Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Why [Physics] Needs [Philosophy]

1356712

Posts

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Science is for how, philosophy/religion is for why.

    This is nonsense. Aside from us not having any use for religion anyway the whole how/why thing is silly. As long as we don't limit "science" to just experiments there is no real difference in approach. Philosophy is science, though it is usually about the theoretical aspects and the fundaments rather than practical application.

    Philosophy is science only if you use the loosest definition of science. That's not to discount the usefulness of philosophy, but most (rightly) don't consider it science. It asks and answers fundamentally different questions, with a fundamentally different goal.

    If you consider science at it's loosest, as only the pursuit of knowledge through systematic means, then I guess some philosophy could be considered science. The problem is, even using that definition of science, it assumes you are pursuing factual knowledge, something philosophy can't provide. Facts need to be proven, but questions of "why?" can't be proven past the fundamental ground floor that was discussed earlier. As soon as you begin asking "why?" beyond what observational science can provide, you are way out of the realm of fact.

    Again, this doesn't mean philosophy isn't useful. Humans are concerned with far more than just how and when...why is a fundamentally important question to our existence. Calling it science is a bit of a stretch though.

    Without philosophy you wouldn't even have this concept of factual knowledge you're talking about.

    There isn't even an argument for this. You are making the implication that logic and fact and thought didn't exist before philosophy said it existed. As if humans were just jelly masses that slithered around randomly hitting things with clubs using pure instinct before philosophy came a long and told us all how to be problem solvers.

    Given that history can be regarded somewhat as a nice progression of us finding out constantly how wrong we were your view of science strikes me as rather naive. This factual knowledge you speak of, is it the same factual knowledge that led us to believe the earth couldn't possibly be a few billion years old? Or that the earth had to revolve around the sun?



  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Bethryn wrote: »
    There's basically this big gap between inadvertent philosophy, which tends to arise from any sort of prolonged investigative interaction with the world, and studying philosophy and attempting to perform logic.

    The former is very important, and is why philosophers like to remind everyone that philosophy is relevant.
    The latter is generally irrelevant to the investigation of the world, and often gives rise to impractical ideas stemming from use of the phrase "it stands to reason," or variants thereof. See: solipsism.

    The latter contains such endeavors as adding one and one and expecting to get two. Science is very abstract, and wouldn't get anywhere without logic.

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    If any of his critics were making arguments based on gauge invariance or the lack of hard evidence for super-symmetry as predicted by the standard model or even appealing to elegance and waving in the direction of quark flavors I might be tempted to agree.

    If he was making an argument about those things existing i would tend to agree. But he was not, he was saying "we have found the end" and the philosophers are like "what fucking really?"

    The philosophers in this case, are not saying the science is bad, they're saying that you probably should not make those grand pronouncements if they're not true.

    It's true as far as we know. I suppose when people are writing about how quantum field theory gives rise to all of the observed properties of the universe they should include a header saying, "WARNING: THIS MAY BE BULLSHIT, STAY TUNED FOR NEW SCIENCE"? It's not like he claimed that we now know everything that there is to know about the universe, he just presented our model (which appears to be correct) that explains why the universe exists as it does. I don't understand what philosophy has to do with it.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    1) Math is a science
    2) I did not say math would not exist if Philosophy did not. I said that if Philosophy is not a science then Math is not a science. [and conversely if Math is not a science then neither are any of the physical sciences]

    This is actually a very simple logical construction which follows from the understanding that the same aspects of the physical sciences that make them sciences are also necessarily present in Math and Philosophy.

    Your complaint is the same goosiness which claims that the social sciences are not sciences [when in fact they are as much sciences as any of the physical sciences]


    What definition of science are you using? Mathematical research doesn't follow the scientific method. That seems like a basic requirement for a formal system being classified as a science.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Lawrence M. Krauss (physicist) wrote a book entitled, "A Universe From Nothing". David Albert (philosopher) wrote a review of the book for The New York Times in which he faulted Krauss for not answering the question he set out to answer. Said simply, Krauss doesn't actually explain how the Universe could come from "nothing". Instead, Krauss explained how particles are generated by quantum fields:

    -.-

    We don't currently understand the state of the universe prior to the big bang, and in all honesty we probably never will because both ourselves & our machines are trapped in 3-Dimensional space & forced to march along linear time progression. So the honest answer to "What caused the Big Bang?" is "We don't know" and Krauss has always said this.

    The problem is that some people refuse to accept the honest statement of ignorance and insist that if we don't know the answer to that problem, then they may insert an ad hoc supernatural explanation and claim it as truth.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Science is for how, philosophy/religion is for why.

    This is nonsense. Aside from us not having any use for religion anyway the whole how/why thing is silly. As long as we don't limit "science" to just experiments there is no real difference in approach. Philosophy is science, though it is usually about the theoretical aspects and the fundaments rather than practical application.

    Philosophy is science only if you use the loosest definition of science. That's not to discount the usefulness of philosophy, but most (rightly) don't consider it science. It asks and answers fundamentally different questions, with a fundamentally different goal.

    If you consider science at it's loosest, as only the pursuit of knowledge through systematic means, then I guess some philosophy could be considered science. The problem is, even using that definition of science, it assumes you are pursuing factual knowledge, something philosophy can't provide. Facts need to be proven, but questions of "why?" can't be proven past the fundamental ground floor that was discussed earlier. As soon as you begin asking "why?" beyond what observational science can provide, you are way out of the realm of fact.

    Again, this doesn't mean philosophy isn't useful. Humans are concerned with far more than just how and when...why is a fundamentally important question to our existence. Calling it science is a bit of a stretch though.

