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Old 5th August 2019, 11:16 PM   #241
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Exactly.
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Old 6th August 2019, 01:51 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
What is boring is scientists holding forth on things like reductionism, emergence, free will and "something from nothing" without really defining their terms or not realising that anything useful they can say on the subject has already been said decades or even centuries ago and if they had only just deigned to talk it over with someone in the philosophy department they could have saved themselves valuable time.

I don't mind people not wanting to do philosophy, but if so they should stay away from those subjects and not try to reinvent philosophical wheels, especially those that philosophers themselves have long given up as a pointless exercise.

I don't think many scientists do "hold forth on reductionism, emergence, free will etc." I expect you are probably thinking of the tiny minority of scientists who are filmed on YouTube (or who write books criticising religion) where they are continually asked to respond to such philosophical ideas.

There are now (21st century) lots of very different people in the world, in very different branches of academia or industry, who are all called "scientists'. But there is a vast difference between people who work in (say) engineering or computer science, or even things like "social science" or medicine vs. people working in mathematical physics or physical/mathematical chemistry. But if you are talking about that latter group of actual research scientists working in core science areas of physics, chemistry biology and most of maths, then 99.9% of them never mention philosophical debates at all, ie such philosophical discussions are no part of that genuine cutting-edge science research.

But that's why Stephen Hawking said philosophy is dead. He did not mean that philosophy is no longer taught in universities. He meant that we no longer use philosophy as our best way of understanding and explaining the observable/detectable world of “reality” around us. At one time, before the new subject of science emerged with people like Galileo circa.1600 onwards, philosophers were claiming to explain all things in the world around us (religions were also making that claim, and claiming that all things were explained by the existence of a miraculous God). But gradually, we found through advancing science that philosophy (and religion) are not accurate, or even remotely credible, ways of discovering the correct accurate explanations for the world around us.

Does philosophy still have a place in explaining anything really important for any of us? Well if people find philosophy interesting then I suppose that's a matter for them. But although philosophers don't like it, and although philosophy supporters on forums like this often object vehemently, the fact is that scientists do not need any ancient philosophers or any philosophy courses, to tell them how to study and explain the world through science and maths …. scientists can can think of all the relevant factors for themselves.

If you want to relate that to the OP question of whether clever people “overthink” things, then if we take those scientists, or just take the most successful and well-known amongst them, as being reasonably clever (though most of what they achieve comes from a lot of hard work), then I don't see any evidence for thinking they are failing by thinking too much or thinking too deeply about their research in science.

The more deeply you think about the methods and results of your scientific research, and the more time you spend doing that to check & test things carefully, the more likely I think you are to get accurate answers.

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Old 6th August 2019, 02:02 AM   #243
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
To digress slightly, I (a physicist) am perfectly capable of doing quite a lot of plumbing perfectly competently, because (a) I understand the basic physical principles involved very thoroughly, and (b) some of my experimental work as a physicist has involved quite a lot of plumbing that was required to be of very high quality. I suspect (a) is not true of many philosophers, and I'm pretty sure (b) is true of even fewer.

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Parable of the pipe (Johnny 23).

In truth I tell you that if you do not ask the right questions you will not have the right answers. This is like the story of a plumber, a physicist and a philosopher who went to fix a pipe that was flooding a rich man's kitchen.

The physicist was very good at explaining the origin of the universe (sic) and very bad at fixing pipes.
The plumber doesn't know how to explain the origin of the universe, but he was very good at fixing pipes.
Which is better, a physicist or a plumber?
And the philosopher said: I am not good at repairing pipes nor have I invented the Big Bang theory, but perhaps I could explain why the question posed above does not make sense.


And the man rich said, "Master, why do you do parables which are not understood?" And the Master looked at him and said, "I'd better shut up".
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Old 6th August 2019, 02:20 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
I don't think many scientists do "hold forth on reductionism, emergence, free will etc." I expect you are probably thinking of the tiny minority of scientists who are filmed on YouTube (or who write books criticising religion) where they are continually asked to respond to such philosophical ideas.

There are now (21st century) lots of very different people in the world, in very different branches of academia or industry, who are all called "scientists'. But there is a vast difference between people who work in (say) engineering or computer science, or even things like "social science" or medicine vs. people working in mathematical physics or physical/mathematical chemistry. But if you are talking about that latter group of actual research scientists working in core science areas of physics, chemistry biology and most of maths, then 99.9% of them never mention philosophical debates at all, ie such philosophical discussions are no part of that genuine cutting-edge science research.

