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Questions tagged [philosophy-of-science]

For questions about the branch of philosophy studying science, scientists, the scientific method and related topics.

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From a Logical Point of View quote, 2nd and 1st editions

I have access to the quote The analogy between the myth of mathematics and the myth of physics is, in some additional and perhaps fortuitous ways, strikingly close. Consider, for example, the crisis ...
Frode Alfson Bjørdal's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
114 views

What did Quine say on paradox and physics?

I remember that Willard van Orman Quine wrote something to the effect that physics may be paradoxical, in similar ways as naive set theory is paradoxical. May someone help find the quote? Edit 1 - A ...
Frode Alfson Bjørdal's user avatar
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82 views

Which mathematical concepts do not have any obvious origin outside mathematics?

Some mathematical concepts, such as that of number and that of geometrical figure, presumably originate from pre-existing notions already used by at least some non-mathematicians. Others seem to have ...
Speakpigeon's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
971 views

What were the obstacles that made the discovery of calculus very late?

I wonder What were the obstacles that made the discovery of calculus very late ? Why the discovery of calculus took so long? I know that some of the ideas and techniques of calculus appeared in ...
pie's user avatar
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1 answer
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A summary of Major events in Pre-Modern Atomist Philosophy of Chemistry [closed]

When I started learning about Laws related to "constant proportions" and other hypothesis like "all matter is composed of smallest indivisible particles", I didn't notice it was ...
Dheeraj Gujrathi's user avatar
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141 views

Did Heisenberg say free will could arise from quantum probabilistic mechanics?

I see this view attributed to him a lot during Twitter debates but I never found the source for it does anyone know if Heisenberg actually held this view/suggested it?
Hisham's user avatar
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Have there ever been any schemes for the classification of experiments?

There have been several book classification schemes, for example: Dewey Decimal, Library of Congress, etc. Have there been any experiment classification schemes, i.e. sets of criteria by which to ...
Noah J's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Did any "classical era" physicist foresee that a theory such as Quantum Mechanics is logically inescapable?

I am interested in knowing if in the era preceding the observations that lead to the advent of Quantum Mechanics, anyone foresaw logically that a theory such as Quantum Mechanics is in a sense, "...
Amit's user avatar
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2 answers
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In a survey of historical science has anyone studied the propensity of other departments to co-opt scientific terminology to further their own ideas?

For example, Albert Einstein complained that sociology departments across the quad were using his theory of relativity to advance the idea of "relativistic morality." The meaning of ...
user avatar
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143 views

When and why Cantor-Hume principle was universally adopted in set theory instead of Euclid's principle?

In this answer and the comments Joel David Hamkins talks about a conflict between Cantor-Hume principle and Euclid's principle. He writes: This principle [Cantor-Hume] is often defended as a ...
Anixx's user avatar
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1 answer
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Book suggestions on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics?

What are some books that talk about the origins of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics? I would like to dig deeper into the fundamental approach and the fundamentals of action and its principles.
Muneer Ahamad Shaik's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
125 views

How the present technology influences the way history of science is done?

Heard recently about digital humanities as a new paradigm of inquiry into the history of mankind and other humanities. Is the historiography of science informed by technological advances that could ...
SAFI's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
377 views

How did Aristotle explain the motion of living things moving by themselves, and falling of objects, with his hypothesis of all motion needing a cause?

Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC), a pioneering, iconoclastic, and brilliant ancient Greek philosopher, made the observation in his writings that the long term stable state of objects is at rest, that ...
Ritesh Singh's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
124 views

References on the role of diagrams in scientific advancement

A number of diagrammatic formulations have played an important role in the advancement of science. Some embody representations of physical phenomena, while others model mathematical or logical ideas ...
Max Muller's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

What was the full name of I. Bernard Cohen?

I've seen quite a few of the names I. Bernard Cohen in the history of science book. But I couldn't find what I. meant.
ististyle's user avatar
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1 answer
120 views

Paradigms in Newtonian physics around 1900

I am thinking about the change from Newtonian mechanics to quantum physics and relativity. I note that we have accepted the words "ultraviolet catastrophe" in connection with the situation ...
Mikael Jensen's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
46 views

Misunderstanding of philosopher work by other philosopher in ancient time

Throughout history, we have had many philosophers pre-Socrates to Aristotle to Morden Era, Did in ancient times around 1 B.C.E to 5 A.D, be it, philosophers or Astronomers when quoting famous ...
Abhishek Yadav's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
376 views

Claims that fully formal proofs are impossible to write down

It is sometimes asserted that human-readable mathematical proofs that we construct and publish are just informal approximations to the gold standard, which is a completely formal proof in a formal ...
Timothy Chow's user avatar
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1 answer
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Did thinkers we now regard as mathematicians call themselves philosophers prior to the 19th century?

