• Xtrix
    817
    Two things: something is stored somewhere, and, nothing is ever learned twice.Mww

    I don't know -- things can certainly be re-learned. The second premise only follows from the first -- because if something is stored somewhere, the rest is a matter of "recall" of some kind. But again, I'm rejecting the first claim. The phrase "something is stored somewhere" really isn't saying much, or at least isn't any different than saying what I mentioned earlier: rules have gone to some underground cache.

    It's not that this formulation is absurd, it's that I see no evidence for it. The rules and principles of theory, reason, and other cognitive functions we use when dealing with the world consciously, scientifically, explicitly, etc. -- for example when we're formally learning a new skill (like driving, hammering, playing basketball) -- just do not seem to play any role once we've reached expertise. You see this when observing people in "flow," you see it in brain studies (different regions are being used than when problem-solving), and you hear it from experts themselves in that they don't have to "think" at all.

    Where rules fit into all this I don't know, unless we view the mind as a computer that compiles data. It's very true that the brain and nervous system are involved, but bringing in the concepts we use to describe rational, conscious, theoretical, rule-following just doesn't work.
  • Xtrix
    817
    Returning to the thread's main topic again, the proposal I put forth earlier was not mine, but Heidegger's. I wanted to gauge reaction to it. Other than "clarify your terms," there hasn't been much reaction, which is surprising -- because it's a bold claim indeed. As a reminder of the claim: "Philosophy is universal phenomenological ontology" and "Philosophy is the science of being."

    I agree with Heidegger also that ontology and "metaphysics" are essentially the same thing. So in a way, philosophy = metaphysics = ontology. Philosophy is the science of being, "science" here indicating a theoretical, interpretative (hermeneutic), phenomenological inquiry. In fact, "Only as phenomenology, is ontology possible." Phenomenology is the method of ontology (i.e., philosophy).

    So what is "phenomenology"? Seems obvious: the study of phenomena. But "phenomena" in what sense? In the sense of not only what shows itself in appearance -- but rather "it's something that does not show itself at all: it is something that lies hidden, in contrast to that which proximally and for the most part does show itself; but at the same time it is something that belongs to what thus shows itself, and it belongs to it so essentially as to constitute its meaning and its ground." (Being & Time, p. 35.)

    So the subject of phenomenology is something that does not show itself but can be made to show itself. It's all the things we take for granted, are not conscious of, are utterly mundane, routine, habitual, etc. -- it's what's hidden in this sense, in the sense of being overlooked and "transparent." In a word, it's not "just this being or that, but rather the being of beings" that is phenomenology's aim. It studies the background (because being is usually concealed) and does so through hermeneutics. This makes sense if it is to be considered the method of philosophy, which likewise "studies" being.

    So to summarize:

    “Negatively, this means that philosophy is not a science of beings but of being or, as the Greek expression goes, ontology.” (p. 11 of Basic Problems of Phenomenology)

    Regarding science:

    “All the propositions of the non-philosophical sciences, including those of mathematics, are positive propositions. Hence, to distinguish them from philosophy, we shall call all non-philosophical sciences positive sciences. Positive sciences deal with what is, with beings; that is to say, they always deal with specific domains, for instance, nature. Within a given domain scientific research again cuts out particular spheres: nature as physically material lifeless nature and nature as living nature.” (p. 13)
  • Banno
    7.8k
    In an obtuse fashion that might be a statement of the issue with which philosophy deals, but it's not philosophy. Philosophy isn't a subject so much as an activity, in which muddled ways of saying things are exposed and analysed.
  • Xtrix
    817
    In an obtuse fashion that might be a statement of the issue with which philosophy deals, but it's not philosophy. Philosophy isn't a subject so much as an activity, in which muddled ways of saying things are exposed and analysed.Banno

    :ok:

    This isn't saying much. But yes, I agree it's an activity - the activity of thinking being.
  • David Mo
    469
    Two previous data:
    Where does he say experience is "based on" memory?Xtrix

    Aristotle, Metaphysics A1. 980aff. : "It is from memory that men acquire experience",

    "You don't have a sense of a door" but "perceive the door" -- I won't try figuring out your semantics here.Xtrix

    Sensation and perception are two separate processes that are very closely related. Sensation is input about the physical world obtained by our sensory receptors, and perception is the process by which the brain selects, organizes, and interprets these sensations. In other words, senses are the physiological basis of perception. Perception of the same senses may vary from one person to another because each person’s brain interprets stimuli differently based on that individual’s learning, memory, emotions, and expectations.LUMEN. Introduction to Psychology

    As you can see, the distinction between sensation and perception is a major point in any psychology manual. I'll spare you the long list of academic articles you can find on this distinction. You can see a list here: https://philpapers.org/browse/construction-and-inference-in-perception . This list refers only to the processes of inference within perception. Some authors speak of "unconscious inference". I have called it implicit. Others call it "non-reflective" to distinguish it from the processes in which inference becomes conscious and discursive.
    The list for articles dealing with the differences between sensation (also sometimes called sense data) and perception is much longer.
    From all this we can conclude that the phenomena of categorization (socially or individually produced) are an essential part of the world of experience. If this is so, a radical distinction cannot be made between the lived world and the rational-abstract world. Both form part of a complex and inseparable world. And if I understand you correctly, this is what you denied at the beginning of our discussion.