    Without philosophy you wouldn't even have this concept of factual knowledge you're talking about.

    There isn't even an argument for this. You are making the implication that logic and fact and thought didn't exist before philosophy said it existed. As if humans were just jelly masses that slithered around randomly hitting things with clubs using pure instinct before philosophy came a long and told us all how to be problem solvers.

    Given that history can be regarded somewhat as a nice progression of us finding out constantly how wrong we were your view of science strikes me as rather naive. This factual knowledge you speak of, is it the same factual knowledge that led us to believe the earth couldn't possibly be a few billion years old? Or that the earth had to revolve around the sun?



    Yet this does nothing to further your argument that logic and fact only exist because philosophy says they exist, and that without philosophy I could make no pronouncement of fact. Your response doesn't even attempt to answer the actual question, instead going off on a tangent about deductive reasoning. Not only that, you use examples that at the time we lacked the technology to observe, completely ignoring things like the foundations of geometry and algebra being laid thousands of years before philosophy was a codified branch of study.

    As someone earlier said, there must be a distinct and recognized gap between implied philosophy, aka how humans think, and academic philosophy. You refuse to make that distinction, and want to place implied philosophy under the ownership of academic philosophy. Implied philosophy was happening, and continues to happen, in a total vacuum of academic philosophy. Just as the foundations for the math and science disciplines was laid in a total vacuum of academic philosophy. Small children who are learning to deduct and reason are doing implied philosophy, and have no idea what academic philosophy is, or even that humans actually study what seems to them to be a completely natural way to tackle the world.

    While it can't be argued that the study of philosophy has certainly enhanced our study of math and science, and has given us amazing academic logical frameworks and forced us to confront the ethics of our science, to imply that math and science wouldn't exist if philosophy had not "given us" fact, just isn't correct. The foundations of these things were being laid long before anyone decided to actually study how we made reasoned decisions.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    _J_ wrote: »
    Elitistb wrote: »
    Physics is never going to tell us why we're here, or the meaning of life, or What is Truth.
    I think part of the problem is assuming that these are actual questions (as in something that makes actual sense to ask, assuming you could reasonably define the terms and in the case of the first, what "why" even means), then that they have actual answers, and then that anything could actually provide a path to answering them.

    You're saying that "the meaning of life" isn't a real question? The question of "Why is life worth living" is meaningless? I'd contend that it's the most important question for a human being to ponder. That's the question we've been asking since we first thought about thinking.
    What is your opinion on the second and third part of my initial response? Do these questions have actual answers? Is there anything that will actually provide a path to answering them? You speak as if philosophy is actually capable of it, and then deride me for stating that I do not think it can.

    I never said "Science can't quantify those questions, so they're meaningless", nor can my position even be paraphrased as such. I asked if they were actual questions. Some of it seems more psychological rather than philosophical.

    Elitistb on
    steam_sig.png
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    So, I hold the view that every statement is value laden. (Or perhaps most categories of statements.) Philosophy is able to contend with this and provide a whole range of conceptual tools to make sense of propositions in ways that other intellectual endeavours simply can't.

    When it comes to the philosophy of science, I find it most useful when it is dealing with questions of scientific explanations. I had an opportunity to attend a lecture a few months ago by a leading scholar on Euler, and the lecturer gave a really interesting history of Euler's development of analytic explanations for physics (as opposed to geometric explanations, which were used by Newton in the Principia Naturalis Mathematica) which he used as a jumping off point for a discussion of modern problems in scientific explanations.

    The problem that most struck me was what I will call the 'problem of regression.' (I can't recall what it is actually called in the literature). That is, for any given natural science, explanations for phemonena can more or less indefinitely 'regress' through the domain of every discipline with each explanation being equally true along the way. For example, a bat can be described in ecological terms (how it fits into its environment, how it interacts with other species), microbiological terms (say, its genome), chemical terms (how many carbon atoms and moleclues are there?), atomic terms and so on. You get the idea. Two problems arise from this. First, how does one determine which explanation is 'correct' or 'more correct'? It could be the most 'useful' explanation, but that as a host of philosophical problems that don't need articulating here. The second would be something along the lines of Wittgenstein's language games. The second problem is, I think, more serious. At what point does the 'regression' in explanation stop, and what are we left with? And more to the point, is what we are left with even comprehensible or 'useful'?

    The first problem apparently has a number of competing solutions being debated in the philosophy of science today, but the second problem, as far as I am aware, doesn't. The lecturer answered that most physcists' held that the fundamental explanation (i.e. the 'last stop' on the regression train) was symmetry, and he was willing to accept that.

    I thought the whole thing was quite interesting, but I haven't given it enough thought to be able to come to my own conclusions.

    But when it comes to the purpose of this thread, that lecture clearly demonstrated to me the value of the philosophy of science. The problem of scientific explanation is one that is beyond any given field of natural science today, but is conceptually incredibly important. And it cannot simply be answered with 'science is induction, philosophy is not' or something to that effect.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Goumindong wrote: »
    1) Math is a science
    2) I did not say math would not exist if Philosophy did not. I said that if Philosophy is not a science then Math is not a science. [and conversely if Math is not a science then neither are any of the physical sciences]

    This is actually a very simple logical construction which follows from the understanding that the same aspects of the physical sciences that make them sciences are also necessarily present in Math and Philosophy.

    Your complaint is the same goosiness which claims that the social sciences are not sciences [when in fact they are as much sciences as any of the physical sciences]


    What definition of science are you using? Mathematical research doesn't follow the scientific method. That seems like a basic requirement for a formal system being classified as a science.

