Is Science just a branch of Philosophy?

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That's why science degrees are called "PhD," which means doctor of philosophy.

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  • #2
Borek
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It is just a historical thing.

The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom"
Philosopher once meant anyone that we would classify today as a scientist. It split on many occasions, as different sciences emerged as separate entities. As other sciences were removed, philosophy became much more narrow subject.

So if you mean "science as of today is just a branch of philosophy as it was understood 2000 years ago" you are right.
 
  • #3
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That's why science degrees are called "PhD," which means doctor of philosophy.
You are generalizing. What is true for some countries does not hold for other countries. What is more universal is just "Doctor of ....".
 
  • #4
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That's why science degrees are called "PhD," which means doctor of philosophy.

Comment?
Right, and homosapiens means "wise man" so we must all be wise or, at least, wisecrackers.

Science is a tool like logic rather than a philosophy.
 
  • #5
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I would say: science is a method rather than a tool. The scientific method has its own tools, and is developing new tools.
 
  • #6
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Science is a tool like logic rather than a philosophy.
However, there is reasoning involved in deciding what constitutes a fact and why. Empiricism is a philosophical issue as is positivism, isn't it?
 
  • #7
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I would say: science is a method rather than a tool. The scientific method has its own tools, and is developing new tools.
However, there is reasoning involved in deciding what constitutes a fact and why. Empiricism is a philosophical issue as is positivism, isn't it?

Chewing your food can be described as a "method", but in this case the original post referred to "PhD" (piled higher and deeper?) with the implied context being "academic science". Since these are people who get paid to use the scientific method to produce results it is only appropriate to refer to it as a tool.

Likewise, just because I might use empirical evidence does not make me an empiricist and just because I use reason does not make me a philosopher. These words already have well established commonly used definitions and I prefer to stick with them whenever reasonable for the sake of clarity if nothing else. No doubt many scientists might use philosophy in their work, but it certainly isn't a requirement.
 
  • #8
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Chewing your food can be described as a "method", but in this case the original post referred to "PhD" (piled higher and deeper?) with the implied context being "academic science".
Science is science and academic is academic. There is science without being academic and there are academicians who are nor really scientists. If these two categories somehow got mixed for you, or if you think something was implied - well it often happens that different people view things differently, especially in philosophy, less often, I would say, often in science.
 
  • #9
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Science is science and academic is academic. There is science without being academic and there are academicians who are nor really scientists. If these two categories somehow got mixed for you, or if you think something was implied - well it often happens that different people view things differently, especially in philosophy, less often, I would say, often in science.
Again, here is the original post which clearly is talking about academic scientists as defined by the academic community.

That's why science degrees are called "PhD," which means doctor of philosophy.

Comment?
You are, of course, free to argue with the academic community about who they choose to call a scientist and equally free to argue with the dictionary about the commonly used definitions of words. However, I am neither so you are wasting your time.
 
  • #10
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I am neither so you are wasting your time.
I was not arguing with you. I was stressing the fact that academia and science should not be confused.
And they were confused by the original poster.
 
  • #11
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I was not arguing with you. I was stressing the fact that academia and science should not be confused.
And they were confused by the original poster.
Let's pick this apart carefully and, hopefully, we can eliminate all confusion.

The title of the thread is:

Is Science just a branch of Philosophy?

And the original post was:

That's why science degrees are called "PhD," which means doctor of philosophy.

Comment?
Clearly the author was talking about science in the context of academia, and made no explicit reference to science in general. Hence, my confusion when you claim that s/he is confusing science with academia.
 
  • #12
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From the biography of Benoit Mandelbrot:

"It is thanks to such maturation that he joins that category of the classical, pre-academic specialization of the wisdom-generating natural philosophers."

But "natural philosophy" is not the same as philosophy. Moreover, Mandelbrot received "Doctorat d'état" and not the "Doctor of Philosophy" title.
 
  • #13
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From P. Merel's translation of the Tao Te Ching:

Words

Nature says only a few words:
High wind does not last long,
Nor does heavy rain.
If nature's words do not last
Why should those of man?
Who accepts harmony, becomes harmonious.
Who accepts loss, becomes lost.
For who accepts harmony, the Way harmonizes with him,
And who accepts loss, the Way cannot find.
 
  • #14
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I think the OP is saying that science could be a branch of philosophy because the highest(?) academic title for an academic degree in science is Ph.D. in science, in the US and also countries following the US style of academic titles and degrees.

But of course there is also Doctor of Science without any mention of philosophy, unless I am mistaken.


The more substantial question I like to ask someone here who says that you can do science without philosophy, is the following:

  • Can there be any intelligent science pursued without any philosophy?


Or more broadly:

  • Can any human do anything peculiar only to humans without any kind of intelligent thinking involved, or according to any criteria of intelligent thinking involved?




Yrreg
 
  • #15
Pythagorean
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Science assumes a particular Set of philosophies, but is not just a philosophy. Science requires practicality (i.e tangible observations).

Theoretical sciences may have more philosophy to them, by they are still constrained by mathematical observations that come directly from experimentation.
 
  • #16
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To give an example: my friend has two titles: PhD in philosophy and PhD in mathematics (in fact he has two other PhD's, bu that's irrelevant). Both French style - Docorat d'Etat.

Philosophically he is a Platonist. His philosophy certainly influences the areas of mathematics that he is choosing for his research, but not the way his research in mathematics is being done. Mathematics has its own tools and methods and they are independent of any philosophy. A theorem is either true or false, and if there is an error in the proof - philosophy has nothing to do with it. In fact his love for mathematics has much stronger influence on his philosophy than his philosophy on mathematics.
 
