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Old 22nd August 2019, 02:51 AM   #481
Dave Rogers
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I didn't say that I don't know how to handle ad hoc hypotheses. You must have misunderstood something I said.
It would be this:

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
So what makes the use of an ad hoc hypothesis legitimate? I confess that I am not clear about this.
Which suggests that you don't know in what circumstances ad hoc hypotheses are legitimate, and hence how they should be treated.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You cannot ask what philosophers have said "in addition to scientists" about ad hoc hypotheses because scientists have almost never explained ad hoc hypotheses outside the framework of philosophy. Therefore, what is said about ad hoc hypotheses has been said mainly by philosophers or scientist-philosophers.
Well, quite. In my over thirty years as a scientist, I've never actually had to consider the problem of what constitutes an as hoc hypothesis and what doesn't; I've simply applied the normal rules of the scientific method. It seems to me that the problem of ad hoc hypotheses is identified, defined and solved by philosophers in isolation while, for the most part, scientists just get on with doing science.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It seems to me that what you don't understand is that standard science works with particular rules.
No doubt you understand these things far better than I, a scientist for most of my life, ever possibly can.

Dave
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Old 22nd August 2019, 03:47 AM   #482
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It seems to me a thesis hard to maintain from the moment that modern science lays the foundations of its method, that is to say the hypothetical-deductive method.

What could be said is that the philosophy of science is an indecisive ground in which both philosophers and scientists participate.
Not only Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg or Hawking enter into questions traditionally dealt with by philosophers, but authors considered as philosophers of science, such as Popper, Lakatos, Russell, Bunge, etc. are also scientists. Even a metaphysician like Husserl, which is rather surprising.

But the questions of philosophy of science are not settled by the hypothetical deductive method, so it can hardly be said that they are science (in the sense of the sciences that deal with nature).
Which is why I asked the question of the others as to what they consider science. Is science only making hypotheses and testing them?

Or is science an attempt to discover what there is, what we can know and how we can know it?
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Old 22nd August 2019, 03:49 AM   #483
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Which is why I asked the question of the others as to what they consider science. Is science only making hypotheses and testing them?

Or is science an attempt to discover what there is, what we can know and how we can know it?
I don't think that distinction is valid. The two complement each other and feeds into and off each other.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 05:06 AM   #484
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@David Mo,

This is going nowhere, perhaps we'd best let it go.

I'm glad you raised the subjects of the philosophy of science as well as ad hoc hypotheses. These are not subjects I'm likely to have given any thought to otherwise. And you're right, the best way for me to understand this is to actually read up on this. I was hoping to simply have you share your own understanding clearly with me, but that shortcut is clearly not happening any time soon.

Oh, and yes, I see we do agree on one thing, that the philosophy of science isn't part of the scientific method. That much at least!

Some other discussion, some other topic, some other time, we'll catch up again. Peace!
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Old 22nd August 2019, 05:15 AM   #485
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@Robin,

I'd asked you to not worry about the PC thing to set you at ease, not to set you off.

And I'd pointed out your specific strawman, and generally referred to the irrelevancies you were bringing in, only to get our discussion focused on the specific portion I was interested in. I agree, the terms I used to express some of this were unnecessarily dismissive, for which my apologies.

And no, there is no shifting of goalposts here, not in what I've said. Others may have asked others things of you, but my comments to you were focused on two things, both basis your own comments here. (Or at least, I started with one question, and expanded that to two as it seemed relevant -- the second is a separate question, not a shifting of goalposts as far as the first.).

I'll repeat my two questions:
(a)In what way is the philosophy of science simply a part of the scientific method?
(b) Can you point to any actual instance, in recent times, where the philosophy of science has led to the formulation and/or the acceptance (or rejection) of some hypothesis, in a way that wouldn't have been possible without bringing in philosophy of science? Some concrete example of the utility of the philosophy of science, not just general opinions of individual scientists?


