Do you see Philosophy as necessary to science?

  • Thread starter Kerrie
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  • #1
Kerrie
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And if you do, why? Why is it not necessary?
 

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  • #2
"I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy." --Max Born, Autobiography

of course it is necessary, how else will you explain without experimentation.
 
  • #3
Kerrie
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what some do not realize is that the initial flame of science starts with speculation (aka philosophy)...
 
  • #4
Originally posted by Kerrie
what some do not realize is that the initial flame of science starts with speculation (aka philosophy)...

agreed.

btw city of roses, you are in portland, or?
 
  • #5
quantumdude
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Kerrie, it's like you're reading my mind or somethin'. I just found lecture notes on this, and I am eager to go through them with the rest of PF. I am a newbie to philosophy, so I confess I have no answer to the question you posed in the title of the thread, but I am looking forward to finding out.
 
  • #6
Sting
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Philosophy is, in itself, the method of asking, wondering, and knowing. Science is the inquiring of knowledge that seeks to answer the questions asked by philosophy.

Historically, many scientists (such as Newton, Liebniz, Descartes, etc.) were philosophers well so I can see where science ties in with philosophy.
 
  • #7
Kerrie
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i believe philosophy is quite necessary to science...philosophy is the point of speculation, of asking why, science is the vehicle that moves the question of why to how...

yes mactech, i am in NE portland, i see that you also have an email from portland state, which is a great college...
 
  • #8
Originally posted by Kerrie

yes mactech, i am in NE portland, i see that you also have an email from portland state, which is a great college...

ah i c.. :) cool.
 
  • #9
ahrkron
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At some point, Einstein said that physicists tend to be bad philosophers (I think he did so in a lecture later printed as "physics and reality"), but that at some points during the historical development of physics, there is no way out, since experimental results can only be described by a theory that clearly contradicts philosophical positions (think about Copernicus and religion, or QM and reality).

IMO, both disciplines need a lot from each other. Both are incomplete if done without attention to the other side.
 
  • #10
Kerrie
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i completely agree with you ahrkron
 
  • #11
ahrkron
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Thanks Kerrie :smile:

Something else about their relationship: sometimes, while doing science, philosophical positions held by scientists may steer the kind of hypothesis explored. This can be useful sometimes, but it is also dangerous.

A clear example would be the precopernican astronomy, in which people developed extremely complicated arrangements of moving spheres because they assumed that every movement in the sky had to be based on such perfect solid. Even Copernicus' system was based on spheres!

When Kepler discovered that ellipses do the work much better, he was strongly disapointed; he even called the something like "ugly ovals".
 
  • #12
Phobos
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Philosophy is certainly tied into science. The scientific viewpoint is based on an objective reality (metaphysics)...that the universe does in fact exist and that it follows certain patterns that are understandable. The path to knowledge (epistemology) is set through direct and verifiable testing.

Things like "the universe exists" and "the universe follows certain understandable patterns" are somewhat unproveable axioms...a philosophical foundation.

If you believe that there is no universe outside of your own subjective mind (i.e., everything is a projection of your own thought and even your own body is not "real"), then you aren't going to get far in science.
 
  • #13
Sting
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I remember the Logic portion in my 10th grade Geometry class tying into the nature of mathematical proofs and such.

And Logic in itself is a philosophical study
 
  • #14
wuliheron
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Philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom, while science is the pursuit of knowledge. Towards the scientific pursuit of knowledge philosophers devise a variety of metaphysics 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.

So, yes, science needs philosophy to at least provide an assortment of metaphysics. Hopefully they also manage to gleen a little wisdom in the process as well.
 
  • #15
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Yes, I definitely think that Philosophy is necessary.

You know, sometimes the fact that Science evolved from Philosophy makes people think that Science is somehow "better" than Philosophy. But this is not true because (as has already been mentioned) there would be no experimentation without the original observation/guesswork.

In an old post (on the former PFs) I posted that Philosophy is basically the first two steps of the scientific method. I still believe that this is true.
 
  • #16
science stops, where light can no more bring any message, right..?
so science stops at our 'world-line' (light-horizon) defined by the speed of information by em-waves.

the whole, real, right-now world out there in space or in submicroscopic dimensions is thus not subject to exact science, is it?