Recently, a teacher of mine stated that, since the institutional division between philosophy and other fields of academic enquiry, especially the natural sciences, happened somewhere along the 19th ...
Felipe Martins's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
142 views

Presocratics from the view of mathematicians and physicists

I am interested in a book that has all the fragments of pre-socratics but the notes etc. in the translation are from a mathematician or physicist relating with how each point affected the evolution of ...
Jim's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
238 views

Relation between Bourbaki group and Vienna Circle

Background: I'm an undergraduate student in Mathematics and I study Mathematical Logic and Philosophy of Science in an undergraduate research project (here in Brazil, where I'm from, we call this kind ...
jucazyn's user avatar
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1 answer
188 views

Have there been instances in physics where different scientists have interpreted the same data differently? [closed]

Have there been instances in physics where different scientists have interpreted the same data differently? If yes, can you please give me specific examples and explain why one interpretation was ...
Vedant Rana's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
145 views

Alleged quote by Habermas in original. "Science is the ideology of late capitalism." Where to find it?

M. Bunge in his book "Evaluating Philosophies" makes the following statement: Scientism has been explicitly opposed by dogmatists and obscurantists of all stripes, such as the neoliberal ...
CuriousIndeed's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
256 views

Who said that math or statistics is not free from class interest?

I'm not 100% sure this is the right site for this question, but here it goes. An already dead professor said in a lecture that Stalin (or perhaps another communist leader) wrote once something along ...
lfba's user avatar
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Are there examples where interpretivist findings have been confirmed by (post-)positivist methodology?

Social sciences, especially sociology, embrace a distinction between interpretivism 1 and (post-)positivism 2. Some social scientist embrace one method over the other and some speak in favor of both. ...
CuriousIndeed's user avatar
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44 views

Is there any indication throughout history that technological progression will end?

Bernard Stiegler argued that technics was a form of memory and was always progressing. Yet, philosophy isn’t the right thing to rely on when dealing with science. Science doesn’t have a mind and ...
Max's user avatar
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0 answers
54 views

Need cases of *scientistic* fallacies in 19th century anthropological/ethnological studies of Native Americans

I'm looking for primary sources in which the author(s) commit scientistic fallacies when speaking about Native Americans. I'm working my way through S.G. Morton's Crania Americana, which is close, but ...
ReaderGuy42's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
91 views

In which units did Sir Isaac Newton define force at that time as SI system didn't existed then? [duplicate]

Sir Isaac Newton led the foundation of his famous laws of motion during the 17th Century but at that time SI system hadn't existed. So in which units did he define force? Did he define it in some ...
Anshu Raj's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
508 views

What are examples of theories in recent history of science and mathematics that were hold pretty long but turned out non-true?

The atomic theory was already present in ancient Greece. In the nineteenth century it was disputed only to return with a vengeance later on. Likewise the geocentric view was replaced by the helio ...
Deschele Schilder's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
192 views

Did Poincaré argue against defining terms before you proceed?

Can the following point of view be traced back to a particular publication by Poincaré? In Section 3.1 of Gravitation, by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler, the authors write: Here and elsewhere in science, ...
Cleonis's user avatar
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60 views

Should Occam's razor be used in judging hypothetical cosmological theories?

Should Occam's razor be used in making preference between cosmological theories, which in order to fit in new experimental results, introduce hypothetical concepts, such as dark matter and dark energy,...
Alex's user avatar
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1 answer
289 views

The status of Tarski's theory of truth

Tarski's truth theorem asserts that a truth definition for a (reasonably strong) theory cannot be formalized within that theory. I have seen that Tarski's theory of truth has received a lot of ...
Eugene Zhang's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Did ancient Greek mathematicians consider numbers independently of geometry?

I am currently reading Oliver Bryne's edition of Euclid's Elements, and in The Elements many arithmetic propositions are proved geometrically, and it feels to me that numbers are always treated as ...
Thomas.M's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
83 views

Is there an objective way to measure how significant a discovery has been?

