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Old 28th November 2012, 12:10 PM   #241
marplots
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
What is the current theory of philosophy that is accepted by most philosophers?
Well, to pick one out that's easy to talk about, Marx's idea that human nature was driven entirely by social context has been abandoned (refuted in detail by Norman Geras) so that philosophers accept that human nature is a combination of innate and social. This resolved the nature vs. nurture argument.

It is however, still an ongoing shaping of the theory to describe just which parts of human behavior are hardwired and which shaped or created by context. For example, how much of moral judgement is bound up in the genome?

This highlights one clear advantage philosophers have. They are not restricted in this question to what is produced by some sub-specialty. They often blend results from biology, psychology, neurology and others to make their arguments.
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Old 28th November 2012, 12:23 PM   #242
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Here's a physics PhD of some note doing philosophy:
http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/essay.htm

Perhaps the problem is with the box we are trying to jam philosophy into. It's really nothing more than systematic thinking about the world. It uses the facts and discoveries of science, it uses the logics of mathematics, it uses appeals to emotion and commonsense -- in short, all the cognitive tools available.

It's not something to be feared or poo-pooed, it's really just disciplined thinking.
It's also not the cartoon version of sonorous and impenetrable obtuseness. Clarity really is the objective, but without eschewing the complex when warranted.
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Old 28th November 2012, 01:41 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by TeapotCavalry View Post
Apart from it being simply false (I have provided my own definitions, not that it matters), here, how's that for you: Philosophy is the study of the nature of reality, knowledge, ethics, language and reason. Didn't copy-paste it, honest.

Now could you tell me what is the point of me telling you my half-assed, probably poorly phrased and certainly lacking definition of philosophy, when a more sufficient one is provided for us in any dictionary or encyclopedia?
How do you study reality without using empirical methods?
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Old 28th November 2012, 01:41 PM   #244
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Let's try another example to see if people will get it when approached from a different angle. What failures in rationality does the following passage display?

"Music is completely stupid and a waste of time. I know all about music. For instance many years ago I listened to a 'popular' song called Achy Breaky Heart, and it was awful. Recently someone called Rebecca Black sang a song and it was ghastly - look, if I have to I'll give you a link so that nobody can say my argument isn't thoroughly referenced.

That's not all though. I also listened to this 'famous' piece called Beethoven's something, and it was total wank. It went on forever and used sixty instruments to play a tune that you could play on a simple piano. Plus I listened to this Renaissance piece once and it was really boring.

To top it off, one time this insufferable git brought a guitar to a party and played it, and he couldn't sing, and he couldn't play, and his taste in music was terrible, and he ruined the party with his attention-seeking.

I don't understand why musicians keep claiming music powers the Space Shuttle. I'm sure they claim this all the time, even though I can't find a citation and nobody will argue against me. But if it doesn't power the Space Shuttle it clearly has no use whatsoever.

Plus this one musician was religious. I mean, case closed! Woo woo city!

Lastly people keep saying I don't know anything about music, have no real knowledge about or understanding of music, and that I am painting with a ridiculously broad brush out of utter ignorance. Well, I'll show them all! Here's a definition of music I cut and pasted from the Free Dictionary. Bam!

mu·sic (myzk)
n.
1. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
2. Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.
3.
a. A musical composition.
b. The written or printed score for such a composition.
c. Such scores considered as a group: We keep our music in a stack near the piano.
4. A musical accompaniment.
5. A particular category or kind of music.
6. An aesthetically pleasing or harmonious sound or combination of sounds: the music of the wind in the pines.

Anyone who disagrees with me after that is a big silly woo-woo
".
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Old 28th November 2012, 02:02 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
You are surely joking. The constant refrain is that somehow philosophy is important to science. Well without any evidence for that I can dismiss the claim.

OK so you seem to be withdrawing from that, well now show some evidence that philosophy has contributed anything to ethics.
It's completely dishonest argumentative tactics to accuse me of "withdrawing" from an argument that was your straw man in the first place. It would be minimally polite of you to withdraw that accusation and own your straw man.

As has already been explained to you, a decent analogy is that studying philosophy is to doing science what studying grammar is to talking. You can do just fine without it, but if you've studied the underpinnings rigorously you've got a language with which to analyse why certain constructions work or do not work.

