• thewonder
    377

    I don't know that I would define a priori as being equivalent to presupposition in a Philosophical sense. Philosophically speaking, a priori truths are those which exists independent of the human experience. Kant critiqued this in Critique of Pure Reason which I haven't read in a long time. A critique of a Rationalist epistemology could be that a priori truths are presupposed. We presuppose things all of the time, but that one should do so in Philosophy, I think, would indicate that they haven't thought critically enough about their subject matter. Nothing is given and all reason is somewhat faulty, but to assume in advance that one does, in point of fact, "know" how things stand seems, to me, to be indicative of a lack of critical consideration.
  • alcontali
    474
    A critique of a Rationalist epistemology could be that a priori truths are presupposed. We presuppose things all of the time, but that one should do so in Philosophy, I think, would indicate that they haven't thought critically enough about their subject matter.thewonder

    Well, as Aristotle wrote, if nothing is assumed then nothing can be concluded. Being critical about axioms almost always leads to infinite regress. That is why we do not much think critically about axioms. We simply presuppose them.

    The better opinion about axioms is to consider them to be arbitrary inputs, i.e. arbitrary construction bricks. That is why you can axiomatize whatever you like. What matters, is that particular conclusions are unavoidable outputs from a given set of such presuppositional inputs. From there on, some kind of structure will emerge that will make an entire world of conclusions either unavoidable or impossible.

    So, presuppositionalism is meant to be evaluated at the level of an entire system of rules, not at the level of one individual rule. Therefore, if you do not like a particular system or its building bricks, you can always propose an alternative one. People do that all the time.
  • thewonder
    377

    You necessarily have to presuppose some information, but ideally it seems like you shouldn't presuppose anything at all. It's unlikely that I would agree with Aristotle, but I will avoid further derailing this thread as none of this has all that much to do with bias against Philosophy in scientific circles.
  • alcontali
    474
    You necessarily have to presuppose some information, but ideally it seems like you shouldn't presuppose anything at all.thewonder

    Idealized worlds necessarily have an abstract, Platonic nature, which are built from presuppositions only. You cannot investigate an idealized world without building it first. So, no, the idea that ideally "you shouldn't presuppose anything at all" cannot possibly work for idealized worlds.

    I will avoid further derailing this thread as none of this has all that much to do with bias against Philosophy in scientific circlesthewonder

    Indirectly, or even directly, it does.

    It is incredibly easy to say something like "you shouldn't presuppose anything at all", and still somehow sound reasonable, while it simply isn't. That is the core problem with philosophy. Nothing to painstakingly test. Nothing to painstakingly prove. So, where is the barrier to mere bullshit? Where are the anti-spam measures?

    As Linus Torvalds so beautifully said, "Talk is cheap. Show me the code."

    Hence, it is trivially obvious why scientists do not want to discuss with people who want to talk about the philosophy of science but who seem to be incapable of doing anything worth mentioning, in science. It is just too easy, peasy to do that, and that is why they should not take anybody seriously, who does exactly that.

    You will first need to show skills and experience in a field that is substantially less forgiving than philosophy. So, if you want to talk philosophy of science with scientists, scientists will demand that you first show that you can operate successfully at a very high level in science proper.
  • Wayfarer
    8.2k
    . That is the core problem with philosophy. Nothing to painstakingly test. Nothing to painstakingly prove. So, where is the barrier to mere bullshit? Where are the anti-spam measures?alcontali

    Philosophy can be a kind of spiritual discipline, conducted by dedicated students supervised by experienced teachers. That at any rate is the description of the discipline according to Pierre Hadot who wrote extensively on the topic of 'philosophy as a way of life':

    According to Hadot, twentieth- and twenty-first-century academic philosophy has largely lost sight of its ancient origin in a set of spiritual practices that range from forms of dialogue, via species of meditative reflection, to theoretical contemplation. These philosophical practices, as well as the philosophical discourses the different ancient schools developed in conjunction with them, aimed primarily to form, rather than only to inform, the philosophical student. The goal of the ancient philosophies, Hadot argued, was to cultivate a specific, constant attitude toward existence, by way of the rational comprehension of the nature of humanity and its place in the cosmos.