(And yes, I do realize that you didn't really claim this utility directly yourself, you only pointed to others expressing that opinion. So it's perfectly fine if you don't wish to get on to the second question.)
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Old 22nd August 2019, 05:50 AM   #486
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
@Robin,

I'd asked you to not worry about the PC thing to set you at ease, not to set you off.
What are you talking about? I haven't even read where you talk about the PC stuff and have certainly not referred to anything you have said about it, never mind been 'set off' by it.
Quote:
And I'd pointed out your specific strawman
I am not aware of any straw man from my side. As far as I am aware all the straw men have been from the anti philosophy crowd.

I can tell you from experience that when I agreed with Carlo Rovelli that Aristotle's physics could be regarded as a rational physics for its time I was flooded with no end of uninformed sneering. It is not a straw man to be wary of attracting those people back. Perhaps you should go and look the term up.
Quote:
And no, there is no shifting of goalposts here, not in what I've said.
You added more to your question. That is what I meant.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 05:52 AM   #487
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@Chanakya

Oh and what about my question in return, for you (and others if they can) to clarify what you mean by science, when it started and what is its scope. That would help avoid talking at cross purposes.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 06:03 AM   #488
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So the question is - when Einstein uses a thought experiment about some exploded/unexploded gunpowder to ask if quantum physics can be thought of as a true description of reality or just a calculus that lets us predict things - was he still doing science? Or had he stopped doing science and was doing something else?

Same question about when Planck defended realism with respect to quantum physics?

Or when Galileo wrote about the nature of science?

When Mayr wrote about the nature of causality and what it says about the different strands of biology and even using these ideas to call into question the validity of some strands of biology, was he doing science or had he stopped doing science and was doing something else?

Or when other biologists defended their area of biology against these arguments, were they doing science?

My point is that if these 'meta' activities affected how a theory developed or what kinds of studies would be done or what sort of hypotheses could be developed, then it would be absurd to say that this was not also the business of science.

Not everyone agrees with that, I know. Biologist and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci wished to use the term 'scientia' to describe the wider activities such as I have mentioned there, but I haven't seen it catch on.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 06:21 AM   #489
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The concrete example, I will do tomorrow. I will use the series of experiments performed by Kevin Laland and described in his book "Darwin's Unfinished Symphony" showing how they depend on assumptions about causality in biology which have been called into question by other biologists and how these assumptions had to be defended and how this affects the design/conduct of the experiments.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 08:55 AM   #490
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
What are you talking about? I haven't even read where you talk about the PC stuff and have certainly not referred to anything you have said about it, never mind been 'set off' by it.

I am not aware of any straw man from my side. As far as I am aware all the straw men have been from the anti philosophy crowd.

I can tell you from experience that when I agreed with Carlo Rovelli that Aristotle's physics could be regarded as a rational physics for its time I was flooded with no end of uninformed sneering. It is not a straw man to be wary of attracting those people back. Perhaps you should go and look the term up.

You added more to your question. That is what I meant.

See my post #472.

And incidentally, adding a separate question isn't what moving goalposts refers to. I'd made it quite clear that I was making an additional point and asking an additional question, at the point when I did ask it.

And I don't see myself as an anti-philosophy type. (Nor, for that matter, a come-what-may pro-philosophy type either.) Any beef you might have with others is between them and you. You were addressing me, so naturally I thought you were referring to me.
Any case, all that's in the past now, and not really relevant, so...


Originally Posted by Robin View Post
@Chanakya

Oh and what about my question in return, for you (and others if they can) to clarify what you mean by science, when it started and what is its scope. That would help avoid talking at cross purposes.

I'm the exact opposite of an expert, but since you ask:

I'd say science is following the scientific method. Just that.

While the scientific method was formulated in the last few centuries and more or less brought to the form that we know in the last century or so -- this is off the cuff, unreferenced, and the details could be wrong, very wrong -- but I guess we know of the ancients "doing science" well before Christ, not just in Greece but elsewhere as well.

