Science Philosophy

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

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uwot
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:11 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:41 am
Dubious wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:27 am
Do you yourself believe that Freud and Jung are in fact quacks?
I do not know what uwot will say, but Freud, his daughter Anna, and Jung were worse than quacks, they were flat-out con men whose ideas are still infecting almost every aspect of modern society.
Well you can read what I think about the philosophy of science here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=27000#p417161 Long story short: I think Feyerabend is right that people will come up with all sorts of fruitloopery and claim it is scientific and that it's probably a good thing. Having said that, I think Popper's falsisifaction principle is a useful tool insofar as that people who simply will not let go of their core beliefs, even in the face of overwhelming evidence debunking it, really don't have much claim to be scientists.
Dunno which claim of Jung's you think qualifies as science, Dubious, so if you want to make a case, who knows? You might persuade me.

Skepdick
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Skepdick » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:57 pm

uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:11 am
I think Feyerabend is right that people will come up with all sorts of fruitloopery and claim it is scientific and that it's probably a good thing. Having said that, I think Popper's falsisifaction principle is a useful tool insofar as that people who simply will not let go of their core beliefs, even in the face of overwhelming evidence debunking it, really don't have much claim to be scientists.
Which is where Quine's "Two Dogmas of empiricism" comes in. One's choice of logical/mathematical (metaphysical?) foundation is (presently) beyond empiricism.

As an instrumentalist - no amount of evidence ought to convince you that hammers don't work. It depends on what you are using it for.

And you ought to be weary of people who are trying to convince you to give up your hammer. They are selling something.

uwot
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:02 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:57 pm
uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:11 am
I think Feyerabend is right that people will come up with all sorts of fruitloopery and claim it is scientific and that it's probably a good thing. Having said that, I think Popper's falsisifaction principle is a useful tool insofar as that people who simply will not let go of their core beliefs, even in the face of overwhelming evidence debunking it, really don't have much claim to be scientists.
Which is where Quine's "Two Dogmas of empiricism" comes in. One's choice of logical/mathematical (metaphysical?) foundation is (presently) beyond empiricism.
Don't really see the connection. But go for it. Tell us what it is.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:57 pm
As an instrumentalist - no amount of evidence ought to convince you that hammers don't work. It depends on what you are using it for.
Do you not think that was Feyerabend's point?
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:57 pm
And you ought to be weary of people who are trying to convince you to give up your hammer. They are selling something.
So what are you selling?

Skepdick
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Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Skepdick » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:10 pm

uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:02 pm
Don't really see the connection. But go for it. Tell us what it is.
Axioms are unfalsifiable. All our formal models have axioms. e.g SI units.
uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:02 pm
Do you not think that was Feyerabend's point?
It was. But then it stands in conflict with falsification.

How would you falsify time?
uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:02 pm
So what are you selling?
Healthy skepticism of the very notion of "truth".

uwot
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:27 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:10 pm
uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:02 pm
Don't really see the connection. But go for it. Tell us what it is.
Axioms are unfalsifiable. All our formal models have axioms. e.g SI units.
Science is not just formal models. Science is not restricted to maths.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:10 pm
uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:02 pm
Do you not think that was Feyerabend's point?
It was. But then it stands in conflict with falsification.
Right. As I point out in the article I wrote for the current edition of Philosophy Now, Feyerabend turned down an offer to be Popper's research assistant.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:10 pm
How would you falsify time?
As it happens, I'm working on an article about time now. For which theory of time do you wish me to demonstrate a means of falsification?
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:10 pm
uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:02 pm
So what are you selling?
Healthy skepticism of the very notion of "truth".
What makes you think I haven't already got one?

Impenitent
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Impenitent » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:02 pm

all theories of time are passing...