[added:] ..i mean, what science gets as information from outer space is the more historic information the deeper we look. What happens out there right now is not actually topic to exact science, is it?

[added:] ..that is, far off galaxies out there (and nearer objects as much) should be 'there' right now, long before their light reaches earthern science.
so the mere existence of everything out there should not depend on information about it being sent .
('t should be the same with all other limits of light-information, e.g. blackholes event-horizon, maybe uncertainty-boundaries of lights capacity of submitting information..)
so everything that takes place beyond scientific observation still is part of the 'whole world'..

[3/3/03 ..plain: ] philosophy only, not science is concerned with the whole world:
light* is to slow to tell us what is going on in major part of the universe RIGHT NOW.
(in numbers for e.g. the sun: 8½ mins to slow)
light* is to 'big' to tell us what is going on in subatomic dimensions.
we're living in a light-'bubble'.

*light or em-waves
 
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  • #17
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I don't understand your post, roeighty. Could you rephrase, so that I can understand what it is that you mean, please?
 
  • #18
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Originally posted by Kerrie
And if you do, why? Why is it not necessary?

Yes.

Philosophy has served as a vehicle to transfer some of the technilogical discoveries of certain very ancient civilizations to the present day. If one has read the Tao of Physics by Alan Watts one would see what I mean.

Throughout the philosophies of India and China there are references to many of the "newly" discovered properties we see today in higher physics. These philosophies are well over 8000 years old and reflect an even earlier understanding of certain laws of physics. This sort of preservation of scientific data is also seen in religions around the world. Much the same way religion preserves a history of events albeit somewhat scewed in favor of one or more families or cults.

I can't dig up any examples right now... but I believe this to be true.

It is also important to note that moral philosophy applies to science to keep it in check. If there was no moral philosophy associated with science then all the population of the earth would be used as experimental subjects and the results would be disasterous to humankind.

Mind you... isn't that what we are witnessing today?
 
  • #19
Raavin
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I believe philosophy is vital in science. But I suppose it depends on what you mean. If you mean a doctrine then no, that can only narrow ones vision. If you mean an exploration for meaning or understanding then I don't see how you can explore science without it. I've read that pure mathematicians believe that there doesn't have to be any meaning or understanding in what they do. The search for patterns or phenomena is without any real purpose. They don'e care if it applies to real systems or not. If that is true, then for them philosophy doesn't mean much. As far as the physical sciences go though, there wouldn't seem to be any point in pursuing any of it without some sort of philosophical starting point. Not past practical application anyway.

Raavin
 
  • #20
Science is born as daughter of Philosophy . During more than 20 centuries science belonged to Philosophy.

The full title of Newton's "Principia" was "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica" . The title of its English translation ( Motte, 1729) was "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"

It is no wonder this question arises now. Ancient philosophers said "The truth is but one" . Modern scientists say implicitely "The truth is many ". Logic is totally absent in modern science.

Morp
 
  • #21
LURCH
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Science is not possible without philosophy. Experimantation and observation alone do not constitute science. The observed results of an experiment reveal no scientific data untill one reasons that a certain measurement leads to a certain conclusion. The moment we begin to use reason to assign meaning to a set of measurements, we engage in philosophy.

Logic is a philosophical discipline, and even pure mathematics is based on number theory, which is a philosophical understanding of how numbers work. How far can one's scientific investigations proceed without logic or mathematics?

This is why I find it so disturbing that many of today's most well- known scientists seem to have contempt for the philosophical disciplines, even though they cannot avoid the use of philosophical thought in every theory, hypothesis, and proof. As a friend of mine sometimes says, "Those who discount philosophy do not excuse themselves from using it; they merely condemn themselves to using it incorrectly."
 
  • #22
Lurch,

You are the first member of this PF I agree fully with.

I may remember some sayings of ancient philosophers:

"Our senses deceive us. Only our mind is reliable" (Parmenides)

"Conclusions from observations are unreliable, only the mind can come nearer to to the truth" (Anaxgoras)

"Truth is unattainable" (Plato)

Morp
 
  • #23
Kerrie
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morp...

great perspectives on the mind...
 
  • #24
quantumdude
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I can't agree that "the mind is reliable". Have you ever forgotten anything? Have you ever been *certain* of something that is wrong? Have you ever jumped to a wrong conclusion?

There's your disproof.