    If you agree with this point, either we have reached an agreement or we have had a misunderstanding.
  • David Mo
    469
    Philosophy is always involved in science; this doesn't mean they're the same.

    It's worth remembering that both activities come from the human mind. They both attempt to question and understand the world consciously. Both are very careful, try to be precise, etc.
    Xtrix

    Again, the sciences being different of as branches of ontology (philosophy)Xtrix

    Philosophy does not includes the natural sciences. You have invented a meta-scientific knowledge that does not exist. Moreover, you give it a totally inappropriate name of scholastic origin: ontology. Ontology was the science of being qua being. Totally speculative. It was substituted little by little by natural sciences -mathematics is another thing-, which do not speak of the being as being but of concrete aspects of reality. There is no such thing as a science of Totality. Ontology is a vestige of the past or a non-scientific way of talking about what the sciences have in common. Philosophically, there is no way to contribute a single idea to physics, biology, etc. And if there is one I would like you to give an example.Because vagueness like "science and philosophy" are "careful" doesn't say anything. And to say that philosophy is "precise" requires saying in what way. My mother is also serious and precise in making chocolate cake and we're not going to say she's a philosopher or a scientist. Words are meant to clarify similarities and differences, not to make indiscernible molasses.

    There's little evidence for monads in Leibniz' s formulation, if that's what you mean. Of course it's easy to make fun of minds far greater than your own after centuries of new knowledge, but the proposal wasn't unreasonable at the time. Not a huge leap from monads to atoms if you think about it.Xtrix

    "Leibniz was a metaphysicist" - sure. And also a mathematician, logician, inventor, natural scientist, and even to some a computer science pioneer.Xtrix

    Was it not the "same" science as Galileo's thought experiments of frictionless planes?Xtrix

    experiments were performed long before the Renaissance.Xtrix

    Leibniz was halfway between metaphysics and modern science. Mathematics is something else and we'll leave it at that. As long as he used data from Newtonian science he did not err, but when he tried to superimpose his peculiar philosophical preconceptions on them he gave rise to speculative theories without any value. Like the vortex theory. We must not laugh at him for this, but lament that such a precise mind could go astray by confusing science and metaphysics. For a time his mistake was quite common. Today things are clearer, and I do not believe there is any serious philosopher who would set out to discover monads and vortices. Today's philosophers usually know where the limits of philosophy lie better than you do.

    Before the New Science, the scientific method of experimentation was not used. You confuse observation with experimentation. Since ancient times observation was a method used in the natural sciences. There is some isolated cases of experimentation in history. For example, the Pythagoreans experimented on sounds and the length of strings. But they did not create a method that applied to all fields of natural knowledge. That's why it's not the same as the hypothetical deductive method that Galileo devised and Newton perfected. Of course they didn't call it that.

    It is of little consequence whether or not Galileo carried out all the experiments he devised. What was important was the idea of the method that was used by his successors to carry out the experiments he had devised and new ones. Like Gassendi or Torricelli. Naturally the idea didn't come out of nowhere. Galileo admired Gilbert's experiments, for example.

    But Bacon is a mere precursor. His methods of observation can be seen as an antecedent to Galileo, but if he doesn't cite them it's because they were something else different from what he was doing and proposing. Observation is limited to recording the data that nature offers, drawing consequences that are taken by inductive generalization. The hypothetical-deductive method is a framework in which mathematization, the formulation of hypotheses (in principle they were causal), the manipulation of circumstances and variables that concur and the confirmation by means of the repetition of the experiments are combined. "Hypothesis non fingo", Newton proudly said to differentiate himself from the Aristotelian and Cartesian scholastics. You won't find anything like that in Aristotle or Bacon, who nevertheless gave a more or less great role to experience. Nor will you find it in the Babylonians, who used mathematics and experience as a mere record, without transcending the formulation of legal hypotheses to be confirmed by experiments. The Greeks, especially from the Hellenistic period, are an advance on them. This explains Eratosthenes' success in calculating the circumference of the Earth (you were wrong: it wasn't Aristarchus). But they limited themselves to the mathematical formulation of the problems and their application to observation. They did not move on to the method of confirming legal hypotheses, which is that of the New Science.
    And that it differs drastically from the philosophy of then and now.
  • Mww
    1.5k
    things can certainly be re-learnedXtrix

    Hmmm......yes, my mistake; there always an exception to the rule. Things may be re-learned due to brain or mental malfunction. But philosophy has to do with the norm in that regard, not the exception to it, which is the realm of empirical psychology.
    (“...Empirical psychology must therefore be banished from the sphere of metaphysics (...). It is a stranger who has been long a guest; and we make it welcome to stay, until it can take up a more suitable abode in a complete system of anthropology...”)
    —————

    The rules and principles of theory, reason, and other cognitive functions we use when dealing with the world consciously, scientifically, explicitly, etc. (...) just do not seem to play any role once we've reached expertise.Xtrix

    Principles of theory, rules, even reason itself, are a priori human explanatory constructs that facilitate understanding. If rules don’t play a part, how does one even become an expert? Just the comparison between an expert and a novice must be in accordance to a rule.