    This gets in to the definition of the word science, versus the definition of the practice of science. As I said earlier, if taking just the definition of the word science:

    sci·ence   [sahy-uhns] Show IPA
    noun
    1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
    2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
    3. any of the branches of natural or physical science.
    4. systematized knowledge in general.
    5. knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.

    Philosophy and math certainly fulfill 4, and maybe fulfill 5. Philosophy doesn't fulfill the first three, and math doesn't fulfill 2 and 3, which certainly are definitions for the practice of science, as you stated, with the scientific method.

    So etymologically, philosophy and math may be science given the strictest definition of the word. They are not practiced like a science, for the most part. I am sure there are sub-areas of philosophy and math that do overlap in to more clearly defined scientific steps.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • Green DreamGreen Dream Registered User regular
    Mathematics is a system of sign manipulation according to stipulated rules. Mathematics does not contain propositions that are true or false, only expressions that are either correctly formed according to the rules or incorrectly formed. Mathematical expressions are useful because have applications in modeling the natural world, and we find out which expressions are useful for modeling which phenomena by means to empirical investigation.

    Mathematics offers certainty because the rules can only be followed correctly in one way, meaning that the same transformation rules applied to the same sign combinations must always yeild the same result (though that result may be expressed by many different equivalent sign combinations). You cannot say that anyone has "proved" that the result of the transformation is correct by performing the transformation - getting the same result is part of the criterion for having done the transformation correctly, and so cannot be used to support the correctness of the transformation rules.

    As soon as you apply mathematical expressions in the modeling of nature, you lose the logical certainty of the expression, for even if things conform to the expression in case A, there is no necessity that it things will continue to conform to them. The signs of mathematics do not represent things when used in pure mathematics, and are not true or false propositions. However, once you apply mathematical expressions to reality and assign each sign a representational status, the certainty of the expression is lost. You do not learn the application of mathematics from the study of pure mathematics, and its application forms no part of the body of its expressions. Do not confuse mathematics with its application, for its applications are learned and modified by natural inquiry and experiment - it is a part of the sciences. Mathematics itself is nothing like the sciences.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    You're saying that "the meaning of life" isn't a real question? The question of "Why is life worth living" is meaningless? I'd contend that it's the most important question for a human being to ponder. That's the question we've been asking since we first thought about thinking.

    No, 'the meaning of life' is not a real question. Something like 'what should I do with my life?' is, but the other question suggests some universal answer where obviously there isn't one.

    And, in any case, that is not what we've been asking ourselves since we first started thinking. Self-reflection & self actualization are relatively new things (all of our ancestor's thoughts mostly orbited around survival & mating strategies. Being a hunter gatherer kind of sucks, or so I've been informed).

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • ArchArch HELLO YES THIS IS BUG Registered User regular
    The arguments presented against Krausse seem to me reminiscent of the arguments made by Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini in their book What Darwin got Wrong. Both of them are eminent philosophers, or were at one point, and yet they devote an entire book towards the supposed epistimological errors in the theory of natural selection.

    sensu Coyne in his (long-winded) criticism, they claim that
    Natural selection is philosophically incoherent, they claim, because it doesn't "support counterfactuals."

    Even if this is true on a philosophical level (and similarly, this applies to the claim that natural selection is a tautology), I don't see the point. Do you adjust the theory to fit the philosophy? or do you accept that there are times when an observation of the natural world doesn't adhere to strict epistimological logic?

    I don't know the answer because I am woefully unequipped for this debate, but I tend to cut towards the idea that descriptive science sometimes is messy.

  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    Mathematics is a system of sign manipulation according to stipulated rules. Mathematics does not contain propositions that are true or false, only expressions that are either correctly formed according to the rules or incorrectly formed. Mathematical expressions are useful because have applications in modeling the natural world, and we find out which expressions are useful for modeling which phenomena by means to empirical investigation.

    People seem to have a real problem with the words 'true' and 'false,' when talking about logic and mathematics. Mathematics does, in fact, contain propositions which are true or false but these are logical truths which are determined by inferences drawn from the axiomatic assumptions of the system.

    Mathematical propositions are simply not empirical propositions. Most scientific propositions are. That's the difference.

    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    So etymologically, philosophy and math may be science given the strictest definition of the word. They are not practiced like a science, for the most part. I am sure there are sub-areas of philosophy and math that do overlap in to more clearly defined scientific steps.

    Sure. Control theory is kind of a branch of mathematics, and that's a science, and anything heavily reliant on numerical methods is going to be more science-y than math-y. I'm sure there are equivalents in philosophy.

    But, broadly-speaking, there are differences between mathematics, the physical sciences, and philosophy. Big, meaningful differences.

    Hell, boxing is the sweet science. I guess boxing and math are the same thing.
    Spoiler:

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    1) Math is a science
    2) I did not say math would not exist if Philosophy did not. I said that if Philosophy is not a science then Math is not a science. [and conversely if Math is not a science then neither are any of the physical sciences]

    This is actually a very simple logical construction which follows from the understanding that the same aspects of the physical sciences that make them sciences are also necessarily present in Math and Philosophy.

    Your complaint is the same goosiness which claims that the social sciences are not sciences [when in fact they are as much sciences as any of the physical sciences]


    What definition of science are you using? Mathematical research doesn't follow the scientific method. That seems like a basic requirement for a formal system being classified as a science.

    You have your causality backwards. Math is science because its a formal system. Physics is a science because it is building a formal system. The method was developed by the study of formal systems called Philosophy, specifically the Philosophy of Science. All of which are sciences.