Back to the topic--which I'm glad Kerrie started, because it's free-flowing, whereas mine is sticking to the lecture notes--what place does philosophy have in science?

It seems to me (and I'm very new at this) that it is the task of philosophy to formally analyze (for validity) the methods of scientific inquiry. The hypothetico-deductive method is just such a valid formalism, and is practically the method used by scientists.
 
  • #25
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Originally posted by Tom
I can't agree that "the mind is reliable". Have you ever forgotten anything? Have you ever been *certain* of something that is wrong? Have you ever jumped to a wrong conclusion?

There's your disproof.

Back to the topic--which I'm glad Kerrie started, because it's free-flowing, whereas mine is sticking to the lecture notes--what place does philosophy have in science?

It seems to me (and I'm very new at this) that it is the task of philosophy to formally analyze (for validity) the methods of scientific inquiry. The hypothetico-deductive method is just such a valid formalism, and is practically the method used by scientists.

I see, Tom, so when we say "what if" we are philosophizing about a possiblity and this leads the way to scientific inquiry.

This is a great way to tie philosophy to science.

What also happens is that we witness an event in nature and, from this observation, we begin philosophizing about what the process is or how it relates to other processes.

That example is another "what if" example but it is triggered by an observation of an existing phenomenon rather than a purely philosophical idea... which is spawned soley by the mind... which, as you have pointed out, is often wrong about many things.
 
  • #26
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Several philosophical ideas have had a direct influence on the course of physics. Maupertuis invented the principle of least action under the influence of Leibniz's philosophy that this is "the best of all possible worlds", and that God takes the best way to accomplish His ends.

The principle of least action was taken up by Euler and developed into the calculus of variations. Lagrange then adopted that and in his Mechanique Analytique introduced his Action- Lagrangean method based on it. Hamilton modified Lagrange's method into his own Hamiltonian method, and these two methods are everywhere in modern physics.

Emmy Noether proved that every symmetry of the Lagrangean induces a conserved quantity in the equations of motion. Maupertuis would have been delighted by that, and seen it as a confirmation of God's benevolence.
 
  • #27
Kerrie and Tom,

The sentences I gave are not mine.
Here is a another saying from Parmenides that could concern both of you.

"Mortals without wisdom will say : "It is and is not"."

He says also " What is not is impossible, it is even impossible to think of what is not".

May I consider as "Mortals without wisdom" those who give qualities to what is not? (Mortals who speak about c, photons etc. while denying the existence of an ether)

About the power of the mind: "Only those things exist in reality the existence of which the mind has concluded to"..

Anyway, I think science without some logic does not make sense. And that logic must not be adapted to circumstances. When I hear some people think of science without philosophy I feel the breath of QM in my neck..

Morp
 
  • #28
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by Kerrie
And if you do, why? Why is it not necessary?

A favorite definition of mine is that philosophy is "thinking about thinking." If one considers the guts of science to be empiricism, then that is where one finds the philosophical or "thinking" basis of science; e.g., how does one hypothesize with the best chance of observation eventually resulting, how does one set up experiments with the proper controls, how does one interpret observations correctly, and so on.

However, philosophy also addresses broader issues such as ethics and knowing, and so once empirical investigation has revealed something, or its discoveries are to be used, that's when those sorts of philosophical considerations arise.

A knowing concern I've expressed, for example, is how the successes of science has encouraged many scientists to philosophize about things beyond the limits of what's been proven. Linking philosophical speculation to proven facts is a powerful and relatively new variety of philosophy (compared to philosophy's rationalistic past). It is so compelling in fact, that I worry those good at it might lose sight of how much people are taking what they say as established fact. Hopefully ethics will win out and encourage someone representing science to make it perfectly clear what they are saying is still unproven.

Yet I wonder if ethical and knowing questions are really about science because I can see how the same issues apply to humans in any discipline. So beyond the "thinking" of empiricism needed to do science, maybe the other philosophical matters are most important to being human.
 
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  • #29
quantumdude
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Originally posted by morp
The sentences I gave are not mine.

Well, golly-gee-willickers. A famous philosopher said it. I guess that makes my objections bubble-headed and vacuous.

Please, Morp. Quotes from scriptures and authorities in place of arguments belong in the Religion forum.

I stand by what I said.