But that's why Stephen Hawking said philosophy is dead. He did not mean that philosophy is no longer taught in universities. He meant that we no longer use philosophy as our best way of understanding and explaining the observable/detectable world of “reality” around us. At one time, before the new subject of science emerged with people like Galileo circa.1600 onwards, philosophers were claiming to explain all things in the world around us (religions were also making that claim, and claiming that all things were explained by the existence of a miraculous God). But gradually, we found through advancing science that philosophy (and religion) are not accurate, or even remotely credible, ways of discovering the correct accurate explanations for the world around us.

Does philosophy still have a place in explaining anything really important for any of us? Well if people find philosophy interesting then I suppose that's a matter for them. But although philosophers don't like it, and although philosophy supporters on forums like this often object vehemently, the fact is that scientists do not need any ancient philosophers or any philosophy courses, to tell them how to study and explain the world through science and maths …. scientists can can think of all the relevant factors for themselves.

If you want to relate that to the OP question of whether clever people “overthink” things, then if we take those scientists, or just take the most successful and well-known amongst them, as being reasonably clever (though most of what they achieve comes from a lot of hard work), then I don't see any evidence for thinking they are failing by thinking too much or thinking too deeply about their research in science.

The more deeply you think about the methods and results of your scientific research, and the more time you spend doing that to check & test things carefully, the more likely I think you are to get accurate answers.
You have shown many times that you have no idea of philosophy or the history of science: Not only Hawking (who gets into philosophical matters without having much idea) but the great theoreticians of physics were concerned about philosophy. Even if they weren't interested in religion. I could give you a list, if it weren't for the fact that it's also proven that you're "autistic". (It is not oly I that says so).

Attending to Hawking:
In one of his latest books he boasts that he has dismantled the proof of God's existence. Although I don't remember if he mentions it, he refers to the first way of Thomas Aquinas.

The first way is based on the fact that out of nothing, nothing proceeds and that the return to infinity in the series of causes is impossible. Hawking says that the physics of the Big Bang refutes this proof because before the Big Bang there was nothing and the universe comes from the Big Bang.
Only if one is not blinded by Hawking and Mlodinow's triumphal trumpets, one realizes that he has shown nothing because neither nothing is really absolute nothingness nor is the universe all possible, but the universe we know. Scholastics can get their trumpets and claim that Hawking has no idea what they're talking about and atheism is again defeat by divine reason. Those of us who can't stand the scholastics have reason to be really annoyed with Hawking. His only excuse would be that was Mlodinow who wrote this silly thing.

If that is the help that scientists are going to provide in the defense of atheism, it would be better if they left the philosophers alone.

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Old 6th August 2019, 02:53 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
But that's why Stephen Hawking said philosophy is dead. He did not mean that philosophy is no longer taught in universities. He meant that we no longer use philosophy as our best way of understanding and explaining the observable/detectable world of “reality” around us.
And immediately after saying that he announces his own philsophic position, which is a rehash of Logical Positivism.
Quote:
At one time, before the new subject of science emerged with people like Galileo circa.1600 onwards, philosophers were claiming to explain all things in the world around us
I can't think of any who were. Perhaps you could give some examples.

And science didn't just sprout around the 17th century, it had a much, much longer arc than that.
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Old 6th August 2019, 06:20 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post

I can't think of any who were. Perhaps you could give some examples.
Better still: examples of current philosophers who say such a thing.
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Old 6th August 2019, 07:34 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
And immediately after saying that he announces his own philsophic position, which is a rehash of Logical Positivism.

I can't think of any who were. Perhaps you could give some examples.

And science didn't just sprout around the 17th century, it had a much, much longer arc than that.


No. You are just trying the usual claim of saying that all considered thought is "philosophy". It's not. That's why modern science is now called "science" and why it's not called "philosophy" (or Natural Philosophy) any more. Because eventually, after a few hundred years since Galileo, people realised that there is a big difference between what we now know as science vs what was historically known as formal "philosophy".

Scientists today are using the approach that is called "science" (not the approach that is called "philosophy").