As far as ethics goes, asking what philosophy has contributed to ethics is like asking what putting sounds in a pre-arranged order has contributed to music. If you're not adhering blindly to theistic dictums or social norms, if you're thinking logically about what you should and should not do, then you're by definition doing philosophy.

If you want specific examples, how about Jeremy Bentham? The founder of utilitarian moral philosophy, he was a libertarian, feminist, abolitionist animal-rights supporter and he was born in 1748. Apart from being 250 years ahead of his time he was also a major influence on John Stuart Mill, who was a pretty cool guy even if he's been fetishised by the kind of USians who capitalise "founding father".

Quote:
Critical thinking certainly isn't a monopoly of philosophy you may be trained in it and use logical arguments but scientists have been doing that for years without training in philosophy.
This argument is exactly as inane as arguing that the English department has no monopoly on the use of English language, because the Geography department has been teaching in English "for years".
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Old 28th November 2012, 02:24 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Well, to pick one out that's easy to talk about, Marx's idea that human nature was driven entirely by social context has been abandoned (refuted in detail by Norman Geras) so that philosophers accept that human nature is a combination of innate and social. This resolved the nature vs. nurture argument.

It is however, still an ongoing shaping of the theory to describe just which parts of human behavior are hardwired and which shaped or created by context. For example, how much of moral judgement is bound up in the genome?

This highlights one clear advantage philosophers have. They are not restricted in this question to what is produced by some sub-specialty. They often blend results from biology, psychology, neurology and others to make their arguments.
And it's only been going on for a few thousand years. When can we expect some results?

Last edited by dafydd; 28th November 2012 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 28th November 2012, 03:26 PM   #247
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(numbering mine)
Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
The Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience is a good example of where philosophy is going. It used to study big questions like the difference between living and dead materials but the chemists spoiled that by actually doing experiments. They used to study the cosmos but [1] physicists, mathematicians and [2] astronomers spoiled that by making observations and falsifiable theories. So now they have moved onto softer subjects such as neuroscience and conciousness. Well, we have already seen that Dennett has to do science to study conciousness and when the neuroscientists start hooking up the neurochemistry to large scale responses the philosopher will have to look elsewhere.
Marplots provided a very good example of how philosophy and science intersect. And in fact further examples can be provided based on your objection.

1. In studuying quantum mechanics physicists use various interpretations of quantum mechanics. These interpretations differ in their ontology, epistemology, determinism, realism etc. which are philosophical concepts, and are of interest to both philosophers and physicists.

2. In reasoning and forming theories astrophysicists and cosmologists use anthropic principle, which is a "philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it."

Last edited by spin0; 28th November 2012 at 03:32 PM. Reason: link
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Old 28th November 2012, 03:37 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by spin0 View Post
"philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it."
That's a tad tautological.
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Old 28th November 2012, 03:52 PM   #249
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Philosophers Kick Ass, Man!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Übermensch!

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Old 28th November 2012, 03:53 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
That's a tad tautological.
Well, it's just a general form since there are many versions of it, and weak anthropic principle is indeed a tautology but some other ones aren't. Anyway this thread is not about anthropic principle, I provided just as an example as there was some demand for them.

Last edited by spin0; 28th November 2012 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 28th November 2012, 04:04 PM   #251
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It's Kim Kierkegaardashian.

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Old 28th November 2012, 04:12 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by spin0 View Post
I'll have some of what she's been smoking!
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Old 28th November 2012, 04:46 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe View Post
It's completely dishonest argumentative tactics to accuse me of "withdrawing" from an argument that was your straw man in the first place. It would be minimally polite of you to withdraw that accusation and own your straw man.
OK, you seem to be dissociating yourself from the claim that philosophy has anything to contribute to science. That better?

Quote:
As has already been explained to you, a decent analogy is that studying philosophy is to doing science what studying grammar is to talking. You can do just fine without it, but if you've studied the underpinnings rigorously you've got a language with which to analyse why certain constructions work or do not work.
Arguing from analogy is always a dangerous game. As was explained to that point, the study of grammar may be very absorbing, I don't need it to read a book unless I want to critique its grammar.