Here is a another saying from Parmenides that could concern both of you.

"Mortals without wisdom will say : "It is and is not"."

Why would that 'concern' me? Of course, the compound statement 'X and NOT X' is analytically false.

What's your point?

He says also " What is not is impossible, it is even impossible to think of what is not".

I agree with the first part, but the second is plainly false. Right now, I am thinking of a 10-headed goat.

Do 10-headed goats exist? No? Well then Parmenides is wrong again.

Here is one from me to you:

"In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual."
--Galileo Galilei

I say, the same goes for philosophy. When statements are demonstrably false, then I don't care if it was Parmenides who said it. If I find that it is wrong, then stamping the quote with the authority of his name is not going to change my mind.

May I consider as "Mortals without wisdom" those who give qualities to what is not? (Mortals who speak about c, photons etc. while denying the existence of an ether)

Of course you may. You are free to make any straw man argument you wish. You don't need my permission.

About the power of the mind: "Only those things exist in reality the existence of which the mind has concluded to"..

Morp, complete this sentence:

Tom, I find that your objections to Parmindes' quote is wrong because ____________________ .

Anyway, I think science without some logic does not make sense. And that logic must not be adapted to circumstances. When I hear some people think of science without philosophy I feel the breath of QM in my neck..

Oh, come on.

Morp, this thread is about the role of philosophy in science. It is not for your silly railings against modern physics. I tried to get this thread on the track of the hypothetico-deductive method, which is The Scientific Method, and it is also a product of philosophical thinking.

Can we please stick to the subject?
 
  • #30
Tom,
Clearly "Philosophy" and " Logic" have different meanings for you and for me. You reject the old "masters" of Philisophy. O.K. As I see also every other "master" is disavowed. Newton is corrected by Einstein, Maxwell is rejected, the original papers of Planck, Einstein, De Broglie, Schrödinger etc. are rejected as "old versions", "strawman versions" etc.

Lastly I started a search on my computer for "Quantum Mechanics". He replied he had 371000 links. You may try it for yourself.
I read the texts of the first 100 links. Some were similar,some different. In any case I found more than 10 fundamentally different QM theories.
Therefore, any argument can be countered by "old version", "Wrong version", "strawman version" etc. See PF1.

Now my question is: what is the "Philosophy" of all this.?
To me, a scientific theory is a structure, with a backbone, that stands upright. To you a theory is similar to a heap old screws and nails etc. where you can always find what you need, but formless without any structure..
If you do not agree, please indicate which one of those 370000 sites on Internet gives a "true" version of QM.

Morp
 
  • #31
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Isn't it true that science is a part of philosophy? Or is it now a separate subject?
If the first is true, then this argument can be completed by the simple fact that science cannot be without philosophy. Science is a branch of philosophy.
 
  • #32
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by FZ+
Isn't it true that science is a part of philosophy? Or is it now a separate subject?
If the first is true, then this argument can be completed by the simple fact that science cannot be without philosophy. Science is a branch of philosophy.

FZ, were you able to relate to my suggestion that philosophy is "thinking about thinking"? Some activities require a larger or more difficult thinking component than others, and science is one of them.

For example, how do we determine the way we use our intellect when practicing science? Was it okay for the neuroscientist (her name was Greenwood I think) presenting her theories on the Discovery Channel yesterday to say, "My job as a scientist is to prove consciousness stems from purely physical principles"? As a philosopher, I find a problem with her intentions. I would have been okay with her saying instead, "My job as a scientist is to discover those elements of consciousness that stem from purely physical principles." But she clearly revealed her predisposition, and therefore bias, to limit consciousness to physicalness in her theory development. This is a philosophical issue.

The point is, this is where philosophy actually is part of science, and not the other way around. We isolate the thinking component of science and work on those principles in order make the thinking component as effective as possible.

Although I do not think science is a segment of philosophy, I do see that philosophy has a much broader scope than science or any other single discipline because there are few human activities that do not have a thinking component.
 
  • #33
quantumdude
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Originally posted by morp
Clearly "Philosophy" and " Logic" have different meanings for you and for me. You reject the old "masters" of Philisophy. O.K.

No. What it does mean is that I can think for myself.

Look, the "old masters" of philosophy disagreed with each other. You agree with some, I agree with others. For instance, I agree that Aristotle's syllogistic logic is a valid system of reasoning.

