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On Philosophy

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by LightFang, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. LightFang

    LightFang "I'm the hero!"

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    I was intrigued by Fifty's posts in another thread:

    and

    So, here's what I want to know: what, exactly, are these philosophical theses? And more broadly: how does philosophy affect your everyday life, even if you're not consciously thinking about it?
     
  2. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    Doing philosophy homework right now. My course is an introduction to formal abstract logic.

    Logic, which is philosophy, is probably the basis for the scientific method.

    Spoiler :
    I'm delaying declaring a major, and if its not Economics, which itself is philosophy, it will probably be philosophy. I just like drawing lines and boxes more than writing papers
     
  3. Halcyon

    Halcyon 9000

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    Thesis: Philosophy is at heart just baseless conjecture, and should be regarded as such: fun, potentially thought-provoking but ultimately hollow. Claiming that philosophy is all-important by misdefining it as 'the application of thought' is disingenuous at best.

    Discuss.
     
  4. QuoVadisNation

    QuoVadisNation keeping your angel alive

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    ^^^

    I'd like to add that it also alienates you from the rest of society; making
    the possibility of happiness and preparedness for real life reduced significantly.
     
  5. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    I think your premises serve purely to render philosophy unnecessary, and that your premises are not actually to help define what is or is not philosophy, making your post... disingenuous at best ;)

    I might further suggest that concepts of society, reason, and meaning we take for granted often started out as brilliant revelations, often not more than a few hundred years ago.
     
  6. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

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    Philosophy is important. It doesn't require any background knowledge, and everyone should do it. Sadly, they are scared away by people who have studied the history of philosophy and who make fun of them by quoting big names from the past, or applying jargon to someone's thoughts when the person doesn't share an understanding of the terminology or its history.
     
  7. Sidhe

    Sidhe Deity

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    To be frank Fifties views on science are as one sided as my views on paedophillia. I think he's trying to compare apples and oranges to be frank, and thus I wouldn't take what he says seriously. It's nearly as bad as combining theology and science and claiming such an amalgam is a genuinely better way to approach either theology or science.

    Philosophy of science is all very well but it isn't science and anyone who tries to make a case, that because we don't know the details everything is philosophy is talking only from our current perspective. Nothing wrong with philosophy, but at some point you have to stop waving your arms around, answering nothing and pretending like you rule the Universe, and invent the microchip. The simple rule: philosophy and science have middle ground certainly, but don't make the mistake that scientists are philosophers or philosophers scientists per se. Two vastly conflicting sides on the issue of methodology that happen to meet half way, that is all.

    The only case where scientists truly are philsophers and philosophers scientists is in an area we like to call: the philosophy of science. Or the science of philosophy, this however is not and never has been science, it is primarily philosophy, and it is very useful, but most scientists in their day to day lives couldn't give a toss for philosophical issues that cloud their experiments. I should know I've worked with enough. Of course everyone imagines and creates new thoughts and ideas (the term Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) applied to the instrumentation of new ideas, before the term science existed) if that's philosophy then big whoop, everyone's a philosopher, how profound.

    Oh and I'm well aware of the history of philosophy that lead to science, but they did kind of part ways in their approaches. If you mean that scientific method came from philosophy, well duh, that's obvious, in the same way metaphysics came from the cradle of civilisation.

    So to sum up, to be a scientist you need to know less than nothing about philosophy the subject, but of course you will be practising something that is at least similar to philosophy in your work. Unless you are a rocket scientist, that is not rocket science.
     
  8. Gogf

    Gogf Indescribable

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    Well as I understand it "philosophy of science" is a pretty broad field and involves stuff like justifying induction and falsifiability.
     
  9. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    If some part of philosophy supports some part of science, then it's useful insofar as anything that supports science is useful. I never realised that philosophers are willing admit that, but I agree with it :D
     
  10. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    First of all, what I'm saying about "science people" doesn't include all scientists or even most scientists. Rather, it tends to be students of science at the low end of the intelligence spectrum who do the "SCIENCE SOLVES EVERYTHING!" idiocy. Most good students of science understand its scope and limitations, and they don't, unlike SCIENCE SOLVES EVERYTHING people, retreat to dime store skepticism whenever their views are challenged.

    The biggest "philosophical school of thought" of today is the sort that sees philosophy's role precisely as that of carefully examining, clarifying, and making sense of the claims of science. Of course, not every area of philosophy is as amenable to scientific facts as, say, philosophy of mind. For example, its tough to see how science can inform metaethics. Metaethics is actually a great example of where "OMG ITS NOT SCIENCE" mongering reaches hilarious levels of stupidity on a regular basis. Most science-solves-everything people who are moral anti-realists are so precisely because "we can't look at ethics with a microscope/telescope/kaleidoscope, so they dont exist!", or "we disagree about moral stuff, so no moral truths exist!", both of which are really bad arguments. People who are moral realists, like myself, tend to be so not on scientific grounds, but on logical grounds. And despite their pretenses otherwise, most "SCIENCE SOLVES EVERYTHING!" people suck at logic (they think its all like modus ponens).