    "it's something that does not show itself at all: it is something that lies hidden, in contrast to that which proximally and for the most part does show itself; but at the same time it is something that belongs to what thus shows itself, and it belongs to it so essentially as to constitute its meaning and its ground."(Being & Time, p. 35.)Xtrix

    Seems like “rule” would fit into that definition just fine.
  • Xtrix
    817
    Two previous data:
    Where does he say experience is "based on" memory?
    — Xtrix

    Aristotle, Metaphysics A1. 980aff. : "It is from memory that men acquire experience",
    David Mo

    This is meaningless without a context. We have memory - experience is what's happening right now, shaped in part by past experiences.

    As you can see, the distinction between sensation and perceptionDavid Mo

    You didn't say sensation, you said a "sense" of the door. That's not the same thing.

    Again I'll repeat in case you didn't catch it: my background is in psychology, and my profession is psychotherapy. I say this to prove nothing except to save you from unnecessary exposition. Better to assume I know as much as an undergraduate.

    If this is so, a radical distinction cannot be made between the lived world and the rational-abstract world. Both form part of a complex and inseparable world. And if I understand you correctly, this is what you denied at the beginning of our discussion.David Mo

    No radical distinction, just very different modes of being.
  • Xtrix
    817
    (“...Empirical psychology must therefore be banished from the sphere of metaphysics (...). It is a stranger who has been long a guest; and we make it welcome to stay, until it can take up a more suitable abode in a complete system of anthropology...”)Mww

    Interesting. Reference please?

    If rules don’t play a part, how does one even become an expert?Mww

    By simply doing things in a different way. This sounds like a cop out, and indeed it is in a sense because it's an open question. I think we're finding out more and more about what's happening in the brain when one is in "flow" for example. But to talk about driving, tying your shoelaces, or even walking as "rule following," even if pushed into some unconscious realm, seems to me of no value. But I grant you that mine is the minority position.

    "it's something that does not show itself at all: it is something that lies hidden, in contrast to that which proximally and for the most part does show itself; but at the same time it is something that belongs to what thus shows itself, and it belongs to it so essentially as to constitute its meaning and its ground."(Being & Time, p. 35.)
    — Xtrix

    Seems like “rule” would fit into that definition just fine.
    Mww

    But here Heidegger is talking about being, not rules.
  • Xtrix
    817
    If you agree with this point, either we have reached an agreement or we have had a misunderstanding.David Mo

    I agree that human behavior is complex. Maybe it's helpful to state clearly what I'm not saying:

    I'm not saying the sciences don't exist.
    I'm not saying rules and rationality don't exist or don't play a large role in human life; they do.
    I'm not saying that philosophy and science are the same thing.
    I'm not saying that sensation and perception are the same thing.
    I'm not saying that the everyday lived mode where we mostly find ourselves and the rational, abstract mode are completely separate (nor are philosophy and science).

    What I am saying is that modern science is not always easily separated from philosophy, especially in its basic concepts, and in fact presupposes what's called "philosophical," and especially that what makes science what it is is not a special inductive method, however popular that idea is. Incidentally, on this last point especially I'm not alone -- so if it's modern scholarship that impresses you, there's plenty of it. I gave you a link to a discussion about the philosophy of science with Hilary Putnam, for example -- but there are many others who argue that the concept of an inductive method is shaky indeed. Paul Feyerabend, Thomas Kuhn (to a degree), Chomsky, etc., and plenty of others have interesting things to say about it.
  • Xtrix
    817
    Philosophy is always involved in science; this doesn't mean they're the same.Xtrix

    Again, the sciences being different[..] as branches of ontology (philosophy)Xtrix

    Philosophy does not includes the natural sciences.David Mo

    I'm not sure what "include" means here. I'm not saying the questions and problems of physics is "philosophical" work. As I said, they're different, but they're connected. Natural philosophy, which we now call the various branches of science, always presupposes something about the world.

    Or perhaps a better way to put it: philosophy is ontological, the sciences are ontical. But that doesn't make the work of biologists, physicists, chemists, or anthropologists "philosophy."

    Moreover, you give it a totally inappropriate name of scholastic origin: ontology. Ontology was the science of being qua being. Totally speculative. It was substituted little by little by natural sciences -mathematics is another thing-, which do not speak of the being as being but of concrete aspects of reality.David Mo

    A very common view of the history of science and a rather common attitude about "being," which in fact was anticipated by Heidegger nearly a century ago:

    "That which the ancient philosophers found continually disturbing as something obscure and hidden has taken on a clarity and self-evidence such that if anyone continues to ask about it he is charged with an error of method."