  • #17
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One of the major goals of philosophies goal is to come up with a method to examine a class of questions. Math was once philosophy, and then philosophy developed a systematic way to explore questions related to math. At this point it ceased being philosophy and became its own subject. The same can be said for biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, logic, etc.
 
  • #18
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Science assumes a particular Set of philosophies, but is not just a philosophy. Science requires practicality (i.e tangible observations).

Theoretical sciences may have more philosophy to them, by they are still constrained by mathematical observations that come directly from experimentation.
Yeah. Like you said. Science is philosophy with toys. Like an LHC (Large Hadron Collider). Toys like this tend to prune buds and new branches here and the there--even whole trunks of thought.
 
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  • #19
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The more substantial question I like to ask someone here who says that you can do science without philosophy, is the following:

  • Can there be any intelligent science pursued without any philosophy?

Or more broadly:

  • Can any human do anything peculiar only to humans without any kind of intelligent thinking involved, or according to any criteria of intelligent thinking involved?

Yrreg

The question itself expresses a common archaic misconception about people, that is, that the only thing that distinguishes us from animals is some unique quality of our minds. The truth is we have numerous things that distinguish us from other animals. For example, humans are the only animal that can literally run all day long in the heat of the day. We may not be fast, but there are still some tribes that occationally run their prey into the dirt in this fashion. If we are hungry enough I have no doubt we are quite capable of running prey into the ground in a similar fashion without the slightest thought or hesitation.

As for the first question, that really depends upon what you mean by "intelligent science". Personally, I am more interested in science that produces practical results than anything else.
 
  • #20
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The more substantial question I like to ask someone here who says that you can do science without philosophy, is the following:

  • Can there be any intelligent science pursued without any philosophy?


Or more broadly:

  • Can any human do anything peculiar only to humans without any kind of intelligent thinking involved, or according to any criteria of intelligent thinking involved?
It depends on what you mean by "intelligent science". Science has its rules--the interaction of theory and experiment. But to make sense of science (i.e. to do more than just get numbers out) one needs a point of view. And even though for most scientists this isn't explicit but implicit, it's still there. I'll use quantum mechanics as an example: there are various interpretations of qm extant, but none are disproved by experiment. (which isn't to say that there might not be experiments to disprove one or another). The only interpretation that has been disproved, by the Aspect experiments violating Bell's Theorem, is the hidden variables interpretation that requires local reality. The majority of physicists take the Copenhagen interpretation, which is an instrumentalist approach (not mine, by the way).
 
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  • #21
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As for the first question, that really depends upon what you mean by "intelligent science". Personally, I am more interested in science that produces practical results than anything else.
The scientific method is a philosophical construct. You can't prove or measure its existence by science.

Now you're looking for "practical results". That term can only be understood through philosophy because science cannot tell us what is practical and what is not.

Science can only look at what "is". And it is limited to that because it is defined philosophically to do so.

You cannot begin science at all without philosophical assumptions. You can't interpret results without a philosophical basis either.
 
  • #22
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Science is some sort of subset of philosophy. Science can answer questions starting with "how" and philosophy can answer questions starting with "why"
Though it is enough if we get answers for questions starting with "how" , the subject itself will not be complete if we dont know why something happens.
In this way philosophy (philosophical thinking) is the one which completes our knowledge of understanding.
 
  • #23
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Now you're looking for "practical results". That term can only be understood through philosophy because science cannot tell us what is practical and what is not.
With unending and contradictory results advanced through much squabbling over the multitude of personal flavors of "understood" and "practical".
 
  • #24
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The scientific method is a philosophical construct. You can't prove or measure its existence by science.

Now you're looking for "practical results". That term can only be understood through philosophy because science cannot tell us what is practical and what is not.

Science can only look at what "is". And it is limited to that because it is defined philosophically to do so.

You cannot begin science at all without philosophical assumptions. You can't interpret results without a philosophical basis either.

Without providing any rationale or other evidence to support your assertions you might as well be trying to sell me a used car.
 
  • #25
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What is philosophy and what is intelligent thinking?

From my stock knowledge philosophy is the most broadest view of things which includes anything and everything that humans can and should concern themselves with and about.

Someone will say that that is saying nothing.

In which case he is lacking in intelligent thinking.

What is intelligent thinking?

It is the thinking that is concerned with the most broadest aspects of any question, but also concerned with the concrete details of any question which requires an answer for solving a problem in life in the world of human acts and human thoughts.


That is why you can make a machine to think logically but you cannot up to the present make up a machine to think intelligently like humans can and do or should think intelligently.

And the quest for artificial intelligence according to what I believe is an intelligent conjecture is doomed to failure.

And that is why scientists who are not necessarily philosophers and intelligent thinkers still are curious about finding intelligent life outside humans like ourselves who dwell in the planet called earth.

And they are into a project called SETI, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.


Lastly, someone here says that mathematics does not need any philosophy, in which case I am sure he is not conversant with philosophy and not practicing intelligent thinking.


Think now, does the mathematical concept of the infinite has a corresponding object in the world of reality like the nose in our face?

You need philosophy and intelligent thinking to dwell on that question.

Of course you might say that question is a meaningless question, in which case you are lapsing into the universal all purpose escape of atheist scientists.

Putting your head beneath the sand.






Yrreg
 

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