    Contrary to what the village idiots tend to think, philosophy is not in the business of contradicting anything science has to say. In fact, one of the critiques professional philosophers take most seriously is when someone explains how a given theory conflicts with empirical evidence. If anyone is interested, here is a bunch of papers by a contemporary philosopher of science, that could give you a good basic snapshot of how philosophy is done in the field.

    To the OP, the fact is that science has a lot of metaphysical and epistemological baggage underneath it. There are implicit metaphysical, logical, and epistemological assumptions behind scientific methodology. Just look at some of those papers in the link in the paragraph above to see how much philosophical baggage there is in much of modern science.

    Unfortunately, its tough to have a dialogue with science-solves-everything people, because they are just so dang dumb. The conversation usually proceeds something like:

    scientist: science solves everything!
    philosopher: but your theory entails controversial proposition x
    scientist: but assuming that controversail proposition x is true works!
    philosopher: works in what way?
    scientist: its useful! we create new plastics! and microchips! and weapons! and pharmaceuticals! WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME A PHILOSOPHER CREATED A NEW ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION DRUG!?!??
    philosopher: I thought we were talking about whats true, not whats useful.
    scientist: whats the difference?
    philosopher: because presumably, mere usefulness does not engender truth.
    scientist: why? yes it does! you're an idiot! What we "know" is just whats useful! There's no such thing as truth! If assuming the truth of some proposition helps us create new weapons/plastics/pharmaceuticals, then its true! Besides, we can't really "KNOW" anything anyways! [insert dime store skeptical arguments]
    philosopher: you realize that the claims of science rest on [insert dime store skeptical arguments] being false, right? And you realize your criterion of knowledge is retardedly overdemanding right?
    scientist: #$%*#@%#@*%@#%OCCAMS RAZOR#*%#@%*#@%&@SIMPLE#*%#(@*%*(#@%(@
    philosopher: ...
    scientist: DONT LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT! If you cant create new guns/plastics/microchips/pharmaceuticals with your hair brained theory then everything you say SUCKS! Pursuit of knowledge for its own sake is a fool's game!
    philosopher: Weren't many of the most groundbreaking works of science and math motivated by either philosophical reflection, or the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, or both?
    scientist: SHUT UP. I know calculus!

    Again, this dialogue is just a caricature, but its a fairly accurate one to describe the type of people I'm talking about. You can imagine how conversation with these people gets boring fast, so I usually try to only talk to people about philosophy who aren't good at thinkin'. That doesn't mean just people who have been specifically trained in philosophy. AFAIK, Mise, Perfy, Erik, Elrohir, etc. don't have any formal training in philosophy, but they are at least good at thinking about the issues. Unfortunately, philosophy threads tend to get infected by the same 4-5 people, who not only have no idea of what they are talking about, but they also have no idea that they have no idea of what they are talking about. Which sucks! Its one thing to spend time explaining some philosphical position to a non-philosopher, I have no problem doing that. What I don't enjoy doing is going on 20 page tangents trying to explain to people how unbelievably bad both their methodology and their understanding of the issues and inferences involved is.
     
  11. Atticus

    Atticus Deity Retired Moderator

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    Rant.

    If I hadn't read this:
    ,I would have maybe wrote something different, but it seems that you need some humbling yourself, mr Fifty.

    First of all, have you noticed, that for a philosophy student your argumentation sucks. I don't mean it sucks as contrasted to other philosophy students, but with the ideal of philosophy. Instead of giving relevant statements and justifying them, you just start to bash the imagined opponent.

    Also you are bashing them unfairly, you misinterpret them, and keep parroting things like "Oh yeah, Im so helluva scientific when I think this and that". It's like someone would say to you "Oh yeah, I'm so philosophic when I do some namedropping and use fancy words". Or like you would have a political debate: "Oh yeah, I'm so awfully liberal when I support Obama". If your so superior in intelligence, and this logical thinking, why do you have to use so low methods? Or are you maybe unsure that engaging in serious conversation would show that you aren't so smart and educated?

    What's even more worrying is that you don't usually resort to these stupid insults as the result of the conversation, but already at the start of it. Are you going to make your thesis that way too when the day comes?

    People who actually know something about something and have healthy self-esteem don't actually have any need to prove their superiority to others that way. If they are asked stupid questions or given stupid arguments, they answer them as good as they can. Why do you have such a big urge to put down people? Maybe you just don't know so much as you'd like everyone to think.

    You for example don't seem to be able to regocnize that your "so scientific" opponents, who have inspired you to make that caricature could have been pragmatists. Or maybe those "dime-store" sceptic arguments were originally there to show that the philosopher demanding truths is over-demanding, and maybe you have failed to understand this argument? (It is hard to say, because of course this charicature conversation is imbued with your presumpition that ebverybody else are idiots).