    "Following the scientific method" doesn't mean something is a science. If it did we would have lots of problems with what is and isn't a science because the scientific method itself would not be science [as it is not disprovable] and since science is simply the scientific method we have contradiction. The scientific method cannot both be science and not science. In order for physics to be science the scientific method must be science.

    Science is really the study of formal systems[or we might say the study of systems formally]. The scientific method, is a method derived to build the formal systems of the world as best we can with the tools we have. The physical and social sciences are the application of the knowledge we learn in philosophy and math and statistics to describe the system that we live in.

    The easiest way to say it might also be this

    "Science is a field that concerns itself with the question of knowledge and how we know it"

    Thus we get examinations into strictly formal systems like Math and Statistics and Probability and Philosophy and Logic and Computer Sciences. And we get examinations into how we can describe the world in terms of formal systems like Philosophy and Chemistry and Biology and Medicine and Economics and Sociology and Psychology.

    And we get applications of those examinations [though i would be most hesitant to call these sciences] like engineering and nursing.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • Green DreamGreen Dream Registered User regular
    saggio wrote: »
    Mathematics is a system of sign manipulation according to stipulated rules. Mathematics does not contain propositions that are true or false, only expressions that are either correctly formed according to the rules or incorrectly formed. Mathematical expressions are useful because have applications in modeling the natural world, and we find out which expressions are useful for modeling which phenomena by means to empirical investigation.

    People seem to have a real problem with the words 'true' and 'false,' when talking about logic and mathematics. Mathematics does, in fact, contain propositions which are true or false but these are logical truths which are determined by inferences drawn from the axiomatic assumptions of the system.

    Mathematical propositions are simply not empirical propositions. Most scientific propositions are. That's the difference.

    If you want to call tautologies "logical truths" that fine. They are not truths. They have nothing structurally in common with the truths of science. It's like if I showed you a truth table, and you thought it had to be some kind of table like the one I eat my dinner on - just a little different. It's more confusing trying to use the same word for two utterly different things.

  • Brian888Brian888 Registered User
    Goumindong wrote: »
    If any of his critics were making arguments based on gauge invariance or the lack of hard evidence for super-symmetry as predicted by the standard model or even appealing to elegance and waving in the direction of quark flavors I might be tempted to agree.

    If he was making an argument about those things existing i would tend to agree. But he was not, he was saying "we have found the end" and the philosophers are like "what fucking really?"

    The philosophers in this case, are not saying the science is bad, they're saying that you probably should not make those grand pronouncements if they're not true.

    It's true as far as we know. I suppose when people are writing about how quantum field theory gives rise to all of the observed properties of the universe they should include a header saying, "WARNING: THIS MAY BE BULLSHIT, STAY TUNED FOR NEW SCIENCE"? It's not like he claimed that we now know everything that there is to know about the universe, he just presented our model (which appears to be correct) that explains why the universe exists as it does. I don't understand what philosophy has to do with it.


    What, precisely, was Krauss's claim in the book? From the articles I've read, it appears that Krauss asserted that quantum fields can create particles in a perfect vacuum, and thus that something can indeed come out of "nothing." Is that an accurate representation of Krauss' claim? Because if it is, I think the philosopher is probably right in that we'd have to first agree that a vacuum truly is "nothing," and that the presence of quantum fields doesn't invalidate that designation.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Even if this is true on a philosophical level (and similarly, this applies to the claim that natural selection is a tautology), I don't see the point. Do you adjust the theory to fit the philosophy? or do you accept that there are times when an observation of the natural world doesn't adhere to strict epistimological logic?

    Well, given that one side actually describes how the world functions and creates practical applications while the other side describes the importance of semantics and creates smug assholes, I think I 'll side with Mr. Darwin. :P

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    saggio wrote: »
    Mathematics is a system of sign manipulation according to stipulated rules. Mathematics does not contain propositions that are true or false, only expressions that are either correctly formed according to the rules or incorrectly formed. Mathematical expressions are useful because have applications in modeling the natural world, and we find out which expressions are useful for modeling which phenomena by means to empirical investigation.

    People seem to have a real problem with the words 'true' and 'false,' when talking about logic and mathematics. Mathematics does, in fact, contain propositions which are true or false but these are logical truths which are determined by inferences drawn from the axiomatic assumptions of the system.

    Mathematical propositions are simply not empirical propositions. Most scientific propositions are. That's the difference.

    If you want to call tautologies "logical truths" that fine. They are not truths. They have nothing structurally in common with the truths of science. It's like if I showed you a truth table, and you thought it had to be some kind of table like the one I eat my dinner on - just a little different. It's more confusing trying to use the same word for two utterly different things.

    I'm going to assume that you haven't actually studied much logic, based on your comments. That's fine.

    Logical truths are truths. They might be entirely vacuous, sure, but they are true nevertheless. Moreover, they aren't contingent like most so-called 'scientific truths.' That's notable and important.

    I don't want to be uncharitable, but it sounds as if you are asserting that the only thing you think should be called 'a truth' is an empirical proposition. Is that correct?

    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    saggio wrote: »
    Mathematics is a system of sign manipulation according to stipulated rules. Mathematics does not contain propositions that are true or false, only expressions that are either correctly formed according to the rules or incorrectly formed. Mathematical expressions are useful because have applications in modeling the natural world, and we find out which expressions are useful for modeling which phenomena by means to empirical investigation.

    People seem to have a real problem with the words 'true' and 'false,' when talking about logic and mathematics. Mathematics does, in fact, contain propositions which are true or false but these are logical truths which are determined by inferences drawn from the axiomatic assumptions of the system.

    Mathematical propositions are simply not empirical propositions. Most scientific propositions are. That's the difference.