    Of course it is also often true that scientists often have no interest in philosophy. Often, but not always. And there are some current physicists who are very interesting philosophers - Lee Smolin and Carlo Rovelli come to mind. The early quantum physicists were very interesting philosophically - Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy is a great read, Schrodinger had some very interesting things to say about the same topic. Bernard D'Espagnat is an interesting philosopher of physics ( obit). There are also physicists and popular intellectuals who are utterly crap philosophers - Lawrence Krauss and Sean Carroll are stand-outs.

    George Ellis and Joe Silk are two current physicists who have launched a movement to debate whether string theory really is a scientific theory or not. That has given rise to much interesting debate also. (See here.)

    But if you join physics forum and ask philosophical questions (as I have from time to time) you'll generally get pretty short shrift - something which doesn't overly bother surprise me given our cultural psychology.
  • Coben
    770
    It is incredibly easy to say something like "you shouldn't presuppose anything at all", and still somehow sound reasonable, while it simply isn't. That is the core problem with philosophy. Nothing to painstakingly test. Nothing to painstakingly prove. So, where is the barrier to mere bullshit? Where are the anti-spam measures?alcontali
    It is certainly true that one can say a lot of stuff in philosophy, get it published somewhere, and it may not be useful or insightful. The anti-spam measures are not as cut and dried as in science and one must, as an individual, do work to sort stuff out. Philosophy is not about directly coming to facts, but about generating ways of looking at things, finding assumptions, creating ideas. Then it takes time to see which ones are useful. IOW the reader must work over time or allow others to work over time. One doesn't I hope read philosophy to come away with packaged units of truth or likely to be true data - as one might when reading what one's peers are publishing in in nature. But that's a criticism based on treating philosophy as science, which it is not. A scientist reading the philosophy of science or a cosmologist reading works on metaphysics or ontology or language philosophy, would not be, one hopes reading as if reading scientific papers. But rather they would be reading it to challenge their own assumptions, to see other ways to view things, to get at how language might be skewing their view of things. Not taking in chunks of pretty darn reliable information, but improving their own minds. Getting at being better thinkers. Now there might be direcly applicable ideas at times, but that's not really the purpose. And it would be a category type error to dismiss philosophy for not being science.
    Hence, it is trivially obvious why scientists do not want to discuss with people who want to talk about the philosophy of science but who seem to be incapable of doing anything worth mentioning, in science. It is just too easy, peasy to do that, and that is why they should not take anybody seriously, who does exactly that.alcontali
    That would be their loss and based on a poor criterion. iit would certainly be a waste to read most posts in philosophy forums on line. And just hopping into the smaller journals would like be also be likely wasteful. But reading the works of philosophers who have good reputations and perhaps ones that have lasted for a while could contribute in a number of ways, just, again not like reading science would.

    And it would definitely be helpful for scientists when they wander into discussions that are in part or in the main philosophical. Or make comments that are in these areas, even when they think they are just saying obvious stuff they 'know' from their own field means X in other fields or about phenomena or interpretations different from their own.
  • alcontali
    474
    Bernard D'Espagnat is an interesting philosopher of physics ( obit: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/science/bernard-despagnat-french-physicist-dies-at-93.html)Wayfarer

    Unfortunately, NY Times has a policy of endlessly nagging for readers to create a "free" account and give up lots of personally-identifying data, in order to access the information linked to. I have a personal policy that says, if the only source is NY Times, then it has no source, and then the information simply does not exist. My policy works absolutely fine. We do not "need" NY Times. How could we "need" them, if they are not even convenient to use?

    So, I ended up checking Bernard D'Espagnat's wikipedia page, but it is scant on useful details:

    D'Espagnat remained troubled by the scant attention most physicists paid to the interpretational questions raised by quantum mechanics.

