to provide a causal-explanatory account of what's going on behind the scenes. In other words, they feel science should aim at truth as it is commonly understood (the correspondence theory of truth), and not simply empirical adequacy. These people are known as scientific realists.

 

 

(ii) Again, I can only express utter bafflement when people say things like this (not because it's false; precisely the opposite -- because it's so obviously true!). No one, surely, thinks a painting of sunflowers is trying to be or become actual sunflowers. No one thinks a model Boeing 747 has ambitions to metamorph into the real thing. And surely no one thinks a scientific theory is aiming to become that which it describes/represents. The salient question, rather, is whether scientific theories aim to descibe or represent reality. (I'll just use describe hereafter)


Your "Theories are 'language entities', not the reality they describe" above is exactly analogous to saying "Paintings of dogs are not real dogs". True, of course, but who needs to be told this?

(But also note, not everyone thinks scientific theories are linguistic in nature. This is the so-called "syntactic view" of theories associated with the logical positivists. Check out the currently popular "semantic view" of theories associated with van Fraassen and others.)

Now, where I come from, everyone thinks scientific theories aim to get observable reality right . . .  at the very least! The dispute is, as I've explained above, is over whether they should try to do more. The realists say yes, the antirealists no.

So, in short (cf. your remarks above), describing reality is an aim . . . if you're a scientific realist.
 

Have you considered that you're, maybe, over-thinking the problem? 

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9 hours ago, Eise said:

These are all more or less practical results. And that is not trivial for me. The use humanity makes of technology has given us very much, no question. But it also gave us a lot of problems, and some of them might kill us all (but that would be another discussion). See it as an ambiguity in my position about science: on one side we are on the brink of destroying ourselves because we do not make reasonable use of the results of science; on another side, science is warning us about this fact, and shows us possible ways out; and on still another side, as I said before, I love the insights science gives us about the world we live in.

On the highlighted part by me, isn't much of that political...science split the atom...it can be put to good use or bad...we can go on and on and on. The same applies to ancient stone age man and the use of fire, which I saw comments on somewhere or other.....

Thanks for your answers...I more or less generally agree, although and havn't too much critical argument against them...except perhaps.....at Q2 you said "I agree only with the first part of your sentence": then you follow and say it should aim for truth [albeit a simpler concept of truth] as opposed to my not necessarily aim for truth. I see that as a roundabout way of agreeing with me.

Then at Q4 you mention and comment on my remark of "absolute certainty"...My personal view, based of course on my non limited knowledge is at least in one case, we have reached certainty...the theory of evolution of life. Other theories of course are less certain then others, eg: DM and its existence is less certain then GR or stellar fusion being the mechanics of stars, or our theories of say DE and the age and shape  of the universe being less certain then the evolution of space and time [spacetime] in the BB account. Perhaps the certainty I speak of with relation to the theory of evolution of life, is different and apart from this truth and/or reality that personaly I find annoying.

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Have you considered that you're, maybe, over-thinking the problem? 

Just gave you a like, you lucky fella you! 

8 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

Now, where I come from, everyone thinks scientific theories aim to get observable reality right . . .  at the very least! The dispute, as I've explained above, is over whether they should try to do more. The realists say yes, the antirealists no.

So, in short (cf. your remarks above), describing observable reality is an aim whether you're a realist or an antirealist. Describing both observable and unobservable reality is an aim . . . if you're a scientific realist.
 

This is precisely what the scientific realist denies!
 

This is the most disturbing parts of your posts...your catagorising of realists and/or non-realists.  Scientific models and theories by definition, do not set out to reveal whatever truth and/or reality that we can be aware of. 

A scientific model is as follows......https://www.google.com/search?q=what+does+a+scientific+model+do&rlz=1C1RXQR_en-GBAU952AU952&oq=what+does+a+scientific+model+do&aqs=chrome.0.0i512j0i390l3.10608j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Models are useful tools in learning science which can be used to improve explanations, generate discussion, make predictions, provide visual representations of abstract concepts and generate mental models:

or

A limitation of models in science is that they are usually simplified versions of the real situation or concept. Sometimes, models spark debates leading to new and improved models. A model may be used when it is impossible to create the conditions necessary to test a concept or theory.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-truth-about-scientific-models/

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

My other only comment re your "philosophy" is that at least imho, you have linked to a few scientists and philsophers of note, claiming that they support your philosophy. They don't. At least not in the cases I have read. Einstein was one of them in the other thread, where you finally did relent to some extent.

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9 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

but--the realist holds--we can have good reason to believe that our theories are true, and that's enough to claim knowledge.

We maybe able to have good reason to believe our theories are great models, but we can never be really sure how close we are to whatever reality and truth is at the core. EG: Gravity. But even with limited applicability, we still have some knowledge.

