Philosophy is pseudoscience...

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

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Lurendrejer
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Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Lurendrejer » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:41 pm

..according to a friend of mine.
We discussed several things but he keep claiming science and philosophy has no place togethers and basically equal philosophy to theology and philosophies to religions.
How do i argue to him that newton, Einstein and other people formulated their findings within views of the universe, as for example mechanism? That doing science is meaningless without a philosphy to propel one forward?

Context of the photo is that he thinks philosphy does not Try to understand reality whereas that it was science Does.
Translation of the photo:
Him: [philosophy]it Does not matter/is pointless
Me: What is your problem with philosophy?
Him: that it is only People’s projections of What they do not understand/comprehend
Him: and see connections which are not real
Him: it is pseudoscience

Do give me your thoughts, because i feel like this is actually a very common perspective at least from where i am from, and obviously not something i agere with
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Impenitent
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Impenitent » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:10 am

ask him about the errors of inductive reasoning

-Imp

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Noax
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Noax » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:29 am

Lurendrejer wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:41 pm
Me: What is your problem with philosophy?
Him: that it is only People’s projections of What they do not understand/comprehend
Him: and see connections which are not real
Philosophy is not about that which is not understood/comprehended. It is about that for which there is no evidence, and thus cannot be known. So it is not that unreal connections are seen, but rather that they are not seen.

A good example is interpretations of quantum mechanics. A good QM science class will barely touch on them, because they are philosophy and have no direct relevance to the science being taught in the class, despite all adhering to methodological naturalism. QM predictions are probabilistic, and the reality behind those probabilities makes no difference to the predictions and are thus do not matter and are pointless to the science.

I cannot agree that debate over various interpretations is pointless. It is simply pointless to the science of it.

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A_Seagull
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by A_Seagull » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:12 am

Lurendrejer wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:41 pm
..according to a friend of mine.
We discussed several things but he keep claiming science and philosophy has no place togethers and basically equal philosophy to theology and philosophies to religions.
How do i argue to him that newton, Einstein and other people formulated their findings within views of the universe, as for example mechanism? That doing science is meaningless without a philosphy to propel one forward?

Context of the photo is that he thinks philosphy does not Try to understand reality whereas that it was science Does.
Translation of the photo:
Him: [philosophy]it Does not matter/is pointless
Me: What is your problem with philosophy?
Him: that it is only People’s projections of What they do not understand/comprehend
Him: and see connections which are not real
Him: it is pseudoscience

Do give me your thoughts, because i feel like this is actually a very common perspective at least from where i am from, and obviously not something i agere with
Maybe you could try learning from your friend, or at least see things from his perspective.

I agree with him: most philosophy is indistinguishable from religion. It requires unjustified faith in its precepts. Without that faith, most philosophy (but not all) makes no sense at all.

And, of course, there are gems in philosophy, but they are hard to find among the great mounds of BS.

Lurendrejer
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Lurendrejer » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:59 pm

See this is where i think religion and philosophy is very easy to distinguish. Religion, or rather theology, is built on What one believe whereas philosophy is built on What one knows.

uwot
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by uwot » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:15 pm

Philosophy is basically logic. What you do is start with a premise or two and try to create a logically valid argument based on them. In essence, it's story telling. There are two opposing factions: rationalists and empiricists. Rationalists believe you can discover 'the truth' about reality by examining concepts. Empiricists insist the only way to find out about the world, is to look at it. In practise, this means that rationalists are more likely to have some pet theory that they will defend by embellishing their story, if an empirical observation falsifies their original premise.
Science is fundamentally empiricism with numbers. Some scientists, as Noax alludes to, take this to extremes, and insist that the story telling is irrelevant, and for practical purposes, it is. For example: an empiricist will argue that there is a pattern to the way things fall to Earth. A scientist will measure the acceleration and a rationalist will try and explain it. Most people are a blend of all three. Scientists might try to explain why things happen and sometimes their ideas will be borne out by experiments, leading to new avenues of investigation. Generally though, they make do with the mathematical models that have worked up to now.
It's really rationalists that give philosophy a bad name, because many of them create perfectly valid arguments, but the premises they start from are nonsense on stilts.

