The Limits of Science

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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uwot
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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by uwot »

skakos wrote:So true. We tend to forget the real importance of intuition in sciences.
Some of us might. I think anyone who has looked at the history of science will be familiar with the role intuition, guesswork and luck have played. Paul Feyerabend's Against Method should quickly convince you of that.
skakos wrote:And most importantly, we tend to forget the real connection between our PHILOSOPHICAL DOGMAS and the scientific theories we postulate...
There are almost as many philosophical dogmas as there are scientists which is why science is dynamic and not dogmatic like some philosophies.
skakos wrote:Nothing is based on nothing...
Don't even go there.
skakos wrote:A hidden assumption is always behind the best theory...
All science is based on the assumption that there is an external world that conforms in some way to our perception of it. It might be untrue, but the evidence is overwhelmingly in it's favour and it is the most parsimonious explanation. Where people's own assumptions impinge on their theory, there are other scientists who, lacking that assumption, will examine the theory until the assumption is uncovered. Hard science is the bit that everyone, eventually and sometimes unwilling, has to agree with: the objective empirical evidence and the accuracy and efficacy of the mathematical model. It does not follow that any theory that is consistent with the empirical evidence is therefore true. Nor does it follow that any entities postulated by maths as explanatory tools exist. Science is basically observation and maths; all theories are unproven and even though the supporting evidence may be extremely compelling, they always will be. You can blame Karl Popper for that.
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Hjarloprillar
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Re: The Limits of Science

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"All science is based on the assumption that there is an external world that conforms in some way to our perception of it. It might be untrue, but the evidence is overwhelmingly in it's favour and it is the most parsimonious explanation. Where people's own assumptions impinge on their theory, there are other scientists who, lacking that assumption, will examine the theory until the assumption is uncovered. Hard science is the bit that everyone, eventually and sometimes unwilling, has to agree with: the objective empirical evidence and the accuracy and efficacy of the mathematical model. It does not follow that any theory that is consistent with the empirical evidence is therefore true. Nor does it follow that any entities postulated by maths as explanatory tools exist. Science is basically observation and maths; all theories are unproven and even though the supporting evidence may be extremely compelling, they always will be. You can blame Karl Popper for that."

Interesting
Blaggard
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Re: The Limits of Science

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thedoc wrote:BTW, this forum is "The Philosophy of Science" not the "Science of Science".
No shit Sherlock.

But if people will say science is in crisis, that does touch on science of science no? The subject seemed to have turned to where science was moribund, I assume your post was more of the same, if not then fine I take your points on board.
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Re: The Limits of Science

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Hjarloprillar wrote:"So true. We tend to forget the real importance of intuition in sciences."
Well that I can certainly agree on as it is the basis of good new science.

To add to what uwot said, I don't think scientists forget that, though, I think once again it's philosophers assuming they do, you often have to ask if any philosopher has met a scientist in the real world, because I can assure you they are a pretty diverse bag of cats. And they certainly seem to be able to intuit new ways of thinking. Forget intuition, maybe if they are bad scientists, and there are of course plenty of those just as there are bad Drs and Bad philosophers, but inspiration and its progeny is of course key to science.

Karl Popper why I aught to!

No I think his work was instrumental in laying out a procedure that formalised how science should be done uwot, I think we are beholden to that, although he was hardly the only one doing that, it had been going on for years, I think though he was instrumental in bringing it all together in one ball park.
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Hjarloprillar
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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by Hjarloprillar »

Blaggard

the twin pillars of human science method are.
Inuition.
Imagination.
Without them nothing happens.

Image


i need to read more Popper. i'm getting slack in my perspective.
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Blaggard
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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by Blaggard »

Indeed. :)

It's not what you know it's how you use it.
i need to reead more popper. i'm getting slack in my perspective
There are only so many hours in the day, which is where discussing thing neatly fills in, you don't have to read the books per se, if you can read a thread that discusses the books in such depth that you can't but learn something. Media is larger these days, the time of the book reader is still here, the time of the person who only learns from books is dead.
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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by Hjarloprillar »

Blaggard wrote:Indeed. :)

It's not what you know it's how you use it.
i need to reead more popper. i'm getting slack in my perspective
There are only so many hours in the day, which is where discussing thing neatly fills in, you don't have to read the books per se, if you can read a thread that discusses the books in such depth that you can't but learn something. Media is larger these days, the time of the book reader is still here, the time of the person who only learns from books is dead.
I read my best of,

Hmm i would not say dead but 'being handed his hat' [contact]
I do 98% of research on net.