    From his wiki page, it is not clear how much further D'Espagnat gets than discussing Schrödinger's cat and the paradoxical nature of entanglement.

    Even though it is certainly interesting and even intriguing, I personally do not have access to multibillion supercollider installations, such as CERN's Large Hadron Collider. So, as an outsider, I look at these things from quite a distance. So, my perennial remark is always: "Yes, but what do you need me for in all of this? I can't see anything, really ..."

    George Ellis and Joe Silk are two current physicists who have launched a movement to debate whether string theory really is a scientific theory or not. That has given rise to much interesting debate also. (See here.)Wayfarer

    Interesting link:

    But, as many in Munich were surprised to learn, falsificationism is no longer the reigning philosophy of science. Nowadays, as several philosophers at the workshop said, Popperian falsificationism has been supplanted by Bayesian confirmation theory, or Bayesianism, a modern framework based on the 18th-century probability theory of the English statistician and minister Thomas Bayes. One concern with including non-empirical arguments in Bayesian confirmation theory, Dawid acknowledged in his talk, is “that it opens the floodgates to abandoning all scientific principles.”

    Concerning "Bayesian confirmation theory, or Bayesianism, a modern framework based on the 18th-century probability theory", we will probably need to unleash the king of the epistemology of probability onto these guys, Nassim Nicolas Taleb (NNT), the master at slagging off exactly this kind of stuff:

    Taleb contends that statisticians can be pseudoscientists when it comes to risks of rare events and risks of blowups, and mask their incompetence with complicated equations ... Nonetheless, [a critic] calls the book "essential reading" and urges statisticians to overlook the insults to get the "important philosophic and mathematical truths ... Yet beneath his rage and mockery are serious issues ... Taleb and Nobel laureate Myron Scholes have traded personal attacks."

    In my opinion, anything based on probability theory and statistics must be treated with utmost scrutiny, because these things are core ingredients in the snake-oil industry. Not only NNT complains about that.

    If Dawid wants to replace falsificationism by Bayesianism -- people would think that he is not serious, but ok he probably is -- he will have to fight a lengthy and acrimonious uphill battle. He will not manage to reach the other side of the hill in my life time. Seriously, I can't imagine. So, my own take is that headquarters need to throw in some extra regiments from the standing reserves into the fray after duly carpet bombing the enemy's position, called "Bayesianism", prior to authorizing a general advance.

    “The Bayesian framework is much more flexible” than Popper’s theory, said Stephan Hartmann, a Bayesian philosopher at LMU.

    Ha ha ah! Stephan Hartmann clearly does not get it. Something that is "much more flexible", is exactly what we do not want. We want much, much more shit testing of novel ideas, and not less.

    “The imprimatur of science should be awarded only to a theory that is testable,”Ellis and Silk wrote, thereby disqualifying most of the leading theories of the past 40 years. “Only then can we defend science from attack.”

    I completely agree with Ellis and Silk. In my opinion, we certainly need an entire battery of extra anti-spam measures against the snake-oil industry. We need to build a huge wall against non-testable theories, and it is Mexico who will pay for it! ;-)
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    That's always the hard part. — Pattern-chaser


    It isn't the hard part when you're convincing others of something that they want to believe.
    TogetherTurtle

    If they want to believe it, they already do. So there's no convincing necessary. To persuade someone to change their mind, from something they already believe to something different: that's the difficult bit.
  • TogetherTurtle
    344
    People don’t know everything. There’s surely things out there that I would believe if I was just told them. Well, of course I don’t know for sure, but I would say there’s a pretty good chance with the thousands of years of human knowledge I haven’t touched yet.
  • Wayfarer
    8.2k
    , it is trivially obvious why scientists do not want to discuss with people who want to talk about the philosophy of science but who seem to be incapable of doing anything worth mentioning, in science. It is just too easy, peasy to do that, and that is why they should not take anybody seriously, who does exactly that.alcontali

    One of the things that occurs to me is how much 'elbow room' speculative cosmology and physics now provides. I read a 2013 book by Jim Baggott called 'Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth'. 'Baggott got the idea to write the book and become a science activist when watching the BBC program What is Reality? In his opinion, the program started out well, but became what he calls "fairy tale physics" when it included interviews with theoretical physicists who talked about such ideas as multiverse, superstring theory, and supersymmetry. These topics, according to Baggott, are fascinating to read about and are an entertaining way to make documentaries, sell books, or spend time at parties, but are "abstracted, theoretical speculation without any kind of empirical foundation" and "not science".'

