Monday, June 16, 2014

Defending philosophy again

I mentioned Massimo Pigliucci defending philosphy below, and now he has an audio/video discussion of the same topic.

Pigliucci mainly defends the value of philosophical thinking, and accuses physicists of being ignorant for thinking that philosophers are all post-modernists. He also says that string theorists are upset with philosophers saying that their untestable ideas are unscientific, and that the theorists would like to re-define science without any interference from philosophers.

He says physicists should respect philosophy because Bohr and Einstein had philosophical debates. Okay, but what philosopher has said anything worthwhile about physics in the last 50 years?

He says that some physicists have conceded value to ethics and moral philosophy, but have their strong objections to philosophy of science. I have tried to read some supposedly important moral philosophy, and I have found it to be nearly 100% worthless.

He misses the point of just how anti-science philosophers have become. Scientists believe that they are searching for truth and philosophers deny it. And not just the postmodernists.

1 comment:

  1. What has philosophy had to say worthwhile about physics in the last 50 years? Good grief. What have physicists had to say about physics in the last 50 years that was worthwhile except "it agrees with the standard model"? Do you really want to hold up something like gauge theory as science? Compare new findings to a laundry list of outcomes dependent on hand tuned variables without actual underpinnings? At best it is incomplete nonsense.

    SOME philosophers may have become anti science, but I would state that most of physics had become anti science the moment the statistical math replaced any actual workable mechanism. Please do not call quantum mechanics 'science', when it is purely outcome probability calculations, which do not explain any form of causality or mechanical process whatsoever to explain the outcome. This is like saying "cars go places" and pretending this explains anything about what a car is, or how a car functions (much less who directs the thing). Without an underlying context and mechanics, the outcome of any process is almost next to meaningless.

    It also bears remembering that if you think math somehow magically informs 'reality', then you are subscribing to a philosophical belief that is a derivation of Platonism. Like any other human contrived system, math may or may not agree with the actuality it is being used to resemble or model. This agreement when it occurs is not indication that reality is math, only that the math model resembles the reality to some degree. Reality or actuality predates the math or any other human contrived system to analyze or describe it, just as the sculpture you carve may resemble the subject, and is not what informs the subject, and is not its cause. If you truly do not like supernatural causes underlying your understanding, stop trying to plug in science or math into the contradictory placeholder of an all knowing and powerful agent. Math and science in reality are just as flawed and imperfect as the current understanding of its practitioners. Claiming otherwise is just so much 'manifest destiny' hogwash.