    "It has been maintained that 'being' is the 'most universal' concept[...]that it is indefinable, [...] and that it is held to be self-evident."

    He goes through these one by one, and then asks whether instead the question of being is rather than the most abstract and speculative actually the most concrete thing.

    So not "totally speculative" at all -- in fact we live with a "vague, average" understanding (pre-theoretical understanding) of it every day.

    And if there is one I would like you to give an example.Because vagueness like "science and philosophy" are "careful" doesn't say anything. And to say that philosophy is "precise" requires saying in what way. My mother is also serious and precise in making chocolate cake and we're not going to say she's a philosopher or a scientist. Words are meant to clarify similarities and differences, not to make indiscernible molasses.David Mo

    We're in a different state or mode of being when doing philosophy and science -- that doesn't mean all rationality, logic, problem solving, clarity of terms, etc., are only philosophy or science. You could very easily be following rules in cooking -- recipes are exactly that. Of course that's not philosophy. But it's also a very different state than an expert chef who needs no recipe, much like Hendrix or Clapton didn't need to remember their guitar lessons when playing. They're different states. This is the only point. And as it happens, the state we're in when "doing" science is the former state, not the latter. Ditto with science. This does not make them the same.

    Leibniz was halfway between metaphysics and modern science.David Mo

    I'm glad you've retracted your statement that Leibniz was a 'metaphysicist.' But I'm afraid the story you tell about the history of science and philosophy is pretty confused. It's not worth pursuing other than to re-state the idea that there's no such thing as a "method" that got created or discovered some time in the 16th century. Or at least I see no evidence of that. There are many factors involved, historical, technological, cultural, etc., but defining something out in space and saying "this is the method" while it's still a rather controversial topic in the philosophy of science just isn't interesting.

    Today's philosophers usually know where the limits of philosophy lie better than you do.David Mo

    Yes -- the philosophers of science also notice something about science as well: that a "method" is an illusion that even few scientists accept.

    As for the limits of philosophy - I've already mentioned, philosophy is not physics or biology. Philosophy is ontological; it thinks being.

    Before the New Science, the scientific method of experimentation was not used.David Mo

    There were plenty of experiments before the 16th century, long before any myth about a special method that scientists employ in order to be "counted" as science.

    the Pythagoreans experimented on sounds and the length of strings. But they did not create a method that applied to all fields of natural knowledge.David Mo

    True. But neither did anyone else.

    That's why it's not the same as the hypothetical deductive method that Galileo devised and Newton perfected.David Mo

    Or the mechanical philosophy that Galileo accepted and Newton (unintentionally) destroyed.

    Also, see https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-94-009-9799-8_1

    The same questioning, observation, experimentation was being done in antiquity. Many things were different. But to ask whether these examples were "really" science or not and then coming up with some post hoc explanation for why it isn't (or is) is a waste of time. Call it whatever you like. If you prefer to believe in the invention of a special recipe that coronates an activity "Science," you're welcome. You're not alone. It's completely unconvincing to me but, most importantly, completely irrelevant.

    Let's call anything prior to the 16th century "old science" - if it makes us happy. Maybe it's useful for teaching, like dating the fall of Rome or determining the "beginning" of the Renaissance. We can define things any way we like.

    But the simple fact remains: human beings care about understanding the world, and have been asking questions about it for thousands of years. If we want to say none of it counts as philosophy because they didn't have university departments, or "science" because they didn't have laboratories, that's our privilegby . But forgive me if I don't take it seriously.

    This explains Eratosthenes' success in calculating the circumference of the Earth (you were wrong: it wasn't Aristarchus).David Mo

    Yes, my mistake.

    But they limited themselves to the mathematical formulation of the problems and their application to observation. They did not move on to the method of confirming legal hypotheses, which is that of the New Science.David Mo

    Again the issue here is whether this method really defines science. Turns out it doesn't. So there's no sense going on as if this is premise I accept.

    By your homegrown definition, archeology is certainly excluded as a science. Where economics falls is questionable. But who really cares anyway? Most physicists will probably tell you sociology isn't a science. Medicine is another matter. Astronomy another. Etc.

    But again this misses the point. This isn't about science but about what philosophy is. Turns out they're not completely unrelated, but not the same either.
  • David Mo
    469
    what makes science what it is is not a special inductive methodXtrix
    First of all: I prevented some comments ago that I was speaking of natural sciences. If you want speak of human sciences some clarifications should be added.
    If you want to deny that sciences are inductive and methodical you are alone. Chomsky is speaking of linguistic and social sciences, Kuhn speaks only of periods of scientific revolutions and Feyerabend is a rara avis without many influence in philosophy of science. He is more popular in internet and pseudosciences, sure.

    But even in human sciences progress in the last years is fostered by the application of inductive methods and mathematizacion. For example, dating methods taken from natural sciences in archeology.