    But such ideas are being pursued by highly-qualified and accomplished scientists who will venture philosophical opinions based on these speculative theories. Meanwhile mere philosophers feel utterly intimidated due to the feeling of not having the requisite prowess in mathematical physics to comment intelligently.

    But one of the ideas lost due to this tendency is the very idea of 'cosmos' - 'cosmos' meaning literally 'an ordered whole'. I feel (I can only feel) that were the necessity of accepting the reality of the Cosmos (or uni-verse which means something similar) deeply impressed upon one's mind, that it would introduce a kind of sobriety and even modesty* which is nowadays lacking from the speculative sciences; as if the erection of these theoretical superstructures, manyverses or multiverses or whatever, really are in some ways intellectually corrupting. (Of course I know I have no way of proving that or impressing it on anyone but do like to sound off on it from time to time.)

    -------

    * 'Erwin Schrödinger died on January 4, 1961. Along with a small group of colleagues, I had visited him in his apartment in Vienna the previous spring. There was no cat. Schrödinger did not like cats. As we were leaving, he remarked, “There is one thing we have lost since the Greeks.” We paused. “Modesty,” he added, in his lightly accented English. I have no idea what he meant, and I regret not asking him.'

    Jeremy Bernstein, Einstein's Entanglements, Inference Review.
  • Wayfarer
    8.2k
    I ended up checking Bernard D'Espagnat's wikipedia page, but it is scant on useful details:alcontali


    Try this. Also speculative, you might say, but in a register which I personally find more congenial.
  • Hrvoje
    41
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_d%27Espagnat

    Quote: "The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment."

    Is he talking only about the “human world”, or the world in general? Do human beings play some special role in the world, or did he mean consciousness in general? Or is there no such thing as “the world in general”, or is there no other consciousness but human?
  • Hrvoje
    41
    I believe he wanted to say that the objective world is not independent of subject’s conciousness...
  • Wayfarer
    8.2k
    It's the whole 'observer problem in quantum physics.' It leads to many acrimonious and also unsolvable debates here and on other forums. Suffice to say that there is something like an idealist tendency in 20th century physics, of which D'Espagnat is one exemplar.
  • SophistiCat
    815
    Unfortunately, NY Times has a policy of endlessly nagging for readers to create a "free" account and give up lots of personally-identifying data, in order to access the information linked to. I have a personal policy that says, if the only source is NY Times, then it has no source, and then the information simply does not exist. My policy works absolutely fine. We do not "need" NY Times. How could we "need" them, if they are not even convenient to use?alcontali

    You don't need a NYT account to read this article. If somehow, despite your policy, you've exceeded their free articles-per-month limit, you can just open it in a private/incognito window or delete newyorktimes cookies.

    Anyway, there is a link there to d'Espagnat's 1979 article in Scientific American, The Quantum Theory and Reality. Apparently he was pushing for a link between consciousness and quantum measurement - not a new idea even then, but one that was and still is largely rejected both by physicists and philosophers. Still, d'Espagnat is given credit for the resurgence of interest in philosophical problems of quantum theory.

