14
   

The problems with science

 
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 01:21 pm
@maxdancona,
I wouldn't step onto a plane designed by scientists either. That's an engineer's job.

Any scientist motivated by the quest of knowledge (as opposed to just a career, as often happens) has a little philosopher inside him. He may not be conscious about it though.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 01:29 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Any scientist motivated by the quest of knowledge (as opposed to just a career, as often happens) has a little philosopher inside him. He may not be conscious about it though.


This is nonsense.

There is a big difference between scientific knowledge and philosophical knowledge. To say that science is based on philosophy is like saying that literature is based on calligraphy... there is a historical connection, but the ends are quite different. Science is based on things that are measurable, testable and repeatable. Philosophy is based on cultural ideas, things that seem true and feel right.

There is a place for philosophy, there are questions that can't be answered by the exacting standards of scientific inquiry. But philosophy has absolutely nothing to do with science.

People who start any serious study of science do mathematical problem sets, they seek for precise tools to measure, quantify and test. People who study Philosophy study history... they read the ideas of Philosophers before.

I have studied science, and I have taken courses in Philosophy. There is almost nothing in common in content or in practice.




Olivier5
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 01:52 pm
@maxdancona,
Science is premissed on the philosophical idea that human reason can understand the world, without recourse to supernatural forces. Nobody can prove that scientifically. The value of science therefore, its importance, is inherently a philosophical idea. And in fact, historically, the scientific method was developed by philosophers.

Without the invention of writing, there'll be no such thing as literature.

Edit: and any scientific theory has at its core a 'paradigm', a way to see the world, ie a philosophy. Or several. E.g. determinism vs. indeterminism. Newton was a determinist, for instance. Modern biology is not, nor are quantum mecanics.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 02:12 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
I wouldn't step onto a plane designed by scientists either. That's an engineer's job.


Any engineer has studied Newton, and Einstein, Carnot and Gauss. An engineer has to have a good understanding of math, physics, thermodynamics. Most engineers get along just fine without knowing a damn thing about Kant, or David Hume.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 02:14 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Science is premissed on the philosophical idea that human reason can understand the world


No it is not. I think you made that up. That is not a scientific statement, it is poorly stated and untestable. I don't have to accept this statement to do science.
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 02:29 pm
@maxdancona,
Of course it's not a scientific statement. Science cannot be based on science, not anymore than logic can be based on logic, nor can a house be based on itself.

And no i didn't make that up. It's classic philosophy of science. Rationalism + empiricism = scientific method. Even if you disagree with the statement, you're still arguing against a particular philosophy, and thus you're doing philosophy.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 02:37 pm
@Olivier5,
Science is based on mathematics. This has a practical, demonstrable meaning. When you study science you start with the mathematics. As an engineer I think about mathematics every day.

Your claim that science is based on philosophy is meaningless. I don't need to know anything about philosophy to do science. I don't need to study philosophy. You are claiming it is true... and maybe in some philosophical way it is.

But it has no practical meaning in my experience as a student of science or as an engineer. It is a meaningless statement. I suppose maybe I shouldn't argue it.

But philosophy is meaningless in the daily practice of a scientist or engineer. Maybe individual scientists may have a philosophy... but no matter what philosophy they have, or no philosophy is irrelevant to the science that they do.

Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 02:45 pm
@maxdancona,
You need a good reason to do science, though. A motivation. Some people do it for the paycheck or the glory or both, but there's often something else, a certain curiosity, a quest for knowledge in its own right.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 02:47 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

I find that many people are trying to sound deeper than they are by adding "Quantum" or "Quanta" to make up compund scientistic phrases.

Quantum Cosmetology


You should patent that phrase, someone will be raking in millions using it to describe a 'miracle facial creme'.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 02:52 pm
Even mathematics are based on formal logic, which was first formalized by Aristotle.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 03:22 pm
@Olivier5,
Aristotle is a villain to physicists. His ideas about science kept us back for centuries.