    But you shoudl understand that when I was speaking of hypothetico-deductive method I was speaking of natural sciences.
  • David Mo
    469
    I'm not sure what "include" means here. I'm not saying the questions and problems of physics is "philosophical" work. As I said, they're different, but they're connected. Natural philosophy, which we now call the various branches of science, always presupposes something about the world.Xtrix
    I suppose you must know what it means that "natural philosophy" includes the sciences. If you don't know it, the idea is "a little" confusing in your head.
    I'm glad you've retracted your statement that Leibniz was a 'metaphysicist.'Xtrix
    I am sorry to displease you, but I did not say that Leibniz was not a metaphysicist, but that his metaphysics are intermingled with concepts of the new science. But the concept of the monad, which you vaguely relate to that of the atom, is central in Leibniz and one hundred percent metaphysical. And the difference between the atom, an entity that can be confirmed with scientific experience, and that of the monad, which is totally speculative, is abysmal. To begin with you are a monad, according to Leibniz, and you will not tell me that you are also an atom. I don't see you as an atom, really.
    It has been maintained that 'being' is the 'most universal' concept[...]that it is indefinable, [...] and that it is held to be self-evident."Xtrix
    Don't quote Heidegger to me, please. After fighting hard with his unpalatable Being and Time I learned that he himself acknowledged that he didn't know what Being was. For gurus, the ones from India.

    still a rather controversial topic in the philosophy ofXtrix
    Why? You say you don't like it, that scientists don't say that, that there's a lot of criticism, that it's a myth... but you never explain what you mean specifically. It all comes down to vague quotes and vague disqualifications.

    There were plenty of experiments before the 16th century, lXtrix
    Finally something concrete! Now all that remains is for you to tell us about some of those experiments you are referring to. Because when you spoke of the Aristarchus experiments you were mistaken about the author and the concept: it was not an experiment. I'm really interested in knowing the medieval experiments you're talking about. I'm not joking.

    While waiting for you to concretize your criticisms I will advance you that they have a flaw in principle: if you recognize that science and philosophy are not the same, it will be because they have different methods. Why else?

    I would appreciate it if you would repeat the reference where Putnam says that science does not follow inductive methods. I can't find it.
  • Mww
    1.5k
    But I grant you that mine is the minority position.Xtrix

    To which you are most certainly entitled.
    ————-

    Reference please?Xtrix

    Sorry.....I edited and didn’t notice I deleted (CPR A849/B877).
    ————-

    But here Heidegger is talking about being, not rules.Xtrix

    I realize that, yes. “Rule”, ”being”.......one no more a mere a priori human logical construct than the other.
  • Xtrix
    817
    If you want to deny that sciences are inductive and methodical you are alone.David Mo

    It can be, and there are examples. But there's no method to distinguish science.

    Chomsky is speaking of linguistic and social sciences, Kuhn speaks only of periods of scientific revolutions and Feyerabend is a rara avis without many influence in philosophy of science.David Mo

    You haven't read any of them, I see. Chomsky is not talking about linguistics and the social sciences, for example. When he talks of science, he's going back to Galileo and discusses mainly the development of physics.

    Regardless, if you want an entire list I'll provide one, as perhaps the names I mentioned don't count somehow. But I'm far from alone. Again, Putnam's introduction is a good one: few creative scientists accept such a thing as an "inductive method."

    suppose you must know what it means that "natural philosophy" includes the sciences. If you don't know it, the idea is "a little" confusing in your head.David Mo

    This is incoherent.

    central in Leibniz and one hundred percent metaphysical.David Mo

    Lots of things are speculative, until confirmed. Many hypotheses are speculative. The fact that some turn out to be completely wrong is part of science. To call all ideas (like geocentrism) that have been proven wrong "metaphysics" and thus philosophy, and everything else " science" is again simply a matter of definition, and quite useless in my view. But if it makes you happy, carry on.

    Don't quote Heidegger to me, please. After fighting hard with his unpalatable Being and Time I learned that he himself acknowledged that he didn't know what Being was. For gurus, the ones from India.David Mo

    Not sure what that last sentence means.

    True, Heidegger doesn't give an easy answer about what being "is," because "it" isn't a thing. He never "acknowledged" anything like that, however. It's a silly statement.

    Sorry about your struggles with being and time; you're in good company. It's actually a fascinating work, and no wonder (to me) why it's considered the great work of the 20th century.

    It all comes down to vague quotes and vague disqualifications.David Mo

    No, you're thinking of yourself and the scientific method. Saying "mathematization" repeatedly is likewise vague and devoid of context.
  • Xtrix
    817
    I'm really interested in knowing the medieval experiments you're talking about. I'm not joking.David Mo

    Not until the late middle ages do you have experiments in medicine. Al-Baghdadi and others performed interesting studies in anatomy and physiology, although with very different assumptions.

    If there are experiments during the 7th or 8th centuries, I'm not aware of them. But I wouldn't be shocked to find it happening, even in monasteries.

    You mentioned a number yourself during the Greek and Roman eras. But I already anticipate any examples, say from Archimedes or whomever, being disqualified as they were, as they won't meet your post hoc criteria. (Incidentally, as many experiments from the modern era don't ether.)

