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Old 17th August 2019, 11:25 PM   #441
David Mo
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Juvenile.
Thank you very much!
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Old 17th August 2019, 11:50 PM   #442
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Thank you very much!
YW. The question posed in the OP was "Do clever people outsmart themselves?"

I believe you have amply demonstrated the answer to that question.
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Old 18th August 2019, 02:12 AM   #443
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
YW. The question posed in the OP was "Do clever people outsmart themselves?"

I believe you have amply demonstrated the answer to that question.
This comment is a commonplace. It is very worn. Look for a smarter one.

You can do it!
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Old 18th August 2019, 03:07 AM   #444
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
According some of them, they could not have carried forward the scientific revolution of the 20th century.
Can you clarify the meaning of this because I'm not sure I get it.

Who are the "some of them" and what did they actually say?

They couldn't have carried forward the scientific revolution of the 20th century, unless what? I'm specifically looking for what opinions needed to have been heard and what the negative consequences of those opinions not being heard are. This response by you is very vague and doesn't actually answer the question.

Quote:
For example, in order to demystify the so-called "syndonology" it is necessary to know why it is not science, even though it has been defended by scientists.
The Shroud of Turin in an obscure piece of pseudoscientific nonsense. No scientific revolution is being missed out on because people studying the shroud aren't discussing the demarcation problem in relation to studying the Shroud of Turin.

This is the best example you could come up with?
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Old 18th August 2019, 10:17 PM   #445
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
Can you clarify the meaning of this because I'm not sure I get it.

Who are the "some of them" and what did they actually say?

They couldn't have carried forward the scientific revolution of the 20th century, unless what? I'm specifically looking for what opinions needed to have been heard and what the negative consequences of those opinions not being heard are. This response by you is very vague and doesn't actually answer the question.

The Shroud of Turin in an obscure piece of pseudoscientific nonsense. No scientific revolution is being missed out on because people studying the shroud aren't discussing the demarcation problem in relation to studying the Shroud of Turin.

This is the best example you could come up with?
Einstein and Heisenberg, for example.

They thought that philosophy helped them to change basic concepts of the paradigm of classical physics, such as absolute space or mechanical causality. Einstein said that if scientists had read Hume they would say less nonsense. Heisenberg referred to the Platonic interpretation of science as something he assumed because for him reality is essentially mathematical. He also said: "Thanks to this reading [of the Greek philosophers] I understood the fundamental concepts of atomic theory much more clearly".

I don't know what "opinions heard" you are mentioning. Perhaps you could comment the relationship between the theory of relativity and Hume. Or the Greek philosophers and the principle of indetermination. I would like to hear you, because it is an interesting subject.

I have not quoted the Turin shroud in connection with any scientific revolution. I mentioned it as a case in which it is necessary to have clear concepts of philosophy of science to discuss with some of its supporters who pretend to have made scientific studies on the cloth.
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Old 18th August 2019, 11:09 PM   #446
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I regard all you people talking about love as nothing but brain chemistry as proof of my opening post that clever people outsmart themselves.
I take it as evidence that when people indignantly insist that the would never, ever, not in any circumstances, ever want to talk about reductionism ... are just about to start talking about reductionism.
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:42 AM   #447
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I regard all you people talking about love as nothing but brain chemistry as proof of my opening post that clever people outsmart themselves.

There may be brain chemistry involved in feelings, but I do not believe love can be so easily dismissed.

For example, it was said by men who fought in the trenches of the first world war that they loved each other more than women. So their love was not biological, but born of comradeship..

People also love their pets, and I loved a bird. I cried when she died, and it takes a lot to drag a tear out of me.
The thing is, of course it is not just brain chemicals - put two brains side by side and they won't fall in love however many chemicals you throw their way.

There is a whole system involved here, brains, bodies, environment, billions of years of evolution, hundreds of thousands of years of culture, etc, etc.

The point is that it is almost certainly all constituted, ultimately of particles and the forces between them and there is no contradiction between that and loving your friends, families and pets.
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:46 AM   #448
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Einstein and Heisenberg, for example.
I think you are wasting your time here. I gave evidence of two eminent scientists debating the philosophy of science in the pages of Nature, and saying how important it was for their work.

You could show the correspondence between Einstien and Schlick, but it would still do no good. They are incorrigibly convinced that no scientist has the slightest use for philosophy of science and no mere evidence will convince them otherwise.
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Old 19th August 2019, 09:48 AM   #449
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
They are incorrigibly convinced that no scientist has the slightest use for philosophy of science.
It was an answer to my question, and I don't think that. I've no problem with the philosophy of science or philosophy in general, its' a subject I enjoy.