-Imp

Dubious
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Dubious » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:36 pm

uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:11 am
Dunno which claim of Jung's you think qualifies as science, Dubious, so if you want to make a case, who knows? You might persuade me.
I'm not saying it's a science nor can it be denoted as one in the normal meaning of the term. But does everything have to be considered as such so not to be deemed quackery? My opinion on Jung has eroded somewhat over the years mainly due to an over emphasis on mysticism especially the oriental kind. But why is it that some of the main quantum physicists of the past were inspired by it? For me it's not as cut and dry as it is for you.

Anyways, I don't think anyone was ever persuaded by anything they didn't want to believe which makes it of zero concern to me as to who believes what.

Here's a link, in case you're interested that the separation between Jung's style of investigation and subject matter is not so terribly incompatible as you imagine. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli corresponded for 20 years discussing correspondences between their views especially those relating to Synchronicity.

To me it's Popper who's the complete quack. His falsification theory is one of the dumbest I ever heard of. It as though he doesn't know what a theory is or how it gets to be falsified. How many scientists are there, were there whose views he influenced compared to the following...?

https://phys.org/news/2009-06-quantum-m ... otten.html

My view is the separation between science as "truth" and and the writings of those like Jung is not such a hard stop as you suppose especially so as quantum physicist are now into hypothesizing scenarios beyond what types like Jung themselves could imagine.

Skepdick
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Skepdick » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:32 pm

uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:27 pm
Science is not just formal models. Science is not restricted to maths.
But science is model-building. Mental/conceptual models still produce some anticipation/prediction. Such as "when I am sad playing classical music makes me happy", or "burnt toast has an unpleasant taste".

Testing those expectations empirically is math. Statistical mechanics to be exact. Your brain can intuitively discern 3+ Decibels of evidence without much need for rigorous statistical amplification. Even if you aren't keeping an exact score you will still get an idea whether you are more wrong than right; or more right than wrong.

But it kinda begs the question: Is it science if you haven't accounted for hits AND misses; or if your model is more wrong than right?
uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:27 pm
As it happens, I'm working on an article about time now. For which theory of time do you wish me to demonstrate a means of falsification?
How about we start with the conceptual rather than theoretical problems? By virtue of practicing the scientific method you are committing yourself to a conception of time.

Page and Wootters theorize that time emerges from the evolution of entangled particles. If a quantum-entangled system does not evolve then time does not exist. So how do you determine if a system is evolving? Well - you take 2 measurements and .... fuck!

The assertion "the quantum system is NOT evolving, therefore time doesn't exist" requires at least two measurement events. This is the Turing paradox.

The theory of time that I want you to falsify is the one which is semantically entrenched in the scientific method. If falsification is the result of future observation, what is a "future" if time doesn't exist?
uwot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:27 pm
What makes you think I haven't already got one?
Your apparent lack of telos. What are you using other people's models for? Personally - I have minimal use for physics in my day-to-day life, but the Mathematical instruments physics has produced are indispensable thinking tools! Those I use daily.

uwot
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:37 am

Tell you what chaps, if you could just do me the courtesy of reading the article I wrote, you should get a pretty good idea of what I think about quackery and telos. If having read it you still have questions, by all means ask them in that context.
https://philosophynow.org/issues/133/Ph ... _Millennia

Dubious
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Dubious » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:53 pm

uwot wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:37 am
Tell you what chaps, if you could just do me the courtesy of reading the article I wrote, you should get a pretty good idea of what I think about quackery and telos. If having read it you still have questions, by all means ask them in that context.
https://philosophynow.org/issues/133/Ph ... _Millennia
I read your article. As always it was interesting, well written and clearly expounded. But there wasn't a single thing I noticed that remotely addressed my posts regarding the work of Jung or those like him studying the innards of the psyche or what would cause you to identify him as a lame duck since it's not science as usually understood. The link included seems a fair summary. If you still think he's a charlatan so be it. It's of no concern to me and no reply is necessary.