    Interesting link:

    But, as many in Munich were surprised to learn, falsificationism is no longer the reigning philosophy of science. Nowadays, as several philosophers at the workshop said, Popperian falsificationism has been supplanted by Bayesian confirmation theory, or Bayesianism
    alcontali

    I don't think it's fair to say that Bayesianism supplanted Popperian falsificationism. Bayesian confirmation theory was developed by Ramsey, de Finetti and others long before Popper came on the scene, and remains with its variations, such as likelihoodism, one of the dominant quantitative treatments of theory selection. Falsificationism, on the other hand, never really took off and isn't much talked about, except in connection with Popper.

    In my opinion, anything based on probability theory and statistics must be treated with utmost scrutiny, because these things are core ingredients in the snake-oil industry.alcontali

    Statistics is a very tricky and philosophically fraught subject. Nevertheless, statistics is where the rubber meets the road, as far as philosophy of science is concerned. If your philosophy has no implications for statistical methodology, then it has little relevance to science.
  • alcontali
    474
    Statistics is a very tricky and philosophically fraught subject. Nevertheless, statistics is where the rubber meets the road, as far as philosophy of science is concerned. If your philosophy has no implications for statistical methodology, then it has little relevance to science.SophistiCat

    I like Nassim Taleb's rants on how statistics is being abused nowadays. They are a cautionary tale against brainless number crunching and phishing for correlations.

    Beyond that, the question in science is rather: How did you test that? How did you take care of scientific controls? Has anybody else tested it again? These anti-spam measures neatly hark back to Popperian falsificationism, which in my impression, still rules as king over the epistemic domain of science.
  • Wayfarer
    8.2k
    It's simply that if you can't falsify it by an objective observation, then it's not an empirical hypothesis.
  • alcontali
    474
    It's simply that if you can't falsify it by an objective observation, then it's not an empirical hypothesis.Wayfarer

    Agreed, that is obviously the core of it. Still, that is not enough:

    A scientific control is an experiment or observation designed to minimize the effects of variables other than the independent variable. This increases the reliability of the results, often through a comparison between control measurements and the other measurements. Scientific controls are a part of the scientific method.

    As you can see, there is the need for an additional battery of anti-spam measures.
  • Wayfarer
    8.2k
    That’s over and above ‘falsification’ into the general aspects of scientific method.
  • alcontali
    474
    That’s over and above ‘falsification’ into the general aspects of scientific method.Wayfarer

    Yes, falsificationism is just the core of the method. Pavlov's dog was also falsificationist. It is obvious that it was not enough for the dog to understand what was really going on. So, scientific control is what is needed to avoid behaving like Pavlov's dog in an otherwise legitimate falsificationist situation.

    There are a lot of scientific publications in otherwise prestigious journals of which the merely basic falsificationism does not exceed the level of intelligence of Pavlov's dog.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    Metaphysics is more complex than I have made it out to be. In so far that Metaphysics addresses "What is?", I feel like "Science" is better suited to discover what actually exists. To me, Metaphysics is sort of the school of thought from when all philosophers were polymaths and part-time astronomers.thewonder

    Yes, metaphysics is difficult. If we look at wikipedia, and the Stanford dictionary of Philosophy, and so forth, we find many different descriptions of what metaphysics is, most of them unclear (IMO). About the only thing I am sure about is that metaphysics has nothing to do with physics. :smile:

    Does metaphysics address "What is"? I don't know. I can only offer an example. Whether I am a brain in a vat, or one of the many other possibilities applies instead, is a question science cannot begin to address, because there is no evidence. None at all. So there is no grist for science's mill. Metaphysics allows us to consider such issues (and others too, of course). Not in the same way that science does, but that's the point. The two disciplines are complementary, with little or no overlap.

    Then you refer to discovering "what actually exists", which confuses me. Do you mean to refer to Objective Reality (that which actually is, regardless of our beliefs, opinions, etc.)? If so, then I would suggest science cannot address that one either, because we have no knowing access to Objective Reality. Did you mean that, or were you intending to describe the apparent reality that our perception shows us pictures of, that science addresses as the space-time universe?
  • leo
    577


    Falsificationism doesn't work though, because so-called scientific or empirical hypotheses cannot be falsified: if an observation appears to falsify a hypothesis, it's always possible to not falsify the hypothesis, by assuming that the observation is due to another phenomenon that wasn't accounted for. For instance general relativity can never be falsified if we assume that difference between observation and theory is due to unseen matter or energy, theories of particle physics can never be falsified if we assume that difference between observation and theory amounts to the discovery of a new particle, and in general we can always assume the existence of an unseen phenomenon or invoke errors in the instruments of measurements or invoke a shared hallucination to never falsify a hypothesis.