Quote:
As far as ethics goes, asking what philosophy has contributed to ethics is like asking what putting sounds in a pre-arranged order has contributed to music. If you're not adhering blindly to theistic dictums or social norms, if you're thinking logically about what you should and should not do, then you're by definition doing philosophy.
My point was in response to the accusation that I and/or others had claimed that if philosophy had no value to science it had no value period. As no-one had made that argument, the point is a straw man. But if you or others are claiming that philosophy has a usefulness in deciding ethics then show us the evidence. Claiming I'm using grammar and therefore grammar experts are contributing to my efforts can count as philosophers here.

Quote:
If you want specific examples, how about Jeremy Bentham? The founder of utilitarian moral philosophy, he was a libertarian, feminist, abolitionist animal-rights supporter and he was born in 1748. Apart from being 250 years ahead of his time he was also a major influence on John Stuart Mill, who was a pretty cool guy even if he's been fetishised by the kind of USians who capitalise "founding father".
Ooh, something real, I go and read it, but still won't consider your grammar experts are contributing anything to either the meaning of what I see or my interpretation.
Quote:
This argument is exactly as inane as arguing that the English department has no monopoly on the use of English language, because the Geography department has been teaching in English "for years".
No the argument is really against all those who try to claim that the study of philosophy has anything to do with science. Much as the grammarians have anything to do with the construction of a scientific paper, they may, like philosophers hang on the coat tails of science and make their comments, but contribute? What nonsense.
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Old 28th November 2012, 04:53 PM   #254
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post


My point was in response to the accusation that I and/or others had claimed that if philosophy had no value to science it had no value period. .
Exactly. It is good mental exercise, but of little practical value.
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Old 28th November 2012, 04:54 PM   #255
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I like philosophy and critical thinking.... but I know some majors in philosophy and they don't seem any better off then anyone else (or any better at critical thinking)... though I'm sure it still must help a bit...... Who is the 9/11 truther that teaches critical thinking again? That blows my mind.
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:02 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by spin0 View Post
(numbering mine)
Marplots provided a very good example of how philosophy and science intersect.
Perhaps it was very good for you.
Quote:
And in fact further examples can be provided based on your objection.

1. In studuying quantum mechanics physicists use various interpretations of quantum mechanics. These interpretations differ in their ontology, epistemology, determinism, realism etc. which are philosophical concepts, and are of interest to both philosophers and physicists.
Your are describing an event after it happened in your own terms, much as a historian would describe it using dates and interactions of personalities or a sociologist would describe it in terms of societal pressures. But remember that your description wasn't the only philosophical description of that part of science. Perhaps you might contemplate the post modernist philosophers, they took/take themselves seriously as well.

Quote:
2. In reasoning and forming theories astrophysicists and cosmologists use anthropic principle, which is a "philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it."
Again a post hoc rationalisation. The anthropic principle was applied by Fred Hoyle to predict the energy levels of the carbon nucleus in 1957, the concept of an anthropic principle was published in 1973. Oh, and it was a scientist who invented the concept.
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:39 PM   #257
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I see how the trick works. If a philosopher has anything useful to say about science, he's not acting as a philosopher when he says it, he's being scientific!

And when scientists delve into philosophy, why they are doing it the right way, and besides, they aren't philosophers anyhow.

Now, if I could only come up with an empirical test for this, I'd be able to figure out the truth.
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:41 PM   #258
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Scientism vis-à-vis Philosophy in a nutshell from Massimo Pigliucci

Quote:
Premise 1: Empirical evidence is the province of science (and only science).
Premise 2: All meaningful / answerable questions are by nature empirical.
Premise 3: Philosophy does not deal with empirical questions.

Conclusion: Therefore, science is the only activity that provides meaningful / answerable questions.

Corollary: Philosophy is useless.

http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.c...n-so-soon.html

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Old 28th November 2012, 05:45 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Again a post hoc rationalisation. The anthropic principle was applied by Fred Hoyle to predict the energy levels of the carbon nucleus in 1957, the concept of an anthropic principle was published in 1973. Oh, and it was a scientist who invented the concept.
Quite. A hypothesis that predicts that things are other than they are might be falsifiable, but it is also false.
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:47 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by Walter Ego View Post
Scientism in a nutshell from Massimo Pigliucci.
Premise 2 is an obvious strawman.
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:50 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by Walter Ego View Post
Scientism in a nutshell from Massimo Pigliucci.
Quote:
Premise 1: Empirical evidence is the province of science (and only science).
Premise 2: All meaningful / answerable questions are by nature empirical.
Premise 3: Philosophy does not deal with empirical questions.