I don't have the same attitude that some of the others here do, but I do think people who are into it tend to get a bit full of themselves when discussing its importance to various subjects.
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Old 19th August 2019, 10:01 AM   #450
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't know what "opinions heard" you are mentioning.
I'm referring to your post in this thread where you said the following:

Originally Posted by David Mo
Philosophy of science only wants to discuss what is science. And this is a subject that seems to be interesting to many scientists. Their opinion must be heard.
[emphasis mine]

Quote:
Perhaps you could comment the relationship between the theory of relativity and Hume. Or the Greek philosophers and the principle of indetermination. I would like to hear you, because it is an interesting subject.
Why would I comment on those things and what makes you think that anything I would have to say would be worth reading (it wouldn't, I know bugger all about them)? This strikes me as more than a little intellectually pretentious, name dropping subjects like "the Greek philosophers and the principle of indetermination" to make it look like you know all about it because you brought it up and your opponents know nothing because they don't have anything to say about the subject.

Quote:
I mentioned it as a case in which it is necessary to have clear concepts of philosophy of science to discuss with some of its supporters who pretend to have made scientific studies on the cloth.
Discussing the philosophy of science with Shroud of Turin believers sounds about as productive as discussing philosophy of science with Young Earth Creationists. Do you really think that a discussion of what is and isn't science is going to make any difference to what is nonsense that only true believers take seriously? The people who believe that kind of guff aren't interested in the philosophy of science.
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Old 19th August 2019, 10:22 AM   #451
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Do you mean that the practical scientist rejects or admits a hypothesis without knowing why? ...
Why would you think I mean that? I thought I'd made my position clear enough. Since you appear not to have grasped my point -- or perhaps the lapse was mine, in not having explained myself clearly enough -- let me try one more time:

You spoke of "rejection" and "admission" (that is, 'acceptance') of ad hoc hypotheses. Well, we're speaking of two kinds of "acceptance" here.

The actual acceptance of any hypothesis, ad hoc or otherwise, into accepted theory, would depend, always and without exception, on whether it passes muster basis all the relevant criteria that the scientific method lays out.

But the other kind of "acceptance": Which hypotheses are taken seriously, which are accepted for serious investigation? As far as this second kind of acceptance, Sure, ad hoc hypotheses are suspect, generally speaking, that is obvious: but there is no blanket rule that all ad hoc hypotheses are necessarily to be discarded, as you seem to be suggesting.

This last is a purely subjective decision, to be made basis the expertise of the scientist in the relevant field. And that is my take on this -- as a layman, let me hasten to add, and claiming no expertise other than common sense. But again, this appears more reasonable than your apparent stance of discarding all ad hoc hypotheses.



Sure, no reason why a scientist cannot philosophize, like you say, or compose music or bawdy lyrics. But what equips a person to accept or reject an ad hoc hypotheis for further investigation? Two things, clearly: First, an understanding of the scientific method; and second, technical expertise in the relevant field. And that is my take, again as a layman, on this second question.



Remember, we're discussing ad hoc hypotheses because you brought them up, as an example of how philosophy of science can be of concrete use. Well, at neither level of "acceptance", it seems to me, does a knowledge of the philosophy of science, with all its historical baggage, seem at all essential (unlike an understanding of the scientific method, or relevant technical knowledge, both of which are clearly essential).

So go ahead, now, and show us if you can, of what use a knowledge specifically of the philosophy of science might be, that the other two kinds of knowledge don't adequately cover.
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Old 19th August 2019, 09:07 PM   #452
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I think you are wasting your time here. I gave evidence of two eminent scientists debating the philosophy of science in the pages of Nature, and saying how important it was for their work.

You could show the correspondence between Einstien and Schlick, but it would still do no good. They are incorrigibly convinced that no scientist has the slightest use for philosophy of science and no mere evidence will convince them otherwise.
I'm not trying to convince anyone. Discussing a topic that interests you is useful to yourself. It helps to clarify ideas and review others. Sometimes you make someone think, although it is rare to recognize this in a forum. Here everyone enters beating drums and trumpets of victory even though they are losing the battle.
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Old 19th August 2019, 09:18 PM   #453
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post

Why would I comment on those things and what makes you think that anything I would have to say would be worth reading (it wouldn't, I know bugger all about them)? This strikes me as more than a little intellectually pretentious, name dropping subjects like "the Greek philosophers and the principle of indetermination" to make it look like you know all about it because you brought it up and your opponents know nothing because they don't have anything to say about the subject.