As I see also every other "master" is disavowed. Newton is corrected by Einstein,

Correct.

Maxwell is rejected,

No, I would say that Maxwell is corrected, just as Newton is.

the original papers of Planck, Einstein, De Broglie, Schrödinger etc. are rejected as "old versions", "strawman versions" etc.

You evidently do not know what a straw man argument is.

Definition: A straw man argument is an argument that is different from, and weaker than, an opponent's best argument.

When you misrepresent QM to say things that it does not say, and then lay those falsehoods to my charge because I accept QM, you commit a textbook example of a straw man argument.

Lastly I started a search on my computer for "Quantum Mechanics". He replied he had 371000 links. You may try it for yourself.
I read the texts of the first 100 links. Some were similar,some different. In any case I found more than 10 fundamentally different QM theories.

There are different pedagogical styles, but there are not 10 versions of QM commonly used. The evolution of the theory is (roughly):

1. Bohr-Sommerfeld (the "old" quantum theory)
2. Schrodinger/de Broglie/Heisenberg et al (nonrelativistic quantum mechanics)
3. Dirac/Klein-Gordon et al (relativistic quantum mechanics)
4. Feynman/Schwinger/Tomonaga/Dyson et al (QFT)

It grows as experimental knowledge grows.

Therefore, any argument can be countered by "old version", "Wrong version", "strawman version" etc. See PF1.

Not true. All you have to do is specify which "version" of the theory you are talking about and refrain from twisting into saying things it does not say, and that can be avoided. You get called on your straw men for the part in red, not for attacking the wrong version of QM.

Now my question is: what is the "Philosophy" of all this.?

I'm listening.

To me, a scientific theory is a structure, with a backbone, that stands upright. To you a theory is similar to a heap old screws and nails etc. where you can always find what you need, but formless without any structure..

This is the ultimate straw man argument.

Nothing I ever said could be construed that way. Furthermore, I just made a post detailing exactly what a "scientific theory" is to me in the following thread:

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?threadid=36&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

If you do not agree, please indicate which one of those 370000 sites on Internet gives a "true" version of QM.

First, you paste this straw man argument on me, and now you demand that I disprove it?

That is pathetic.

Try engaging your brain next time you make a post to me.
 
  • #34
i don't know where to start..this is not gonna be a structured train of thoughts

philosophy to me is unconstrained CURIOSITY to find out how and why we're here (not whatfor, but why originally), then to keep on bursting or walking spanish beyond the frontiers of what i believe to know, seek clear plausible answers to any well posed question about the 'whole'.

any problem can be lifted into philosophic 'heights'.

philosophy is necessary to science in order to keep science in its boundaries, to judge the truth of it, else its usefulness (do we really need to pain e.g. our cousins manapes, or dolphins, rats, mouses, even fruit-flies, for e.g. cosmetic stuff? - i'm no pure ecologist: a fur keeps you warm, ..why not occasionally kill for fur, if we kill for meat. man does and must care for himself at some level - [added later:] on the other hand i can wait till the furry dies by itself, without need for killing *.*). science can give life to an arbitrarily shaped clone, a human like any other, that'll grow 10-12 years old and ask for his mother and father.
world is bad. but not only and all bad. without any ethics we might all be carnivorous rats. no major person can want that.
not only ETHICS must give science its boundaries.

