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Thread: Philosopy And Science

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    Philosopy And Science

    What is a philosophy of science?

    I never knew anyone from science or engineering who had a philosophy integrated into work, other that The Method from Descartes. And that is a general outline of trial and error.

    Ancient humans controlled fire, made weapons, and became practical engineers and scientist's without any philosophy or 'bible' so to speak.

    From science philosophers I read I got a context of science which was useful. A way of looking at the human dynamics. Popper for one.

    I do not think how science works can be reduced to a philosophy. I look at science as a profession. More sophisticated than say plumbing, but a profession none the less. We all do science but don't normally call it that. Observes, hypotwsize, test hypotheses.

    We all learn to sense when it might rain or snow. Color and allude of clouds. Temperature. Smell.


    Science as a profession quantifies it into a numerical model. Weather simulations.



    From Popper the only real objective science is an experiment. As the circle expands around the expedient it becomes less objective and more philosophical speculation.

    Instrumentalismis the way I generally look at it, but it did not affect how I went about things.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimentalism

    Experimentalism is the philosophical belief that the way to truth is through experiments and empiricism.[1] It is also associated with instrumentalism, the belief that truth should be evaluated based upon its demonstrated usefulness. Deborah Mayo suggests that we should focus on how experimental knowledge is actually arrived at and how it functions in science[2]. Mayo also suggests that the reason New Experimentalists have come up short, is that the part of experiments that have the most to offer in building an account of inference and evidence that are left untapped: designing, generating, modelling and analysing experiments and data.

    Less formally, artists often pursue their visions through trial and error; this form of experimentalism has been practiced in every field, from music to film and from literature to theatre.

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    There is definitely something which is the philosophy of science. I will assume that's not what you are talking about.

    A philosophy of science is something else entirely. If we restrict the notion of philosophy as something properly articulated then I think few scientists will bother to have any particular philosophy of science. I doubt they even read anything on that. But, why not? Most people with a higher education will have read at least something on the philosophy of science or on the particular philosophy of some renown scientist like, say, Einstein. I think most people will have a number of beliefs about what they do and most will develop a personal ideology in relation to that. Usually, people need little prompting to air their ideas. But a philosophy proper would require a sort of sustained effort at conceiving and articulating a formal expression of the nature of science. I don't believe more than a few people try that. Whether that's something useful to do, I really don't know. I think it's more a question of personal inclination. Some people like the idea of generalising experience. Others just do science rather like blue-collar workers are supposed to do their job. Also, it should be clear that nobody knows much as to how scientists are able to produce their results. So, it's anyone's guess whether having a philosophy can help and how much. In any case, unless there's a sustained rational debate between people, whatever they think remains a personal matter and as such will only affect, at best, their own work. Most people also have quirky ideas because, essentially, they can afford to have them since, precisely, most people don't care to debate their ideas in a rational way. It's essentially people mumbling to themselves and who knows what they mumble? That being said, it's possible.
    EB

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    To get away from flag waving and fragmentation to the point of incoherence I always fall back on the scientific method as explanation and example

    For your entertainment: Scientific method

    Capsule
    The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimentaland measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings. These are principles of the scientific method, as distinguished from a definitive series of steps applicable to all scientific enterprises

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    duplicate

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    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Philosophy of science becomes necessary whenever two scientists disagree on what the result of their science 'suggests'. Both looking at the exact same data and yet arguing over what it 'means'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Philosophy of science becomes necessary whenever two scientists disagree on what the result of their science 'suggests'. Both looking at the exact same data and yet arguing over what it 'means'.
    The is no articulated philosophy to such debates. In my experience it can be like a contact sport, like boxing. It can be a political battle as well. On anything technical and scientific what it mans depends on individual knowledge and experience, not a philosophy. It is not like interpreting the bible.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Philosophy of science becomes necessary whenever two scientists disagree on what the result of their science 'suggests'. Both looking at the exact same data and yet arguing over what it 'means'.
    The is no articulated philosophy to such debates. In my experience it can be like a contact sport, like boxing. It can be a political battle as well. On anything technical and scientific what it mans depends on individual knowledge and experience, not a philosophy. It is not like interpreting the bible.
    First, scientists don't usually argue over the same data because their positions are based on their own research with is almost never the same as another's.

    More likely one persons proposition is another's suite of propositions or the proposition is one view of a proposition or the proposition is one step in an argument. Any of these and more can be found in one's experiment. There they take base data as a basis for making a new argument.

    For instance,Human auditory localization threshold is the smallest detectable spatial distance between two instances of a defined acoustic event or, or, or, it may be the smallest distance a source can be detected as being discriminated for moving source which in turn may depend on the rate of motion employed in finding such a threshold. There may be several others. None of these propositions are trivial since the auditory system may be sampling space locus by locus or by rate of acoustic signal motion or change in signal spectral characteristic with either location or rate of motion.

    All those facets are physically measurable so it isn't just philosophy it is which proposition best reflects what the auditory system is doing when it processes moving or one's motion relative to acoustic source which concern physics, biology, and psychophysics. as well.

    The philosophy of spatial auditory processing relates to both evolution and the nature of one and situation one finds oneself

    Philosophy also relates to whether two sources can be considered the same or whether it is necessary to use a single source in taking measurements. If it is separate sources are always discriminable then the easiest way to approach the problem would be to use a single source and either moving it or sounding here then there.*

    Both approaches will involve experimental time as a variable which needs be controlled. That would bring up another philosophical question about whether one can present the same source in such a way as to get contiguous perceptions of the pair. ... and it goes on and on and on.

    Designing good experiments aren't easy even if one is beginning with current knowing the current area of of understanding for specific parameters involved.

    So even when rational philosophy is settled, because most every area of research has possibilities and differences in theory, one still needs to conduct experiments and then go back and hit the rational circuit after one's data is published and accepted.

    My take on people saying we don't replicate fail to understand that every grad student usually needs to replicate other work before they can go about doing original work.

    This last is one of those philosophical areas where philosophers usually don't get it.

    * single source approaches were the topic of my dissertation.
    Last edited by fromderinside; 04-01-2019 at 06:06 AM.

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    Scientists are pure of heart, beyond anger and dispute. Enlightened beings far above us regular people....

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    Of course they are.

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    You don’t have to explicitly engage in philosophy to be making philosophical assumptions. Every scientists makes philosophical assumptions which justify every methodological practice they engage in from methods of sampling and random assignment to statistical analyses and theoretical interpretation.

    Scientific debates rarely explicate the philosophical assumptions because they shared among the debating parties , and the debate is about how those assumptions are properly applied in a given context and what their application implies. Philosophy explicitly enters into the debate when one or more of the parties is violating the philosophical assumptions of science and evidence-based reasoning.

    Granted, that “philosophy” is largely the acceptance of logic and principles of inductive reasoning and probability. But those are still philosophical assumptions.

    Without philosophy, science would be little more than “I don’t know why, but I did X, and I don’t know what it means, but I observed Y.”

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