    If you want to call tautologies "logical truths" that fine. They are not truths. They have nothing structurally in common with the truths of science. It's like if I showed you a truth table, and you thought it had to be some kind of table like the one I eat my dinner on - just a little different. It's more confusing trying to use the same word for two utterly different things.
    They have everything in common with the truths of science. The desire to set up truth tables from science is the entire reason we do science the way we do!

    The structure of the truths of the physical sciences are direct consequences of the truths of logic and math! And not just in the sense of "God, i wish we could have these nice truth tables" but in the sense of "lets use these nice truth tables to construct our system for getting as close to the truth of the world as we can".

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Goumindong wrote: »
    You have your causality backwards. Math is science because its a formal system. Physics is a science because it is building a formal system. The method was developed by the study of formal systems called Philosophy, specifically the Philosophy of Science. All of which are sciences.

    "Following the scientific method" doesn't mean something is a science. If it did we would have lots of problems with what is and isn't a science because the scientific method itself would not be science [as it is not disprovable] and since science is simply the scientific method we have contradiction. The scientific method cannot both be science and not science. In order for physics to be science the scientific method must be science.

    Science is really the study of formal systems[or we might say the study of systems formally]. The scientific method, is a method derived to build the formal systems of the world as best we can with the tools we have. The physical and social sciences are the application of the knowledge we learn in philosophy and math and statistics to describe the system that we live in.

    The easiest way to say it might also be this

    "Science is a field that concerns itself with the question of knowledge and how we know it"

    Thus we get examinations into strictly formal systems like Math and Statistics and Probability and Philosophy and Logic and Computer Sciences. And we get examinations into how we can describe the world in terms of formal systems like Philosophy and Chemistry and Biology and Medicine and Economics and Sociology and Psychology.

    And we get applications of those examinations [though i would be most hesitant to call these sciences] like engineering and nursing.

    I guess I'm not following why the scientific method would itself need to be a science in order for the systems that use it to also be considered sciences. For a stupid analogy, a car doesn't need to be considered a driver in order for a person who uses a car to be considered a driver. What am I missing here?

    BloodySloth on
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    1) Math is a science
    2) I did not say math would not exist if Philosophy did not. I said that if Philosophy is not a science then Math is not a science. [and conversely if Math is not a science then neither are any of the physical sciences]

    This is actually a very simple logical construction which follows from the understanding that the same aspects of the physical sciences that make them sciences are also necessarily present in Math and Philosophy.

    Your complaint is the same goosiness which claims that the social sciences are not sciences [when in fact they are as much sciences as any of the physical sciences]


    What definition of science are you using? Mathematical research doesn't follow the scientific method. That seems like a basic requirement for a formal system being classified as a science.

    You have your causality backwards. Math is science because its a formal system. Physics is a science because it is building a formal system. The method was developed by the study of formal systems called Philosophy, specifically the Philosophy of Science. All of which are sciences.

    "Following the scientific method" doesn't mean something is a science. If it did we would have lots of problems with what is and isn't a science because the scientific method itself would not be science [as it is not disprovable] and since science is simply the scientific method we have contradiction. The scientific method cannot both be science and not science. In order for physics to be science the scientific method must be science.

    Science is really the study of formal systems[or we might say the study of systems formally]. The scientific method, is a method derived to build the formal systems of the world as best we can with the tools we have. The physical and social sciences are the application of the knowledge we learn in philosophy and math and statistics to describe the system that we live in.

    The easiest way to say it might also be this

    "Science is a field that concerns itself with the question of knowledge and how we know it"

    Thus we get examinations into strictly formal systems like Math and Statistics and Probability and Philosophy and Logic and Computer Sciences. And we get examinations into how we can describe the world in terms of formal systems like Philosophy and Chemistry and Biology and Medicine and Economics and Sociology and Psychology.

    And we get applications of those examinations [though i would be most hesitant to call these sciences] like engineering and nursing.

    I'm not sure I understand how a specific thing is science. The scientific method isn't science. It has no quantity of science in it.

    So where did you get this definition from? Google doesn't seem to be familiar with it. "The study of formal systems" appears to be the definition for metalogic. The study of knowledge is epistemology. There are a lot of definitions for the word 'science' the allow for things like "the science of (insert any topical field here)" and "boxing is the sweet science" to be valid linguistic constructs in English but, from a practical perspective, if you want a definition of 'science' that lets you categorize various fields of investigation as either science or not science it seems like you have to break them along one of two lines: either by what they study, or by how they study it.

    I can't think of anything that anyone studies that isn't, in some sense, a formal system. So using your definition literally everything is a science.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    There's this thing going on, I feel, that happens in a lot of these threads, where someone philosophically inclined
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    1) Math is a science
    2) I did not say math would not exist if Philosophy did not. I said that if Philosophy is not a science then Math is not a science. [and conversely if Math is not a science then neither are any of the physical sciences]

    This is actually a very simple logical construction which follows from the understanding that the same aspects of the physical sciences that make them sciences are also necessarily present in Math and Philosophy.

    Your complaint is the same goosiness which claims that the social sciences are not sciences [when in fact they are as much sciences as any of the physical sciences]


    What definition of science are you using? Mathematical research doesn't follow the scientific method. That seems like a basic requirement for a formal system being classified as a science.

    You have your causality backwards. Math is science because its a formal system. Physics is a science because it is building a formal system. The method was developed by the study of formal systems called Philosophy, specifically the Philosophy of Science. All of which are sciences.