You can't think of any philosophers who claimed to explain how the world around us worked? ….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_philosophy

Is science today (“modern” science) different from the historic ancient subject of “philosophy” -

https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.co...not-a-science/

http://www.differencebetween.net/mis...nd-philosophy/
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Old 6th August 2019, 08:24 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
You can't think of any philosophers who claimed to explain how the world around us worked? ….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_philosophy

Is science today (“modern” science) different from the historic ancient subject of “philosophy” -

https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.co...not-a-science/

http://www.differencebetween.net/mis...nd-philosophy/
Your links do not correspond to what you intended and have been requested. You have no idea what you are linking to.
If all you have found is that ...
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Old 6th August 2019, 10:34 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
does that mean they cannot understand wisdom that is available to simple people.
Televangelist Joyce Meyer: You Need To Be Stupid To Believe In God

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progre...elieve-in-god/

Quote:
My great-grandson who’s 2, his mother’s back was hurting really bad. She was hurting so bad that she was laying on the bed crying. And he went up to her. Jeremiah, 2 years old, put his hand on her, said, ‘Jesus, Mommy, ouchie, amen.’ And her back quit hurting!
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Old 6th August 2019, 11:17 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by halleyscomet View Post
Televangelist Joyce Meyer: You Need To Be Stupid To Believe In God

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progre...elieve-in-god/



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And then he pooped in his pants.
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Old 6th August 2019, 11:36 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by Foster Zygote View Post
And then he pooped in his pants.
That would be age-appropriate behavior for many two-year-olds.
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Old 6th August 2019, 12:33 PM   #252
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Just regarding those three links, though obviously not for the sake of the person (or persons) who complained about them (because they are beyond help) – the first link to a simple Wiki page is just there to show that (as I said), of course in times before we had modern science (which emerged only quite gradually over the course of several centuries following Galileo) philosophers in general had, for thousands of years, believed they were explaining the observable world around us.

The other two very simple links are to articles that are, AFAIK, either by philosophers or from people sympathetic to philosophy and putting forward a defence of philosophy, but where even they admit that there is of course a clear difference between science and philosophy. So again, it's entirely untrue if people here post to say or imply that science is actually just “doing philosophy” on the basis of a claim that all attempts at constructive human thinking are the domain of academic formal philosophy … i.e. as if to claim that philosophy must take the credit for whatever science discovers and explains.

People here who try to argue like that, with philosophy taking the credit for everything, should go their nearest university and try enrolling for a science degree or doctorate (assuming they have enough qualifications to apply for any such courses), and then telling the science lecturers and admissions officers that they expected to learn about the arguments and beliefs of Kant, Wittgenstein, Plato, Socrates, Hume, Popper, or even Massimo Pigliucci or Dan Dennett or A.C. Grayling … what do you think the science academics are going to say to that? … they are going to tell you that you are in entirely the wrong department! … because the science department is definitely not the same as the philosophy dept, and what we do here in science is most definitely very different than what is taught as "philosophy" in a philosophy dept.

So just in summary for all of that – scientists today (and for a least a couple of centuries now) do not need philosophers to tell them what science does, or to tell them what the limits of science are, or what we can, or cannot investigate and explain by science. Scientists can perfectly well decide all that for themselves. Philosophy has no role left in any of that any more. If academic philosophers want to spend their time and tax payers money arguing about so-called “ethics” or about what they regard as “knowledge” or “truth”, then they can do that amongst themselves … but there is no place for philosophers trying to waste the time of scientists with debates about any of that (which is why few, if any, real scientists spend their research time (or their research papers) in such endless philosophical semantics).

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Old 6th August 2019, 06:40 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by halleyscomet View Post
Televangelist Joyce Meyer: You Need To Be Stupid To Believe In God

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progre...elieve-in-god/

Quote:
My great-grandson who’s 2, his mother’s back was hurting really bad. She was hurting so bad that she was laying on the bed crying. And he went up to her. Jeremiah, 2 years old, put his hand on her, said, ‘Jesus, Mommy, ouchie, amen.’ And her back quit hurting!

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Old 6th August 2019, 07:25 PM   #254
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A few years ago I found this CD, appropriately, in a gutter. It's not playable, thank FSM, so I can only guess how this pressing question took 6 CD's to answer. I can only hope the poor sucker who owned this CD tossed it out in fury, but fear that if he had listened already to volumes 1 and 2, he might have become too stupid to remember where he left it.

reason schmeason.jpg
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Old 6th August 2019, 07:55 PM   #255
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In case anyone is actually interested, rather than just wanting to bag philosophy, here is an example.

One common criticism of the philosophy of science is that Ernst Nagel claimed that any higher level principle in physics is reducible to lower level principles. The criticism is that he claimed this without evidence.

But if you read the chapter in question (in The Structure of Science) he didn't claim this at all, didn't claim anything in fact. Rather he said "if we are to ask if higher level principles are reducible to (or derivable from) lower level principles then first we should have as clear an idea as possible about what we mean by 'reducible to'".

