Delusions of Grandeur and Conspiracy theorists: Connection?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, May 7, 2015.

  1. RajeshTrivedi Valued Senior Member

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    Extremely good read...
     
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  3. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Science is what we know: Philosophy is what we don't know:
    You are strictly confined to the second fact:
     
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    That's nothing but a slogan, Paddoboy. Why do you insist on thoughtlessly repeating it? You probably should stop and think about it.

    Historically, the word 'philosophy' was basically synonymous with 'scholarship'. All areas of scholarly inquiry were included within the range of philosophy.

    The natural world was definitely included as an object of scholarship, and 'natural philosophy' was a thriving specialty area of philosophy. The early experimenters thought of themselves as natural philosophers and were perceived as such by those around them.

    The word 'science' derives from the Latin 'scientia', meaning 'knowledge'. By the 1400's it had come to mean 'skill', 'handicraft' or 'trade', hence people spoke of the 'science of cooking'. In the 1600's, we see the word 'science' being used to indicate non-arts subjects in the university curriculum.

    Even today, a few European universities still refer to what we think of as 'science' as 'natural philosophy'

    In the 17th century, natural philosophy underwent an explosion of interest, as new mathematical and experimental techniques were applied by its practitioners with dramatic results. Today we call those events the 'Scientific Revolution'.

    As a result, natural philosophy acquired a host of new specialist practitioners, along with new professional organizations like the Royal Society. And as natural philosophy became institutionalized and professionalized, and as universities acquired dedicated science departments and programs, the word 'science' was gradually co-opted to refer to natural philosophy. This happened rather late, in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    So where does that leave the distinction between science and philosophy today? In the English-speaking world at least, the word 'philosophy' has come to mean the examination of the most basic assumptions and principles underlying any area of behavior or inquiry.

    Seeing as how 'science' began its career as the Latin word for 'knowledge', epistemology (the philosophy of knowledge) is obviously relevant.

    Epistemology inquires into questions associated with the different objects of knowledge (the external world, the past, the future, values, abstractions, minds) and supposed sources of knowledge (perception, memory, reason, introspection, intuition, ESP), along with the relationship of knowledge to certainty, doubt, justification, evidence, belief, causation and revisability.

    Contemporary proponents of scientism are very fond of thinking that they are the rational ones, the practitioners of logic. So philosophical logic is obviously relevant too.

    Regarding deductive logic, the philosophy of logic inquires into the relationship between formal logic and informal reasoning in natural language. It also investigates problems associated with meaning, truth, implication, and many more technical topics like modality, deontology, tense, model theory and set theory.

    Consideration of inductive logic introduces problems involving probability, confirmation and the logic of explanation.

    These issues bring us to the philosophy of science proper.

    The philosophy of science investigates what science's aims are (explanation, truth, simplicity, coherence, prediction, practical use), how science changes over time, how different sciences are related (reducibility), questions about the methods science employs (induction, hypothetico-deductive method, confirmation, falsification, observation and experiment, measurement and taxonomy) and what science presupposes or tells us about the nature of reality itself (realism/ instrumentalism, status of theoretical entities, quantum/classical issues, nature of physical law, uniformity of nature, the relation of mathematics and logic to physical reality, how causation should be conceived, and issues regarding space and time).

    Now let's look at Paddoboy's slogan again: "Science is what we know: Philosophy is what we don't know".

    My claim is that his slogan doesn't correspond to how the words 'science' and 'philosophy' have historically been used. Nor does it explain how someone could possibly practice science, let alone hold the kind of views that Paddoboy does himself about things like "scientific method", without making lots of unacknowledged assumptions about what the answers are to these kind of questions.

    The fact is that scientists are constantly philosophizing, even if they are doing it unconsciously. Paddoboy is doing so himself.

    I think that it's always best to be aware of the assumptions that one is making, and if possible, to be able to provide some justification for them.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
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  7. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Grok'd!
     