    So if Eratosthenes or Aristarchus weren't scientists or weren't "doing" science, and weren't performing experiments in the right way or the making the "right" observations, etc., because of some notion of "mathematicization" or whatever you like, then so be it. All that proves to me is that the notion of "science" has become completely useless -- even restricted to the "natural sciences."

    While waiting for you to concretize your criticisms I will advance you that they have a flaw in principle: if you recognize that science and philosophy are not the same, it will be because they have different methods. Why else?

    I would appreciate it if you would repeat the reference where Putnam says that science does not follow inductive methods. I can't find it.
    David Mo

    No one is saying science doesn't often involve inductive methods. There are all kinds of methods used in the sciences -- for example, the questions, problems, and methods of climatology are very different from those of archeology, geology, or linguistics -- so what?

    In any case, here's what Putnam says:

    “People talk about the scientific method as a kind of fiction, but I think that even in physics where you do get experiments and tests that pretty much fit the textbooks, there’s a great deal that doesn’t and a great deal that shouldn’t.”

    And further:

    Bryan Magee: "What’s the point of continuing to use the category, or the notion, or the term “science” anyway? Does it any longer clearly demarcate something differentiable from everything else?"

    Putnam: “I don’t think it does. If you’re going to distinguish science from non-science, that makes a lot of sense if you still have this old view that there’s this 'inductive method' and that what makes something science is that it uses it and uses it pretty consciously and pretty deliberately, and that what makes something non-science is either that it uses it entirely unconsciously (as in learning how to cook, you’re not thinking about inductive logic) or perhaps doesn’t use it at all, as metaphysics was alleged not to use it at all (I think unfairly). But both say that there’s a sharp line between practical knowledge and science and to say that the method which is supposed to draw this line is rather fuzzy, something we can state exactly— and attempts to state it by the way have been very much a failure still; inductive logic cannot be, say, programmed on a computer the way deductive logic can be programmed on a computer. I think the development of deductive logic in the last 100 years, and the development of the computer, have really brought home very dramatically just what a different state we’re in with respect to proof in the mathematical sciences which we can state rigorous canons for, and proof in what used to be called the inductive sciences, where we can state general maxims but you really have to use intuition, general know-how, and so on, in applying them.”

    I think that's exactly right.

    I realize that, yes. “Rule”, ”being”.......one no more a mere a priori human logical construct than the other.Mww

    Then we really are using "rule" in radically different ways. I don't see the rules of chess being a priori, whether held consciously or implicitly. I assume you're referring now to the rules of physics and the like?
  • Mww
    1.5k
    I don't see the rules of chess being a priori,Xtrix

    The rules of chess....or rules for anything else for that matter, along with laws, imperatives, principles, maxims, a veritable plethora of logical guides....do not exist naturally. Therefore, they exist only because they had at one time been thought by rational agency, hence they are a priori in origin, and only subsequently put into a natural state (written down, exercised in a game, etc.) by that agency.
  • Xtrix
    817
    Therefore, they exist only because they had at one time been thought by rational agency, hence they are a priori in originMww

    That doesn't make them a priori in origin at all. It simply means a human mind conceived them at one point. If we count any rule as a priori that human beings think up, then my rule of not eating after 8pm is an a priori truth. That's a strange way of describing things.

    Besides, experience is certainly involved in rule formation in many respects, like cooking or sports. They're not created by deduction alone and are certainly not true by necessity, as 2+2=4 is.
  • Mww
    1.5k
    Therefore, they exist only because they had at one time been thought by rational agency, hence they are a priori in origin
    — Mww

    That doesn't make them a priori in origin at all. It simply means a human mind conceived them at one point.
    Xtrix

    What’s the difference? Rules may become public, but they never initialize publicly.
    ————-

    If we count any rule as a priori that human beings think up, then my rule of not eating after 8pm is an a priori truth.Xtrix

    Categorical error: rules are not necessarily related to truth. If it were to be impossible for you ever to eat after 8pm, the truth of it holds but it is not a rule. If you are ever forced to eat after 8pm, the rule holds but the truth of it does not. Otherwise, if you choose to not eat after 8pm because of a rule of your own instruction, then it is true you adhere to the rule, but that doesn’t say the rule in itself, is a necessary truth. You could have not eaten after 8pm because you’d just eaten at 7:45, or you’ve had a heart attack.....any one of an innumerable set of contingencies.

    Strange indeed.
  • Pussycat
    347
    But yet another definition of philosophy:

    the discipline which makes idiots and fools seem like brilliant, most probaly that is why it was invented. It's all look-alike, what do you think? We were good before philosophy came into being, or not?

    Lovers of wisdom is of course ridiculous, cause a fool cannot be a lover of anything.
  • David Mo
    469
    You haven't read any of them, I see. Chomsky is not talking about linguistics and the social sciences, for example. When he talks of science, he's going back to Galileo and discusses mainly the development of physics.Xtrix
    I've read about Chomsky in both linguistics and politics. If you go to this bibliography and to Chomsky's official website at MIT, you will see how these are the subjects of his work. I don't know that he has written an article on science and Galileo - a book, of course not - but if you have that reference I would like to know about it. And a word of advice: you should be careful about your risky claims about what your opponent has or has not read. The shot may hit you in your own foot.