Conclusion: Therefore, science is the only activity that provides meaningful / answerable questions.

Corollary: Philosophy is useless.

http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.c...n-so-soon.html
Sounds right. Now I wonder what the empirical test for that is going to be?
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:07 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post

Now, if I could only come up with an empirical test for this, I'd be able to figure out the truth.
Will philosophers be coming up with the truth anytime soon?
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:12 PM   #263
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
Premise 2 is an obvious strawman.
Read the link.

Quote:
P2 is awfully close to the philosophical (!!) position known as logical positivism (in the US, logical empiricism), which has been demolished by the likes of Quine, Putnam, Kuhn and others. I have argued above that there are plenty of questions whose nature is not empirical, or not wholly empirical, and yet are meaningful.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:41 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
Will philosophers be coming up with the truth anytime soon?
Nope. Truth is the purview of religion, not philosophy.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:48 PM   #265
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Originally Posted by Walter Ego View Post
Read the link.
He's saying "I know this is a strawman, but..."
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:45 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
OK, you seem to be dissociating yourself from the claim that philosophy has anything to contribute to science. That better?
Kind of. You're still stuck on the false dichotomy that philosophy must be everything to science or it's nothing, which is like saying that grammar must be everything to writing a good book or it's nothing.

Quote:
Arguing from analogy is always a dangerous game. As was explained to that point, the study of grammar may be very absorbing, I don't need it to read a book unless I want to critique its grammar.
Sure, as long as both the writer and the reader know enough grammar that the meaning gets across. That doesn't usually require professional-level grammar skills, just the sort of limited grammar skills most native speakers pick up by imitation.

Quote:
My point was in response to the accusation that I and/or others had claimed that if philosophy had no value to science it had no value period. As no-one had made that argument, the point is a straw man. But if you or others are claiming that philosophy has a usefulness in deciding ethics then show us the evidence. Claiming I'm using grammar and therefore grammar experts are contributing to my efforts can count as philosophers here.

Ooh, something real, I go and read it, but still won't consider your grammar experts are contributing anything to either the meaning of what I see or my interpretation.
I don't know what you expect philosophy or philosophers to do in the ethical realm that isn't satisfied by someone presenting a coherent moral theory that generates conclusions hundreds of years ahead of its time and which is still the foundation for a great deal of moral discussion today.

Maybe if you want to take this further you should explain what you think philosophy and philosophers need to do in that area to impress you. Otherwise I'm going to think that you're just locked yourself into pooh-poohing philosophy now and there's no point in discussing the matter with you.

Quote:
No the argument is really against all those who try to claim that the study of philosophy has anything to do with science. Much as the grammarians have anything to do with the construction of a scientific paper, they may, like philosophers hang on the coat tails of science and make their comments, but contribute? What nonsense.
You do love bashing that straw man, don't you?

Lots of departments use English to convey ideas and do so perfectly well, but they aren't the English department, and English as such is not their area of study.

Lots of departments use logic and critical thinking and do so perfectly well, but they aren't the Philosophy department and logic and critical thinking as such are not their area of study. (Apart from discrete mathematics which overlaps formal logic).

In exactly the same way some scientists/engineers design and build instruments and others use those instruments in research.

In each case if you have a tricky question about how the instrument works, or what the correct grammar is, or whether a position is logical or not, you might be able to figure it out for yourself but there are people with specific expertise in that area who almost certainly know a lot more about the topic than you do and can solve the problem relatively effortlessly.

The fundamental problem is that it's obvious to you (using the general "you" here) when someone else is poorer at rational thinking than you. You spot irrational idiots all the time and think "Heh, what an idiot". However it's profoundly non-obvious when someone else is better at critical thinking than you are. Unless you're unusually rational to begin with, it just seems like the better thinker is an opinionated jerk who ignores the sweet, sweet reason of your impeccably logical arguments.

Bad thinkers and good thinkers alike tend to think that they are on the highest plateau of reasoning ability. Fox News viewers think they are as smart as they need to be and just about as smart as people get. So too do JREF forum posters.