Discussing the philosophy of science with Shroud of Turin believers sounds about as productive as discussing philosophy of science with Young Earth Creationists. Do you really think that a discussion of what is and isn't science is going to make any difference to what is nonsense that only true believers take seriously? The people who believe that kind of guff aren't interested in the philosophy of science.
If we are talking about philosophy and science and you seem to disagree with what Einstein says, it is logical that I ask you for your opinion. I don't know what's pretentious about it. Another thing is for you to recognize that you know nothing about philosophy or Einstein. I have confessed my limitations regarding the theory of relativity. You seem afraid to confess yours.

The subject of the Turin shroud, like any other related to pseudosciences, is not interesting in itself. Superstition is superstition even though it is dressed as science. What is interesting is to refute some pseudo-theories that are very successful among naive people who are looking for the marvelous outside of this world. Fanatics will not be convinced. Sure. But that's not the point.
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Old 19th August 2019, 09:50 PM   #454
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post

This last is a purely subjective decision, to be made basis the expertise of the scientist in the relevant field. And that is my take on this -- as a layman, let me hasten to add, and claiming no expertise other than common sense. But again, this appears more reasonable than your apparent stance of discarding all ad hoc hypotheses.



(...) But what equips a person to accept or reject an ad hoc hypotheis for further investigation? Two things, clearly: First, an understanding of the scientific method; and second, technical expertise in the relevant field. And that is my take, again as a layman, on this second question.

(...)So go ahead, now, and show us if you can, of what use a knowledge specifically of the philosophy of science might be, that the other two kinds of knowledge don't adequately cover.
I don't quite understand what you say is subjective. I do not know if you are saying that the decision to accept or not accept an ad hoc hypothesis is subjective. That would be very interesting.

In any case, as you say, the acceptance of an ad hoc hypothesis is determined by the understanding of the scientific method. I suggest a test: go to a search engine for academic articles (Google Scholar, for example) search for "scientific method" and "ad hoc hypothesis" and find out who is dealing with the subject and in which scientific journals they publish their articles. I can tell you the results: whether they are scientists or philosophers, you will find them discussing in journals of philosophy or philosophy of science.

What is the conclusion? I suggest starting with one: there are two ways to practice science. One is normalized science, which operates within a paradigm without questioning it; another is science that breaks down the barriers of normalized paradigms. The first is rather applied science. The second is theoretical science. So that you don't imagine that I am saying strange things, I will tell you that I am only collecting the opinion of three scientists: Einstein, Kuhn and Popper.

Your attempt to reduce the philosophy of science to a mere hobby is not serious. Anyone can see that the philosophy of science refers - for better or for worse - to the professional activity of scientists while skating or watercolor painting has nothing to do with it.
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:26 AM   #455
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
It was an answer to my question, and I don't think that. I've no problem with the philosophy of science or philosophy in general, its' a subject I enjoy.

I don't have the same attitude that some of the others here do, but I do think people who are into it tend to get a bit full of themselves when discussing its importance to various subjects.
Sorry if I misrepresented your position.
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:54 AM   #456
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't quite understand what you say is subjective. I do not know if you are saying that the decision to accept or not accept an ad hoc hypothesis is subjective. That would be very interesting.

In any case, as you say, the acceptance of an ad hoc hypothesis is determined by the understanding of the scientific method. I suggest a test: go to a search engine for academic articles (Google Scholar, for example) search for "scientific method" and "ad hoc hypothesis" and find out who is dealing with the subject and in which scientific journals they publish their articles. I can tell you the results: whether they are scientists or philosophers, you will find them discussing in journals of philosophy or philosophy of science.

What is the conclusion? I suggest starting with one: there are two ways to practice science. One is normalized science, which operates within a paradigm without questioning it; another is science that breaks down the barriers of normalized paradigms. The first is rather applied science. The second is theoretical science. So that you don't imagine that I am saying strange things, I will tell you that I am only collecting the opinion of three scientists: Einstein, Kuhn and Popper.

Your attempt to reduce the philosophy of science to a mere hobby is not serious. Anyone can see that the philosophy of science refers - for better or for worse - to the professional activity of scientists while skating or watercolor painting has nothing to do with it.

