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Physicists Are Philosophers, Too?

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  • Physicists Are Philosophers, Too?

    The rift between Physics (science in general) and philosophy is nothing new. It is vary much a twentieth century phenomenon, arising partly out of rift between science and religion. Scientist in the twentieth century began to assert the philosophy and religion were outdated, and brought nothing to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence. Because of these rifts many scientists favored atheism or strong agnosticism. To a certain degree I agree with the scientists, but not entirely. The following article is worth the read and addresses some of the issues concerning these rifts.

    I believe the rejection of philosophy by many scientists, because in reality all scientists have a philosophy and religious world and should explore these issues more.

    Physicists Are Philosophers, Too

    Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/physicists-are-philosophers-too/?WT.mc_id=SA_BS_20150515



    Editor’s Note: Shortly before his death last August at the age of 79, the noted physicist and public intellectual Victor Stenger worked with two co-authors to pen an article for Scientific American. In it Stenger and co-authors address the latest eruption of a long-standing historic feud, an argument between physicists and philosophers about the nature of their disciplines and the limits of science. Can instruments and experiments (or pure reason and theoretical models) ever reveal the ultimate nature of reality? Does the modern triumph of physics make philosophy obsolete? What philosophy, if any, could modern theoretical physicists be said to possess? Stenger and his co-authors introduce and address all these profound questions in this thoughtful essay and seek to mend the growing schism between these two great schools of thought. When physicists make claims about the universe, Stenger writes, they are also engaging in a grand philosophical tradition that dates back thousands of years. Inescapably, physicists are philosophers, too. This article, Stenger’s last, appears in full below.

    © Copyright Original Source



    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...SA_BS_20150515
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  • #2
    Philosophy and science are two languages to the same universe.

    Science shows us what's observable and philosophy shapes our worldview.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
      The rift between Physics (science in general) and philosophy is nothing new. It is vary much a twentieth century phenomenon, arising partly out of rift between science and religion. Scientist in the twentieth century began to assert the philosophy and religion were outdated, and brought nothing to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence. Because of these rifts many scientists favored atheism or strong agnosticism. To a certain degree I agree with the scientists, but not entirely. The following article is worth the read and addresses some of the issues concerning these rifts.
      Were scientists wrong to assert the philosophy and religion were outdated, and brought nothing to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence? Can you (or anyone) give any examples of what philosophy and religion have brought to the table in that regard in the last 100 years?
      My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
        Were scientists wrong to assert the philosophy and religion were outdated, and brought nothing to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence? Can you (or anyone) give any examples of what philosophy and religion have brought to the table in that regard in the last 100 years?
        I believe aspects of philosophy and religion are indeed outdated, and should be studied like ancient history. Unfortunately these arguments are constantly being retread by modern theists like Plantinga, who wasted his life with worthless circular arguments like the justification by way of Warrant and Proper Function

        There are philosophies underlying the assumptions and presuppositions of the methods of science, and in particular the modern sciences of Cosmology where the evidence is not directly objectively verified by scientific methods. Popper was one modern philosopher that dealt with some of these philosophical problems.

        Even though you would object, I believe there is justification for modern Cosmogony philosophy concerning religious belief and science, as in the Baha'i Faith.
        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

        go with the flow the river knows . . .

        Frank

        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
          The rift between Physics (science in general) and philosophy is nothing new. It is vary much a twentieth century phenomenon, arising partly out of rift between science and religion. Scientist in the twentieth century began to assert the philosophy and religion were outdated, and brought nothing to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence. Because of these rifts many scientists favored atheism or strong agnosticism. To a certain degree I agree with the scientists, but not entirely. The following article is worth the read and addresses some of the issues concerning these rifts.

          I believe the rejection of philosophy by many scientists, because in reality all scientists have a philosophy and religious world and should explore these issues more.

          Physicists Are Philosophers, Too

          Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/physicists-are-philosophers-too/?WT.mc_id=SA_BS_20150515



          Editor’s Note: Shortly before his death last August at the age of 79, the noted physicist and public intellectual Victor Stenger worked with two co-authors to pen an article for Scientific American. In it Stenger and co-authors address the latest eruption of a long-standing historic feud, an argument between physicists and philosophers about the nature of their disciplines and the limits of science. Can instruments and experiments (or pure reason and theoretical models) ever reveal the ultimate nature of reality? Does the modern triumph of physics make philosophy obsolete? What philosophy, if any, could modern theoretical physicists be said to possess? Stenger and his co-authors introduce and address all these profound questions in this thoughtful essay and seek to mend the growing schism between these two great schools of thought. When physicists make claims about the universe, Stenger writes, they are also engaging in a grand philosophical tradition that dates back thousands of years. Inescapably, physicists are philosophers, too. This article, Stenger’s last, appears in full below.

          © Copyright Original Source



          http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...SA_BS_20150515
          I prefer scientists with a philosophical bent. (Good philosophy helps keep them sober. It's good for the rest of us as well.)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
            I believe aspects of philosophy and religion are indeed outdated, and should be studied like ancient history. Unfortunately these arguments are constantly being retread by modern theists like Plantinga, who wasted his life with worthless circular arguments like the justification by way of Warrant and Proper Function

            There are philosophies underlying the assumptions and presuppositions of the methods of science, and in particular the modern sciences of Cosmology where the evidence is not directly objectively verified by scientific methods. Popper was one modern philosopher that dealt with some of these philosophical problems.