    Lots of things are speculative, until confirmed. Many hypotheses are speculative.Xtrix
    Basic confusion: hypothesis can be speculation, but what differentiates it from metaphysical speculation is that it can be proven through experience.

    Saying "mathematization" repeatedly is likewise vague and devoid of context.Xtrix
    Don't you know what it's like to write a formula mathematically? Gee, you're really lost.
    Xtrix
    Al-BaghdadiXtrix
    What Muhadhdhab Al-Deen Al-Baghdadi was doing was not experimentation, but observation. The experiment is something else, as you can see here:

    Experiments involve actively intervening in the course of nature, as opposed to observing events that would have happened anyway. When a molecular biologist inserts viral DNA into a bacterium in his laboratory, this is an experiment; but when an astronomer points his telescope at the heavens, this is an observation. Without the biologist’s handiwork the bacterium would never have contained foreign DNA; but the planets would have continued orbiting the sun whether or not the astronomer had directed his telescope skyward. The observational/experimental distinction would probably be difficult to make precise 1, as the notion of an ‘intervention’ is not easily defined, but it is intuitively fairly clear, and is frequently invoked by scientists and historians of science. Experimentation, or ‘putting questions to nature’, is often cited as a hallmark of the modern scientific method, something that permitted the enormous advances of the last 350 years. And it is sometimes said that the social sciences lag behind the natural because controlled experiments cannot be done so readily in the former. — Samir Okasha: Experiment, Observation and the Confirmation of Laws

    I am not giving you more details of the article because it is one of hundreds you can find on this subject in an academic search engine. Incidentally, this belies Hilary Putnam's cavalier claim that the description of the scientific method in terms of "inductive logic" is outdated.
    Your quote from Putnam is nothing more than a series of opinions poured out on a television show, which is not very interesting unless they are more reasoned. He is attacking a vision of the scientific method that did not defend even his worst enemy: Willard Van Orman Quine. It is absurd to pretend that all scientists "consciously" apply the scientific method. No one defends such a thing. That's why Putnam is attacking windmills. If you can't offer something else, I'm afraid there's little to discuss here.
  • David Mo
    469
    So if Eratosthenes or Aristarchus weren't scientists or weren't "doing" science, and weren't performing experiments in the right way or the making the "right" observations, etc., because of some notion of "mathematicization" or whatever you like, then so be it. All that proves to me is that the notion of "science" has become completely useless -- even restricted to the "natural sciences."Xtrix

    You can apply the concept of science to whatever you want. You can apply it to the ritual dance of the geese in heat, if you like. As you expand it it will become more and more vague until it becomes meaningless. If you want you can put philosophy, science, alchemy, parapsychology and Donald Trump's twitters in the same bag. But that only serves to create confusion. What we are discussing is the difference between science (in the strict sense of what is done today as such) and philosophy (to the extent that this concept can be clarified) and for that, Trump's sermons have little to do with it.

    For example, Putnam repeatedly speaks of philosophy and science as two different things. What is the basis for this difference? That's what's interesting.
    And if you don't know exactly what Putnam is saying, why do you quote him?

    The description of the hypothetical-deductive method may need many nuances. In fact, it does. Nobody thinks that Stuart Mill's methods of inductive logic are applicable to the letter (although Putnam seems to think so). But they are useful concepts to understand something that is an obviousness repeatedly forgotten by relativist philosophers in the middle of their mental entanglements: there is a clear difference between the activity of a philosopher and a scientist and that difference refers to the contrast of their statements by experience.

    The rest is mandangas.

    If you do not want to get into the mess of the undifferentiated and call what the Greeks did science, you will have to distinguish ancient science from modern science. Okay, make the distinction yourself.
  • Xtrix
    817
    What’s the difference? Rules may become public, but they never initialize publicly.Mww

    They do initialize publicly. Rules get created or destroyed all the time based on experiences. The 3-second violation in basketball was created based on what was happening in the game - namely, players hanging out under the hoop.

    This happens all the time. If this counts as "a priori," what isn't a priori?
  • Xtrix
    817
    I've read about Chomsky in both linguistics and politics. If you go to this bibliography and to Chomsky's official website at MIT, you will see how these are the subjects of his work. I don't know that he has written an article on science and Galileo - a book, of course not - but if you have that reference I would like to know about it.David Mo

    https://chomsky.info/201401__/

    Chomsky is also a historian. There are others, and videos online as well. He discusses the mechanical philosophy of the early scientific revolution, and how the concept of mind-body dissolves when it's realized that there is no concept of "body" after Newton.

    I can link up others if you're interested, but I'd have to look for them.

    And a word of advice: you should be careful about your risky claims about what your opponent has or has not read. The shot may hit you in your own foot.David Mo

    In that case there's no risk: I'd be happy to be proven wrong. It's less work for me if my interlocutor knows whathe or she is talking about.

