1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Natural Philosophy: Why VS How

  1. Nov 8, 2013 #1
    I am giving a presentation on the principle of induction. I'll be showing how acoustic energy (sound) is converted into an electrical signal (via mic) & thus converted back into acoustic energy (via loudspeaker). Now I need to address the following,

    How & Why?

    How doesn't bother me. I can satisfy that using laws (Lenz, Faraday). It's the why that gets me. I can explain to the audience that the only reason a voltage is induced is so it can create a magnetic field to "oppose" the change in flux. So to answer your question Timothy, it's because nature is trying to balance itself out. I guess my logic is flawed. Here are the responses I have received,

    The laws of nature in this universe are set by the so-called constants of nature. There are twenty some of these constants; among which are Planck's Constant, the universal gravity constant, the speed of light, pi, and so on.

    &

    This is not a physics questions. This is a philosophy question, and to a certain extent, a religious question. Physics asks questions about what the rules are. Philosophy asks why. You have indeed set yourself a difficult task. You are effectively looking for an explanation to the Unified Field Theory. A voltage is not created with the purpose of generating a magnetic field. A magnetic field is a natural consequence of a voltage. The different is not merely semantic. It is a matter of the causal direction. Whether or not "nature is trying to balance itself" is also a philosophical question and is incompatible with a non-volitional nature. Nature isn't trying to balance itself. Nature is inherently balanced.


    Sure I can't explain why the constants are set the way they are, but why would it be so wrong of me to state that nature tends to progress towards stability
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2013 #2

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    What does "progress towards stability" mean? Is higher entropy a more 'stable' state?

    Show me some quantitative analysis here rather than a hand-waving argument. Please also note that if this degenerates into a purely philosophical discussion, this thread will be deleted or locked (see our Rules).

    Zz.
     
  4. Nov 8, 2013 #3
    You're not going to get very far if you can't ask a why question. I still prefer natural philosophy over science:tongue:

    I'll post this thread in the h/w.
     
  5. Nov 8, 2013 #4

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    From wiki:
    Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature (from Latin philosophia naturalis) was the philosophical study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science. It is considered to be the precursor of natural sciences such as physics.

    I hope you meant something else.
     
  6. Nov 8, 2013 #5

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Thread closed due violation of multiple posting rule.

    Zz.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Natural Philosophy: Why VS How
  1. Why & How? (Replies: 12)

Loading...