It's scope? I'd either have to think it through and look it up as well, or else not look it up and probably make a fool of myself! Since you ask, I guess -- and entirely off the cuff -- what science does is let us understand the world, one observation (or set of observations) at a time. That's about it, I guess.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 10:07 AM   #491
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@Robin,

Those individual cases you mention, I'll have to look them up. You only cursorily mention them, which is fine, but I'm not really conversant with what they're about, really.

Stuff like Einstein's thought experiments and suchlike, I don't know, they'd probably qualify as "philosophy" only if we're using that term very loosely. Hell, we could herd a bunch of scientists together and get them to do some of the "brainstorming" crap we pull off in our consultancy gigs, and call that "philosophy" as well. Or you could think of getting ideas from mythology, and fantasy and sci fi as well. All that would be what is called ideating. Would you say that's philosophy, or part of the scientific method per se, except very loosely?

Anyway, you've put out some leads. I guess it's up to me to look them up, when I can. For now I'm not able to comment (at least not meaningfully ).



You know, you seem to be thinking this through, rather than discussing what you already actually know. Which is fine, which is great, which is terrific, but perhaps someone better versed in all this would be better suited as a sounding board than I am! Perhaps one of our resident science-pro types, who can match you step for step without having to laboriously look up every single case that you mention.

Anyway, thanks for taking the effort! You go ahead and put up your post about those Laland experiments when you can. And I'll check out those cases you mention when I can -- laboriously, through moving lips! --- and then get back to you on this.

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Old 22nd August 2019, 03:35 PM   #492
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Stuff like Einstein's thought experiments and suchlike, I don't know, they'd probably qualify as "philosophy" only if we're using that term very loosely.
Einstein was asking if one of the two most important theories of physics was really telling us about reality, about what there really is.

He was asking about what there is and how we can know. In other words he was asking questions of ontology and epistemology.

If that is not the subject matter of philosophy then I don't know what is.

And we know that Einstein would have known this too, after all he discussed these matters with Moritz Schlick, one of the central philosophers of science at the time.

So no, not using the term "philosophy" loosely, using the term "philosophy" very strictly.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 03:45 PM   #493
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So would a question like "Does quantum mechanics actually describe reality, or is it just a mathematical model that works?" be a Philosophy of Science question?

If so, what's the answer according to the Philosophy of Science?
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Old 22nd August 2019, 04:03 PM   #494
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I would say that the arc of science stretches back millennia, probably before history records.

I think we do a disservice to Archimedes, for example, to say that he wasn't a scientist or that he was not part of the development of the scientific method.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 04:09 PM   #495
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
So would a question like "Does quantum mechanics actually describe reality, or is it just a mathematical model that works?" be a Philosophy of Science question?

If so, what's the answer according to the Philosophy of Science?
I would not like to speak for the physics community, but the consensus seems to be "it actually describes reality ". There are exceptions,for example Stephen Hawking always maintained the old Positivist position that the question was meaningless and that as long as the predictions of the mathematical model correctly described the observations then the theory was correct.

The question now seems to be "what kind of reality is it describing?".
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Old 22nd August 2019, 04:47 PM   #496
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I would say that the arc of science stretches back millennia, probably before history records.

I think we do a disservice to Archimedes, for example, to say that he wasn't a scientist or that he was not part of the development of the scientific method.
I don't know if Democritus could be described as a scientist, but I know that his atomic theory was more than just a lucky guess (as some have said).

He made inferences about how his theory described observed phenomena, for example he described buoyancy as the cumulative effect of the particles underneath pushing up which seems a pretty good hypothesis for 3,000 years ago, certainly better than Aristotle's later idea of objects having absolute levity.

We can hardly blame him if he had no idea how to test this idea out or even if he never hit on the concept of testing an idea.

Since we only have fragments of his original work and second hand accounts of some of the rest, we will never know if he guessed why the particles underneath pushed up more than the particles above pushed down.

But I would definitely count him as part of the arc of science.
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The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
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Old 22nd August 2019, 06:27 PM   #497
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You're right, what Einstein was doing is philosophizing. What Myriad asks, although his question is probably rhetorical, is basically philosophy as well.