    Here is an example of the vomit-inducing science we get these days and why philosophy (or at least critical thinking) is desperately needed:

    Dark Matter May Have Existed Before the Big Bang, New Math Suggests
    https://www.space.com/dark-matter-before-big-bang.html

    If dark matter consists of new particles that were born before the Big Bang, they affect the way galaxies are distributed in the sky in a unique way.

    If dark matter were truly a remnant of the Big Bang, then in many cases researchers should have seen a direct signal of dark matter in different particle physics experiments already

    Indeed, if dark matter was really there, the plenty of experiments on dark matter should have most likely detected it by now. The absence of detection could have been considered a falsification of general relativity and of the standard model of cosmology. But no wait, if we say that dark matter is really weird and that it existed before the big bang, then we can use some maths to explain why we haven't detected it in our experiments!

    So let's say that dark matter is really there, but we can't detect it directly in experiments, let's also say that it existed before the big bang (before what we call the beginning of the universe), and if that's the case then we should see galaxies distributed in the sky in a specific way, but our current telescopes are not powerful enough to detect that, so we need bigger telescopes.

    Then if we don't find the galaxies distributed in the way we predicted, it will be because dark matter is even weirder than weird, maybe then if we say that dark matter interacts with dark matter from other dimensions or from other universes then we'll come up with some maths to explain why our telescopes didn't detect a signature in the distribution of galaxies, and dark matter will not have been falsified and our cherished theories will be saved from falsification, and we'll come up with some new experiment to detect an indirect signature of it! We can keep doing that forever too.

    But if we do find galaxies distributed in the way we predicted, even if we can find plenty of alternative explanations for why galaxies would be distributed that way in the absence of dark matter, we will say it is proof of the existence of dark matter, and we will run big headlines around the globe saying dark matter at last detected, dark matter found in the sky, a great scientific achievement, Einstein was right again, another success for science! All the news networks will talk about it for a few days, we'll get our moment of fame, maybe even a Nobel prize down the road, funding for dark matter research will explode, the kids curious about the universe will want to become dark matter scientists, our cherished theories will be more certain than ever, and no one will listen to the philosophers who want to spoil the party, after all these guys are useless and bring nothing of value to society, whereas the world admires us and listens to us, scientists.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    Seems to me it's more like apples and apple trees.T Clark

    So what do you think metaphysics is, if it is so similar to science, as you imply? Please compare/contrast science and metaphysics to show the similarity you claim. I await your reply with genuine interest.
  • alcontali
    474
    Yes, metaphysics is difficult. If we look at wikipedia, and the Stanford dictionary of Philosophy, and so forth, we find many different descriptions of what metaphysics is, most of them unclear (IMO). About the only thing I am sure about is that metaphysics has nothing to do with physics.Pattern-chaser

    Metaphysics is presuppositionism about the real, physical world. In Immanuel Kant's lingo, it would be "analytic a posteriori", which he resolutely rules out as being possible. To the extent that metaphysics investigates the real, physical world, it can safely be considered to be a failed discipline. Presuppositionism itself, however, lives on in, for example, mathematics, where presuppostions, i.e. axioms, are the building bricks of abstract, Platonic worlds.
  • T Clark
    4.1k
    So what do you think metaphysics is, if it is so similar to science, as you imply? Please compare/contrast science and metaphysics to show the similarity you claim. I await your reply with genuine interest.Pattern-chaser

    First off, I've never known you to play games here, so I always assume that your posts reflect genuine interest and I try to respond appropriately.

