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The problems with science

 
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 12:11 pm
@maxdancona,
Aren't mathematics universal, then? Think about it. Is the Pytagoras theorem less true in China than in Greece?

In Pierre Boule's Planet of Apes, an astronaut lands on a strange planet where humans are deaf brutes and apes speak and socialize. The hero ends up as in a lab where chimp scientists make experiments on human subjects. He manages to communicate with his chimp scientists (they don't speak English, unlike in the Hollywood versions) by drawing this design on the dirty ground of his cell:

http://en.citizendium.org/images/thumb/6/62/Pythagorean.png/260px-Pythagorean.png
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 12:25 pm
@Olivier5,
First of all, you are wrong about the Pythagorean theorem being universal. There are spaces where the Pythagorean theorem doesn't apply.

Second of all, if we are going to have a rational argument about this... it will a mathematical argument, not a philosophical one. The mathematics is important to this discussion... whether or not there are "philosophical" principles is irrelevant.

The question of whether all mathematics is philosophy is silly. It doesn't impact the life of a mathematician in any way however you decide to settle this meaningless questions. Calling a mathematician a "philosopher" doesn't at all change how she does her job.

However to confuse philosophy with mathematics is foolish. You can get a wrong answer if what you are "philosophizing" isn't mathematically sound.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 12:37 pm
@maxdancona,
Agreed. I should have specified "in a Euclidian space". Still, the theorem is true in any Euclidian space, whatever the nationality or culture of the mathematician assessing it.

I don't think one can prove mathematically that mathematics are universal. It's an assumption we make based on the idea that all humans are cognitively similar on some fundamental level. But there were times when some white men thought women or black people were incapable of thinking in abstract terms.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 12:41 pm
@maxdancona,
Bejeeeesus good God the degree of ignorance goes through the roof! Mathematica is not an empirical science and Historically is closely related to Philosophy. Namely questions regarding its origin, discovered or invented, its role, how it can be applied, and its Universality and relation to logic and Human reason. The topic of Infinity also comes to mind, all of it, open for philosophical, not a scientific debate. Its not like you can put mathematics under a microscope...
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 12:42 pm
@Olivier5,
If I brought you to another planet, and we ran a bunch of experiments and determined that the Pythagorean theorem didn't apply here, what would you do?

You might question about whether it is a Euclidian space, and you might want to do more experiments. But hopefully you would let go of the philosophical principle once the science contradicted it.

This is one of the problems with philosophy... it continues to oppose science even after experiments show that the principles don't always apply.


izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 12:46 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

If I brought you to another planet, and we ran a bunch of experiments and determined that the Pythagorean theorem didn't apply here, what would you do?


When you do just that expect an answer.

It's a ridiculous thing to say. I could ask with as much credibility, that if I were to take you to Narnia and you saw Jesus riding a leopard what would you do?

It's a stupid question which does not deserve a serious answer.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 12:56 pm
The scientific method is one of, if not, the greatest and most spectacular achievements of humanity...however

The Cult of Science is membered by people who want to believe there is no uncertainty in life.

No one lives a life of science.

If science informed us that murder was the single most evolutionary advantage, philosophy would prevent us from adopting it.

Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 12:57 pm
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 01:00 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
If I brought you to another planet, and we ran a bunch of experiments and determined that the Pythagorean theorem didn't apply here, what would you do?

I would abandon the idea that mathematics are universal.

Quote:
This is one of the problems with philosophy... it continues to oppose science even after experiments show that the principles don't always apply.

I explained this upthread: our philosophical beliefs always filter the way we apprehend the world, whether or not one is conscious about them, and irrespective of whether we are philosophers, scientists, or lay persons. Einstein could never accept some aspects of quantum mechanics because he thought that "God doen't play dice". But it is not a problem in science because it is a collective, not individual effort, so if Einstein cannot accept some ideas that seem to work empirically, it doesn't really matter to the success of the enterprise. Others will accept them and move on.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 01:08 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
If science informed us that murder was the single most evolutionary advantage, philosophy would prevent us from adopting it. 

That was the essence of Nazism. "Darwin told me to do it."
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 01:36 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Quote:
If I brought you to another planet, and we ran a bunch of experiments and determined that the Pythagorean theorem didn't apply here, what would you do?

I would abandon the idea that mathematics are universal.

More precisely, in this scenario my belief in empiricism (ie the belief that human observations can be useful, precise and accurate enough to serve a purpose in the pursuit of truth) would collide against my belief in the universality of mathematics, and thus I would reconsider at least one of these beliefs.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 04:32 pm
@Olivier5,
I take 'scientific truth' to mean 'what works in terms of successful prediction and control in specific paradigmatic contexts'. This avoids any 'truth -reality' inference which was famously the core of the dispute between Einstein and Bohr, and it also reflects Feynman s maxim 'just shut up and calculate'.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 05:11 pm
@fresco,
I just ended eating a wonderful chocolate mousse. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2019 06:35 pm
@fresco,
Truth is an accurate enough representation of reality. It is impossible to throw this concept away and still make logical sense in a sentence, because everytime one utters a sentence one believes in, one is trying to propose "an accurate enough representation of reality".

E.g. when you state: "which was famously the core of the dispute between Einstein and Bohr", I must assume you mean "there was a real person called Eistein who had a real disagreement with another real person called Bohr."

If you were not talking of real people, let me know.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2019 12:26 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

The scientific method is one of, if not, the greatest and most spectacular achievements of humanity...however

The Cult of Science is membered by people who want to believe there is no uncertainty in life.

No one lives a life of science.

If science informed us that murder was the single most evolutionary advantage, philosophy would prevent us from adopting it.




LOL sorry but anyone who can claim that science promote no uncertainty in life and the universe is still living in a Newtonian Universe not one that content such fields as quantum mechanics.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2019 03:10 am
@Olivier5,
The Einstein Bohr dispute is the CONTEXT in which deconstruction of the word 'reality' is illustrated. Obviously I am not going to be drawn into facile infinite regresses resting on absolute/non contextual definitions of 'reality'. I am not talking about nebulous concepts we might label 'Bohr' or' Einstein' out of specific contexts.
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2019 05:55 am
@fresco,
I'm just trying to keep it real. People like you are the reason why philosophy got such a bad reputation.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2019 05:59 am
@BillRM,
Quote:
the universe is still living in a Newtonian Universe
. Thats probably associated with the fact that most of us dwell and live well below light speed
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2019 06:24 am
@Olivier5,
Good one - My local group will love it !
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2019 06:27 am
@fresco,
BTW, 'Shut up and calculate!' is wrongly attributed to Feynman.

" If I were forced to sum up in one sentence what the Copenhagen interpretation says to me, it would be 'Shut up and calculate!' "
--David Mermin in What's Wrong with this Pillow? 
0 Replies
 
 

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