He begins the chapter by pointing out that many eminent physicists do not believe higher level principles are reducible to lower level principles and concludes by apologising that he has come to no conclusion.

However he has still performed a useful function in suggesting what we might mean by the phrase.

Then Jerry Fodor comes along with "The Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)" where he provides an argument to show that it is reasonable to suppose that higher level principles are not reducible to lower level principles in the way defined by Nagel.

Note that he doesn't "assert" this, he deliberately uses the term "working hypothesis".

The next step is that Mark Bedau (in "Weak Emergence") can say, in effect, "OK, so higher level principles are not reducible to lower level principles in the Nagel sense, but can they be said to be reducible in some other, more useful, sense?"

Then he provides a definition of another kind of reduction, based on the distinction between strong and weak emergence. He also gives a practical working definition for these. He suggests (not asserts) that nothing is strongly emergent, but that every principle is weakly emergent from (and therefore reducible to) fundamental physics.

Is that useful?

I think so. Suggesting clear definitions and providing arguments supporting various positions seems a useful function to me.

For a start anyone who wants to have a discussion about this doesn't have to reinvent the wheel and it does seem as though quite a few scientists do want to talk about these subjects. Any such discussion can be a continuation, rather than a rehash.

It also provides a clear way to explain why irreducibility does not lead to any woo conclusions.
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Old 6th August 2019, 08:14 PM   #256
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Hey, at least Joyce is telling a truth even if it should be dearly insulting to her faithful.

Back in my youth it was " blessed is he who believes without seeing " without the IQ test before entering the church.
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Old 7th August 2019, 12:27 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
In case anyone is actually interested, rather than just wanting to bag philosophy, here is an example.

One common criticism of the philosophy of science is that Ernst Nagel claimed that any higher level principle in physics is reducible to lower level principles. The criticism is that he claimed this without evidence.

But if you read the chapter in question (in The Structure of Science) he didn't claim this at all, didn't claim anything in fact. Rather he said "if we are to ask if higher level principles are reducible to (or derivable from) lower level principles then first we should have as clear an idea as possible about what we mean by 'reducible to'".

He begins the chapter by pointing out that many eminent physicists do not believe higher level principles are reducible to lower level principles and concludes by apologising that he has come to no conclusion.

However he has still performed a useful function in suggesting what we might mean by the phrase.

Then Jerry Fodor comes along with "The Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)" where he provides an argument to show that it is reasonable to suppose that higher level principles are not reducible to lower level principles in the way defined by Nagel.

Note that he doesn't "assert" this, he deliberately uses the term "working hypothesis".

The next step is that Mark Bedau (in "Weak Emergence") can say, in effect, "OK, so higher level principles are not reducible to lower level principles in the Nagel sense, but can they be said to be reducible in some other, more useful, sense?"

Then he provides a definition of another kind of reduction, based on the distinction between strong and weak emergence. He also gives a practical working definition for these. He suggests (not asserts) that nothing is strongly emergent, but that every principle is weakly emergent from (and therefore reducible to) fundamental physics.

Is that useful?

I think so. Suggesting clear definitions and providing arguments supporting various positions seems a useful function to me.

For a start anyone who wants to have a discussion about this doesn't have to reinvent the wheel and it does seem as though quite a few scientists do want to talk about these subjects. Any such discussion can be a continuation, rather than a rehash.

It also provides a clear way to explain why irreducibility does not lead to any woo conclusions.

Why should any of us (or any research scientists) spend their time dissecting whatever is meant by what has apparently been a subject of debate or argument or interest amongst a number of philosophers (some named above) who apparently want to publish papers, or write chapters in books, or give lectures on degree courses or exchange countless pieces of correspondence with other philosophers arguing about whether or not "principles" in physics (do they mean "Theories"?) can be reduced to a set of simpler "principles" (do they mean "explanations" or "observations") ...

... do you really think that if you go to the LHC in Geneva (for example), and call all the hundreds of scientists, mathematicians, technicians & engineers there to a meeting, and tell them "OK, I want all of you stop the science now, stop all the experiments and the calculations and the research, because we must now spend an indefinite time into the future debating this essential philosophical question of whether or not certain of your "principles" are reducible to other principles!", do you really think anyone there is going to take any notice of you or that anyone should take any notice of you?

If philosophers want to spend their time in such debates, and if they can continue to persuade governments to pay them academic salaries from the public taxes, then nobody is stoping them doing that. But their ideas in philosophy really have no place any more, and no value any more, in science.