Until we have a model/theory that accounts for the actual instant of the BB [that very first quantum/Planck instant below 10-45 seconds, and at the core of BH's, we can never be sure about any truth/reality or if its turtles all the way down. 

GR also does not preclude the existence of ERB's and wormholes, nor does it preclude the existence of White Holes specifically. Do they exist? No evidence yet of either afaik.

10 hours ago, dimreepr said:

I'm not saying science isn't valuable; I'm just asking, why is it more valuable? 

It's certainly more practical in today's society I would imagine...and also obviously many more philosophical questions can never really be answered. [please don't ask me why] Although just as obviously going back to the ancient Greeks and other historical scenarios, philosophy held a higher position. Any building needs and depends on a strong, sturdy foundation....from there, we can build 100 story sky scrapers. No one is belittling philosophy, and I have already agreed that Krauss was wrong in calling another philosopher a moron, for which he apologised for anyway.    It's a controversial subject but in essence I believe that all Krauss and other reputable scientists were saying is that philosophy is certainly at the foundation of science, but as science has grown, many more areas and arenas soley in the domain of philsophy, are now in the domain of theoretical physicists and scientists.

I believe that is true, and I don't see it as any reason for philsophers to be dismayed. Perhaps towards the end of WW2, they should have listed to the philosophical reasonings of the physicist Leo Szillard and the dropping of Little Boy and Fat Man.

Each discipline has had periods of prominence. Perhaps one day again, philsophy will be prominent again, as it was in the past.

Enough for my philsophising at this time!!!

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10 hours ago, beecee said:

Scientific models and theories by definition, do not set out to reveal whatever truth and/or reality that we can be aware of. 

Spot on +1

8 hours ago, beecee said:

We maybe able to have good reason to believe our theories are great models, but we can never be really sure how close we are to whatever reality and truth is at the core.

And there’s another issue that isn’t often spoken about. Consider solid state physics and statistical mechanics - large ensembles of constituents give rise to certain dynamics and laws governing the ensemble. The interesting point is that these laws do not explicitly depend on the precise nature of the constituents. Eg you can describe the dynamics of water without knowing anything about H2O molecules, and if you replaced them with something different that happens to exhibit similar properties, in principle at least you’d get a liquid that would be similar to ordinary water (maybe not the best example, but you get my drift). This is why we could do chemistry before we knew of elementary particles. Reality isn’t just what humans experience, it’s a scale-dependent tree-like structure.

So there’s a certain epistemological non-uniqueness in what constitutes the fundamental building blocks of the world, and you can only be sure of their nature if you have the means to probe them directly or indirectly (which opens another can of worms though).

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1 hour ago, Markus Hanke said:

Spot on +1

The above was in response to beecee's "Scientific models and theories by definition, do not set out to reveal whatever truth and/or reality that we can be aware of. "

 

Once again, with all due respect to all involved, I find remarks like these very puzzling. Let's talk Copernicus and Galileo . . .

Is it your position that Copernicus, when he proposed his heliocentric model/theory, was not telling us this is the way the solar system really is? If so, how do you know this? What evidence do you have to support this view?

(My understanding is that precisely the opposite obtained, but I'd have to read up on it all again before committing.)

The case with Galileo is even clearer: That's exactly what he was saying, i.e. The Copernican model/theory is (a representation of) the way things really are . . . and that's why, or at least one of the reasons why, he got into so much trouble.

The Church was quite clear on this: You may promote the Copernican model, Signor Galileo, just so long as it is construed instrumentally, just so long as it is understood to be a mathematical calculating device, just so long as you don't go around telling people it is literally true.

Galileo, being the scientific realist par excellence that he was, found himself unable to bite his tongue.

And the rest is history . . .

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2 hours ago, Markus Hanke said:

Spot on +1

Thank you...That means a lot coming from someone who has as much respect [including mine] from most members here.

2 hours ago, Markus Hanke said:

Reality isn’t just what humans experience, it’s a scale-dependent tree-like structure.

So there’s a certain epistemological non-uniqueness in what constitutes the fundamental building blocks of the world, and you can only be sure of their nature if you have the means to probe them directly or indirectly (which opens another can of worms though).

Great point, among a great post, that I have never really used so far...thanks again for the reminder.

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2 hours ago, Davy_Jones said:

The above was in response to beecee's "Scientific models and theories by definition, do not set out to reveal whatever truth and/or reality that we can be aware of. "

 

Once again, with all due respect to all involved, I find remarks like these very puzzling. Let's talk Copernicus and Galileo . . .

 

It is worth noting that theories and models are not the same.

It is also worth noting that they are secondary (ie not primary) in the domain of rational thought, subdivision Science.

 

finally @Davy_Jones  it is worth noting that I don't believe you have mentioned the word 'principles' (or a synonym) in any of your posts.