    Basic confusion: hypothesis can be speculation, but what differentiates it from metaphysical speculation is that it can be proven through experience.David Mo

    All you're doing is defining anything that can't be "proven" as "metaphysical." In that case, monads are either still a metaphysical proposition, or they've been disproven and thus were never metaphysical.

    That's a matter of definition, and in my view quite a useless one.

    Saying "mathematization" repeatedly is likewise vague and devoid of context.
    — Xtrix
    Don't you know what it's like to write a formula mathematically?
    David Mo

    This is irrelevant, but yes. I also know that plenty of science goes on without mathematical formulas. So again, context matters.

    What Muhadhdhab Al-Deen Al-Baghdadi was doing was not experimentation, but observation.David Mo

    Oy. Okay. See my prior post about examples being dismissed. You've defined it all out of existence. So have it your way: no experiments or science happened prior to the 16th century and the development of the "new science." In that case, Archimedes, Aristarchus, etc, were all doing something else- call it "primitive science" or whatever you like. I have no qualms with defining things however we like. I can also claim there was no real transportation prior to the development of the car if I chose to. Would make sense given that premise.

    I'm also very impressed that you put his full name. I'm sure you didn't look that one up. ;)

    The observational/experimental distinction would probably be difficult to make precise 1, as the notion of an ‘intervention’ is not easily defined, but it is intuitively fairly clear, and is frequently invoked by scientists — Samir Okasha: Experiment, Observation and the Confirmation of Laws

    "Intuitively fairly clear." Sure, who would disagree?

    I am not giving you more details of the article because it is one of hundreds you can find on this subject in an academic search engine.David Mo

    The implication being that I wasn't aware of this until you cited it? What were you saying before about "risky" assumptions?

    You are attacking a vision of the scientific method that did not defend even its worst enemy: Willard Van Orman Quine.David Mo

    This is incoherent. Could you rephrase?

    . It is absurd to pretend that all scientists "consciously" apply the scientific method. No one defends such a thing.David Mo

    So they apply this "method" how? Unconsciously?

    Or, perhaps, the notion of a "method" is honorific to begin with?

    If you can't offer something else, I'm afraid there's little to discuss here.David Mo

    What's becoming more interesting to me is your attachment to such a notion.

    You still haven't shown there is a method. Now you're saying there is one and it's not used consciously. Before you said you want to restrict this to "natural sciences," that there are always exceptions, etc. So what's left other than what I initially stated: it's fine to talk about, and there are indeed examples, but we shouldn't take it too seriously.
  • Xtrix
    817
    You can apply the concept of science to whatever you want. You can apply it to the ritual dance of the geese in heat, if you like. As you expand it it will become more and more vague until it becomes meaningless. If you want you can put philosophy, science, alchemy, parapsychology and Donald Trump's twitters in the same bag. But that only serves to create confusion.David Mo

    I agree wholeheartedly. That would be meaningless indeed.

    For example, Putnam repeatedly speaks of philosophy and science as two different things. What is the basis for this difference? That's what's interesting.David Mo

    I think so to. They have similarities and differences. But like I've said before, a major difference is that one is ontological, the other ontical. Here I agree with Heidegger. Given this provisional distinction, the questions, problems, methods, observations, data collection, experimentation, mathematical formulations, etc, of physics, chemistry, biology, neuroscience, linguistics, etc, are certainly not philosophy, even though they have an ontological basis.

    You may disagree with the wording, but fundamentally I'm sure you agree. That leaves us only in disagreement about the existence of a scientific method as being the distinguishing factor between philosophy and science. I don't see us coming to a consensus on that point, but I'll gladly stipulate its existence if that's helpful to moving the discussion further along - it makes no real difference to me. The topic of the thread is "What is philosophy?"

    To loop it back to where this digression started:

    Philosophy is not religion
    — Pfhorrest

    Philosophy is not science
    — Pfhorrest

    See, here it's tricky in my view. On the one hand, of course philosophy isn't science or religion -- they differ in many ways. But on the other hand, they deal with very similar questions.
    Xtrix

    But like many things, we don't have a real rule or solid "definition" for determining which is which -- although we may feel like there's one.Xtrix

    I see no reason to change these statements.
  • Xtrix
    817
    And if you don't know exactly what Putnam is saying, why do you quote him?David Mo

    I quoted Putnam because you asked for one, and seemingly never watched the video - which I said from the start was merely an introduction to the philosophy of science. Putnam has a number of books on the subject, if you're interested. Philosophy in the Age of Science: Physics, Mathematics and Skepticism is a decent start.

    Your quote from Putnam is nothing more than a series of opinions poured out on a television show, which is not very interesting unless they are more reasoned.David Mo

    If you watch the entire video, there's much more context and it's well reasoned indeed -- unlike, say, your claims about "experimentation and mathematization" being the essence of the so-called "method."

    Stating "that's just your opinion" is a true sign that one has no argument left. As is attacking the format. (Who cares if it's television or not?)
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