science depends on axioms, premisses, given suppositions, assumptions, prior conditions, geometry on 'virtually perfect' points, beams, coordinates (-systems), a (superficially looked upon..) 'indoubted' branch of science, mathematics, is no way given by nature itself, but by its perception, description, nameing through man: numbers, entities, coordinate-systems, operators, worded definitions and sentences, ..all of wich, in their validity, resting upon agreement about the meant. agreed systems of scientific discussion. (e.g. the comparatively young acquaintance of the "0" (='nothing') in algebra, or have you ever seen an inch, a centimeter? not of thread, just a centimeter by itself? ..they don't exist. nature doesn't measure itself as we do.) [1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apple, ok, but what does 1 apple consist of? if we 'put' its x particle's, atom's, electron's, neutron's, proton's x masses together in 1 lump, there won't be much left of the 1 space it occupied before. the 'rest' of the 1 apple is % empty space, 'filled' with ¥inf. forcefields, and interaction-waves; ..or whatta you think 3 apples multiplied by another 3 apples equal to? 9, yeah! what? squareapples?? :)) .. 1 potatoe + 1 potatoe = 2 potatoes, but you may imagine what becomes of them when boiled long enough to exactly 1 mash. ..then, where exactly (scientifically exactly) is the surface of any 1 thing? the surface of its last particle, before e.g. the first 1 air particle? do atomic particles have a surface?] there is no prior or essential 1 'entity' in 1 nature. entities are real for humans, and i guess they are for the whole world, but they are not 'sure' or 'god-given' in the way we handle them. they are a way to look at them, an aspect, not given truth or reality. myons, neutrinos, go through apples like they are (not: were!) nothing, ..now go try and explain to a myon, what an 'entity' is!
..then nowadays not only do we have wave-mass-dualism in waves appearance, but mass-wave-dualism in matters appearance (Einstein-Bose-condensive), and that's a fact (as far as we agree to scientific method, and we should). but can we really imagine or understand, what that means for the structure of waves, mass, or the universe, the whole? ..it's abstract somehow but undoubtedly real somehow aswell, and philosophy must draw the frontiers of what is real, what abstract and what is 'somehow'. propose and give definitions for "reality, truth, being, existence, perception, validity, fact, world, science, knowledge, essentials, prior condition, human, abstraction, method, evolution, nature, everything, definition, aso.", and not state these definitions forever to be right, but work on them by new given knowledge, adapt them, go on and on defining. in this, philosophy has very much to do with agreement on words, notions, what they are supposed to mean, and how they are to be used, where they are apt and where not, if they fit the 'meant' or if they don't. are found scientific truths childs of the methods they were found with, of the utter intention of the scientist to find them, or the human intention to find anything, are they real, are they theory, a bit of both? and if it's theory, is it a good theory, one, that explains parts or the whole? if its real, can we ever go there and check? will we ever know, is there a priori things, we (science) can never know? (well.. , if we don't, we can't. logic *.*)

science gives facts. it's up to philosophy to find a VIEW OF THE WHOLE, provide coherency of knowledge in its whole, and state the essential boundaries of what is 'known part of the world' to us.
state a red yarn to keep our view, notion, aspect, our part of world inhinged (for if philosophy don't state or at least proposes essentials or then at least states on what there is answers and on what not, there will be confusion of speech, ..and we all know what that means -
philosophy stateing the universal confusion of speech is its last).
and that makes philosophy necessary to sciences of language and speech.

and philosophy viewing the whole we know of world, viewing the whole world, as far as we know it, and philosophy watching sciences is not only essential to ethics, juridiction, social system, SCIENCES to flourish.
it might be for the whole social planet, for the forms of state people live in, for the social structure (or diversity) of the whole planet:
the mighty in history have usually recurred to what was valid philosophy, and they still do. they may have used religion to state their might (which i'm far beyond judging - its just the way it is and maybe must be in order to rule masses of billions). the mighty of all times (emperors and dictators as much as governments and constitutions) need a philosophy, or a credo, an far-term aim, a national long-distance intention, an impetus, an ideology, an ideal, even a wish (palestine), an illusion (all men are equal - they are, i think, but they don't always make it easy to believe. equally born - yes! but in real life for many this is but a glimpse) in order not to succumb to the course of history or mere decadence (which in fact is sort of bad philosophy): bad philosophies like the greed for richdom, gold, splendor (Bokassa?, Idi Amin?), like the belief in being a godlike ruler (Hitler?, Stalin?), the recurrence to providence (Hitler), .. don't withstand long-term course of time. philosophies, or forms of state, or manners of ruling, that give power to the nation, or the majority, last long, because conflicts are moderate (and anyway loosened by minorities, or the minority). longest lasting are states that give rights to all, the nation, the minorities, the opposition, the individual and/or bear high grade social spirit, be it of social security (europe) or an 'ant'-like [beg forgiveness to asia, but i don't know better] social selfunderstanding and patriotism (that needn't be democracy, 't can be achieved by a loved king, emperor, dictator asmuch - e.g. the 'unfallible' pope, in some way. not the form, the spirit does it.).
what kinds of philosophies and credoes the rulers or political systems might have recurred to is worth its own study. fact is, mere might doesn't rule.
philosophy is more than vague suppositions about the unknown, it can be the flag a people goes toward.
..and that goes not only for in this example the philosophy of POLITICS, but to my opinion it goes for philosophy in its whole:
..knowing (or believing) that the world is an egg with no way out surely has some impact on how, why, whatfor or where i lead my nation.
..knowing, believing, convinced, that unknown world surely has magnificent, surprising novelties, realities to be unrevealed, found, explored surely does too.
[my most recent novelty is e.g., that, as being here due to evolution, and evolution being guided aot by assertion and success, we can judge the validity of our view of the whole by comparatively judging our assertion and success as a species.. ok, turtles, crocos and other living fossils are better off, seen this way, but if man made it up to here, our theories, philosophies, sciences, view of things, can't be all wrong, not just a tricky illusion in our heads, and should be going the right direction in matters of gain of new knowledge whatsoever or a copy of what this world is essentially like]