    "Following the scientific method" doesn't mean something is a science. If it did we would have lots of problems with what is and isn't a science because the scientific method itself would not be science [as it is not disprovable] and since science is simply the scientific method we have contradiction. The scientific method cannot both be science and not science. In order for physics to be science the scientific method must be science.

    Science is really the study of formal systems[or we might say the study of systems formally]. The scientific method, is a method derived to build the formal systems of the world as best we can with the tools we have. The physical and social sciences are the application of the knowledge we learn in philosophy and math and statistics to describe the system that we live in.

    The easiest way to say it might also be this

    "Science is a field that concerns itself with the question of knowledge and how we know it"

    Thus we get examinations into strictly formal systems like Math and Statistics and Probability and Philosophy and Logic and Computer Sciences. And we get examinations into how we can describe the world in terms of formal systems like Philosophy and Chemistry and Biology and Medicine and Economics and Sociology and Psychology.

    And we get applications of those examinations [though i would be most hesitant to call these sciences] like engineering and nursing.

    I guess I'm not following why the scientific method would itself need to be a science in order for the systems that use it to also be considered sciences. For a stupid analogy, a car doesn't need to be considered a driver in order for a person who uses a car to be considered a driver. What am I missing here?

    Physics is not a system it is an application of the method. It is not that a car doesn't need to be considered a driver. But that there is no difference between phyisics and the method. A person needs to drive to be considered a driver. And driving such, needs to be considered driving for a person driving to be considered a driver.

    Physics, in order to be a science, must be doing science. What is is doing therefore, must be science.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    What, precisely, was Krauss's claim in the book? From the articles I've read, it appears that Krauss asserted that quantum fields can create particles in a perfect vacuum, and thus that something can indeed come out of "nothing." Is that an accurate representation of Krauss' claim? Because if it is, I think the philosopher is probably right in that we'd have to first agree that a vacuum truly is "nothing," and that the presence of quantum fields doesn't invalidate that designation.

    Well, Krauss's statement is that particles (matter) can be generated by quantum fields (which are not matter) under certain conditions. Thus, you can get 'something' (matter) out of 'nothing' (non-matter).

    Of course, because people are stupid monkeys that want to keep their superstitious blankies around, they insist on dragging the semantics of 'nothing', 'something', etc all over the floor and ignoring the meat of what Krauss has to offer.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    I really can't see how you can group mathematics and any of the sciences together. Their methods and outputs are quite fundamentially different.

    Mathematics: Starting from initial axioms / postulates which are simply accepted as true, creates theorems which are also true. Mathematics is not a priori. It is a completely artificial construct. All of it, even simple things like how to count or add two integers together are based on postulates which are not proven, simply accepted. But, once those postulates are accepted the rest of it follows with absolute certainty (that being the advantage of working with an artifical construct instead of from empirical observation).

    Science: Uses induction based on iterative experiments to create theories which are plausible within the margin of error of the data available.

    The methods of science can never produce theories which are "true" in the sense of a mathematical theorem or whatever gibberish a philospher might prattle on about. Induction from data can never provide a theory which we can be 100% sure to be true. It can provide a theory which is plausible and consistant with all known data within the margin of error for the measurements of that data.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    The concept that math would not be a science boggles my mind as a scientist.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    The concept that math would not be a science boggles my mind as a scientist.

    How could it be? It's not based on empirical data. At all. It's logical explorations based on unproven postulates.

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    1) Math is a science
    2) I did not say math would not exist if Philosophy did not. I said that if Philosophy is not a science then Math is not a science. [and conversely if Math is not a science then neither are any of the physical sciences]

    This is actually a very simple logical construction which follows from the understanding that the same aspects of the physical sciences that make them sciences are also necessarily present in Math and Philosophy.

    Your complaint is the same goosiness which claims that the social sciences are not sciences [when in fact they are as much sciences as any of the physical sciences]


    What definition of science are you using? Mathematical research doesn't follow the scientific method. That seems like a basic requirement for a formal system being classified as a science.

    You have your causality backwards. Math is science because its a formal system. Physics is a science because it is building a formal system. The method was developed by the study of formal systems called Philosophy, specifically the Philosophy of Science. All of which are sciences.

    "Following the scientific method" doesn't mean something is a science. If it did we would have lots of problems with what is and isn't a science because the scientific method itself would not be science [as it is not disprovable] and since science is simply the scientific method we have contradiction. The scientific method cannot both be science and not science. In order for physics to be science the scientific method must be science.

    Science is really the study of formal systems[or we might say the study of systems formally]. The scientific method, is a method derived to build the formal systems of the world as best we can with the tools we have. The physical and social sciences are the application of the knowledge we learn in philosophy and math and statistics to describe the system that we live in.

    The easiest way to say it might also be this

    "Science is a field that concerns itself with the question of knowledge and how we know it"

    Thus we get examinations into strictly formal systems like Math and Statistics and Probability and Philosophy and Logic and Computer Sciences. And we get examinations into how we can describe the world in terms of formal systems like Philosophy and Chemistry and Biology and Medicine and Economics and Sociology and Psychology.

    And we get applications of those examinations [though i would be most hesitant to call these sciences] like engineering and nursing.

    I guess I'm not following why the scientific method would itself need to be a science in order for the systems that use it to also be considered sciences. For a stupid analogy, a car doesn't need to be considered a driver in order for a person who uses a car to be considered a driver. What am I missing here?

    Physics is not a system it is an application of the method. It is not that a car doesn't need to be considered a driver. But that there is no difference between phyisics and the method. A person needs to drive to be considered a driver. And driving such, needs to be considered driving for a person driving to be considered a driver.

    Physics, in order to be a science, must be doing science. What is is doing therefore, must be science.