            Even though you would object, I believe there is justification for modern Cosmogony philosophy concerning religious belief and science, as in the Baha'i Faith.
            Can you now answer the question? Can you (or anyone) give any examples of what philosophy and religion have brought to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence in the last 100 years?
            My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
              Were scientists wrong to assert the philosophy and religion were outdated, and brought nothing to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence? Can you (or anyone) give any examples of what philosophy and religion have brought to the table in that regard in the last 100 years?
              Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. - Stephen Hawking

              Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. - CS Lewis

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jude View Post
                Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. - Stephen Hawking
                Point of meaning. The nothing in cosmology is not the same as the theological/philosophical ex nihilo.

                Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. - CS Lewis
                True
                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                Frank

                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rightly or wrongly, I shall assume you are addressing the question I asked.
                  Originally posted by Jude View Post
                  Were scientists wrong to assert the philosophy and religion were outdated, and brought nothing to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence? Can you (or anyone) give any examples of what philosophy and religion have brought to the table in that regard in the last 100 years?
                  Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. - Stephen Hawking

                  Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. - CS Lewis
                  Hawking is a physicist, not a philosophy, so hardly a good example of what religion and philosophy have brought to the table. Meanwhile, your Lewis quote is not about our physical existence.
                  My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Scientists typically have a PhD in their respective field of expertise.

                    http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Philosophy
                    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                      Can you now answer the question? Can you (or anyone) give any examples of what philosophy and religion have brought to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence in the last 100 years?
                      The philosophy/cosmogony of the Baha'i Faith of the Harmony of Science and religion that considers the evolving knowledge of science as Revelation of how God Created. This philosophy considers that ALL scripture considering the physical nature of our existence, including Baha'i Scripture, must be understood in the light of science.
                      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                      go with the flow the river knows . . .

                      Frank

                      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                        Can you now answer the question? Can you (or anyone) give any examples of what philosophy and religion have brought to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence in the last 100 years?
                        You're asking a bit of a stilted question, here. You're basically asking, "What has philosophy and religion brought to the table concerning the physical sciences?"

                        Still, there are a number of areas where philosophy and science interact. Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics immediately come to mind. My personal favorite body of philosophical work from the past 100 years deals with the physical nature of time, and is best summarized by the work of philosopher G.J. Whitrow in his fantastic book, The Natural Philosophy of Time. There is a rather vibrant and active field of research known as Philosophy of Science which you might consider looking into.
                        "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                        --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                          You're asking a bit of a stilted question, here. You're basically asking, "What has philosophy and religion brought to the table concerning the physical sciences?"
                          Yes, that is exactly what I am asking. Shunyadragon said "Scientist in the twentieth century began to assert the philosophy and religion were outdated, and brought nothing to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence", and I am asking for evidence that that is not so.
                          Still, there are a number of areas where philosophy and science interact. Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics immediately come to mind. My personal favorite body of philosophical work from the past 100 years deals with the physical nature of time, and is best summarized by the work of philosopher G.J. Whitrow in his fantastic book, The Natural Philosophy of Time. There is a rather vibrant and active field of research known as Philosophy of Science which you might consider looking into.
                          Great, so you are in an excellent position to give some solid examples of what philosophy and religion brought to the table concerning the physical sciences. What have they told us about time? What have they told us about QM? I am not looking for a long list here, just a couple of specific examples.
                          My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                            Yes, that is exactly what I am asking. Shunyadragon said "Scientist in the twentieth century began to assert the philosophy and religion were outdated, and brought nothing to the table concerning the nature of our physical existence", and I am asking for evidence that that is not so.
                            Ah, cool. Sorry, I missed that in Shuny's post, originally. Now your question makes more sense.

                            Great, so you are in an excellent position to give some solid examples of what philosophy and religion brought to the table concerning the physical sciences. What have they told us about time? What have they told us about QM? I am not looking for a long list here, just a couple of specific examples.
                            On the nature of time, philosophy has shown that the intuitive picture of time which most people hold is far less likely to be true than the idea that all of time is co-extant, and that the future is just as real as the present or the past.

                            Interpretations of QM are a lovely area of philosophical research. The big problem with QM is that the mathematics is fairly simple and straightforward, but the implications of the mathematics are extremely perplexing. So, for example, if we were to apply Occam's Razor and follow the interpretation of QM with the fewest extraneous assumptions, we would be led to Everett's Many Worlds interpretation. If Many-Worlds is correct, then we are struck by a rather amazing bit of information about the physical world-- namely, that we exist as part of a multiverse.

                            Another interpretation of QM with extremely interesting consequences-- and my particular favorite interpretation-- is called Two State Vector Formalism. If TSVF is correct, then we are left with a rather startling conclusion: retrocausality. Just as events are informed by other things which occur previous to them in time (causality), TSVF shows that they are similarly affected by things which occur subsequently in time (retrocausality). The entire Aristotelian concept of Causation becomes turned inside-out, should TSVF be true.

                            Another fantastic example would be Non-Euclidean Geometry, which was thought to be nothing more than an interesting toy for philosophers and mathematicians, until 100 years ago when it inspired Einstein's discovery of General Relativity. If it wasn't for a handful of philosophers in the 19th Century doubting Euclid's Parallel Postulate, you wouldn't have a GPS, today.
                            "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                            --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                              Rightly or wrongly, I shall assume you are addressing the question I asked.

                              Hawking is a physicist, not a philosophy, so hardly a good example of what religion and philosophy have brought to the table. Meanwhile, your Lewis quote is not about our physical existence.
                              Texting by phone so pls excuse brevity

                              The answer to your question is that as you note hawking is not a philosopher as shown by this quote of his. How does the universe create itself? Can it exist before it exists? Statements like this remind us poor philosophy even from the mouth of world class scientists is still poor philosophy. This after he announced earlier in the book that philosophy is dead.
                              So I agree with Lewis that philosophy brings a lot to the table if only to answer bad philosophy.

                              Comment

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