But but but

I don't know how that particular conversation went. But you do, so perhaps you can tell me. Einstein had worked out a ground-breaking discovery. He was trying to understand its implications. What was the contribution, exactly, of that "central philosopher of science" to the conversation, or to Einstein's actual work? That is the question, isn't it?

No one suggests that Einstein shouldn't ever philosophize about his work, or for that matter compose bawdy limericks about it. And no doubt he had deep conversations with all kinds of people, like those he'd been bedding, and his drinking buddies, and his philosopher friends as well. What does that show

I still don't see what philosophy of science has contributed here to science -- instead, I see science providing fodder to philosophy to chew on.

You get me, right? Show me how this Schlick person actually aided Einstein's actual work, and you'll have made your point.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 06:29 PM   #498
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As for the "arc of science" going back millenia, no one has suggested otherwise. I said that exact same thing myself, in answer to your question. How is that relevant here, at all?
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Old 22nd August 2019, 06:45 PM   #499
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
As for the "arc of science" going back millenia, no one has suggested otherwise. I said that exact same thing myself, in answer to your question. How is that relevant here, at all?
In response to the suggestion that the it is only centuries old.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 06:54 PM   #500
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
You're right, what Einstein was doing is philosophizing. What Myriad asks, although his question is probably rhetorical, is basically philosophy as well.
I think that if you are going to suggest that the debate in QM (still going on and still relevant to the kinds of research being done) to which I was referring had no more impact the course of science than philosophising on bawdy limericks then we are probably done here.

It is well known that this debate was about the future course of research in physics, not a side hobby.

Science isn't just about following a procedure and getting published, most scientists actually care whether or not their research is telling us something about the real world.
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The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

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Old 22nd August 2019, 07:09 PM   #501
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I don't know how that particular conversation went. But you do, so perhaps you can tell me.
Not well for Einstein. You may have noticed that the leading interpretation of QM is still a pragmatic non-realist interpretation.

I expect that philosophising on bawdy limericks might have led to the same result.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 07:37 PM   #502
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It is strange that everybody has heard of Schrödinger's Cat but very few people know what his point was, or of the debate that led up to it, or the aftermath.
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The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
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Old 22nd August 2019, 11:42 PM   #503
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You take phrases out of context. No wonder you misunderstand them.

Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
This is getting a bit bizarre. You've been asked for a practical use of the philosophy of science, and you've chosen the handling of ad hoc hypotheses; you've then said that you don't actually know how to handle ad hoc hypotheses, but now you seem to be insisting that,
This is what I really said.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
However, it has been shown that scientists often use ad hoc hypotheses in their daily work. So what makes the use of an ad hoc hypothesis legitimate? I confess that I am not clear about this. Kuhn made a big fuss by saying that in scientific revolutions science rejects ad hoc hypotheses for reasons that have nothing to do with science. I find it convincing, although I have no criteria to be sure. I need to know more about the history of science than I know.
Confessing that you have a doubt about a specific point of the problem is not "not knowing how to handle a problem"-whatever "handle" means to you. If you have no doubt about anything you are like God. Unfortunately you are not God. You have said some confusing things that you have been unable to explain. I remind you that the wise is the one who knows what he does not know, while the ignorant is the one who does not know what he does not know. That is a very useful philosophical maxim.



You make me say that I accuse you of not knowing that science works to particular standards. You take the opportunity to show off your work as a scientist, but you show your improper handling of the common language when you take out of context the phrase I had written. I had actually written:

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post

It seems to me that what you don't understand is that standard science works with particular rules. These rules serve to solve specific cases more or less effectively. But when there are cases of opposition between alternative theories or indecision of the empirical basis, the scientist begins to consider how particular methods work and whether modifications should be made to the basis of the theory. In other words, it is necessary to interpret what science does.
What I was telling you is that, apart from the task of the scientist who deals with particular subjects, there is another different way of approaching science that worries those scientists who deal with interpreting what they are doing. In other words, there are two levels of facing science and you are only aware of one. As it is demonstrated when you give definitions that you can't explain.