And that's important. Because the way that we decide what is likely to be true in this world is now through science, and no longer through philosophy (or religion). So that, for example, what now happens in all legal trials and court cases all over the educated democratic world, is that scientific expert witnesses and scientific evidence plays a huge part in almost all such legal cases … but where in contrast, philosophers are never called as experts to give any accurate or useful assistance to either defence, prosecution, judge, or jury. IOW – philosophy no longer has any any useful role in determining what is likely to be true (or even, in that case, any role in determining what points need to be debated, clarified, or investigated).
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Old 7th August 2019, 01:18 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Maybe someone could just explain to me why the fact that science can tell us about the beginning of the universe makes it a good idea for scientists to try to rehash subjects that have already been covered in detail without having tried to inform themselves about what has previously been said on the subject.
And I'm saying that without going science on its ass, how would you even know which of those philosophers were right? "Something out of nothing" is one of the domains you brought up, and I've already produced two examples of famous dead men who were spectacularly wrong about it, and one of them exactly relevant to Darat's question at that. And I can give you a few more if you want.

But it's not even only on that domain. Even if you want to believe that everything useful on a bunch of domains has already been said, the problem is that so has a whole bunch of horse manure. You have whole Augean stables worth of contradictory manure, with the occasional gem buried somewhere six foot deep in that manure. Without some form of testing it against hard evidence, and trying to falsify it, how would you even know which is which?
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Old 7th August 2019, 03:14 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
In case anyone is actually interested, rather than just wanting to bag philosophy, here is an example.

One common criticism of the philosophy of science is that Ernst Nagel claimed that any higher level principle in physics is reducible to lower level principles. The criticism is that he claimed this without evidence.

But if you read the chapter in question (in The Structure of Science) he didn't claim this at all, didn't claim anything in fact. Rather he said "if we are to ask if higher level principles are reducible to (or derivable from) lower level principles then first we should have as clear an idea as possible about what we mean by 'reducible to'".

He begins the chapter by pointing out that many eminent physicists do not believe higher level principles are reducible to lower level principles and concludes by apologising that he has come to no conclusion.

However he has still performed a useful function in suggesting what we might mean by the phrase.

Then Jerry Fodor comes along with "The Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)" where he provides an argument to show that it is reasonable to suppose that higher level principles are not reducible to lower level principles in the way defined by Nagel.

Note that he doesn't "assert" this, he deliberately uses the term "working hypothesis".

The next step is that Mark Bedau (in "Weak Emergence") can say, in effect, "OK, so higher level principles are not reducible to lower level principles in the Nagel sense, but can they be said to be reducible in some other, more useful, sense?"

Then he provides a definition of another kind of reduction, based on the distinction between strong and weak emergence. He also gives a practical working definition for these. He suggests (not asserts) that nothing is strongly emergent, but that every principle is weakly emergent from (and therefore reducible to) fundamental physics.

Is that useful?

I think so. Suggesting clear definitions and providing arguments supporting various positions seems a useful function to me.

For a start anyone who wants to have a discussion about this doesn't have to reinvent the wheel and it does seem as though quite a few scientists do want to talk about these subjects. Any such discussion can be a continuation, rather than a rehash.

It also provides a clear way to explain why irreducibility does not lead to any woo conclusions.
And what did all these bods come up with for Planck time?
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Old 7th August 2019, 03:41 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
In case anyone is actually interested, rather than just wanting to bag philosophy, here is an example.

One common criticism of the philosophy of science is that Ernst Nagel claimed that any higher level principle in physics is reducible to lower level principles. The criticism is that he claimed this without evidence.

But if you read the chapter in question (in The Structure of Science) he didn't claim this at all, didn't claim anything in fact. Rather he said "if we are to ask if higher level principles are reducible to (or derivable from) lower level principles then first we should have as clear an idea as possible about what we mean by 'reducible to'".

He begins the chapter by pointing out that many eminent physicists do not believe higher level principles are reducible to lower level principles and concludes by apologising that he has come to no conclusion.

However he has still performed a useful function in suggesting what we might mean by the phrase.

Then Jerry Fodor comes along with "The Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)" where he provides an argument to show that it is reasonable to suppose that higher level principles are not reducible to lower level principles in the way defined by Nagel.

Note that he doesn't "assert" this, he deliberately uses the term "working hypothesis".

The next step is that Mark Bedau (in "Weak Emergence") can say, in effect, "OK, so higher level principles are not reducible to lower level principles in the Nagel sense, but can they be said to be reducible in some other, more useful, sense?"