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Greta
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Greta » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:55 pm

Noax wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:29 am
A good example is interpretations of quantum mechanics. A good QM science class will barely touch on them, because they are philosophy and have no direct relevance to the science being taught in the class, despite all adhering to methodological naturalism.
And that is an issue. Many of these concepts make no sense without some kind of interpretation or contextualisation. I remember being "taught" calculus at school; the teacher started writing dy/dx gibberish on the board. If I'd had examples of how differentiation is the measure of decay I might have done better in the subject.

We need to create narratives from our observations rather than treat them as discrete entities. Philosophy and science were one in the 19th century - natural philosophy. This makes perfect sense because each field concerns the same questions: What is happening? What is real?

You will find that the scientists ready to dismiss philosophy are the ones most likely to wax philosophical about their findings. So philosophy and science once again come together, at least for analytic philosophers, with existentialists seemingly pushed to the fringe.

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Noax
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Noax » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:17 am

Greta wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:55 pm
Noax wrote:A good example is interpretations of quantum mechanics. A good QM science class will barely touch on them, because they are philosophy and have no direct relevance to the science being taught in the class, despite all adhering to methodological naturalism.
And that is an issue. Many of these concepts make no sense without some kind of interpretation or contextualisation. I remember being "taught" calculus at school; the teacher started writing dy/dx gibberish on the board. If I'd had examples of how differentiation is the measure of decay I might have done better in the subject.
Measurement of decay might be one way to apply differentiation, but that is not what it is. In straight abstract terms, differentiation of a function is the slope of the function at each point, and integration is the measure of the area under it. These are real practical applications of calculus. QM interpretations on the other hand have no practical applications since one is as good as another in terms of making predictions. Doesn't mean I don't have a high interest in said interpretations, but hey, that's why I am on sites like this and not a scientific one.
We need to create narratives from our observations rather than treat them as discrete entities. Philosophy and science were one in the 19th century - natural philosophy. This makes perfect sense because each field concerns the same questions: What is happening? What is real?
All the way into 19th century? When was the scientific method accepted as the standard methodology? In particular, when did methodological naturalism replace the prior supernatural methodologies?
You will find that the scientists ready to dismiss philosophy are the ones most likely to wax philosophical about their findings. So philosophy and science once again come together, at least for analytic philosophers, with existentialists seemingly pushed to the fringe.
Have to agree with this. Seen plenty of articles stating that only on such fronts can new progress be made. They want a unified theory, even if it makes no new predictions. So there is a practical reason for philosophy not to be dismissed.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:30 am

A_Seagull wrote:...
And, of course, there are gems in philosophy, but they are hard to find among the great mounds of BS.
Really? I thought the canon of Philosophy identifies most of them.

Londoner
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Londoner » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:15 pm

Science works in as far as it restricts itself within a framework, which it does not question. But the friend in the OP has become oblivious to the framework. It is the friend who has a religious-type belief, since for him science has become a metaphysical construct.

Science describes very little. It does not even describe empirical experiences, only abstractions of empirical experiences. If the friend is taking science to be a complete description of life, the universe and everything, they need to get out more.

Ying
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Ying » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:23 pm

Lurendrejer wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:41 pm
..according to a friend of mine.
Well - yeah - but according to that line of thinking, so is musical theory. It's not supposed to be science, is what I'm saying.
We discussed several things but he keep claiming science and philosophy has no place togethers and basically equal philosophy to theology and philosophies to religions.
How do i argue to him that newton, Einstein and other people formulated their findings within views of the universe, as for example mechanism? That doing science is meaningless without a philosphy to propel one forward?
A quote by Einstein tends to shut the scientism acolytes up most of the time, when it comes to philosophy being "useless":

"I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today—and even professional scientists—seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is—in my opinion—the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth." (Einstein to Thornton, 7 December 1944, EA 61-574)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/eins ... ilscience/

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Greta
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Greta » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:24 pm

Noax wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:17 am
Greta wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:55 pm
Noax wrote:A good example is interpretations of quantum mechanics. A good QM science class will barely touch on them, because they are philosophy and have no direct relevance to the science being taught in the class, despite all adhering to methodological naturalism.
And that is an issue. Many of these concepts make no sense without some kind of interpretation or contextualisation. I remember being "taught" calculus at school; the teacher started writing dy/dx gibberish on the board. If I'd had examples of how differentiation is the measure of decay I might have done better in the subject.
Measurement of decay might be one way to apply differentiation, but that is not what it is. In straight abstract terms, differentiation of a function is the slope of the function at each point, and integration is the measure of the area under it. These are real practical applications of calculus. QM interpretations on the other hand have no practical applications since one is as good as another in terms of making predictions. Doesn't mean I don't have a high interest in said interpretations, but hey, that's why I am on sites like this and not a scientific one.
Thanks Noax - that has helped clarify the situation more for me.