You're simply dodging the issue I'm afraid, David.

You suggested that the philosophy of science does indeed have concrete uses to real issues. So I asked you to demonstrate this with the help of some actual example. You suggested ad hoc hypotheses. Fine then, I asked you to show how exactly this example demonstrates the fact that the philosophy of science does have concrete uses. I myself suggested that acceptance or otherwise of ad hoc hypotheses has to do with knowledge of (a) the scientific method itself, and (b) technical knowledge of the relevant field. And I invited you to show how, in your view, knowledge of the philosophy of science can make some concrete contribution here, in this particular instance, over and above the contribution from these two kinds of knowledge I mentioned.

This is the third or fourth time I'm asking you. Instead of dancing around the issue, why not simply discuss how your example does make the point you claimed it makes?

I am afraid this interminable dancing-the-dance thing, that grotesque sport so popular in these forums, is something I don't have much appetite for. If after this you don't directly answer, well then, that's all good and fine, no reason for you to pursue some line of discussion that you are either not able to or don't want to: but in that case, I guess I'll just withdraw.

I'm neither professional nor fanboy, when it comes to either science or philosophy. It does appear to me, basis the arguments presented by others here, as well as my own thoughts, that philosophy of science, while no doubt we owe a great deal to it for contributions in times past, is little more than an academic exercise today. Admittedly that view is bases on only very cursory knowledge of either philosophy or even of science itself, so I realize I could be wrong. If you're able to clearly discuss how exactly knowledge of philosophy of science can contribute to accepting or rejecting ad hoc hypotheses (in ways that simply knowledge of the scientific method, as well as technical knowledge, cannot), then I'm willing to change my view. If you can't, or won't, then for now I guess I'll stick to that view, and move on.

Last edited by Chanakya; 20th August 2019 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:42 PM   #457
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
You're simply dodging the issue I'm afraid, David.

You suggested that the philosophy of science does indeed have concrete uses to real issues. So I asked you to demonstrate this with the help of some actual example. You suggested ad hoc hypotheses. Fine then, I asked you to show how exactly this example demonstrates the fact that the philosophy of science does have concrete uses. I myself suggested that acceptance or otherwise of ad hoc hypotheses has to do with knowledge of (a) the scientific method itself, and (b) technical knowledge of the relevant field. And I invited you to show how, in your view, knowledge of the philosophy of science can make some concrete contribution here, in this particular instance, over and above the contribution from these two kinds of knowledge I mentioned.

This is the third or fourth time I'm asking you. Instead of dancing around the issue, why not simply discuss how your example does make the point you claimed it makes?

I am afraid this interminable dancing-the-dance thing, that grotesque sport so popular in these forums, is something I don't have much appetite for. If after this you don't directly answer, well then, that's all good and fine, no reason for you to pursue some line of discussion that you are either not able to or don't want to: but in that case, I guess I'll just withdraw.

I'm neither professional nor fanboy, when it comes to either science or philosophy. It does appear to me, basis the arguments presented by others here, as well as my own thoughts, that philosophy of science, while no doubt we owe a great deal to it for contributions in times past, is little more than an academic exercise today. Admittedly that view is bases on only very cursory knowledge of either philosophy or even of science itself, so I realize I could be wrong. If you're able to clearly discuss how exactly knowledge of philosophy of science can contribute to accepting or rejecting ad hoc hypotheses (in ways that simply knowledge of the scientific method, as well as technical knowledge, cannot), then I'm willing to change my view. If you can't, or won't, then for now I guess I'll stick to that view, and move on.
You ask me to show you a "concrete" insect. I point out a fly and you tell me to show you a "concrete" insect. Then I begin to think that something is wrong with our vocabulary.

You asked me to point out some "concrete use" of philosophy. I have pointed out two: to help change scientific paradigms and to clarify the concept of ad hoc hypotheses. The latter in relation to the fraudulent use of ad hoc hypotheses in pseudosciences. You tell me that I have not shown you a "concrete use".

I am afraid I do not understand what you mean by "concrete use" or "real issue". Or you do not understand. I suspect you're thinking about using technological tools like radar, penicillin or microscope. If so, you're a little confused. Philosophy is not a technological device to manipulate things.
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Old 21st August 2019, 01:28 AM   #458
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It's a simple question.

Someone who is adept in his field (of scientific research) as well as conversant with the scientific method will, basis this knowledge, be able to dismiss implausible hypotheses, including ad hoc hypothese.

