Physics and Philosophy: Does Physics Need Philosophy?

In summary, the conversation revolves around the question of whether physics needs philosophy. The participants discuss the definition of "need" and whether science is a subset of philosophy. The article on the philosophy of science is mentioned, along with a quote from R.P. Feynman. One person argues that philosophy is only useful if it has experimental consequences, while another suggests that theoretical physics is mostly philosophy. The conversation ends with a comment about insulting theorists and philosophers, and a moderator stating that philosophy is not allowed on the forum.
  • #1
Mohammed Alqadhi
10
0
Does Physics need Philosophy?
 
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  • #2
Define ”need”.
 
  • #4
“The philosophy of science is as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.” - R.P. Feynman
 
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Likes fresh_42, berkeman and Orodruin
  • #5
Mohammed Alqadhi said:
Does Physics need Philosophy?

This is lazy.

You should present your own arguments, or at the very least, reveal the impetus for asking such a question. Otherwise, you are simply asking the rest of us to do the work, while you sit back after writing just a 4-word post.

A simple search would have revealed a plethora of results, including this interview with Lawrence Krauss:
https://www.theatlantic.com/technol...made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203/

Other than that, I’m too lazy to type anymore to feed this thread.

Zz.
 
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  • #6
Mohammed Alqadhi said:
Does Physics need Philosophy?

For me, Philosophy is useful only if it has experimental consequence.. without this... Philosophy is just waste of time.
 
  • #7
Theoretical physics (for example) is mostly philosophy, I think.
All those ideas, thoughts, and imagination which might never turn out.
 
  • #8
Ivan Samsonov said:
Theoretical physics (for example) is mostly philosophy, I think.

This is silly. What exactly do you think "Philosophy" means?

You have just insulted both theorists and philosophers.

Zz.
 
  • #9
ZapperZ said:
You have just insulted both theorists and philosophers

I apologise, I meant no insulting.
 
  • #10
ISamson said:
I apologise, I meant no insulting.
A good way of avoiding that is to make sure you know what you are talking about before commenting. You also did not answer ZZ's question. What do you think philosophers do? I would also like to add a question: What do you think theoretical physicists do?
 
  • #11
Mohammed Alqadhi said:
Does Physics need Philosophy?
Like a fish needs a bicycle...
 
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Likes Bystander
  • #12
Orodruin said:
What do you think philosophers do?

That's a good question and one that I touched on a bit in another thread. I don't believe that most people have any idea what philosophers do nor what philosophy actually is. I know I don't.
 

Related to Physics and Philosophy: Does Physics Need Philosophy?

1. What is the relationship between physics and philosophy?

The relationship between physics and philosophy is complex and has been debated for centuries. In general, physics is the study of the physical world while philosophy is the study of knowledge, reality, and existence. Some argue that philosophy is the foundation of physics, providing the framework for understanding the laws of the physical world. Others argue that physics is a separate discipline that does not need the input of philosophy.

2. How has philosophy influenced the development of physics?

Philosophy has played a significant role in the development of physics. In ancient times, philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato laid the groundwork for understanding the natural world. Later, philosophers like René Descartes and Isaac Newton contributed to the development of physics by providing theoretical frameworks and principles that helped shape our understanding of the physical world.

3. Can physics and philosophy coexist?

Yes, physics and philosophy can coexist and even complement each other. While physics focuses on empirical evidence and mathematical models, philosophy delves deeper into the fundamental concepts and assumptions that underlie these scientific theories. Many physicists and philosophers collaborate and work together to explore questions about the nature of reality and the universe.

4. Do physicists need a background in philosophy?

It is not necessary for physicists to have a background in philosophy, but it can be beneficial. A philosophical perspective can help physicists think critically about their theories and understand the implications and limitations of their work. Additionally, understanding the philosophical foundations of physics can give a deeper appreciation for the subject and its implications.

5. How can the integration of physics and philosophy benefit society?

The integration of physics and philosophy can benefit society in various ways. For example, it can lead to a greater understanding of the ethical implications of scientific advancements and their impact on society. Additionally, the combination of empirical evidence and philosophical reasoning can lead to new insights and discoveries in physics that can have practical applications in fields such as technology and medicine.

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