    And btw, have you noticed that in that conversation the philosopher is quite calm and arguments pretty correctly, but the scientist is a screaming jerk. It makes me think that maybe this philosopher displays your ideal conversation style, but surprisingly you're mostly acting like the scientist-guy. Also, do argumets become worse, if they are "dime store sceptism"? In other thread you were refuting moral relativism (before the conversation even begun) by saying that supporters of it will give you only arguments that "everybody and their cousin" will give. So if you argue that the earth isn't flat, are your arguments bad only because everyone can give them?

    Now that's enough of that bad behaviour from my part, and it wasn't meant to be argument on the subject (if someone comes claiming that I use same low tricks that Fifty does). I'll just add that being cocky will come back to you sometime, so maybe you should try the other approach of humbleness.

    To go on topic: Have you noticed that philosophy of science pretty much commentates on science, doesn't give it tools or presciptions. Philosophy of mind and psychology might be different kind, but even there, I believe, the scientist don't actually need philosophers, but would arrive at the same thoughts and conclusions by themselves.

    If we think about physics (which is reasonable, since everyone here probably thinks that this is about physic, and I feel that ShannonCT was talking about it in the other thread that started this all), it had progressed very far before even the philosophy of science really existed. Even then the procedures proposed by philosophers of science were mostly wrong: they wouldn't have only killed physics before it even got started, but also they were fundamentally wrong by supposing theory-free observation &a.

    Basically, I think that scientists don't need outside guidance in their business: they go fine by themselves, and when problems come, they can and will raise the relevant questions and solve them as good anybody else would. It's like riding bicycle, you can't learn it by reading books. Science isn't just mechanical following of some rules, it's active doing, and it takes a lot of doing to learn to do it. Philosophers of science (Thomas Kuhn) have said same kind of things also.

    Basic logic, problem of induction and such things, calling them philosophy in this context is the same thing as calling sheep counting mathematics: They are so primitive things that they can't be called philosophy. It would be ridiculous to say that picking two breads from a shop requiores maths. These things existed before they were made part of philosophy and maths, people have always used logic or counted, they aren't results of philosophy or maths, but only written down there.

    Anyways, I challenge you to give some concrete case, where philosophy has been needed to do science. I'd mostly like a physics-example, which you should be able to give if you say that philosophy is required in all results of physics.
     
  12. shortguy

    shortguy It's a working title

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    I don't think the point is that scientists require philosophy to perform their work. Rather, the point is that certain questions very relevant to the practice of science, for instance, "Why should we accept scientific pronouncements as valid?", have answers grounded in philosophy. To be honest, I see no reason why this should be controversial.
     
  13. scy12

    scy12 Deity

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    Do they ? I thought the answer to that question was because they where tested and they work .
     
  14. Atticus

    Atticus Deity Retired Moderator

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    Shortguy, I was thinking that this was about justifying claims of science. While questions like the one given by you, are important, they are part of the justification only if there is a reason why we should accept science, and as far as I know, there isn't.
     
  15. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    What was that whole first section before the rant if not a decent supported argument?

    Because these "science fanboys" (the word I shall use to describe the people Fifty is refering to) don't understand logical nuanced arguments, the only recourse is mockery and scorn.

    Of course not, Fifty will make it like he does his philosophical posts when he's discussing it with non-morons.

    It's fun to be mean.

    Nope. I've seen them they aren't.

    Fifty specifically said it doesn't. So I'm not sure how your getting that this implies to everyone.

    There's a difference:
    1. Fifty is right
    2. Fifty does act like the ideal philosopher in his conversation when confronted with actual interesting philosophical conversation

    I've been cocky here for 6 years. Hasn't gotten to me yet!

    Sure it does. Or a least, it provides a proper context onto when to use tools.

    Physics kinda came out of philosophy so, I'm not so sure that you're right here. ;)

    Scientists don't need it, but having a good philosopgical understanding of science does IMO make one a better scientist.

    Fifty never said to "do" science, Fifty said to justify results. ;)
     
  16. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    If the logic you're referring to is "If x is true and y is not true, then z is false or w is false", then I must disagree that it is actually philosophy. The purpose of mathemathical humaniora (It's just like equations, not even humanioura) like this is to be better at reading laws and such. It has nothing abstract or greater stuff implemented in the context - it's mere clockwerk.

    Well, the education system disagrees with me, but I have the opinion on my own.

    I must disagree - my big brother studies philosophy, and he is able to live a very healthy social life beside it (He just broke up with his girlfriend, but still). Søren Kierkegaard chose to alienate himself though - but it was not philosphy that alienated him, he chose that himself. Therefore he alienated himself.
     
  17. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Some perfy fan please quote this in your signature. I am not one myself, but I think the quote is too awesome to go wasted.
     
  18. mrt144

    mrt144 Deity

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    I want to Fifty to help me understand why an individual should value amoral concepts if they are used to justify immoral actions.
     
  19. ShannonCT

    ShannonCT Deity

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    I hope you didn't write that on my account. I am neither a physicist, nor a kid. (My age and diplomas both exceed Fifty's). I just get a kick out of stepping on his philosopher's toes and watching him blow his top.
     
  20. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    So basicly you're just trollin' him with lies?

    Truth trollers are the real rollers :smug:
     

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