What additional contribution does "philosophy of science" make towards dismissing ad hoc hypotheses? What will this scientist gain from a study of philosophy of science, in terms of how he deals with ad hoc hypotheses?

If you're aware of some compelling answer, it should be a simple matter to present it, either as it applies to ad hoc hypotheses in general, or else some specific ad hoc hypotheses that you know about.


---


Don't rush to answer me. This isn't a "debate", as far as I am concerned, with people on opposing sides trying to score points. Just think about this a minute, your hands away from the keyboard.

You believe philosophy of science helps us deal with ad hoc hypotheses, right? So explain why you believe this: what "help" does it actually proffer, that is not easily available from directly knowing the scientific method and the technical details of one's specialty?
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Old 21st August 2019, 01:31 AM   #459
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Duplicate post, deleted.

Last edited by Chanakya; 21st August 2019 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 21st August 2019, 02:20 AM   #460
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
It's a simple question.

Someone who is adept in his field (of scientific research) as well as conversant with the scientific method will, basis this knowledge, be able to dismiss implausible hypotheses, including ad hoc hypothese.
You surprise me.

According to what you say the problem of ad hoc hypotheses is really a problem but "it's simple" and can be solved by anyone who is "conversant" with the scientific method. This is consistent with a previous idea of yours: that the scientist solves this problem intuitively. We would say that scientists and philosophers who fiercely argue the problem are wasting their time. It is already solved. Easily solved.

Can I know the simple way to solve it? If it's simple you'll be able to express it in a couple of lines, won't you?

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Old 21st August 2019, 02:36 AM   #461
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
According to what you say the problem of ad hoc hypotheses is really a problem but "it's simple" and can be solved by anyone who is "conversant" with the scientific method. This is consistent with a previous idea of yours: that the scientist solves this problem intuitively. We would say that scientists and philosophers who fiercely argue the problem are wasting their time. It is already solved. Easily solved.

Can I know the simple way to solve it? If it's simple you'll be able to express it in a couple of lines, won't you?
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, if the scientific method can't handle ad hoc hypotheses either, then philosophy of science must be considered an equally valid tool for dealing with them. This seems like classic woo thinking; astrology can't predict the future accurately, but neither can science, therefore astrology is equally as valid as science.

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. In other words, they are dealt with the same way as any scientific hypothesis. What can the philosophy of science add to that?

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Old 21st August 2019, 05:01 AM   #462
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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, if the scientific method can't handle ad hoc hypotheses either, then philosophy of science must be considered an equally valid tool for dealing with them. This seems like classic woo thinking; astrology can't predict the future accurately, but neither can science, therefore astrology is equally as valid as science.

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. In other words, they are dealt with the same way as any scientific hypothesis. What can the philosophy of science add to that?
You're wasting your breath. Stripped of all word salad and "Well this philosopher said" you're never going to discussion out of David that amounts to anything beyond:

"Science doesn't know everything!"
"Then what does?"
"Science doesn't know everything!"
"Then what does?"
"Science doesn't know everything!"
"Then... what... does?"
"Science doesn't know everything!"
"THEN.... WHAT... DOES?"
"Science doesn't know everything!"
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Old 21st August 2019, 07:17 AM   #463
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I already gave an example of a philosophy of science subject that scientists themselves discuss and gave a cite to a substantial scientist saying that it was important to their work.

Do you want more? Hasn't Occam's Razor been useful in the business of doing science? The concept of falsifiability?

Mayr seemed to regard philosophical analysis of cause and effect, the "proximate-ultimate" distinction as being a matter of practical importance, not just of tangential interest.

I sometimes cross swords with an astrophysicist, himself a brutal critic of philosophy of science, who nevertheless says that Quine's "Web of Belief" concept is important to the way science builds up knowledge of the world. This is, itself, an adaptation of Neurath's "Ship of Theseus" analogy.
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Old 21st August 2019, 08:00 AM   #464
David Mo
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
You're wasting your breath. Stripped of all word salad and "Well this philosopher said" you're never going to discussion out of David that amounts to anything beyond:

"Science doesn't know everything!"
"Then what does?"
"Science doesn't know everything!"
"Then what does?"
"Science doesn't know everything!"
"Then... what... does?"
"Science doesn't know everything!"
"THEN.... WHAT... DOES?"
"Science doesn't know everything!"
We have already given you several examples of kinds of knowledge that are different of science. Not that they "know everything", obviously. It's just that your hearing aid doesn't work. No matter how much we yell at you, you won't get it.
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Old 21st August 2019, 08:03 AM   #465
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Well, obviously science doesn't know everything - I would be astounded if there would be a natural scientist who would claim that. And anyway, it doesn't address moral and ethical questions at all for example. Is abortion wrong, should there be a death penalty, should citizens have the right to carry arms? What is the answer of natural science to those questions?
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Old 21st August 2019, 08:11 AM   #466
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It is probably too charged an atmosphere to talk about it properly. There is a distinction made between an ad-hoc hypothesis and the legitimate introduction of provisional or auxiliary hypotheses.