If you would be so kind as to return to the clarifications which I had asked of you perhaps you will be able to realize what I am saying. Remember that the paragraph on which I asked for clarification was this:

“But in fact, the scientific method can handle ad hoc hypotheses; it accepts them only provisionally, tests their validity, and attempts wherever possible to incorporate them into a simpler and more internally consistent framework”.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 11:47 PM   #504
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
@David Mo,

This is going nowhere, perhaps we'd best let it go.

I'm glad you raised the subjects of the philosophy of science as well as ad hoc hypotheses. These are not subjects I'm likely to have given any thought to otherwise. And you're right, the best way for me to understand this is to actually read up on this. I was hoping to simply have you share your own understanding clearly with me, but that shortcut is clearly not happening any time soon.

Oh, and yes, I see we do agree on one thing, that the philosophy of science isn't part of the scientific method. That much at least!

Some other discussion, some other topic, some other time, we'll catch up again. Peace!
My invitation to read something on the subject was not to close the debate, but to exchange the information we could get out.

But if you are tired of debating this, there is nothing we can do. On another subject we will be able to cross opinions.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 11:53 PM   #505
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Which is why I asked the question of the others as to what they consider science. Is science only making hypotheses and testing them?

Or is science an attempt to discover what there is, what we can know and how we can know it?
The second definition is too broad. It cover all kinds of knowledge. Or worse yet, any attempt to know something, which makes it a mental activity, rather than a type of knowledge as such. I think we have to separate concepts that refer to different things.
Philosophy is a different kind of knowledge from science because it is analytical only. There are not philosophical experiments.
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Old 23rd August 2019, 12:05 AM   #506
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
So would a question like "Does quantum mechanics actually describe reality, or is it just a mathematical model that works?" be a Philosophy of Science question?

If so, what's the answer according to the Philosophy of Science?
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I would not like to speak for the physics community, but the consensus seems to be "it actually describes reality ". There are exceptions,for example Stephen Hawking always maintained the old Positivist position that the question was meaningless and that as long as the predictions of the mathematical model correctly described the observations then the theory was correct.

The question now seems to be "what kind of reality is it describing?".
When a physicist separates reality from theory he is using a conventional concept of "reality". In other words, he is talking about something different from what the great theoreticians of quantum mechanics and Hawking talk about.
I have read some texts by scientists about the realism of quantum indeterminacy and I have never seen an explanation of what they mean by "reality" and how they separate reality from theory. If anyone can give me a reference I would appreciate it.
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Old 23rd August 2019, 01:37 AM   #507
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
If you would be so kind as to return to the clarifications which I had asked of you perhaps you will be able to realize what I am saying.
What you seem to be trying to do is delineate more precisely where the arbitrary line you've drawn around ad hoc hypotheses should in fact be situated, in order that your distinction without a difference looks real. The only problems you seem able to resolve are the ones of your own invention.

Dave
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Old 23rd August 2019, 02:26 AM   #508
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I would not like to speak for the physics community, but the consensus seems to be "it actually describes reality ". There are exceptions,for example Stephen Hawking always maintained the old Positivist position that the question was meaningless and that as long as the predictions of the mathematical model correctly described the observations then the theory was correct.

The question now seems to be "what kind of reality is it describing?".
That doesn't answer the question Myriad asked.
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Old 23rd August 2019, 10:29 AM   #509
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Not well for Einstein.

You make it sound like the two were arm-wrestling!

I ask again: What actual contribution did Schlick really make, to Einstein's actual work?

Show that, and you'll have made your case. Otherwise Schlick is just someone who happened to have managed a chat with a great man.

-------

You've argued your case. You've raised a number of flags that I myself cannot comment on, yet, since I simply don't know enough about them.

Thanks for bringing them up. I'll try to check them out when I can.

But you know what, you still haven't actually shown, yet, that philosophy of science can contribute to science, in current times. You realize this, right? You've thrown out hints and references and names, but not actually made your case.