Why is this a fundamental problem? Well, philosophers have chosen an area of study, rational thought, where if they perform badly everyone notices and if they excel at it most people still think they are performing badly.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:21 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by dafydd
Originally Posted by Frank Newgent View Post
Thank you. Hilarious!

''Critical rationalists hold that scientific theories and any other claims to knowledge can and should be rationally criticized, and (if they have empirical content) can and should be subjected to tests which may falsify them. Thus claims to knowledge may be contrastingly and normatively evaluated. They are either falsifiable and thus empirical (in a very broad sense), or not falsifiable and thus non-empirical. Those claims to knowledge that are potentially falsifiable can then be admitted to the body of empirical science, and then further differentiated according to whether they are retained or are later actually falsified. If retained, yet further differentiation may be made on the basis of how much subjection to criticism they have received, how severe such criticism has been, and how probable the theory is, with the least[1] probable theory that still withstands attempts to falsify it being the one to be preferred. That it is the least[1] probable theory that is to be preferred is one of the contrasting differences between critical rationalism and classical views on science, such as positivism, who hold that one should instead accept the most probable theory. (The least probable theory is the one with the highest information content and most open to future falsification.) Critical Rationalism as a discourse positioned itself against what its proponents took to be epistemologically relativist philosophies, particularly post-modernist or sociological approaches to knowledge. Critical rationalism has it that knowledge is objective (in the sense of being embodied in various substrates and in the sense of not being reducible to what humans individually "know"), and also that truth is objective (exists independently of social mediation or individual perception, but is "really real").''

In other words ''do the experiment and see what happens.''

What's hilarious?

That (according to Popper) it is the least likely theory that explains known facts (as opposed to the theory most likely to be true) as the one should rationally prefer?
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:31 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by Acleron
Originally Posted by Frank Newgent View Post
Via an epistemological philosophy he titled critical rationalism.

Karl Popper was a philosopher you know.
The arguments get closer to religion all the time.

Elsewhere on a religious site I mentioned George Boole and the instant response was

George Boole was a Christian you know.

As it happens, I have never met a scientist who didn't know that. But as I discuss above, he had to observe real science before writing his principles.

I don't see what your example has got to do with anything.

Popper's contribution to the philosophy of science (ie falsifiability) was what was being discussed, not empirical science.
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Old 28th November 2012, 09:39 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe View Post
Why is this a fundamental problem? Well, philosophers have chosen an area of study, rational thought, where if they perform badly everyone notices and if they excel at it most people still think they are performing badly.
That's not the point. The point is that most of the time, philosophy is wrong or of no value. Philosophers themselves will tell you this; they just disagree on whose work is wrong and of no value.
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Old 28th November 2012, 11:09 PM   #270
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I'll not be as nice as others: Folks who can find no value in philosophy are arrogant idiots. Really. This is a *********** skepticism board. The entire skeptical approach to life was pioneered by philosophers, and its biggest advocates in the scientific world (i.e., Sagan and Gould) certainly appreciated and even dabbled in philosophy themselves.

A few other things:

1. Stop saying scientists "deduce" from "facts." Science deals with observations, and so its conclusions are effectively always inductive. You would understand the difference-- and the significance!-- if you had bothered to take a couple philosophy courses in college.

2. The existence of god is an unknowable fact. Even with limited resources, there is no way to scientifically test its existence. You still hold a position, and it has been informed by philosophy. Most of you complaining about philosophy would probably absolutely love Hume's "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion."

3. It was philosophy and skepticism that drove me to become a scientist. Everything I've accomplished since has been influenced by the understanding of knowledge and argument that I gained through philosophy.

4. To the poster who argued that philosophy is like the syntax of science: Wonderful analogy. Fantastic description. Thank you. I would have murdered myself out of exasperation had it not been for your glorious analogy.
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Old 28th November 2012, 11:15 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
That's not the point. The point is that most of the time, philosophy is wrong or of no value. Philosophers themselves will tell you this; they just disagree on whose work is wrong and of no value.
"Most of the time, music is bad or of no value. Musicians themselves will tell you this, they just disagree on whose work is wrong and of no value."

"Most of the time, political beliefs are bad or of no value. Politicians themselves will tell you this, they just disagree on whose platform is wrong and of no value."

