Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

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

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Rortabend
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Re: Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

Post by Rortabend »

StrangerDanger wrote:Generally speaking, scientists are narrowly trained technicians who are largely innocent of the philosophical foundations of their discipline. This fact about the scientist's attitude towards philosophy is an absolute necessity. If scientists worried all day about the problem of demarcation, or the problem of induction, or underdetermination, or whatever, they'd be overfocused on critiquing method rather than using method to make progress and empirical discoveries for philosophers to speculate about.
SD,

This doesn't quite answer my original question of why many scientists hate (or are, at least, highly suspicious of) the philosophy of science. If I worried too much about the mechanics of playing football then it might impact my performance. Yet this fact does not mean that I am suspicious of attempts to investigate the mechanics of playing football. There is clearly something else going on that your Kuhnian explanation does not quite cover.
StrangerDanger
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Re: Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

Post by StrangerDanger »

Scientists refuse to explore the philosophical foundations of their discipline and the problems attending to it for the same reasons that religious adherents dislike having the central tenets of their belief system challenged by sustained, philosophical inquiry. It's just human nature, very non-mysterious.
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thinkahol
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Re: Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

Post by thinkahol »

StrangerDanger wrote:Scientists refuse to explore the philosophical foundations of their discipline and the problems attending to it for the same reasons that religious adherents dislike having the central tenets of their belief system challenged by sustained, philosophical inquiry. It's just human nature, very non-mysterious.

But of course this doesn't mean that science isn't the best we can do in the pursuit of knowledge, fundamentally limited as it is. Science has a better track record in significant respects than philosophy. To be honest, much of the most philosophically important insights are no longer coming from philosophy (I still don't think the reverberations of the mathematical proof of the impossibility of any formal system to be complete by Kurt Gödel has fully sunk in with the intellectual community), and philosophers need to have a much better understanding of many of the sciences to speak meaningfully. Consciousness is perpetually butchered, there is often little understanding of human nature, and far too many philosophical disagreements have boiled down to linguistic ambiguity. Worries about determinism, as well, have plagued philosophy, but there are plenty of reasons to dismiss most formulations of the question as flawed.

There needs to be a serious philosophy of philosophy because in many cases it still presumes to claim authority on questions that science more reliably answers.
mickthinks
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Re: Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

Post by mickthinks »

Scientists, as parents and members of school boards will, in my opinion, be opposing any such changes in the curriculum for their and others children but not based upon any philosophy of science.

There are no other grounds for opposing such changes, Arising. A simple preference, "I don't want this", carries no more political or legal weight coming from a scientist than "I want this" carries coming from a creationist.
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ray
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Re: Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

Post by ray »

You guys have already said many things which I wont repeat.

However to answer the basic question:
Rortabend wrote:
Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate in physics, is pretty dismissive when it come to the work of contemporary philosophers of science. Basically, he thinks that philosophers don't have sufficient knowledge of science in order to make philosophical claims about it. He is by no means alone in his thinking.

Is Weinberg right about the philosophy of science or does it have something meaning and informed to say about modern science?
Wienberg is whining because he wants the
exclusive right to analyise the results of the lab rats.

Thats never going to happen.

I will put it even more simply:

Humans cannot let monkeys define success or failure.

:wink:
Nikolai
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Re: Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

Post by Nikolai »

One question that rarely gets considered is whether scientific discourse has anthing to do with technological advance.

Scientists are too quick too dismiss philosophy as irrelevant because they are so convinced that scientific theories are verified by the praxis of technology. Yet, there is nothing that justifies such a notion. If I believe that the concepts of raindancing describe a useful technology then each instance of rain will be seen as a success of the technology and then verification of my theory.

A prediction:

Scientists belief in their concepts will become so entrenched that they won't be flexible enough to describe the changing way in which we perceive phenemona. Science must therefore capitulate to narratives whose terminology is more fluid. The same thing happened when theological narratives became entrenched by beliefs in infallible scripture, and then were unable to account for notions like, say, the heliocentric system.
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ray
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Re: Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

Post by ray »

Philosophers dont hate scientists.

But scientists do hate philosophers.


You can guess why.

One can easily handle the other.

:D
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thinkahol
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Re: Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

Post by thinkahol »

ray wrote:Philosophers dont hate scientists.

But scientists do hate philosophers.


You can guess why.

One can easily handle the other.

:D
Let me guess. Scientists care about evidence?

But seriously, those most critical of science demonstrate the most ignorance of what science means.

Here's a dramatic illustrator:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 8316&hl=en

However, that doesn't mean that philosophers of science have no role to play. They just have to be "better."
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Psychonaut
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Re: Why do scientists hate philosophy of science?

Post by Psychonaut »

Philosophers of science are rarely critical of science; they are usually critical of 'bad science', pseudoscience and strident metaphysical claims made by scientists going far beyond their remit.
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