Then he provides a definition of another kind of reduction, based on the distinction between strong and weak emergence. He also gives a practical working definition for these. He suggests (not asserts) that nothing is strongly emergent, but that every principle is weakly emergent from (and therefore reducible to) fundamental physics.

Is that useful?

I think so. Suggesting clear definitions and providing arguments supporting various positions seems a useful function to me.

For a start anyone who wants to have a discussion about this doesn't have to reinvent the wheel and it does seem as though quite a few scientists do want to talk about these subjects. Any such discussion can be a continuation, rather than a rehash.

It also provides a clear way to explain why irreducibility does not lead to any woo conclusions.
Yes, but there are your operative words: "working hypothesis". It will then be tested against evidence and see how that fits. It's a scientific process, not navel gazing.

That's what you seem to miss in all this: when scientists discuss what, say, "gravity" means or what is the nature of empty space, they don't mean it in some empty navel-gazing way about what do words really mean. It's about explaining the evidence at hand, and then trying to falsify it against other evidence and see where it breaks.

Ditto for reductibility or not. The observed phenomena and theories explaining them are the evidence there. Any claim that stuff is reducible or not, will have to fit that evidence. And then we'll try and see if we find other evidence that fits or doesn't fit the hypothesis.

It's a scientific process by any other name. Because it's the only process that gives you answers worth anything.
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Old 7th August 2019, 03:54 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Well I don't know if the nuclear forces are considered strong. I know gravity is considered weak.
Wait what? You are blissfully unaware that the Strong Nuclear force is magnitudes greater than the Weak Nuclear force both of which are magnitudes greater than gravity? Really?

The strong force is approximately 137 times as strong as electromagnetism, a million times as strong as the weak interaction, and 1038 (100 undecillion) times as strong as gravitation.

These are the basics and you know none of it?
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Old 7th August 2019, 05:26 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Ever notice that the faith healers NEVER work their magic on an amputee?
Funny that. It seems their deity can only make the lame walk if the lame already have two fully functioning legs.

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
A few years ago I found this CD, appropriately, in a gutter. It's not playable, thank FSM, so I can only guess how this pressing question took 6 CD's to answer. I can only hope the poor sucker who owned this CD tossed it out in fury, but fear that if he had listened already to volumes 1 and 2, he might have become too stupid to remember where he left it.
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I have to give her credit. She's being up front about targeting people who believe "think" is a dirty word. Most televangelists and con artists try to convince their marks they're smarter than those nasty non-believers, but this woman? She straight up tells people not to think, just believe. She's the anti-C. S. Lewis. It's like she read "Mere Christianity" and said, "Like this, but the EXACT OPPOSITE and give me money!"
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Old 7th August 2019, 07:01 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post

... do you really think that if you go to the LHC in Geneva (for example), and call all the hundreds of scientists, mathematicians, technicians & engineers there to a meeting, and tell them "OK, I want all of you stop the science now, stop all the experiments and the calculations and the research, because we must now spend an indefinite time into the future debating this essential philosophical question of whether or not certain of your "principles" are reducible to other principles!"
Where did this come from? From a Laurel and Hardy movie? Flying Elephants, perhaps?
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Old 7th August 2019, 10:38 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Wait what? You are blissfully unaware that the Strong Nuclear force is magnitudes greater than the Weak Nuclear force both of which are magnitudes greater than gravity? Really?

The strong force is approximately 137 times as strong as electromagnetism, a million times as strong as the weak interaction, and 1038 (100 undecillion) times as strong as gravitation.

These are the basics and you know none of it?
Thanks for the info. Why would I know such things? it was not required theory in my studies of electronics. I have 'city and guilds' in radio and television repairs, and a btec in microprocessors. Those qualifications do not require you to know about nuclear forces or gravity.

The point I was making was that if the nuclear forces binding atoms together was weaker we could walk though walls. Because atoms are largely empty space.

Therefore the appearance of solid object in what is called reality is an illusion.
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Old 7th August 2019, 10:47 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Therefore the appearance of solid object in what is called reality is an illusion.
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Old 7th August 2019, 11:10 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Thanks for the info. Why would I know such things? it was not required theory in my studies of electronics. I have 'city and guilds' in radio and television repairs, and a btec in microprocessors. Those qualifications do not require you to know about nuclear forces or gravity.

The point I was making was that if the nuclear forces binding atoms together was weaker we could walk though walls. Because atoms are largely empty space.