    Right, but science isn't just "the scientific method," it's the application of the scientific method, as you say. Driving isn't "car," it's the application of car. Right?

  • BethrynBethryn Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well, Krauss's statement is that particles (matter) can be generated by quantum fields (which are not matter) under certain conditions. Thus, you can get 'something' (matter) out of 'nothing' (non-matter).
    (although there's a problem which is that the 'nothing' which Krauss is talking about is still affected by stuff like space and time, whereas the 'nothing' most philosophers are thinking about is outside of the universe)

    bethryn.png
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    First off all, we need to cut out this "why" talk. Philosophy is not merely in the business of just asking "why" a bunch. Narrowing the field to one particular question word is remarkably bad.

    For example, right now I am writing a paper about trope theory, negative properties, and the empty set. This is all in an effort to better understand just what properties are, and how we ought to think about what properties are. Are they real things? What are they founded on? You will notice in there that there is no "why?" So you should stop painting Philosophy with such a broad brush.

    As for Philosophy of Science, we don't have Science without it really. EM hit the nail on the head with the kinds of questions that Philosophy of Science deals with. Things such as the theoretical foundations and justifications for Empirical investigation, to even such broad questions as "what is science?" or "what is the scientific method?" If there even is such a thing. It has always appeared to me that Philosophy has two distinct places in scientific inquiry. One, it attempts to bring together individual scientific discoveries and theories into a larger picture. Second, it occupies the theoretical limit of science. Most people who are theoretical physicists are doing a lot of philosophy. While their own postulations are grounded in a combination of empirical observation and deduction from principles that are not empirically derived, they cannot simply test their theories. That's why a lot of people in the theoretical levels of the sciences are actually simply Philosophers with a deep understanding of the subject.

    I really loathe the notion that people think that what I do with my education is think about what the meaning of life is. I blame Existentialism. Largely because they are easy to pick on.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Green DreamGreen Dream Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    saggio wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Mathematics is a system of sign manipulation according to stipulated rules. Mathematics does not contain propositions that are true or false, only expressions that are either correctly formed according to the rules or incorrectly formed. Mathematical expressions are useful because have applications in modeling the natural world, and we find out which expressions are useful for modeling which phenomena by means to empirical investigation.

    People seem to have a real problem with the words 'true' and 'false,' when talking about logic and mathematics. Mathematics does, in fact, contain propositions which are true or false but these are logical truths which are determined by inferences drawn from the axiomatic assumptions of the system.

    Mathematical propositions are simply not empirical propositions. Most scientific propositions are. That's the difference.

    If you want to call tautologies "logical truths" that fine. They are not truths. They have nothing structurally in common with the truths of science. It's like if I showed you a truth table, and you thought it had to be some kind of table like the one I eat my dinner on - just a little different. It's more confusing trying to use the same word for two utterly different things.

    I'm going to assume that you haven't actually studied much logic, based on your comments. That's fine.

    Logical truths are truths. They might be entirely vacuous, sure, but they are true nevertheless. Moreover, they aren't contingent like most so-called 'scientific truths.' That's notable and important.

    I don't want to be uncharitable, but it sounds as if you are asserting that the only thing you think should be called 'a truth' is an empirical proposition. Is that correct?

    No, I have extensively studdied logic and the philosophy of mathematics. Again, if you want to use the word "truth" to apply to two classes of wholly different things, you can do that. But I think it causes exactly the same confusion in people as you seem to suffer from. What you might call contingently true statements say something about the world - they are content-bearing. You are correct that logically or "necessarily" true statements are not content-bearing or "vacuous". Insofar as they are logically or necessarily true they are structurally incapable of expressing content about the world. They are not representational expressions. Saying that a statement is not contingent is the same as saying that it can convey no truth about how anything in the world is. I don't think it is helpful at all to try and say that expressions that say something about the world and expressions that, by virtue of their construction, say nothing about the world are both "true". Restricting the word "truth" to apply only to expressions that can say something about how the world is set up seems like a perfectly sensible way to get around this.

    I similarly don't want to sound uncharitable, but I don't think that you understand much about impossibility, contingency, or necessity. But that's OK, most philosophers are at their worst when it comes to this.

    Green Dream on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Goumindong wrote: »
    The concept that math would not be a science boggles my mind as a scientist.

    How could it be? It's not based on empirical data. At all. It's logical explorations based on unproven postulates.

    So is what you consider science. Empirical data simply removes possible logical explorations from the pool of potential functions with reasonable likelihood*. Which we do because the function we are exploring is not guaranteed to be invertible. And we can do all of this stuff because its math.

    *some observations better than others. For instance if we observe a negative value then this flat disproves the logical exploration that "all values must be positive"[at least so long as we're within our measurement tolerances] and no induction is necessary

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Goumindong wrote: »
    There's this thing going on, I feel, that happens in a lot of these threads, where someone philosophically inclined
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    1) Math is a science
    2) I did not say math would not exist if Philosophy did not. I said that if Philosophy is not a science then Math is not a science. [and conversely if Math is not a science then neither are any of the physical sciences]

    This is actually a very simple logical construction which follows from the understanding that the same aspects of the physical sciences that make them sciences are also necessarily present in Math and Philosophy.

    Your complaint is the same goosiness which claims that the social sciences are not sciences [when in fact they are as much sciences as any of the physical sciences]


    What definition of science are you using? Mathematical research doesn't follow the scientific method. That seems like a basic requirement for a formal system being classified as a science.

    You have your causality backwards. Math is science because its a formal system. Physics is a science because it is building a formal system. The method was developed by the study of formal systems called Philosophy, specifically the Philosophy of Science. All of which are sciences.