 

And I hold that the main (call it real if you like @dimreepr) difference between Philosophy and Science occurs in the Principles of those two disciplines and in particular in the history of those Principles.

Copernicus and Galileo were considering Principles, not theories.

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1 hour ago, Davy_Jones said:

Is it your position that Copernicus, when he proposed his heliocentric model/theory, was not telling us this is the way the solar system really is?

Of course not (and I have only read the last few posts, not the whole thread). My position is that the heliocentric model contains only observables, and is not quantifiable, so this is a trivial case. It is also not a ‘theory’ in the modern sense, but simply a statement of something that is easily and directly observable. Observables like this map directly onto aspects of reality, I think we can all agree on that.

The real question is what happens when we have a theory which, in addition to observables, also contains mathematical machinery that allows us to quantify these. This is what we have with all of modern physics. The question is then whether it is just the observables that map into reality, or also the various parts of the mathematical machinery behind it, even if it is not itself observable. Is spacetime real? Are tensors real? Is a wavefunction real? What about symmetry groups? Etc.

My position is that if the machinery employed is non-unique, then it almost certainly doesn’t map into reality. For example, I don’t think that curvature tensors directly map into any element of reality (in the context of GR), because there’s other ways to describe gravity. You will never observe a tensor.

If an element of a theory is unique, then it is  possible that it could map into an aspect of reality, at least in principle. In GR for example, you can do without curvature tensors, but you can’t do without diffeomorphism invariance, being its fundamental symmetry from which most of the physics arise. So I think the symmetries captured by whatever formalism you use might correspond to something real out there - as far as symmetries can be considered ‘real’. 

As to whether such unique elements necessarily map onto reality, or just potentially - I profess myself agnostic. I don’t know.

I’m wondering though - how do you even define ‘reality’ in this context? As you well know, philosophically speaking this is a pretty slippery concept!

5 minutes ago, studiot said:

Copernicus and Galileo were considering Principles, not theories.

Thank you, I was looking for this term!

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26 minutes ago, Markus Hanke said:

Thank you, I was looking for this term!

Sure.

In my view, admittedly coloured by the fact that I am a mathematician, I hold that Theories operate on Principles, in a way similar to the way in which theorems operate on axioms (which Physics does not have)  in Maths.

The view I have been promoting here in several ways is that

Philosophy deals with the Principles of any subject not the detail.

It could even be said that the subject itself is the detail.

I also hold that it is a 'good thing' that we have an independent process or discipline scrutinising the Principles.

 

Edited by studiot
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Is this discussion beating around the bush of the simple question "Does a leaf in the forest still fall when we are not looking"?

Does our looking represent the scientific endeavour and the question as to whether the ship sails on regardless ,the philosophical endeavour?

 

I feel that the scientific endeavour and the philosophical endeavour are complimentary but clearly  are different paths to an ever progressing regressing ** end.

 

There are other paths too,and some point in the other direction.

 

** damn that autocorrect facility

Edited by geordief
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13 hours ago, beecee said:

It's certainly more practical in today's society I would imagine...and also obviously many more philosophical questions can never really be answered. [please don't ask me why] Although just as obviously going back to the ancient Greeks and other historical scenarios, philosophy held a higher position. Any building needs and depends on a strong, sturdy foundation....from there, we can build 100 story sky scrapers. No one is belittling philosophy, and I have already agreed that Krauss was wrong in calling another philosopher a moron, for which he apologised for anyway.    It's a controversial subject but in essence I believe that all Krauss and other reputable scientists were saying is that philosophy is certainly at the foundation of science, but as science has grown, many more areas and arenas soley in the domain of philsophy, are now in the domain of theoretical physicists and scientists.

I'm not trying to diminish the practicality's of science (I love what science has taught me, for real @studiot), I'm trying to show philosophy to be equally valuable and practical in most people's lives...

If we consider most people to be religious and I think the stats would support this, so real for most people is philosophy, on a background of science that they don't understand. 

Science doesn't care either way, it just tries to predict a future, but Buddha et al does.

So, if we want a world in balance and sustainable; we need philosophy, via people's current understanding, to build a bridge of understanding that doesn't involve fear of tomorrow.

 

 

21 minutes ago, geordief said:

Is this discussion beating around the bush

 

If we want to fear less, we need to laugh more.

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

I'm not trying to diminish the practicality's of science (I love what science has taught me, for real @studiot), I'm trying to show philosophy to be equally valuable and practical in most people's lives...

If we consider most people to be religious and I think the stats would support this, so real for most people is philosophy, on a background of science that they don't understand. 

Science doesn't care either way, it just tries to predict a future, but Buddha et al does.

So, if we want a world in balance and sustainable; we need philosophy, via people's current understanding, to build a bridge of understanding that doesn't involve fear of tomorrow.

I don't see how any of this disagrees with anything I have said.

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