It's a subtle point - the interpretation of calculus can pertain to its practical function while the interpretations of QM more concern abstract notions of what reality is "actually" like, although the letter interpretations have the potential to open up or close subsequent lines of research - to become practical.
Noax wrote:
We need to create narratives from our observations rather than treat them as discrete entities. Philosophy and science were one in the 19th century - natural philosophy. This makes perfect sense because each field concerns the same questions: What is happening? What is real?
All the way into 19th century? When was the scientific method accepted as the standard methodology? In particular, when did methodological naturalism replace the prior supernatural methodologies?
Obviously the transitions have occurred over time, at different rates in different places. I am only aware of the generalities but others here might be able to answer your question better than I can.
You will find that the scientists ready to dismiss philosophy are the ones most likely to wax philosophical about their findings. So philosophy and science once again come together, at least for analytic philosophers, with existentialists seemingly pushed to the fringe.
Have to agree with this. Seen plenty of articles stating that only on such fronts can new progress be made. They want a unified theory, even if it makes no new predictions. So there is a practical reason for philosophy not to be dismissed.[/quote]
Yes, better understanding the nature of reality can bring more peace of mind to animals whose survival has long depended on their capacity to understand what's going on more clearly than others.

To paint philosophy as pseudoscience is to exclude the vast majority of philosophy that does not contradict scientific findings but attempts to contextualise them. Often scientists are not the best people to broadly contextualise their own findings due to their closeness to the subject matter, the narrow focus of their speciality and reluctance to take risks for fear of harming their professional reputation.

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A_Seagull
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by A_Seagull » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:13 am

uwot wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:15 pm
Philosophy is basically logic. What you do is start with a premise or two and try to create a logically valid argument based on them. In essence, it's story telling.
Would that that were true. However logic as used by philosophers is not a rigorous process of inference. While pure logic is rigorous, when applied to concepts, it loses its rigour. Even syllogisms are not rigorous. If this were not so then one might have to conclude that a peanut butter sandwich was better than perfection. And yet many would-be philosophers believe in the sanctity of logic as though it is a God-given certainty. Hence the assertion that philosophy has similarities to religion.

So what you are left with is personal opinions and personal beliefs, even if those beliefs include the belief that one knows the one and only truth.

And people write these opinions as those they were unique truths, and so they end up writing BS.

And the difficulty is that there is no known objective or logical process that enables the gems to de distinguished and separated from the BS. Hume's fork is the only suggested process, but it is ignored by most philosophers. But if it were not ignored 95% of philosophical writing would be 'cast into the flames'.

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Necromancer
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Necromancer » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:54 am

Despite the fact that philosophy is not science, the game is still to convince, make plausible claims by linguistic inquiry combined with scientific input, looking at the whole of nature. One small step at a time... 8)

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Noax
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Re: Philosophy is pseudoscience...

Post by Noax » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:54 am

Greta wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:24 pm
It's a subtle point - the interpretation of calculus can pertain to its practical function while the interpretations of QM more concern abstract notions of what reality is "actually" like, although the letter interpretations have the potential to open up or close subsequent lines of research - to become practical.
If only some interpretations have this potential for practical research (quantum computing I presume?), then there would be an empirical difference, and it would become science, not just philosophy. Not sure if quantum computing depends on a certain interpretation since they all have superposition states.
To paint philosophy as pseudoscience is to exclude the vast majority of philosophy that does not contradict scientific findings but attempts to contextualise them. Often scientists are not the best people to broadly contextualise their own findings due to their closeness to the subject matter, the narrow focus of their speciality and reluctance to take risks for fear of harming their professional reputation.
I hear ya

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