Therefore the appearance of solid object in what is called reality is an illusion.
I think you could solve this by staring at goats.
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Brigadier General Dean Hopgood: I'm going into the next office.
Lieutenant Boone: Yes sir.
Brigadier General Dean Hopgood: [breaks into a sprint, slams into the wall, falls over] Damn it.
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Old 7th August 2019, 11:14 AM   #267
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Weakening the definition of illusion to that level isn't going to win any prizes. Atoms and atomic levels are not what we consider when we see a 5 pound note on the grass, we stoop to grab it with glee, and lift a solid object. And then pass it to another that changes it for goods. It must be real if he believes it is.

The safe box isn't an illusion when I try to reach through it to take what is inside. It's a barrier my hand cannot pass thus must be accepted.

This isn't a world of Alice in Wonderland. No strange mental abilities, no spirits nor any deity is going to make it possible to do anything extraordinary.
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Old 7th August 2019, 04:02 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Why should any of us (or any research scientists) spend their time dissecting whatever is meant by ...
I don't live inside the mind of Steven Weinberg or Sean Carroll or any other of the scientists who discuss these subjects and so I can't tell you their motivation.

But the point is that they do and if they are going to do so then it is useful to have access to how these subjects have been discussed before.

Many scientists are and have been interested in the philosophy of science, for example Einstein, Planck, Mach. Even Galileo wrote about the philosophy of science.

Just because you are not personally interested in a subject does not make it an invalid subject. You don't speak for science.

Quote:
arguing about whether or not "principles" in physics (do they mean "Theories"?) can be reduced to a set of simpler "principles" (do they mean "explanations" or "observations") ...
"principles" is the term Steven Weinberg uses when addressing the subject. Nagel used "theories".
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Old 7th August 2019, 04:13 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And what did all these bods come up with for Planck time?
Max Planck wrote a whole book on the philosophy of science, so I guess you are going to tell me that he couldn't have made any useful contribution to science.
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Old 7th August 2019, 04:47 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
... do you really think that if you go to the LHC in Geneva (for example), ... "OK, I want all of you stop the science now, stop all the experiments and the calculations and the research, because we must now spend an indefinite time...do you really think anyone there is going to take any notice of you or that anyone should take any notice of you?
Of me? No. Why should they?

Of a philosopher, say, Anthony Grayling? Yes. THE LHC TAKEN WITH PHILOSOPHY

And, guess what? They didn't need to spend an indefinite amount of time to cover the issues.

And they didn't have to halt their day jobs. I am puzzled as to why you thought they would have to.
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Old 7th August 2019, 05:17 PM   #271
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Here is Ernst Mayr discussing reductionism in the correspondence section of Nature:

https://www.nature.com/articles/331475a0.pdf

But, hey, proper scientists have no interest in nor time for such subjects, right?
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Old 7th August 2019, 05:38 PM   #272
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Here is another scientist showing zero interest in discussing reductionism:

Originally Posted by Steven Weinberg
"One can illustrate the reductionist world view by imagining all the principles of science as being dots on a huge chart, with arrows flowing into each principle from all the other principles by which it is explained. The lesson of history is that these arrows do not form separate disconnected clumps, representing sciences that are logically independent, and they do not wander aimlessly. Rather they are all connected, and if followed backward they all seem to branch outward from a common source, an ultimate law of nature that Dyson call 'a finite set of fundamental equations.'"

Reductionism Redux
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Old 7th August 2019, 05:52 PM   #273
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More:
Originally Posted by Steven Weinberg
The kind of physics that is done in elementary particle laboratories derives much of its importance from a reductionist world view: we seek those fundamental principles from which all other scientific principles may in principle be derived.

Newtonianism, Reductionism, and the Art of Congressional Testimony
He even seems to be saying that it is relevant to the work scientists do.

He can't know much about science, this Weinberg fellow.
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Old 8th August 2019, 01:33 AM   #274
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
The point I was making was that if the nuclear forces binding atoms together was weaker we could walk though walls.
Well, no, because (a) it's not nuclear forces binding atoms together to make solids, it's electromagnetic forces, and (b) if they were so weak that walls were insubstantial, then so would all matter be, and "we" couldn't possibly exist.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Because atoms are largely empty space.
I think somebody already explained why this is nonsense. It's based on the erroneous assumption that electrons are point objects, which they aren't.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Therefore the appearance of solid object in what is called reality is an illusion.
No. Solid is a definition; the fact that you don't understand the details of the definition doesn't make it undefined.