The idea is to find a set of criteria to find when something is a legitimate move like this or when it has become an immunising strategy for a poor theory.

In other words the issue is the demarcation problem. And yes, I know that a lot of scientists say the demarcation problem is not a problem, that the scientific method will sort the chaff from the wheat.

But the question is, does the fact that philosophy has not supplied a cut and dried, complete answer to the demarcation problem that everyone accepts mean that it has not made any useful contribution in this area?

How is science dealing with something like the Integrated Information Theory? Science or pseudoscience?
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Old 21st August 2019, 08:12 AM   #467
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Also there is an odd misconception here that there is a distinction between science and the philosophy of science.

The philosophy of science is and always has been part of the scientific method.
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Old 21st August 2019, 08:29 AM   #468
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You surprise me.

According to what you say the problem of ad hoc hypotheses is really a problem but "it's simple" and can be solved by anyone who is "conversant" with the scientific method. This is consistent with a previous idea of yours: that the scientist solves this problem intuitively. We would say that scientists and philosophers who fiercely argue the problem are wasting their time. It is already solved. Easily solved.

Can I know the simple way to solve it? If it's simple you'll be able to express it in a couple of lines, won't you?

Not intuitively. Nor without criteria, as you've earlier on misrepresented me as having said. These are strawmen that you, for some reason, keep putting up.

I'm saying ad hoc hypetheses are no exotic creature, that might need some exotic means of dealing with them: they can be dealt with in the normal course, using that very same equipment that science generally uses, which are: (a) the scientific method; and (b) technical expertise and knowledge specific to the field being researched.

I'm saying, I see no scope for any philosophy of science to make any contribution here.

-------

And I note that you continue trying to look for any excuse you can lay your hands on, to not answer the question.

Why do you insist on "debating" on? I believe my ideas on how science deals with ad hoc hypotheses are far more representative of reality than yours are: but whether I'm correct or not is beside the point here, really. The question, at the moment, is this: How, exactly, does philosophy of science help us in dealing with ad hoc hypotheses, in ways that simply knowing one's field of expertise and applying the scientific method does not?

Why do you not answer the question?

If you don't really know, it's okay, just admit it, or simply leave this be, and that's the end to this. I'm sorry about this persistence of mine, my intention is not to embarrass you, but only to see if you have any good reason for me to change how I think about the utility of philosophy of science, that's all.

Instead of working up a sweat in a futile attempt to pin me down on logical or conceptual errors in what I say, just answer the question, why don't you?

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Old 21st August 2019, 08:42 AM   #469
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Also there is an odd misconception here that there is a distinction between science and the philosophy of science.

The philosophy of science is and always has been part of the scientific method.

Can you expand on this?

If, as you're saying, what's being referred to as the philosophy of science is simply a part of the scientific method, not in times past but today, then we may be arguing about nothing.

Okay, dumb question, if I may: What exactly is the philosophy of science then? Not historically, but today, in context of what you've just said in your comment and that I've just repeated here?


eta:
I'm not sure it necessarily matters, that some eminent scientist may have remarked to some other eminent scientist, that philosophy of science has helped them in their work. After all, they may make the same kind of remark about the grace of god, or their mutual faith in god.

Can you discuss some particular instance -- in current times -- of philosophy of science actually helping us "do science"? (Or, like I asked, elaborate on your idea that philosophy of science is simply part of the scientific method, in current times not in the past?)

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Old 21st August 2019, 09:28 AM   #470
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
... 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. In other words, they are dealt with the same way as any scientific hypothesis. ...

Ah, thank you! This seemed to me the common sense way to look at ad hoc hypotheses, but given that I'm not actually a scientist myself, I was just a bit unsure whether "common sense" might not be misleading me here.

You speak from personal knowledge, then? (Just checking that this isn't a case of two blind men agreeing over something neither has actually seen.)