"Most of the time, art is bad or of no value. Artists themselves will tell you this, they just disagree on whose work is wrong and of no value."

"Most of the time, books are bad or of no value. Authors themselves will tell you this, they just disagree on whose work is wrong and of no value."

I could go on, but you get the point. Your argument does not establish what you need it to establish. It's simply not proof that an enormously broad area of human endeavour is worthless if people disagree about which bits of it are good.

It might be, for example, that some philosophy is bad and some is good, and that there is something of benefit to be had in the good bits.

It also might be, for example, that the mere existence of a contrary opinion does not invalidate a different, well-supported opinion.

Or it might be that what you are taught in academic Philosophy is a set of broadly applicable skills more so than a body of knowledge, and that those skills have great value whether or not you happen to agree with any given set of philosophical assertions.
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Old 28th November 2012, 11:52 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by OMGturt1es View Post
1. Stop saying scientists "deduce" from "facts." Science deals with observations, and so its conclusions are effectively always inductive. You would understand the difference-- and the significance!-- if you had bothered to take a couple philosophy courses in college.
It seems you're saying that people who disagree with the philosophers in this thread are ignorant of philosophy. Would all the other philosophers in this thread agree with your implication? If this is the case, then you all have arrived at a consensus regarding this issue and have philosophically proven it so it therefore must be true, right?


Quote:
2. The existence of god is an unknowable fact.
Sure, if there is no logical nor coherent definition of a god. Oh, by the way, would anyone know of a god that has been philosophically proven to exist? Or conversely, are there any gods which have been proven not to exist through philosophy?


Quote:
Even with limited resources, there is no way to scientifically test its existence.
You can place the blame squarely upon the theologians and philosophers who never logically nor coherently define their god to even test in the first place. Those gods which have been so defined (on accident, I'm sure) have been disproven.


Quote:
You still hold a position, and it has been informed by philosophy.
As to the god question, I'd say there has been a distressing lack of information actually. Did philosophy come up with the null hypothesis? Then I'll extend a hearty and sincere 'thank you, philosophy'.


Quote:
Most of you complaining about philosophy would probably absolutely love Hume's "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion."
I've never read that particular work, thank you for recommending it. But don't assume that others who are questioning philosophy haven't read it.
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Old 29th November 2012, 12:20 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by OMGturt1es View Post
I'll not be as nice as others: Folks who can find no value in philosophy are arrogant idiots. Really. This is a *********** skepticism board. The entire skeptical approach to life was pioneered by philosophers, and its biggest advocates in the scientific world (i.e., Sagan and Gould) certainly appreciated and even dabbled in philosophy themselves.

A few other things:

1. Stop saying scientists "deduce" from "facts." Science deals with observations, and so its conclusions are effectively always inductive. You would understand the difference-- and the significance!-- if you had bothered to take a couple philosophy courses in college.

2. The existence of god is an unknowable fact. Even with limited resources, there is no way to scientifically test its existence. You still hold a position, and it has been informed by philosophy. Most of you complaining about philosophy would probably absolutely love Hume's "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion."

3. It was philosophy and skepticism that drove me to become a scientist. Everything I've accomplished since has been influenced by the understanding of knowledge and argument that I gained through philosophy.

4. To the poster who argued that philosophy is like the syntax of science: Wonderful analogy. Fantastic description. Thank you. I would have murdered myself out of exasperation had it not been for your glorious analogy.
Insults, how philosophical.

How did god get involved with this?

#3 sounds more like an "alter call" story than anything rational. Philosophy is sounding more religious with every post.
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Old 29th November 2012, 03:33 AM   #274
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Nope. Truth is the purview of religion, not philosophy.
Lies being the purview of philosophy?
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Old 29th November 2012, 04:27 AM   #275
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Perhaps it was very good for you.
That is not an argument, nor philosophy, that's simply sophistry. Marplots' example was very good for this discussion as it fulfilled the criteria of philosophy and science intersecting.

Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Your are describing an event after it happened in your own terms, much as a historian would describe it using dates and interactions of personalities or a sociologist would describe it in terms of societal pressures. But remember that your description wasn't the only philosophical description of that part of science. Perhaps you might contemplate the post modernist philosophers, they took/take themselves seriously as well.
Goalposts. Stop running with them. It still is an example of philosophy and science intersecting.

Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Again a post hoc rationalisation. The anthropic principle was applied by Fred Hoyle to predict the energy levels of the carbon nucleus in 1957, the concept of an anthropic principle was published in 1973. Oh, and it was a scientist who invented the concept.
A philosophical concept. Brought to you by a scientist. Scientist practising philosophy. Impossibruuu! *head explodes*
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Old 29th November 2012, 04:53 AM   #276
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I see how the trick works. If a philosopher has anything useful to say about science, he's not acting as a philosopher when he says it, he's being scientific!

And when scientists delve into philosophy, why they are doing it the right way, and besides, they aren't philosophers anyhow.

Now, if I could only come up with an empirical test for this, I'd be able to figure out the truth.
Indeed.
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Old 29th November 2012, 04:58 AM   #277
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Originally Posted by OMGturt1es View Post
I'll not be as nice as others: Folks who can find no value in philosophy are arrogant idiots. Really. This is a *********** skepticism board. The entire skeptical approach to life was pioneered by philosophers, and its biggest advocates in the scientific world (i.e., Sagan and Gould) certainly appreciated and even dabbled in philosophy themselves.
Don't be so hard - it's not their fault, it's just a postmodern thing. In a postmodern way it's possible to pretend that for example empirism or positivism or falsificationism are not philosophical consepts as long as you don't say 'empirism'/'positivism'/'falsificationism' but only talk about experiments, results and validation/invalidation.

It's not reasonable nor logical, but in layman's postmodernism all opinions become valid when they are expressed. And pretending to live in a vacuum, without recognizing the influence of the philosophies of the world outside, is part of that line of thinking.

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Old 29th November 2012, 06:06 AM   #278
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Jeremy Bentham

This is an example of philosophy contributing to ethics.

Bentham was a child prodigy who claimed he became a reformer at the age of 11, a claim slightly disproven by his criticism of the American Declaration of Independence at the age of 28 and designing a prison when 38 as 'a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example'. Chilling words indeed. He wanted the contract for building the thing and to govern it. When this failed to occur he had a sense of injustice (well he would, he was a lawyer) and developed ideas of 'sinister interests'.

Obviously a very bright man, he developed his ideas of reform and utilitarianism in a precise and logical manner.

But nowhere can I see how philosophy points out that his ideas of reform are correct. I suppose you could say his training as a philosopher allowed him to approach his ideas logically, but that could also be from his formal training as a lawyer.

There is no doubt he was years ahead of his time in many areas of social reform but it is harder to understand the thesis that philosophy points to a correct solution.
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:06 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by spin0 View Post
Don't be so hard - it's not their fault, it's just a postmodern thing.
No, it's not. Indeed, it's pretty much the opposite of postmodernism.
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:24 AM   #280
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Originally Posted by TeapotCavalry
The problem is you don't specify what do you mean by importance or what you regard as important. This is why all this miscommunication is happening.
Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
I'm not the one making the claim, supply your own evidence.
Wow. Ok, so you're not telling us what do you mean by philosophy not having anything important to say to science. Very healthy debating etiquette.

Maybe, just maybe, the questioners of philosophy should lay down certain goalposts in regards to what they expect philosophy to do in order for it to be a meaningful pursuit of knowledge.

Originally Posted by TeapotCavalry
This polarity that either it is essential to science or it is worthless endeavor overall is a blatant false dilemma. Can we at least agree with this?
Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
No you certainly don't get agreement. I'm talking about philosophy and science. Whether it has any utility elsewhere is a different argument and one you need to prove.
(bolding mine)

I think we have more basics problems to work out than the utility of philosophy.

Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
To what?
To your claim that chemists spoiled philosophers' study of matter by doing experiments or that physicists, mathematicians and astronomers spoiled the study of cosmos by making observations and falsifiable theories.

This all seems groundless hyperbole to me, based simply on the ignorance (or strawman) of what philosophy is and does.

Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
The philosophy being spoiled by the advances of science is obvious and apparent even in the left over bits that pervade science, such as the PhD awarded by universities.
What has PhD got to do with your initial claim? Could you elaborate?

Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Yup, that's right the Templeton Foundation, our old friends of woo and religion.

And people wonder why some scientists look down on philosophy.
Guilt by association?
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