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A place of philosophy among other disciplines.

  1. May 24, 2003 #1
    A philosopher, a physicist and a mathematician ride a train. They see a black sheep on a field in a train window.
    -All speep are black - says a philosopher.
    -There are sheep, and some of them are black - says a physicist.
    -There is at least one sheep, and at least half of it is black - says a mathematician.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2003 #2
    A scientist, mathematician, and philosopher were walking along a beach when they came across a treasure chest the waves had washed ashore. The philosopher said, if we take half a step and then half of that again all the way we will never reach the treasure chest. The scientist immediately began setting up experimental apparatus to determine if he was correct or not while the mathematician began furiously attempting to find a self-consistent nontrivial refutation to disprove the idea. The philosopher, of course, meanwhile walked over and looked inside the chest.
    Last edited: May 24, 2003
  4. May 24, 2003 #3
    A physics professor came to his dean: "-We need another million dollars to upgrade our experimental set."

    Dean moans: -"Why can't you guys be like math department folks - they only need pens, paper and waste baskets?"

    "-Do you mean philosophy department? - says professor - They only need pens and paper..."
  5. May 24, 2003 #4
    Einstein was one of those guys who proved imagination is more important than money or equipment. He beat out the greatest and best funded minds on the planet. Of course, he was also a great philosopher as well as a physicist. He didn't even need paper and pencil to exercise his thought experiments.
  6. May 24, 2003 #5

    Another good one! Nice man. Nice.
  7. May 24, 2003 #6
    Wuliheron, this is typical misunderstanding of Einstein. What Einstein proposed has nothing to do with philosophy, but with mathematics, specifically with mathematical symmetries.

    He proposed that:

    a) nature could be invariant versus continuous shifts in velocity (any observed quantity f is same in any moving reference system: f(v) = f'(v'). This symmetry (=nothing in lab depends on lab's velocity) is the only postulate from which all Special Relativity mathematically follows as a corollary.

    b) there is no difference between inertial mass m and gravitational mass m. General Relativity mathematically follows from this his assumption just as a corollary.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2003
  8. May 24, 2003 #7
    Exactly, he insisted nature is invariant despite the contradictory evidence of Quantum Mechanics that anything and everything is possible given enough time. In other words, he was philosopher as much as he was a physicist. Just because neither science nor mathematics can provide a clear answer to something does not mean speculation is useless. What we don't know is often of more keen interest and use than what we do know.
  9. May 24, 2003 #8
    You know, how dare you call Einstein a philosopher. You should be ashamed at insulting him on a forum that exists muchly based on his help in humanity.

    That's a real poor insult on your part. I don't think many will think highly of you for saying it.
  10. May 24, 2003 #9
    A scientist, mathematician, and philosopher were walking along a beach when they came across a treasure chest the waves had washed ashore. The philosopher said, if we take half a step and then half of that again all the way we will never reach the treasure chest. The mathematician said: yes, but this is true only if we suddenly change our motion by limiting our futher steps to be successively shorter and shorter. But if we DON'T change our state of motion, then we will reach the chest in short t=d/v seconds, where d is the distance to the chest and v is our speed. While mathematician was introducing a philosopher to basics of math, the scientist decided to perform experiment to test mathematician's theory that t=d/v. He continued to walk in a uniform manner - and indeed reached the chest in d/v seconds.

    Moral: 1)support scientists - they find treasures of nature. 2) trust mathematicians because they tell truth. 3) educate philosophers (you'll save many trees from being used to print their unsubstantiated claims).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2003
  11. May 24, 2003 #10

    YES! YES! YES!
  12. May 24, 2003 #11
    Imagination is useless without knowledge.
  13. May 24, 2003 #12
    So is intellectualism.

    If one calls someone intellectual, it's surely an insult.

    One can imagine anything that has nothing to do with reality. Thus we have religion, philosophy, politics, pseudo-science, superstition etc...

    All things which serve no positive purpose in reality.

    On can be intellectual, and postulate things long sinced disproven, and use incorrect assumptionary knowledge (which is NOT knowledge at all) to come up with useless concepts and claims.

    Both of these, and there systems of religion, politics, philosophy, superstition, pseudo-science, serve no positive purpose, and are thus ANTI-HUMANITARIAN.
  14. May 24, 2003 #13


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    Yeah, I heard this one. Sounds like the philosopher's an idiot.
  15. May 24, 2003 #14
    Logi: Actually intellectualism is more important than imagination. Say, in quantum field theory you can hear: "this is impossible because I can't imaginne it" or: "it seems that opposite should be true" to only discover that math was correct and imagination was not.

    They have saying in quantum physics: "Shut up, and calculate."
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2003
  16. May 24, 2003 #15
    Re: Re: A place of philosophy among other disciplines.

    Point being (among other points) is that a philosopher is allowed to be an idiot.

    An intelligent person and an idiot, both of whom use only the idea of philosophy, and no other of their knowledge, won't create any different assumptions.

    Philosophy doesn't require knowledge, nor does it even use knowledge of it was even there.

    It's just a "why, why, why"

    You could ask why do anything. Why are black sheep blue? That's philosophy, and it defies all logic.

    Science can't defy logic, because it's a daughter of logic.

    Philosophy is then, even lower than a pseuo-science. It's like a pseudo-logic.

    Yet even beyond that. It's non-existant in reality.
  17. May 24, 2003 #16


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    Right. Unlike science, philosophy is the only field that strives to take nothing on faith.
  18. May 24, 2003 #17
  19. May 24, 2003 #18
    Unlike science AND mathematics. Somebody has to help them out of the corners they paint themselves into.
  20. May 24, 2003 #19


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    Can a building exist without the basis that connects it to the ground ? Can a cloud exist and have no bounderies ?
    Can the likely basic assumptions infered from observation
    and used by science lack any explanation themselves, thus
    accepting their own inability of providing an explanation ? :wink:

    Peace and long life.
  21. May 24, 2003 #20


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    Bravo ! :smile:
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