Aristotle centered ideas on subjective philosophical truth... his truths were the ideas that he felt were beautiful. Whether they were testable, or had any value in making accurate predictions was irrelevant to his views of the universe.

The actual practice of science in the fields of chemistry, mechanics, astronomy all suffered because the religious establishment accepted Aristotle and punished people who dared to question.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 03:52 pm
@Olivier5,
Don't lose your time Olivier...this one is as thick as they come.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 04:19 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Don't lose your time Olivier...this one is as thick as they come.


People who study science make better engineers, develop better medicines, send better robots to mars.

Isn't basic human decency, what makes a person "good", part of philosophy. I would at least expect people who study philosophy to not be jerks.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 04:23 pm
@maxdancona,
Philosophy gave us alchemy, astrology, four elements and four humours.

Science gave us chemistry, genetics, astronomy, medicine and thermodynamics. I suppose you can say that astronomy grew out of astrology (and you would probably be historically correct).

But astrology is not astronomy, and philosophy is not science.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 05:11 pm
@maxdancona,
I cant say that Ive been in the middle of a major project and someone yells" QUICK, GET ME A PHILOSOPHER"

Although, Ive always wondered whose group insurance covers bioethics? Most of these that I worked with were scientists or bioengineers, the non-scientists in a bioethics team were often lawyers and statisticians.




farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 05:13 pm
@maxdancona,
aristotle was a villain to biology as well. Darwin, when he managed to correct his fouled up edition I( Where he failed to acknowledge anybody but himself), listed Aristotle among those he felt whose works contributed to his"little introduction"
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 05:18 pm
@farmerman,
I see a big separation between scientific questions and non-scientific questions (I suppose I could call them philosophical questions).

A scientific question is a question that can be answered through process of experimentation. Scientific questions have answers that are testable and repeatable. Of course there are a large number of questions that are not answerable by science... what is "good", is prostitution immoral, should societies support ideas of personal property.

Of course scientists should be concerned with ethics. Cooks should be concerned with cleanliness... even though cleanliness is a completely different field then the putting together of food in aesthetically pleasing ways.

Ethics is a non-scientific area... it deals with subjects and values that can not be tested scientifically. I am not saying the ethics aren't critically important. I am saying that they aren't science.

I am just saying that we shouldn't confuse the two fields.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 05:25 pm
@maxdancona,
The issue of human cloning is an interesting, currently important, example.

The science suggests things that we can do, some of which are morally questionable (if not evil according to the values of our society). The tools of science have no way to address the question of whether an experiment should be done or not.

So yes, in this case the field of science needs ethicists. The ethicists aren't there to do science, they are there to restrict what scientists do according to ethical values as defined by our social values.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 05:35 pm
@farmerman,
Scientists are and always were knee deep engaged in a philosophical debate from the get-go. What don't ceases to amaze me is the lack of awareness they are doing it all the way down. For each question, every well-formulated hypothesis is an act of Philosophy. Moreover, as science expands its horizons in a growing circle of knowledge the bigger the edge frontiers with philosophical inquiry. Science without Philosophy is indeed blindly guided, and expensive!
Funny enough for the sake of example Cosmology through Science is now aware of 4% of what constitutes our Universe...and still deeply founded on theoretical engagement.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2019 05:45 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
Funny enough for the sake of example Cosmology through Science is now aware of 4% of constitutes our Universe...and still deeply founded on theorethical engagement.


If this number is correct, this is 4% more than the philosophers know.... as far as scientific knowledge. Philosophers can tell you all kind of things about the philosophy of the universe... its beauty, its meaning, its place, its unity, its wholeness. All of these things are fine and good. And they tell us humans view of themselves.

But philosophical ideas aren't objectively testable, they aren't repeatable, and they aren't useful for making predictions or technology. And quite often, as in the cases of Darwin, and Galileo, philosophical ideas have gotten in the way of society's ability to accept scientific truth.
 

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