"The times, they are a changing"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqvUz0HrNKY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7qQ6_RV4VQ
uwot
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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by uwot »

Blaggard wrote:
skakos wrote:"So true. We tend to forget the real importance of intuition in sciences."
Well that I can certainly agree on as it is the basis of good new science.
And bad. You have said some things to the effect that string theory is probably a load of bollocks. If that is a fair assessment of your position, I agree. As far as I can tell, the bait for this pursuit is the intuition that fundamental particles might all be described as modes of vibration on 'strings'. Well, yes, it may well turn out that it is possible to describe the behaviour of particles thus; part of me thinks it would be possible to mathematically describe the universe in terms of elemental pork scratchings. Hypothetical entities can be given any qualities necessary to save the phenomenon.
Blaggard wrote:To add to what uwot said, I don't think scientists forget that, though, I think once again it's philosophers assuming they do,
By your own admission, you haven't read a lot of philosophy. Much as I love a lot of the people in this little world, do you think you could derive an accurate picture of scientists based on the contributions to a science forum with a similar approach to moderation?
Blaggard wrote:you often have to ask if any philosopher has met a scientist in the real world, because I can assure you they are a pretty diverse bag of cats.
Indeed. So are philosophers.
Blaggard wrote:And they certainly seem to be able to intuit new ways of thinking. Forget intuition, maybe if they are bad scientists, and there are of course plenty of those just as there are bad Drs and Bad philosophers, but inspiration and its progeny is of course key to science.

Karl Popper why I aught to!

No I think his work was instrumental in laying out a procedure that formalised how science should be done uwot,
He just described what had worked so far. So did Kuhn, so did Feyerabend. Part of philosophy is to examine how people think and describe the common features; it's what we do. Science, without getting into the subtleties, is us looking at the world and working out how to manipulate it. Philosophy is us looking at our ideas and working out what to do about it.
Blaggard wrote:I think we are beholden to that,

In a minimal sense. It works or it doesn't. If it is useful for long enough, it becomes science, but science isn't some Platonic ideal that exists beyond our sphere of influence. Fundamentally, science is whatever scientists do.
Blaggard wrote:although he was hardly the only one doing that, it had been going on for years,
I don't think you mean this. What was he doing that had been going on for years?
Blaggard wrote:I think though he was instrumental in bringing it all together in one ball park.
It's still all over the place. Always will be. Good thing too.
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Re: The Limits of Science

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And bad. You have said some things to the effect that string theory is probably a load of bollocks. If that is a fair assessment of your position, I agree. As far as I can tell, the bait for this pursuit is the intuition that fundamental particles might all be described as modes of vibration on 'strings'. Well, yes, it may well turn out that it is possible to describe the behaviour of particles thus; part of me thinks it would be possible to mathematically describe the universe in terms of elemental pork scratchings. Hypothetical entities can be given any qualities necessary to save the phenomenon.
The problem I have with String Theory is not that it isn't useful or it doesn't have real world applications, because I can assure you it does although not as it pertains to a ToE but that they tend to call it a theory at all kinda is insulting to people who have done experiments. This seems wrong headed to me, and String Theory seems to be gradually fading away as time goes by. So at least we know "put up or shut up" still holds in science. ;)

"String theorists don't do experiments they just do excuses."

Richard P Feynman.
I don't think you mean this. What was he doing that had been going on for years?
Formalising a system of doing science?

Why what do you think he did, invent Pong for Atari?
By your own admission, you haven't read a lot of philosophy. Much as I love a lot of the people in this little world, do you think you could derive an accurate picture of scientists based on the contributions to a science forum with a similar approach to moderation?
I've spent my entire life working with scientists more so in the last 10 years so I don't think it's a fair question.

I can give you my impression of philosophers from this forum if you'd like, but I don't think you'd like what I have to say about what seems to be the general population, at least from what I have seen so far. Suffice to say apt to be overly opinionated to the point of thinking they are an authority on things which they have no real idea about, apt to jump to conclusions without any real basis for them, judgemnetal,narcissistic, possessing of an overinflated opinion of their own merits and an under appreciation of anyone elses and hence somewhat pompous, would probably turn up somewhere in there. ;)

To be honest I would say that is most students in general though, it's dangerous to have a little learning, alot not so dangerous. ;)

I wouldn't say that was everyone by any means but as an impression I have gotten over the last 5 months of being here, I'd say it at least reflects manys attitude if not mosts. Mind you judging people based on their internet persona is pretty useless although some numpties seem to think they can, they are fooling themselves of course.

Suffice to say my point still stands, I doubt most philosophers have even met many scientists, let alone are in any position to have an opinion on what scientists are like, I get the same impression about their ideas about how science works, and various other things too, that they have a sort of cobbled together internet philosophy of science and scientists, and almost no practical knowledge of actual science or actual scientists. But then it is philosophy, mind you I hope anyone who is studying philosophy of science has at least spent time in the real world, because otherwise you are going to be awfully incomplete in your views. Not that I think you have to have walked the walk in philosophy necessarilly, especially if you don't intend to study science at any point or do anything remotely concerned with it. It would be nice to see people relate something a little more anecdotal than erudite sometimes though, because alot of what I hear doesn't really gel with anything I have experienced in my career. So don't be offended if I take some people's opinion with a pinch of salt, particularly people who seem to be parrotting a sort of internet meme.
uwot
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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by uwot »

