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Philosophy Hates Science Too

  1. Jul 14, 2008 #1
    This is a video I posted on my channel just a couple of days ago. I wanted to hear everyones feedback on the content of the video.


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  3. Jul 14, 2008 #2
    Lets say that you were looking straight towards a car coming at you near light speed. You have no idea of relativistic phenomenon so you assume that its coming towards just as it would at 60mph...but instead with light speed. Before the car gets to you, the driver turns on the headlights. Analyze how you will view this situation.

    When you are assuming that the conditions are nonrelativistic...you are philosophizing. When you analyze how the situation would appear to you...you are philosophizing. Science and philosophy are not completely separate...science is somewhat of an empirical circumstance of philosophy.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  4. Jul 14, 2008 #3
    Yes. I believe science have elements that are part of a subset of philosophy. For example, one ponders about the reality around them, or on some arbitrary notion. Making assumptions off these ponderings is analogous to philosophizing. Science takes it to another step by actually making use of the data gathered, and analyzing the data. Inferences are made about the data gathered at times, and if this agrees to lets say, physical nature, then it is considered true until proven otherwise.
  5. Jul 14, 2008 #4
    I agree with some of you views on philosophy. A great deal of it is useless perverse or worse. But, science is limited-- (as are all human endeavors, but who cares?) ... and I think you're being too literal about the bit about Hume. I can see the point that they are making-- but, it seems sort of empty to me. That is, of COURSE we can "really know" if cause and effect works as we tend to assume it works, but honestly no one really cares.

    Now, I don't know what philosophy can do that religion can't, and the subject is so Eurocentric and sexist is and what isn't called "philosophy" just seems to depend on who is or who isn't "in the club" --There's little objectivity. It's so sad.
  6. Jul 14, 2008 #5

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    I'm having a problem seeing his problem (the guy in the video). Belief can be something independent of knowledge, as one might have false beliefs, and therefore not have knowledge. But belief in something that is true constitutes knowledge. I think that's the tricky part - determining what is true. The closest we can get to truth is what's been empirically verified to date, and I think the scientific method is fine with that. Hypotheses are not "proved", just supported.

    I'm not sure I understand his beef with David Hume either. Scientists have the difficult job of discerning underlying causal mechanisms from associations. There are times when A appears to cause B (because B always reliably follows A) but in fact, A does not cause B. Maybe C actually causes both A and B, but the temporal sequence of events generates the inference of what causes what. For instance, sniffling might always precede a cold, but sniffling itself does not cause colds. A virus causes both, but in a progressive order.
  7. Jul 14, 2008 #6
    This sort of thing seems to occur alot in 'scientific studies', especially the sort you hear about in the news. I heard one recently stating that men over the age of fifty who have sex once a week or more are less likely to suffer from sexual or erectile dysfunction. Seemingly completely bypassing the idea that maybe these men are still having sex that often because they don't suffer from any sort of sexual dysfunction.
  8. Jul 14, 2008 #7
    That is true...this is why we are not anywhere close to gods nor can we solve the several paradoxes we find to be paradoxes; hell, we even associate gods with our consciousness (quite frankly because we do not see beyond our consciousness)...then again...gods are nonetheless as meaningless as us...so yes, science is philosophical (most people do not see it because of its empiricism and its tendency to lean more towards what can be considered truth) and so are mathematics, religion, etc...we created it all.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  9. Jul 14, 2008 #8


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    Actually, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology" [Broken], a justified belief in something that is true constitutes knowledge. The scientific method is essentially a method to falsify or justify beliefs. It does not address "truth" and therefore is not a method for obtaining knowledge in the epistemological sense.

    If you want "truth" talk to a priest or philosopher, not a scientist.
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  10. Jul 14, 2008 #9


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  11. Jul 14, 2008 #10
    Bertrand Russell might be the only philosopher I like. But he was a mathematician too. I think the quote neu posed is just wonderful-- and it cuts right to the heart of the matter.

    Seen in this way, the question remains, why do we need philosophy and religion. Why can't we just have math and science then throw all of our deep mysteries to religion? Philosophers often talk about things that I simply leave to God until such a time (if such a time ever comes) when women make those mysteries in to science.

    Philosophers spend time pondering questions like "Did I turn on the lamp, or did my hand, that flipped the switch, turn on the lamp?" Me? I leave this God. It simplifies life immensely. Philosophers ask "Can we really know if other people are conscious?" I leave this to God with a standing invitation for science to step in an take over anytime.

    I ask "Why do we need philosophers?" and God says to treat them as I would be treated myself... so I try to lead them out of the weeds.
  12. Jul 14, 2008 #11


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    It seems to be a premise of many of the posters that science IS "limited" in some essensialist, absolute way that won't change.

    That is an empty, dismissable assertion.

    The correct, but banal, view, is that there are lots of stuff science still hasn't elucidated properly.
  13. Jul 14, 2008 #12

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    I was addressing the definitions he gave in the video.
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  14. Jul 14, 2008 #13
    The guy in the video is me. :smile:

    Their definitions for knowledge and belief though were contradictory.

    Maybe what they're saying is that it's an assumption that has been substantiated, but why would knowledge be interchangeable with belief? Especially when they say that belief is distinct from knowledge. They have three different definitions for belief. The first two would never apply to knowledge. How would actual knowledge be just a subjective mental state? Subjective is personal, not universal.

    This is in their wording, but they said that if Hume was correct then "there is no empirical evidence for the existence of cause and effect." If such is the case then Hume's proposition is extremely flawed. Even if A was really caused by C, we could still determine this with cause and effect so I'm not sure what Hume or the book is trying to get at.
  15. Jul 14, 2008 #14
    As the saying goes "science doesn't know everything, but religion/philosophy doesn't know anything."
  16. Jul 14, 2008 #15
    Truth is contextual, though, especially in matters of "right and "wrong" -- identifying "evil" and "good."

    And ultimately everything is subjective, but there is no real point in dwelling on this.
  17. Jul 14, 2008 #16
    I think all they are saying is that, at some point, you have to make a small assumption. It's so small you're not even noticing it. And it has little impact on the validity of scientific facts, but it's still there. We all assume that the things we observe are not totally disconnected from each other, we assume that there can be chains of cause and effect. There is no way to prove that this is true. I think that's all they are talking about.

    It's pretty silly if you ask me. But not as senseless as you make it out to be.
  18. Jul 14, 2008 #17
    There really is no truth or facts when it comes to morality. It all comes down to compassion and empathy.

    Could you elaborate on what you mean by "ultimately everything is subjective" because the way it's worded now, I completely disagree.
  19. Jul 14, 2008 #18
    Silly is my point. It reminds me of that thought that you can't prove the sun will rise tomorrow. This is my issue with philosophy. It's like they want to throw out the naive card just to purposely irritate you.
  20. Jul 14, 2008 #19
    In general this is true, but ina given context an action can be flat-out right or wrong. And some things are so wrong no context is required (since you get the same answer in every one.)

    Case in point.
  21. Jul 14, 2008 #20
    So you're saying if I disagree with what you say, then this ultimately makes truth subjective? If I have accurately depicted what you were conveying, then if someone wants to deny that the Earth is round and claim it's flat, then this ultimately makes the notion that the Earth is round merely subjective?
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