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in even greater scale philosophy is essential in my eyes to the COURSE OF HISTORY.
not only the mighty recur (aware or unaware) to philosophy (or religious) belief or conviction, times do aswell.
the revolutions, cartesianism, discovery and conquest of the continents, marxism, crusades, migration of nations, war, pioneers, industrial revolution, colonialism, Newton's concept of the world, Einstein's and Heisenberg's, Planck's(?), mysticism in old times, pure curiosity, epoch-making upheavals, the taming of the nuclear (the involved scientists must have had a whole messy clew of all the philosophies there had ever been, in their head,..maybe), vaccination, discovery of x-rays, penicilline, greenpeace, amnesty international, any humanitarian organization, red cross and dynamite, great inventions, religions, icy-ages, upright walk, first thoughts of early man, global organisations, commerce, Ghandi, Dalai Lama, S.Freud, C.G.Jung, PamAMcQueendeNiroBogart[*oupps*], magna charta, any constitution, ancient high cultures and their beliefs: Greece, Rome, Egypt, Maya, China, capitalism, socialism, Galileo, Konfucian, Mohammed, Jesus, Lao-Tse, aso. ..all these are (to me: deeply) related in their time and all this makes world history, politics of might, valid philosophies of their times, grand or revolutionary scientific news, and the men and women (single as much as the masses) who made all the forestanding, mixed to one another in an own dynamic process that we can read about in our history books. ..philosophy must hold the pace.

in ancient times philosophy and science weren't different words, it was ONE THING (philos-sophiae = lover of science; scientia = knowledge)
finding the squares over the sides of a rectangular triangle was regarded as similar to asking how world works. [just to remind] ..but, is it really different nowadays? - while the origin of the universe is a matter of both, science and philosophy. should not philosophy do its job and re-define "nothing", when bigbang requires a birth out of nothing in its last consequence? or should science leave the universe in peace beyond the origin of space and time and give that black card to philosophy in order for it to re-define space and time as mere human notions? - i for my part will believe - until the opposite is proven or conveniently explained - that bigbang has just abstract reality by mathematical methods generating it. 'before' time and space have a meaning, bigbang might be anywhere or always everywhere here and now, - depends on your inertial system, i guess, or on making up your mind ..but i don't really see clear on that point. it's part of unknown world to me as long as it's unproven theory (and exceeds 'visible world' for the time beeing in any case: measurable waves cannot have a velocity 'before' time+space come to exist - still it's impressing, how far the theory goes back in time and how near it is from what it claims as origin).

further, ..generally spoken, what does science comprehend itself as in first instance? in which direction does research work aim? should it be useful, curious without purpose, unite the 4 forces, search the origins or do broadswept search, accumulate theories, accumulate results, or stick to the point, find new methods only when they're needed (find methods to fit the needings of a theory), render account for its methods, render any account? may/can science be instrumentalized, does it need rules? is science free? inevitable? should scientists know these by themselves or do they want philosophers (governments?) help in initializing researchs direction? ..all this, i guess, has been gone through thousands of times ...WITH meddling of philosophy.


asked the other way 'round..
where would we be without sth. like philosophy in science or anywhere?
wherever you look, the deeper you look, you'll find philosophical concerns.
even in everyday life when it comes to deciding to do sth. and interfere or do nothing and let it be. this makes every individual concerned with philosophy.

philosophy is part of mans account he holds for himself.
 

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