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Philosophy of Science

by Tom Mattson
Tags: philosophy, science
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Tom Mattson
#1
Mar7-03, 04:47 PM
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I found some detailed lecture notes on this subject here:

http://www.soc.iastate.edu/sapp/phil_sci_lecture00.html

I am interested in discussing the role of philosophy in science with you all.
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Kerrie
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Mar7-03, 06:16 PM
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science has an objective of understanding our world through our 5 known senses...however, these senses are subjective, and led by subjective people...science is a tool that should be used with caution that leads our understanding and knowledge to a realistic level, with as little harm to known life as possible...

at least that is what i think of the philosophy of science to be....
ahrkron
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Mar9-03, 03:53 AM
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Done with the introduction!

Ultra-brief summary:

We need to distinguish between "Philosophy of X" and History, Sociology and Psychology of X. Such distinction is not an easy one, but we can start by saying that philosophy of science (PoS) is not based on empirical studies, while the other disciplines are.

PoS is concerned with the methodology of science and the interpretation of its results.

My comment

Something I have always been suspicious about is questions of the form "What is the essence of X?", since they tend to induce the (usually unproven) assumption that there is an "essence" to be found or described.

A (hopefully) clear example is the word "mind". The word was coined from the observation of behaviors, and it is assumed to represent an entity.

wuliheron
#4
Mar17-03, 04:20 AM
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Philosophy of Science

The philosophies of science is concerned with developing the various metaphysics of science from which an assortment of appropriate logistical, mathematical, observational, experimental, and/or other rudamentary approaches to discovery can be construed. In addition, the philosophies of science are often influenced by the resulting discoveries of other philosophies and schools of thought, and the results of the various sciences and use these to update their metaphysics and approaches.

At least, that's a quick definition off the top of my head.
Psychodelirium
#5
Mar17-03, 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by ahrkron

My comment

Something I have always been suspicious about is questions of the form "What is the essence of X?", since they tend to induce the (usually unproven) assumption that there is an "essence" to be found or described.

A (hopefully) clear example is the word "mind". The word was coined from the observation of behaviors, and it is assumed to represent an entity.
Essentialism is a doctrine that is in general disrepute amongst contemporary philosophers, so few of them would disagree with you. In fact, most philosophers of science would probably say that there is no such thing as "the scientific method", let alone "the essence of science" (whatever that might mean).

Your example, however, is an expression of Rylean logical behaviorism and is far more controversial than the point it is meant to illustrate (though I am sympathetic to the idea, for what it's worth).
morp
#6
Mar18-03, 04:31 AM
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I see you wish to talk about "Philosophy in Science" not about "Scientific Philosophy" .

The name "Philosophy" is not patented but because "Modern Science" rejects all basic .principles of classical Philosophy, I think you better choose another name for your way of thinking, leaving the name "Philosophy" to the Science taught in Universities as "Philosophy". There the principle of causality for example is still taught and honored as "basic".

Morp
Lifegazer
#7
Mar18-03, 09:32 AM
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Originally posted by Tom
I am interested in discussing the role of philosophy in science with you all
I think philosophy should be used to dictate the future-path our scientists take... and also to validate the conclusions which are being made (by scientists) in reference to specific areas of research.
For example; I am baffled by string-theory and M-theory, etc.. For how is it conceivably possible that a 1-dimensional (or 2-dimensional) source can actually exist as a
tangible entity? In my reasoned-opinion, 1 & 2-dimensional entities can only exist as concepts of the mind. Thus, I am of the opinion that such theories are leading us up a 'garden path' so to speak.
I'm aware that there is a limited credibility to the mathematics of these theories. But if science wishes to pursue material-causes for the effects that it can observe, then surely it must avoid theories which posit intangible concepts as their ultimate cause?
Either that, or science should declare that the pursuit of conceptual-causes is a recognition of a non-material source. And if that is the case, then we can allow our mathematicians the freedom to forget about strings moving through 11 dimensions, and allow them to found their math upon a 1-dimensional mind.
I'm not asking you to discuss this example in any great detail. But as you can hopefully see: the application of reason is a necessity for meaningful science.
Tom Mattson
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Mar18-03, 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by ahrkron
Done with the introduction!
You beat me.

Ultra-brief summary:

We need to distinguish between "Philosophy of X" and History, Sociology and Psychology of X. Such distinction is not an easy one, but we can start by saying that philosophy of science (PoS) is not based on empirical studies, while the other disciplines are.

PoS is concerned with the methodology of science and the interpretation of its results.
The distinction drawn by the author between the philosophy of science and the (history, psychology, sociology) of science is the same as the distinction drawn by the author of my book on logic between the prescriptive laws of reasoning (logic) and the descriptive laws of reasoning (psychology).

The latter studies how things are in fact done, while the former investigates how things should be done.

This author seems to think that the lines are a bit blurrier, in that the four disciplines can intrude on each other's domain, depending on the study undertaken.

I found this bit kind of odd:

...if a philosopher of science concludes that it is impossible to justify a certain feature of scientific practice or methodology, he or she might conclude that that feature must be abandoned. (This would be rare: most philosophers would react to such a situation by rejecting the view that did not vindicate that feature of scientific practice.)

It sounds like he's saying, "When a philosopher of science finds a scientific method invalid, he changes his viewpoint so that it is valid."

Curious. I guess we'll find out what he means as we go through the notes.

Well, he did say that this wouldn't make sense until we start doing philosophy of science.

On to the next section...
Mentat
#9
Mar18-03, 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by Lifegazer
In my reasoned-opinion, 1 & 2-dimensional entities can only exist as concepts of the mind.
I thought, "in your reasoned opinion", all things originated only in the Mind.

Welcome back, lifegazer.
RageSk8
#10
Mar18-03, 08:38 PM
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No time to post a real reply, so I will share some of my many links - Here are two archives of papers on the philosophy of science:

http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/view-ROOT.html
http://www.bu.edu/wcp/MainScie.htm


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