Dave

ETA: You're rather undermining your point here. The impression I'm getting is that clever people aren't the ones outsmarting themselves.
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Old 8th August 2019, 01:39 AM   #275
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Thanks for the info. Why would I know such things? it was not required theory in my studies of electronics. I have 'city and guilds' in radio and television repairs, and a btec in microprocessors. Those qualifications do not require you to know about nuclear forces or gravity.

The point I was making was that if the nuclear forces binding atoms together was weaker we could walk though walls. Because atoms are largely empty space.

Therefore the appearance of solid object in what is called reality is an illusion.

Atoms are not "largely empty space". There is no such thing as "empty space".

That "space" is actually composed of all sorts of interacting energy fields.

That entire idea of “empty space” comes from a time before we had modern science (ie from before about 1600 onwards, from Galileo up to the present day).

What we have now discovered, from Quantum Field Theory, is that it's impossible (if all theories and measurements are correct … and there is no reason to think otherwise), even in principle, to remove all matter and energy from any region of space, ie not possible to have a true literal vacuum … no matter what you do, there always remains a minimum vacuum energy.

In fact that's why a true state of absolutely “nothing” is apparently (according to QFT) impossible.

That's also a clear example of why we should never argue from dictionary definitions. Because a lot of those dictionaries were written before modern science and at a time when the people whom complied such dictionaries were seriously unaware of how science had discovered why their dictionary definitions of words such as “nothing” were (and still are) completely misleading.
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Old 8th August 2019, 02:50 AM   #276
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A Philosophical Riddle

Guess who said this:
I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today - and even professional scientists - seem to me like someone who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historical and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is - in my opinion - the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth.
First clue: He was a scientist, German, and Jewish.
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Old 8th August 2019, 05:28 AM   #277
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Max Planck wrote a whole book on the philosophy of science, so I guess you are going to tell me that he couldn't have made any useful contribution to science.
I've read it. But your post has nothing to do with the question of mine that you quoted. These philosophers that can tell scientist a thing or two about reduction and so on, what value do they give for planck time?
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Old 8th August 2019, 05:37 AM   #278
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"But so and so used the word philosophy to describe something what about that there smart guy?"

Yes because the word "philosophy" is ill defined nothing so vague as to be meaningless.

You can't create a term which functionally reduces down to "I'm gonna take credit for all manner of thought possible" and use that to prove something.


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Old 8th August 2019, 06:28 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I don't live inside the mind of Steven Weinberg or Sean Carroll or any other of the scientists who discuss these subjects and so I can't tell you their motivation.

But the point is that they do and if they are going to do so then it is useful to have access to how these subjects have been discussed before.

Many scientists are and have been interested in the philosophy of science, for example Einstein, Planck, Mach. Even Galileo wrote about the philosophy of science.

That's an awfully long time ago. And none of those individuals were using formal philosophy to make the contributions they made to science.


Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Just because you are not personally interested in a subject does not make it an invalid subject. You don't speak for science.

There is no single spokesperson for “science”. And there really is no single or official body that speaks for “science” (nobody, or body, that speaks for all of the millions of scientists all over the world).

I can tell you what my experience has been in science (from the inside for 20 years), and that is just to say that (a) I've never met any scientists (in theoretical & solid state physics) who ever even mentioned philosophers and philosophy, (b) I've certainly never met any who claimed to be practising formal philosophy rather than science, and (c) after reading tens of thousands of reserach papers in science, I don't recall a single one that listed even one reference to any earlier work/contribution from philosophers (if you look hard enough then you may of course find a few refs to something once said by some philosopher ... but it will only be "one-in-a-million").



Originally Posted by Robin View Post
"principles" is the term Steven Weinberg uses when addressing the subject. Nagel used "theories".

Well there is a difference between an idea such as “principles”, and what is meant in science by the term “Theory”. They are not the same idea at all.

And there is an even bigger difference between formal “philosophy” vs. what we now know as “science”.

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Old 8th August 2019, 06:31 AM   #280
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Max Planck wrote a whole book on the philosophy of science, so I guess you are going to tell me that he couldn't have made any useful contribution to science.
Scientists do all sorts of stuff in their free time. I can also tell you a couple of physicists who do standup comedy. Or a couple who wrote science fiction. That doesn't mean that standup comedy or SF did a contribution to science, nor that scientists should first check up the SF section at the library before tackling a concept, just in case Jules Verne already said something on the topic.

In fact, the idea that if X did both Y and Z, then Y confers some legitimacy to Z, or viceversa, is the topic of several textbook fallacies. Starting with the association fallacy. Although what you seem to be going for there is an argument from authority.
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