Take any one case, from among those you've raised -- Schlick, perhaps -- and simply show one, just one, tangible contribution that philosophy of science has made to our current scientific worldview, and clearly explain how it made that contribution. Do that, @Robin, and you'll have made your case. Without that, all we have are hints and references, that may perhaps be valid, and perhaps not.


As for QM interpretations? Again, what has philosophy actually contributed to our actual understanding? It's QM that has fed philosophy, not the other way around. Anyone can speculate.

--------

Yes, one thing that emerges from your posts, and that I find myself agreeing with, is this. Philosophy helps ideate, and in as much some of these ideas might find their way to mainstream science, sure, that's a "concrete" contribution, no doubt about that.

On the other hand, that kind of inspiration is known to come from sci fi as well (e.g., Asimov's laws of robotics), and from all kinds of places and things, so as ideation tool, philosophy is in very mixed company.

But yeah, it's there, contributing at least that much to science. To that extent, I agree philosophy can indeed be said to be part of the scientific method, very broadly speaking. That much at least.
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Old 23rd August 2019, 11:03 AM   #510
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
My invitation to read something on the subject was not to close the debate, but to exchange the information we could get out.

But if you are tired of debating this, there is nothing we can do. On another subject we will be able to cross opinions.

Indeed, yes. I'm tired -- only for the time being! -- of debating this particular topic with you.

And this post of yours hints at an explanation for your bizarre refusal to clearly answer what I've asked you FSM knows how many times:

Rather than seeing these discussions as a means to an end -- and that end would be understanding -- you clearly see them as an end in themselves.

Nor is that necessarily a problem. These discussions, even when not facilitating understanding except only incidentally, can still be fun, and a good mental workout, provided one is in the mood.

We were clearly speaking at cross purposes. That is why I'd felt frustrated at your inability to answer the question, and complained that our discussion wasn't really getting anywhere. Now that this explanation occurs to me, I no longer am, and realize that's "a feature not a bug", as they say.

-------

I trust you won't, now, ask me what my question is? Or rather, I trust that's exactly what you will do?



eta:
Absolutely, we'll "cross opinions" on another topic, or perhaps this same topic another time. Always a pleasure speaking with you, David Mo!

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Old 23rd August 2019, 09:15 PM   #511
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
You make it sound like the two were arm-wrestling!

I ask again: What actual contribution did Schlick really make, to Einstein's actual work?

Show that, and you'll have made your case. Otherwise Schlick is just someone who happened to have managed a chat with a great man.

.
I wish you would read what I said. I never said Schlick made a contribution. I never gave that impression.

Schlick never made any important contribution to the philosophy of science. I never said he did. He might have if he hadn't been murdered by a Nazi, but he didn't.

I mentioned Schlick to show that Einstein knew he was doing philosophy. I made that perfectly clear as you will see if you read the sentence properly. Please read rather than just skimming and going off on your own tangents and maybe we will make progress.

There are two points here.

1. The debate Einstein was having with the other physicists of the day was a philosophical one.

2. That debate shaped the way the theory of quantum physics developed.

The point I was making was that the philosophy of science is an integral part of science.

That is a pretty major example.
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Old 23rd August 2019, 11:18 PM   #512
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
What you seem to be trying to do is delineate more precisely where the arbitrary line you've drawn around ad hoc hypotheses should in fact be situated, in order that your distinction without a difference looks real. The only problems you seem able to resolve are the ones of your own invention.

Dave
I can't respond to such a generic criticism.
What arbitrary line are you talking about? Why do you consider this line arbitrary?
If you don't answer my questions, the discussion becomes impossible.
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Old 23rd August 2019, 11:38 PM   #513
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
That doesn't answer the question Myriad asked.
You will have to explain yourself, because it seems to answer the question to me.

He asked:
Quote:
So would a question like "Does quantum mechanics actually describe reality, or is it just a mathematical model that works?" be a Philosophy of Science question?

If so, what's the answer according to the Philosophy of Science?
I answered:
Quote:
I would not like to speak for the physics community, but the consensus seems to be "it actually describes reality ".
How doesn't that answer it?

