Why philosophical conclusions are not reliable knowledge

Following Neil deGrasse Tyson's wholesale dismissal of philosophy, there has been a lot of discussion on the value of philosophy.  As I've said repeatedly, I think philosophy has a great deal of value, but some of its defenders are tending to overstate what it can do. I've already written a post on what I see as the … Continue reading Why philosophical conclusions are not reliable knowledge

What Scientific Arrogance Really Looks Like — Starts With A Bang! — Medium

Ethan Siegel weighs in on the Tyson / philosophy controversy.  Siegel is a theoretical physicist, notably a cosmologist which I believe is Tyson's own specialty.  But Siegel's views on philosophy appear to be much more informed. Now, philosophy doesn’t have the answers, but it does teach ways to consider the limits of our knowledge. And … Continue reading What Scientific Arrogance Really Looks Like — Starts With A Bang! — Medium

Neil deGrasse Tyson is wrong to dismiss all of philosophy, but he may have a point on some of it

So, I reblogged Massimo Pigliucci's post responding to Tyson's remarks about philosophy, which appears to have generated some heated discussion.  After reading some of it, I realized that I have a few thoughts on this. First, I suspect Tyson's blanket dismissal of philosophy is simply the result of insularity.  I've noticed that philosophy's critics tend to be those … Continue reading Neil deGrasse Tyson is wrong to dismiss all of philosophy, but he may have a point on some of it

Is Philosophy Obsolete? – The Chronicle Review

Rebecca Goldstein appears to be on a campaign to defend philosophy.  In this essay, she defends its ability to make progress, and questions whether it should be lumped in with the humanities.  (I wonder what the humanities folks will think of that.) Philosophy was the first academic field; the founder of the Academy was Plato. … Continue reading Is Philosophy Obsolete? – The Chronicle Review

Are we nearing the end of science? – The Washington Post

Are we nearing the end of science? That is, are we running out of answerable questions, leaving us with only some mop-up duty, working around the edges of the great scientific achievements of Darwin, Einstein, Copernicus, et al.? via Are we nearing the end of science? - The Washington Post. This seems tangentially related to … Continue reading Are we nearing the end of science? – The Washington Post

Will the age of science end?

A while back, I became interested in the history of science, particularly the early history, including people like Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Johanne Kepler, Andreas Vesalius, and many others.  In reading about them, one of the things I was struck by was how small scale science was back then. In its beginnings, modern science was mostly … Continue reading Will the age of science end?

Philosophy that ignores science risks impotence

Peter Hankins has a post up reviewing Harold Langsam's new book, 'The Wonder of Consciousness'.  While the book sounds interesting (Hankins describes it as philosophically dense, so I probably won't read it), something bothered me while reading Hankins's review. It was the idea that we can determine things about the world without looking at it, … Continue reading Philosophy that ignores science risks impotence

Daniel Dennett on free will

Daniel Dennett has written a long paper on free will, specifically taking on Sam Harris' book on the subject.  Dennett is a compatiblist and uses arguments similar to the ones I used in describing this position and in the limitations of determinism. Harris is aware of Dennett's paper... https://twitter.com/SamHarrisOrg/status/427472770025283585 ...so I'd think we'll see a … Continue reading Daniel Dennett on free will

Falsifiability is useful, but a matter of judgment

Our discussions last week on Jim Baggott's book, 'Farewell to Reality', and Sean Carroll's Edge response, left me pondering falsifiability, the idea that theories should be falsifiable in order to be considered science. Falsifiability is a criteria identified by the philosopher Karl Popper.  Popper was arguing against a conception held at the time by logical … Continue reading Falsifiability is useful, but a matter of judgment