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Old 21st August 2019, 04:28 PM   #471
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I'm not sure it necessarily matters, that some eminent scientist may have remarked to some other eminent scientist, that philosophy of science has helped them in their work. After all, they may make the same kind of remark about the grace of god, or their mutual faith in god.
Or it may be that people like Weinberg, Mayr and Einstein have a pretty good handle on what it means, in general, to do science.
Quote:
Can you discuss some particular instance -- in current times -- of philosophy of science actually helping us "do science"?
I thought I had already. Can you define "current times" then, last 20 years? The last 40 years?
Quote:
(Or, like I asked, elaborate on your idea that philosophy of science is simply part of the scientific method, in current times not in the past?)
OK, but later, it might take a little longer. If I am to contradict some strongly held myths (like the idea that science was invented whole out of thin air by Galileo), then I had better get my wording right.

(Edited because I have no idea whether or not what I originally said was insensitive to other cultures).
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Old 21st August 2019, 07:36 PM   #472
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Or it may be that people like Weinberg, Mayr and Einstein have a pretty good handle on what it means, in general, to do science.

Sure it could. In general, and also, perhaps, in this specific instance. Goes without saying, right? That is precisely why this question, else we could have simply discarded that observation, and this discussion, without further ado.

The point is, not everything one scientist says to another in general terms is necessarily scientific, or even correct, even when it has to do with science.


Quote:
... Can you define "current times" then, last 20 years? The last 40 years?

Sure. 20 years, 40 years, would be fine.


Quote:
OK, but later, it might take a little longer.

Please, take your time. No rush at all.


Quote:
If I am to contradict some strongly held myths (like the idea that science was invented whole out of thin air by Galileo)

Who has shown themselves to be holding strongly held myths of that nature, and why is that of such relevance here that you feel the need to say this to me?

I seem to perceive an implied strawman here. Let go of it, please.


Quote:
, then I had better get my wording right.

(Edited because I have no idea whether or not what I originally said was insensitive to other cultures).

I don't see why apologists for the philosophy of science feel the need to flail around and contort themselves endlessly, instead of simply producing one single piece of evidence, or a straightforward answer to the question actually raised.

I've given up, now, on getting a clear answer on this from David Mo. In your case also, to simply explain your earlier remark that the philosophy of science is simply part of, perhaps a subset of, the scientific method, shouldn't be such a difficult thing, should it? There's no need to tread eggshells: your observation seemed different than what I think, and also not exactly the same as what easily available sources like Wikipedia have to say, so my question was just a simple request for clarification and some explanation, not (hopefully!) the prelude to (yet another!) endless debate.



eta:

Okay, on second thoughts, let me follow your example and precisely word my questions to you, in order to prevent any possible misunderstandings:

(a) Can you expand on your comment that philosophy of science is simply part of the scientific method itself, not just historically but in practice today? A superficial read (Wikipedia) does not seem to bear you out. And, like you yourself said, the posts in this on thread, including those from those plugging the case for philosophy of science, don't seem to bear this out either.

(b) What some scientist has to say to another in general terms about philosophy of science may be interesting and not necessarily irrelevant, but can you produce any evidencr of a case where philosophy of sciencre has been of concrete use, in recent times, in actually helping to formulate or to accept/reject some hypothesis, in ways that would not have been possible without a knowledge of what philosophy of science has to say?

(Of course, depending on your answer to question-a, question-b may well turn out to be moot.)

Just answer these two questions clearly, please -- not as a challenge but simply to clarify your position to someone who'd like to know better what you mean -- without worrying about what religious or cultural or gendered or any other sensibilities you might accidentally offend. Just a single clearly worded post will probably suffice to answer, and put an end to, what I asked.

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Old 21st August 2019, 10:54 PM   #473
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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 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. In other words, they are dealt with the same way as any scientific hypothesis. What can the philosophy of science add to that?

Dave
Two preliminary questions:

I didn't say that I don't know how to handle ad hoc hypotheses. You must have misunderstood something I said.

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. I will speak of "experts" to avoid this mess.

If you think otherwise, I would be grateful if you could give some kind of reference to ad hoc hypotheses that are exclusively scientific. Especially what you say "the scientific method". I am especially intrigued by this: "to incorporate them into a simpler and more internally consistent framework". What do you mean? The problem of simplicity has to do with Occam's razor, but not with the hypotheses ad hoc. Moreover, ad hoc hypotheses are not inconsistent with the theoretical system in which they are integrated. Their function is precisely to reinforce the coherence of the theoretical system in the face of anomalies. If you said your source we could clear this point.