(Edit: Do you mean to say that if the answer to the question comes from the physics community then it can't be the answer according to the Philosophy of Science? If so then maybe you haven't been following the debate)
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Old 23rd August 2019, 11:54 PM   #514
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post

And this post of yours hints at an explanation for your bizarre refusal to clearly answer what I've asked you FSM knows how many times:

Rather than seeing these discussions as a means to an end -- and that end would be understanding -- you clearly see them as an end in themselves.
Once again, your statements seem inexplicable and mysterious to me. What "end" is not of interest to me?

The main problem is that you often ask a question which is flawed in itself and do not accept the reason why this is so.

You want a "concrete example of how philosophy has contributed to science". I replied, "Philosophy helped the fathers of the scientific revolution to change basic concepts of the paradigm of classical physics, such as absolute space or mechanical causality". But you say this is not a "specific example. I see this very specific, but if I ask you why you don't consider it that way, you don't answer anything. Although you continue calling for "a specific solution".

I told you that the problem with your question is that you don't distinguish between the practice of diverse sciences and the interpretation of science. This is a clarification for your question, but you do not say anything about it, but you keep claiming for "a specific solution for science".

I have presented as a specific philosophical contribution the clarification of the ad hoc hypotheses as useful for discrediting pseudosciences. You say that this is not a problem because the method of science solves it easily. I ask you how it is possible. You don't explain this, but you keep asking for "a specific solution for science".

I hope that you will be more receptive to my arguments in a hypothetical new discussion on another subject. Castling is a good move in chess, not in normal discussions. Repeating the same move over and over again regardless of the opponent's moves is not good even in chess.
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Old 24th August 2019, 12:09 AM   #515
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
[b]Take any one case, from among those you've raised -- Schlick, perhaps -- and simply show one, just one, tangible contribution that philosophy of science has made to our current scientific worldview, and clearly explain how it made that contribution.
Easy. Philosophy is very useful for questioning the reductionist positivism, a philosophy very widespread among the common scientific community and the so-called "skeptics". This task is facilitated by the knowledge of the philosophical position of the great scientists of the 20th century.

Of course, this utility is not recognized by people who consider common science as an idol and the great scientists as irrelevant to science... when they attack their idol.

I appreciate the term "common science" introduced by you. It is more expressive than "normal science", usually used in this debate. I will adopt it.

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Old 24th August 2019, 12:16 AM   #516
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
You will have to explain yourself, because it seems to answer the question to me.

He asked:

I answered:

How doesn't that answer it?

(Edit: Do you mean to say that if the answer to the question comes from the physics community then it can't be the answer according to the Philosophy of Science? If so then maybe you haven't been following the debate)
What is the answer then? To "
If so, what's the answer according to the Philosophy of Science?"
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Old 24th August 2019, 01:04 AM   #517
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What is the answer then? To "
If so, what's the answer according to the Philosophy of Science?"
Let me put it a third time:
Quote:
I would not like to speak for the physics community, but the consensus seems to be "it actually describes reality ".
Would you like me to write it a fourth time?

Again, why don't you think that is the answer?

Do you think that because the answer comes from the physics community then the answer cannot be according to the philosophy of science???

If so then you have not been following what I have been saying.
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Old 24th August 2019, 09:42 AM   #518
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
1. The debate Einstein was having with the other physicists of the day was a philosophical one.

2. That debate shaped the way the theory of quantum physics developed.

The point I was making was that the philosophy of science is an integral part of science.

Sure, if #1 and #2 are true, then that conclusion follows.

So show me how #1 and #2 are true. Please tell me:

1. What part of the discussion did philosophy make a key contribution to, and what was that contribution?

2. In what way exactly did this subset of that discussion, this contribution of philosophy, contribute to QM, and to what within QM?

That's what I keep asking you to do, to explain yourself clearly.

And I agree, if you can answer these two points -- which are simply a request for clear explication/demonstration of the two points you had yourself raised -- satisfactorily, then you'll have made your point.
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Old 24th August 2019, 10:09 AM   #519
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I replied, "Philosophy helped the fathers of the scientific revolution to change basic concepts of the paradigm of classical physics, such as absolute space or mechanical causality".

