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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What are the principles of historiography of science?

Is there a consensus amongst historians as to the principles of the historiography of science or as to how to write/create/preserve/record history? If there is, then what are those principles? If ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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Is there a name for the idea that the limitations on the accuracy of a model depend on the point of view of the observer?

Consider a mouse who lives its whole life in a maze in a lab. If you asked the mouse about its understanding of the universe, it might say "it's 3 inches high and 3 inches wide, has two left turns and ...
nvioli's user avatar
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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
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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
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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
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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
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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 ...
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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....
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When was the earliest usage of diagrams to represent set relations?

According to wikipedia Euler came up with Venn-like diagrams well before Venn but Lull and Leibnitz came up with pictorial representations of set relations even before that. Was Lull the first who is ...
GEP's user avatar
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Does anyone know articles or books about what the notion of difficulty in science, especially physics?

In physics, many problems were known at their time to be very challenging, for example the notion of heat, or how to understand the ideal gaz law, or the phase transition criticial behaviors, etc. And ...
A.J Beahv's user avatar
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Is it a historical coincidence that relative atomic weights by chemical methods and mass spectrometry are very close?

The concept of relative atomic weight originated from measuring the combining weight of hydrogen with a certain element. In the simplification process H was taken as unity (18th, 19th and 20th century)...
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Gentzen and computer science

This is a cross-post from mathstack: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/2584003/gentzen-and-computer-science?noredirect=1#comment5333947_2584003 I would like to learn a bit about the ...
Javier Arias's user avatar
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Carnap's last theory Of probability

According to Bar-Hillel, Carnap's coauthor in a 1952 report on probability, Carnap had, as of 1956 an unpublished but circulated theory distinguishing "random" refers to methods of production of ...
Gottfried William's user avatar
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How important were serendipitous scientific discoveries (objectively)?

I'm interested in examining the efficiency of the scientific process. Part of this involves examining what actually goes into making a discovery. One common objection is: Half of all important ...
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Was Joseph Priestley describing fundamental interactions in the 18th century?

In 1777, Joseph Priestley wrote a book called Disquisitions relating to Matter and Spirit, in which he says: It is maintained in this treatise, that neither matter nor spirit (meaning by the latter ...
Cannabijoy's user avatar
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Galileo's pendulum and any references

In some texts about the simple pendulum we use to see references about some "experiments" Galileo Galilei did realize and whereby he found some important results, including that the period of the ...
Poli Tolstov's user avatar
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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.
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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 ...
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What did Hans Bethe think of von Neumann's quantum logic?

Nobel laureate Hans Bethe was a friend of mathematician-physicist John von Neumann, and he once said: "I have sometimes wondered whether a brain like von Neumann's does not indicate a species ...
stifenahokinga's user avatar
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Theory criteria from Misner-Thorne-Wheeler

In chapter 39.1 of Gravitation, by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler, it is asserted, quite reasonably, that a theory of gravitation (and, I assume, quite generally) must satisfy the three following criteria ...
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What are some good metrics for intellectual progress (of all sorts)?

My thinking about this topic is vague, and I'm looking to clarify it. I'm not sure what "intellectual progress" is or if that's even a useful abstraction, but it seems like it should include things ...
Elit's user avatar
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Are there any undergraduate research/internship opportunities in math/science education/history?

(Apologies if this isn't the right place for such a post. I see lots of information out there for math/science students wanting to do research, but haven't seen anything about doing things on the "...
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Did Turing ever mention Protagoras regarding the Imitation Game?

Based on the period when Turing went to school, it is fairly inconceivable he was not well familiar with Protagoras, and the statement that: "Man is the measure of all things" *I asked a question ...
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Cauchy's real line and math philosophy till XIX

I have to write an essay concerning philosophy of mathematics until the end of XIX century. I've heard that the reason why the Cauchy's theorem (if continuous functions $fn→f$ then $f$ is continuous ...
leg14able's user avatar
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Where did the idea of modularization come from?

I have a wild guess that science flew when we started to take the concepts, fragment it and examine it piece by piece, fragmenting it again when needed for a better understanding. It seems that this ...
Red Banana's user avatar