uwot
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:08 am

Dubious wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:53 pm
I read your article. As always it was interesting, well written and clearly expounded.
Thank you.
Dubious wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:53 pm
But there wasn't a single thing I noticed that remotely addressed my posts regarding the work of Jung or those like him studying the innards of the psyche or what would cause you to identify him as a lame duck since it's not science as usually understood.
It was the conclusion, really. I broadly agree with Feyerabend who "thought that the only prescription for science that could accommodate every stumble and leap is methodological anarchy, or as Feyerabend put it, anything goes. He took the view that by far the most important criterion is that a theory should be useful – it didn’t matter to who, or what for." So that's telos sorted fairly concisely. Quackery isn't so straightforward, to be fair, partly because it is impossible to reach a definition of science that everyone agrees on. People have their own versions of 'I know it when I see it.'
Dubious wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:53 pm
The link included seems a fair summary. If you still think he's a charlatan so be it. It's of no concern to me and no reply is necessary.
Well it doesn't matter who you call a quack to make the point. Astrologers and numerologists are quite feisty but have mellowed with age. For real fireworks though, have a pop at flat-earthers, creation scientists or climate change deniers. The thing is that all of the above fruitloops have some aspect to what they're doing that could be included in a working definition of science. Same with psychoanalysis, but while I had to read Freud in some depth and could give a number of examples of quackery, I wasn't inspired by what I read of Jung to look much deeper. So yeah, I might have missed something and accept that I may be wrong to lump him in with Freud.

Anyway, as the article you linked to points out, it is entirely possible for world class physicists to have a 'mystical' side. As above, anything goes, but if you have a job to do, arguing about the meaning is a distraction; several of the physicists mentioned have been credited with the phrase 'Shut up and calculate.' The more subtle might have referred to Popper's falsificationism as a reason to do so.

Purrington
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Purrington » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:26 pm

Facts first and theories later is the keynote of Jung's work. He is an empiricist first and last." - British Medical Journal (9 February 1952)

Skepdick
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Skepdick » Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:37 pm

uwot wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:08 am
He took the view that by far the most important criterion is that a theory should be useful – it didn’t matter to who, or what for." So that's telos sorted fairly concisely.
Indeed. The theory of Yahweh is useful to very many people. Which is the argument many theists make - if the foundation of science is just appeal to pragmatism, then it's yet another religion.

In a sense - they aren't wrong.

Dubious
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Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Dubious » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:55 pm

uwot wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:08 am

Anyway, as the article you linked to points out, it is entirely possible for world class physicists to have a 'mystical' side. As above, anything goes, but if you have a job to do, arguing about the meaning is a distraction; several of the physicists mentioned have been credited with the phrase 'Shut up and calculate.' The more subtle might have referred to Popper's falsificationism as a reason to do so.
Among Germans, as they once were, the 'shut up and calculate' order together with their ingrained mystical side have never excluded each other. It's precisely this ability which has the greatest potential to yield the most potent abstractions. Since nature itself seems enfolded and governed by alien structures which underpin our perceived surface realities - beyond the ability of any philosopher to imagine - a simple 'Shut up and calculate', won't produce much on its own. That doesn't mean anything goes. Types like Jung have to be filtered but never ignored. As we know by now, nature contains inexpressibly deep layers of reality and mystics have been at it long before quantum physicists arrived on the scene...not unlike alchemy preceding but leading to the science of chemistry.
uwot wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:08 am
I broadly agree with Feyerabend who "thought that the only prescription for science that could accommodate every stumble and leap is methodological anarchy, or as Feyerabend put it, anything goes. He took the view that by far the most important criterion is that a theory should be useful – it didn’t matter to who, or what for."
I don't agree with this conclusion either. What is the criteria that makes a theory useful? Shouldn't it exist prior to being or becoming useful, its potential usefulness not yet established? To force a theory into a strait-jacket of usefulness, to mandate its authenticity by any utility it may have is to say it has no future even though the future remains unknown and everything that may serve it beyond the present. Feyerabend's theory on theories comes across as a complete distortion. It's 'telos' ain't very telling. Fortunately, scientists rarely pay attention to philosophers of science.

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