I wish you'd quit knocking down strawmen. I'm not questioning the contribution of philosophy in shaping of the fundamentals of what we know as science. I've said as much, clearly, more than once.

But that was then. Now that that shaping is done, and the scientific method's a given, of what relevance to scientific research is philosophy now, in current times? That's what we're discussing here.


Quote:
I have presented as a specific philosophical contribution the clarification of the ad hoc hypotheses as useful for discrediting pseudosciences. You say that this is not a problem because the method of science solves it easily. I ask you how it is possible. You don't explain this.

I already have. The scientific method is ample to deal with ad hoc hypotheses, and how it deals with them is no different than how it deals with any other hypothesis. I've said this more than once, and Dave, who's a physicist, backs me up on this.

Whether a hypothesis, ad hoc or otherwise, is worthy of consideration at all and worth examining further, now that is a different question, and it is a subjective question, in the sense that it's ultimately a judgment call, made basis the scientist's expertise and knowledge of his specific field.

The question for you is, and has long been, this: What exactly does philosophy bring to bear on the question of ad hoc hypotheses, that the scientific method and the scientist's domain expertise do not?

This is the question I've asked you repeatedly, and that you keep dancing around and side-stepping instead of answering directly and clearly.

Go ahead, you can still have a shot at it, if you've a mind to, and of course provided you're actually able to: the boldfaced portion.

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Old 24th August 2019, 11:57 PM   #520
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I wish you'd quit knocking down strawmen. I'm not questioning the contribution of philosophy in shaping of the fundamentals of what we know as science. I've said as much, clearly, more than once.

But that was then. Now that that shaping is done, and the scientific method's a given, of what relevance to scientific research is philosophy now, in current times? That's what we're discussing here.


I already have. The scientific method is ample to deal with ad hoc hypotheses, and how it deals with them is no different than how it deals with any other hypothesis. I've said this more than once, and Dave, who's a physicist, backs me up on this.

Whether a hypothesis, ad hoc or otherwise, is worthy of consideration at all and worth examining further, now that is a different question, and it is a subjective question, in the sense that it's ultimately a judgment call, made basis the scientist's expertise and knowledge of his specific field.

The question for you is, and has long been, this: What exactly does philosophy bring to bear on the question of ad hoc hypotheses, that the scientific method and the scientist's domain expertise do not?

This is the question I've asked you repeatedly, and that you keep dancing around and side-stepping instead of answering directly and clearly.

Go ahead, you can still have a shot at it, if you've a mind to, and of course provided you're actually able to: the boldfaced portion.
If you concede that philosophy was worth to the scientific revolution of 20th (what we know as science today) you should recognize that this is not a thing of the past. We are living into this revolution. And every time that a revolutionary hypothesis is proposed philosophy is somehow implied. And every time that the orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics is challenged, philosophy is implied in some way. This is not in the past but right now.

About ad hoc hypotheses: If you think that having the meaning of ad hoc hypotheses is useful philosophy of science is useful because this is a task for it. Common science doesn't provide such definition. As I said before, common scientists can use ad hoc hypotheses or not, but there don't give a specific definition of them. May be I am wrong and you could provide here some examples of scientific articles that discuss such a definition.

In addition your question is flawed. When speaking of philosophy (of science) there are not "solutions". There are not algorithms, mathematical formulas or crucial experiments that decide a question. There are instructions for the use at best . That is to say commonly accepted meanings. The commonly accepted meaning of "ad hoc hypothesis" is “an ad hoc hypothesis is a hypothesis proposed to explain a fact that contradicts a theory, that is, to save a single theory from being rejected or refuted”. This is the basic consensus. Ulterior questions arise on this base. To reach an overall agreement about them is more complex.

Your assertion that the use of an ad hoc hypothesis in science is subjective is philosophically interesting. It would make happy a subjectivist like Feyerabend who defended the lack of definition between science and pseudoscience. But I doubt very much that it will be accepted by all scientists.

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