    "Following the scientific method" doesn't mean something is a science. If it did we would have lots of problems with what is and isn't a science because the scientific method itself would not be science [as it is not disprovable] and since science is simply the scientific method we have contradiction. The scientific method cannot both be science and not science. In order for physics to be science the scientific method must be science.

    Science is really the study of formal systems[or we might say the study of systems formally]. The scientific method, is a method derived to build the formal systems of the world as best we can with the tools we have. The physical and social sciences are the application of the knowledge we learn in philosophy and math and statistics to describe the system that we live in.

    The easiest way to say it might also be this

    "Science is a field that concerns itself with the question of knowledge and how we know it"

    Thus we get examinations into strictly formal systems like Math and Statistics and Probability and Philosophy and Logic and Computer Sciences. And we get examinations into how we can describe the world in terms of formal systems like Philosophy and Chemistry and Biology and Medicine and Economics and Sociology and Psychology.

    And we get applications of those examinations [though i would be most hesitant to call these sciences] like engineering and nursing.

    I guess I'm not following why the scientific method would itself need to be a science in order for the systems that use it to also be considered sciences. For a stupid analogy, a car doesn't need to be considered a driver in order for a person who uses a car to be considered a driver. What am I missing here?

    Physics is not a system it is an application of the method. It is not that a car doesn't need to be considered a driver. But that there is no difference between phyisics and the method. A person needs to drive to be considered a driver. And driving such, needs to be considered driving for a person driving to be considered a driver.

    Physics, in order to be a science, must be doing science. What is is doing therefore, must be science.

    First, the bolded is the kind of nonsense sentence that only a philosophy discussion can contain. It is what I love/hate about them.

    If I follow a recipe for making a cake, my end product is a cake. The recipe is not a cake, it is a recipe.

    You explanation is silly. Instructions for how to do something need not be what they describe. Otherwise IKEA would be a lot less frustrating, as as soon as I opened the box, I'd have a bookshelf already, since the packet of papers stabled together must be a bookshelf, if that's what I get at the end of completing them?


    tinwhiskers on
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    (although there's a problem which is that the 'nothing' which Krauss is talking about is still affected by stuff like space and time, whereas the 'nothing' most philosophers are thinking about is outside of the universe)

    Yes, exactly. Since 'nothing' is basically in infinitely flexible term (as is 'something'), it's an impossible task to ever demonstrate that one can come from the other because a determined & dishonest interlocutor can always just adjust what they mean by 'nothing' or 'something' (or both).

    In the book, Krauss makes it pretty clear that what he means is that particles - particularly hydrogen atoms - can seem to spontaneously just pop into existence under very specific conditions, and this may explain what happened to form our universe. But people don't want to hear that, so they break out the semantics & apologetics.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Instructions for how to do something need not be what they describe

    But it is the case when the instructions are the thing. An example would be for instance a dance. The dance itself is considered a dance, and you do the dance by following the instructions laid out in the dance. And by doing that you are a dancer.

    The science of physics is in the doing, not in the end result. I do not get instructions for science and then end up with a result which i claim is science separate from how it was built. A chair is a chair regardless of how its built, but a theory of gravity is not science if it is created in a way that is not the scientific method.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Instructions for how to do something need not be what they describe

    But it is the case when the instructions are the thing. An example would be for instance a dance. The dance itself is considered a dance, and you do the dance by following the instructions laid out in the dance. And by doing that you are a dancer.

    The science of physics is in the doing, not in the end result. I do not get instructions for science and then end up with a result which i claim is science separate from how it was built. A chair is a chair regardless of how its built, but a theory of gravity is not science if it is created in a way that is not the scientific method.

    You can transmit the knowledge of a dance in a format that is not, itself, dance, the same as a bookshelf. Square Dance is essentially composed entirely of this.

    There are two things that are both called physics: the body of certain categories of knowledge about the physical world, and the process of determining things about those categories. I'd argue that the body of knowledge is not, itself, science, because science isn't a thing. I can't have a box of science. Science is a process, described by the scientific method, which is used to discover knowledge. The process-half of physics, by which things like the theory of gravity are created, is science. The theory itself takes part in science whenever someone carries out a gravitational experiment, but it is not, itself, science.

    If I give you a book of physical theories, are you now a scientist? By your definition you have a bunch of science. There's a bunch of written theories in the 500 and 600 sections of the library. Are they technically a lab?

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    If you have a book of phyisical theories and you use them to perform science then yes.

    You realize what the first part of the scientific method is right? Do you understand what that entails?

    wbBv3fj.png
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    If you have a book of phyisical theories and you use them to perform science then yes.

    You realize what the first part of the scientific method is right? Do you understand what that entails?

    But the book itself does not, on its own make you a scientist, right? In which case the book does not, itself, possess science.

    I do realize what the first part of the scientific method is. But it's the first part. The first part of the iron man triathalon is swimming, but jumping into the ocean doesn't make me an iron man.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Why would the book, on its own make you a scientists. Possessing science does not make you a scientist in the same way possessing a chair does not make you a carpenter.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Why would the book, on its own make you a scientists. Possessing science does not make you a scientist in the same way possessing a chair does not make you a carpenter.

    Because science is a process, not a communicable substance. I don't have science and a thing isn't made of science. You can practice science by only taking part in a subset of the overall process, but mathematics and philosophy do not, as fields of inquiry, instantiate the entire process at all. There are no experimental mathematicians (well, there probably are, but it doesn't mean the same thing if someone's using that title). Metaphysicists don't invalidate hypotheses on the subject of being.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
Sign In or Register to comment.