When the Nobel prize or Fields Medal gets awarded, I believe one of the criteria is the impact the discoveries have been. My question is, whether there are any objective ways to measure the impact? It ...
David's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
72 views

Was Kants theory of space and time inspired by that of colour?

Kants theory of space, time and causality is that they are the very forms of experience and ground all the other phenomena that we can experience. He called them the forms of sensibility. Kant studied ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
73 views

Did Ibn al-Haytham write anything about his experiments that is general enough to be seen as prefiguring the scientific method?

Ibn al-Haytham is considered one of the first experimenters. Since he was also a kind of philosopher did he write anything close in meaning and generality to the scientific method?
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
0 votes
1 answer
540 views

Are the ancient Egyptians and the ancient Mesopotamians really the cradles of civilization? [closed]

Is it true that ancient Greek knowledge of mathematics, science, astronomy, engineering, architecture, civilization came from the ancient Minoan civilization and ancient Mycenaean civilizations and ...
Howard Greenwood's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

What were C.S Peirce's contributions to theory of relations?

In my study of Peirce I came across a number statements that he extended De Morgan's relation algebra. What exactly are his contributions to relation algebra?
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
1 vote
0 answers
51 views

What was the first randomized experiment that was ever conducted?

C.S Peirce is credited by wikipedia with the invention of randomized experiments. What was C.S Peirce's contribution to randomized experiments exactly if there were such experiments before Peirce? How ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
1 vote
1 answer
204 views

Is there any book or site where John von Neumann's collected philosophical writings are presented?

I was wondering if von Neuman has any philosophical writings beside his writings on the relation of computers to the human mind and vice versa.
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
4 votes
1 answer
299 views

After the invention of Boolean algebra, why did it take so long for the existential and universal quantifiers to become formalized into symbols?

Was there a specific reason that prevented researchers in Boolean algebra to invent such quantifiers in the flexible format that are known today earlier? Since the compact symbols for multiplication ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
0 votes
0 answers
52 views

Did the brain anatomists and psychophysicists of the early to mid 1800s make any philosophical speculations on the nature of emotions and cognition?

I was wondering if the psychophysicists and brain anatomists from 1800 up until 1860s made any novel, noteworthy philosophical speculations about the emotions and cognition.If they did is there any ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Is there any book or site where Gauss' collected philosophical writings are presented?

From the questions on some of Gauss' philosophical ideas here at HSM stackexchange it's clear that Gauss had some major philosophical ideas that despite their profundity don't seem to have had much ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
2 votes
1 answer
119 views

Was C.S Peirce in his abductive reasoning influenced by the generalization from special cases that is used by mathematicians?

I am reading some random bits from Peirce's collected works and they give me the impression that Peirce tried to integrate every(or nearly every) major scientific and mathematical concept which he was ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
3 votes
3 answers
458 views

Did C.S Peirce make any noteworthy contributions to physics or chemistry?

According to this article Peirce was the first to experimentally tie a unit, the meter, to an absolute standard, the wavelength of a spectral line Did C.S Peirce make any other noteworthy ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
1 vote
0 answers
66 views

Origin of the Intelligence question?

What are the roots of the Intelligence question, i.e. since when do "humans" think about what "Intelligence" means and where it actually comes from? I did some digging in the greek ...
J. Doe's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
75 views

Who was the first to state that scientific theories could be used to make predictions?

It seems to me that very few if any scientists/philosophers stated that science could be used for predictions before the early 1900s. In the scientific context I have only encountered the use of the ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
1 vote
0 answers
147 views

On atomism and philosophy of science

The background of this question is as follows. Sean Carroll is in the process of giving a series of talks recorded in his home office and published on YouTube. The setup is intentionally very informal....
Cleonis's user avatar
  • 804
5 votes
1 answer
121 views

Why is it that so many early astronomers and cosmologists wanted to believe in a static/infinite/eternal Universe?

I've been doing some research for a cosmology series and I'm struck by how many physicists and philosophers, from Newton to Einstein, had a notion that the Universe should be static and eternal. Why ...
Thomas's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
75 views

Did Galen make any theoretical contributions to the experimental science?

The wikipedia page about experimental research history cites Ibn al-Haytham as an early pioneer of experimental research. Since Galen was the last prominent ancient greek philosophers/doctor and ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515