Going to the substance of the issue: if an ad hoc hypothesis were simply a proposition not tested, all hypotheses would be ad hoc. You must look for a better definition of an ad hoc hypothesis. I suggest that a hypothesis is ad hoc when it is only used to save a particular anomaly of a theory (or paradigm). That is the most common use among experts. It is not perfect, but it is practical.

There are other confusing things in your commentary, but I prefer stick to the above for now.
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Old 21st August 2019, 11:14 PM   #474
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Not intuitively. Nor without criteria, as you've earlier on misrepresented me as having said. These are strawmen that you, for some reason, keep putting up.

I'm saying ad hoc hypetheses are no exotic creature, that might need some exotic means of dealing with them: they can be dealt with in the normal course, using that very same equipment that science generally uses, which are: (a) the scientific method; and (b) technical expertise and knowledge specific to the field being researched.

I'm saying, I see no scope for any philosophy of science to make any contribution here.
In short: you pretend that science has a method for solving the problem of ad hoc hypotheses, but there is no need to say what it is. It solves itself.

I say that this method can exist but when it comes to knowing what an ad hoc hypothesis is and why it is necessary to reject them, it must be explicitly explained and science does not do this. (Scientists frequently don't use even the name "hypotheses ad hoc"). That is why the philosophy of science is useful when the problem arises.

And the problem arises when one discusses what is science and what is pseudoscience. A scientist who is making ad hoc hypotheses to save homeopathy is not worth telling him that science does not make ad hoc hypotheses. You will have to explain what an ad hoc hypothesis is and why it should not be used. Especially if the homeopath is educated and reminds you of some cases in which science did make ad hoc hypotheses.

This is a clear example of why some scientists have been concerned about the issue along with many philosophers. If you want us to enter into the debate around ad hoc hypotheses we can do so. But it would be better if you read a little bit about what the subject is. It would be easier this debate that, according you, we have not.

It is a contribution here to a real problem. Is it not?
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Old 21st August 2019, 11:22 PM   #475
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Canakya and Dave:

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. And this is where the scientist becomes a philosopher.

In some cases philosophical theories about science have some application, but it is not necessary that the interpretation of science has any concrete utility. It can be based on the simple need to know things. Which is useful in another sense.
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Old 21st August 2019, 11:23 PM   #476
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I don't see why apologists for the philosophy of science feel the need to flail around and contort themselves endlessly, instead of simply producing one single piece of evidence, or a straightforward answer to the question actually raised.
People in this thread said that scientists would never ever in any circumstances be interested in discussing reductionism.

I produced direct evidence of two quite important scientists discussing reductionism in the pages of one of the most respected science journals and even saying that such discussions were important to science.

What was not straightforward about that??? Seriously. What was not straightforward about that???

But did anyone say, "Oh, apparently we were wrong, some scientists are interested in discussing reductionism and do find it important to their work"?

If there is any flailing then it is clearly being done by you guys.

You asked me to give a complete account of the philosophy of science and its relationship to the scientific method and you ask me to produce this instantly in an atmosphere where even the slightest typo or poorly phrased sentence will bring on several hysterical irrational straw man responses.
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Old 21st August 2019, 11:28 PM   #477
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
There's no need to tread eggshells
Seriously? In this atmostphere. Where after all my direct answers I say that I have to take a little time to think about an answer I am immediately accused of "flailing"?
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Old 21st August 2019, 11:34 PM   #478
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
(b) What some scientist has to say to another in general terms about philosophy of science may be interesting and not necessarily irrelevant, but can you produce any evidencr of a case where philosophy of sciencre has been of concrete use, in recent times, in actually helping to formulate or to accept/reject some hypothesis, in ways that would not have been possible without a knowledge of what philosophy of science has to say?
Wait a moment. The goal posts appear to have changed again.

Are you saying that science begins and ends with the formulation of, or the acceptance/rejection of hypotheses? Isn't science a wider term than that?
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Old 21st August 2019, 11:37 PM   #479
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Perhaps we are talking at cross purposes and we mean different things by science.

While I am formulating my answer, maybe the others here could tell me what they mean by "science", when it began, what its scope is.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 12:22 AM   #480
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Also there is an odd misconception here that there is a distinction between science and the philosophy of science.

The philosophy of science is and always has been part of the scientific method.
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).
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