Blaggard wrote:
By your own admission, you haven't read a lot of philosophy. Much as I love a lot of the people in this little world, do you think you could derive an accurate picture of scientists based on the contributions to a science forum with a similar approach to moderation?
I've spent my entire life working with scientists more so in the last 10 years so I don't think it's a fair question.
I can't see why that isn't a perfectly fair question. Let me put it another way: If it is fair to judge philosophy by reading an internet forum populated by people, only a small fraction of whom have any academic background in philosophy, is it fair to judge science by the same standards?
Do you honestly believe that the good people here are a meaningful sample of 'philosophers'?
Blaggard wrote:I can give you my impression of philosophers from this forum if you'd like, but I don't think you'd like what I have to say about what seems to be the general population, at least from what I have seen so far.
I'm much more interested in your impression of people who are more widely recognised as philosophers.
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Re: The Limits of Science

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Ok I misunderstood your angle in that case obviously not.

My impression of Philosophers is that they are doing a good job of keeping things on the straight and well if not narrow at least somwhere that is not a blunt area. The modern one's I have read seem to be very intelligent, very cutting on modern ideas and of course very good at expressing them. That said of course having read only about a dozen or so modern or at least post 20th century philosophers works, I may be wrong, and I may be misrepresenting them, but those I have been advised to read seem to be pretty astute, although sometimes I think they do get a little bogged down in their prose by formalising their arguments to such a degree that you can read through 100 pages and they haven't actually said what their case is yet, which is ok, but perhaps going a little too far.

I can give you a list of the works I have read if you like, not sure it would mean anything but it would put my opinions in perspective at least. Suffice to say I don't judge modern philosophy based on a forum experience, I am not sure why you even asked that question, it would be like judging the works of Shakespeare based on Marlowe.

My point was that a lot of people do tend to express opinions on any forum and a lot of them are pinch of salt, but then I said that before, and it does not need me to elaborate.

I think the problem may be between the use of the word philosopher which almost everyone who isn't a moron is, and the career Philosopher which few are. So let me stringently say when I said philosopher I mean the general person who may or may not be a Philosopher. Perhaps I should use Philosopher to mean a long time academic or a philosopher who is paid to be a philosopher and has made a living out of it, to make it clear who I am discussing.
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Re: The Limits of Science

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Thinkers in our times.

Literature: Bill Watterson, Philip K. Dick and Terry Pratchett. I’ll defend any of those if someone asks. [ 'kyl m' forum post "marginal revolution"]

PK Dick is a sort of hero to me so im biased from getgo ,, speculative philosophy is my passion

Prill
uwot
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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by uwot »

Blaggard wrote:I can give you a list of the works I have read if you like, not sure it would mean anything but it would put my opinions in perspective at least.
That would be a start. What would be better would be if you were to present one of the ideas you have encountered, give your opinion of it and invite others to do likewise. A great deal of what you have posted is along the lines of music is great, Mitchell and Webb are funny, differential calculus is clever, so and so is a fucking troll/who are you calling a fucking troll, you ****? All good fun, but I, at least, would appreciate some philosophical content.
Blaggard wrote:Suffice to say I don't judge modern philosophy based on a forum experience, I am not sure why you even asked that question,
Slow down. Rewind. It'll come back to you.

Hjarloprillar, I haven't read any of those authors, but I would be interested in why they are philosophical.
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Re: The Limits of Science

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Hjarloprillar, I haven't read any of those authors, but I would be interested in why they are philosophical.
Over the years i now have most of his published work.
The matrix. [maze of death]
minority report
total recall [we can remember it for you, wholesale]
the impostor
blade runner [ do androids dream of electric sheep]
paycheck
Next [golden man]

"Adjustment Team" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Orbit Science Fiction (Sept–Oct 1954, No. 4) with illustration by Faragasso.
Adjustment Team was adapted for film as The Adjustment Bureau and released in March 2011.

all movie scripts from stories by P k Dick , everything he wrote was philosophy. his forte was human perception and reality.

in later life he defined reality as
"reality is 'that' which, when you stop believing in it , does not go away"

Prill--------------------------------------

He has delivered into lounge rooms of the west . more philosophy than the occupants can handle. making p k dick the pre eminent philosopher of western entertainment.

"The man in the high castle"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_in_the_High_Castle
And " the Proteus operation" by j p hogan

would be a fantastic flics if done well
i send one line emails to hollywood producers every few months. once Guillermo del Toro replied. " i'd love that but ,,,," [high castle]
uwot
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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by uwot »

Point taken. I knew the name, but I hadn't realised he was responsible for so much. Head in the clouds/up my own arse, as usual.
Hjarloprillar wrote:He has delivered into lounge rooms of the west . more philosophy than the occupants can handle. making p k dick the pre eminent philosopher of western entertainment.
Very possibly and given that I clearly know bugger all about western entertainment, I wouldn't argue.
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