    I don't think science and metaphysics are similar, I think they're different aspects of the same subject. The assumptions, methods, practice, results, and interpretations of what we call "science" are inextricably wound together. The current separation of the philosophy of science from science is artificial, unnecessary, and misleading.

    By the way, just to show the value of the forum, this is a new idea for me - the idea that the philosophy of science should be part of science. It changes the way I think about things and clarifies some ideas in my mind. Somebody in this thread said that part of the reason philosophy is looked down on by scientists is that the philosophers don't do or understand science. We should turn that around too, make people understand that so-called scientists who don't understand the intellectual underpinnings of what they do are just technicians.

    I'm also thinking now - how can this insight be applied to other aspects of philosophy and practice. I'm going to think about that.
  • T Clark
    4.1k
    the methodology does sort of assume that there is an abstract truth that is to be deigned somehowthewonder

    That is a metaphysical statement. It is one, probably the most common, way of looking at things. It's not one I endorse on an absolute basis, but it is useful depending on the particular situation.
  • T Clark
    4.1k
    I read a 2013 book by Jim Baggott called 'Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth'. 'Wayfarer

    Thanks for the reference. The first two or three chapters are available free on the web. Just the preface is worth the price of admission, so I bought the book. I look forward to reading it.

    Before it get's into a discussion of the title subject, it spends half the book describing what the current, "authorized" understanding of the world is. Baggott writes very well and has a very direct and clear understanding of the metaphysics of science.
  • Pantagruel
    150
    Systems Philosophy is a relatively new discipline which is a convergence of the scientific and, lets call it 'exo-scientific' perspectives. It utilizes the inter-disciplinary perspective of systems theory (cybernetics), which lends itself to successful descriptive models across theoretical domains.

    "Systems Philosophy is the philosophical component of Systemology, the transdisciplinary field concerned with the scientific study of all kinds of systems. Systems Philosophy was formally founded in the 1970s as a scientific branch of philosophy, that is, one that respects and incorporates the findings of science, and proceeds in the way science does, i.e. by insisting on rigour, internal consistency, clarity, consistency between theory and observations, and subjecting its theories and models to empirical testing. As a scientific philosophy it embraced moderate forms of Naturalism (the idea that all changes in the concrete world are proportionate to changes elsewhere), Realism (the idea that the world has some objective aspects) and Scientism (the idea that science progressively reveals the truth about the nature of the concrete world). It nevertheless remained philosophical in the sense that its objective is to make sense of the world and our place in it, and it tries to find ways to answer questions of ultimate concern. As a philosophical framework it started out as a systems oriented and moderate version of what is sometimes called "Scientific Realism" or "Scientific Materialism". In its original form it was the philosophical component of what was then called "General Systems Theory in the broad sense", and which has since been more appropriately renamed "General Systemology" (see papers by Pouvreau and Drack in the reading list).

    The field of systems studies has expanded greatly in the last half century. As academics from different disciplines increasingly engaged with the systems paradigm the philosophical perspectives within Systemology diversified, and today Systems Philosophy includes not only the naturalistic strand it started as but it also has strands that are unscientific, anti-scientific, heuristic or phenomenological, e.g. grounded in Radical Constructivism, Postmodernism, Idealism, Radical Holism, Discordant Pluralism, and so on. That said, the 'centre of gravity' of Systems Philosophy in terms of attention by academic philosophers still lies with the scientific realist approach of the founders of Systems Philosophy "

    http://www.systemsphilosophy.org/
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    To the extent that metaphysics investigates the real, physical world...alcontali

    I don't think it does, certainly not in the sense that science does so.

    First off, I've never known you to play games here, so I always assume that your posts reflect genuine interest and I try to respond appropriatelyT Clark

    Kind of you to say so. :smile:

    I don't think science and metaphysics are similar, I think they're different aspects of the same subject.T Clark

    And yet you compared the two to "apples and apple trees", so you seem to see some, er, relationship between them. What is this relationship?
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