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  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    The whole positivist emphasis on the scientific method as the primary epistemological tool for accessing reality is itself a philosophical presupposition. You certainly can't derive that sort of assumption from science itself. Generally it defends itself by resorting to a cataloguing of the benefits that science has had on our society. As if the validity of a method means it always results in things of value for the human species. That's not a given at all. What science generates is value-free information about the physical universe, information which can be used for good or ill depending on who accesses it. Worship of the scientific method as some sort of guaranteed algorithm for world betterment is actually an ethical or spiritual concept and not a scientific one . It assumes truth is always of value to humans, and that there is a universal procedure for deciding what truth is, which is basic epistemology and not science at all.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I actually find it very handy in disputing the ramblings of self made philosophers that frequent this forum.
    And it is a quote attributed to the following.....
    Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don't know.
    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English philosopher, mathematician.
    https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/sciquote.htm
     
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  10. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    There is an entire area of reality phenomena not covered by the philosophy of science. The philosophy only covers phenomena in external reality, but not phenomena connected to the internal reality of consciousness and the mind. The mind and conscious have an impact on how we perceived the external reality and how we plot the data.

    In physics we have the standard theory and we have String theory. How can we have two sets of laws, at the same time, since that is not natural or rational. This is not about external reality. There is something else at work, such as the inner doubt that neither is perfect. This is also has to do with the irrational assumption that the math cart lead the horse; both carts lead. That special effect starts in the mind and not in external reality. Game math can create physics that is not real but while nevertheless satisfy the imagination; internal reality.

    Why did people believe the earth was flat for centuries? If you go to the ocean and look at the horizon you can see the curvature of the earth. Yet very few wanted to see this. Why the blank mind, to the obvious?

    This is connected to mercenary science, where the underlying motivation is not truth in science, but whatever it takes to fit in to make money, advance a career and gain prestige and social status. Sticking with the status quo is the easiest way to do maximize this. Once you depart, those who benefit by the status quo, will see you as a threat to their mimicry. They will need to think instead of act out science.

    Global warming is an area of science connected to politics. Politics is subjective thereby adding subjective internal reality as a filter for science. The doom and gloom caters to that, using game math; casino games. The mind that is not confused by predictions that don't pan out, is like the gambling who hopes to win with his new system, but accepts defeat, only to play again. This is not how you do science because the house, which is not science, tends to win.
     
  11. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    LIM..[ laughing in mind]
     
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    [4] is wrong. After one month, the thread is closed. Completely independent of what has happened. Even if on the last day a lot of people ask a lot of questions and the proponent is busy answering them - he will be stopped answering them.

    One is allowed to ask for an extension - but it will not be given, because, almost by definition, the answers already given are not considered successful or convincing.
    First of all, there is a clear subdivision between theoretical scientists and experimentalists. As a consequence, a large part of the theoretical scientists have also no access at all to "'scopes and accelerators etc".

    Then, of course people need education before being able to do valuable theoretical work. But how difficult is it to get this education? You can download a whole library of textbooks for all the relevant areas, if you know where to look, even for free. GR is a classical theory from the beginning of the last century, not really that difficult. Quantum theory is difficult to understand conceptually, but the mathematics are not that complicate too. The standard model is in itself also not that complicate. Especially if you don't have to do all the really complex computations which have to be done if you really want to compare its predictions with accelerator experiments.

    To learn all this is, of course, a lot of work - but if one is really interested, one can do this. And it is already all what is obligatory knowledge. There is no necessity to learn supersymmetry, GUTs, string theory, LQG, and other popular approaches to physics beyond the SM and GR. Thus, what one really needs is less than required for a PhD in physics.

    And, by the way, the problem is not to "invalidate GR" - this is a non-problem, because almost every reasonable scientist knows that GR requires at least quantization, thus, that the classical theory with its singularities is invalid. The problem is to find a quantum theory of gravity. To understand the problems which appear there you have to know GR and quantum theory. Once you have understood them, you are free to find new ways to solve them.

    In a more healthy scientific environment than the actual one, one could expect that all the imaginable ways have already been tried out and rejected as invalid. But in the actual environment, there is a strong tendency that young scientists have to follow the actual fashions, thus, almost all effort of science is concentrated in a very small number of directions - string theory, again string theory, supersymmetry which is also part of string theory, GUTs which are also part of string theory. Or, in other words, if you have an idea different from string theory, you have quite good chances that nobody has seriously evaluated it yet.

    Of course, the great majority of critics of established science are certainly below these requirements. The typical "ether theorist" has not even understood SR and talks about "logical errors of Einstien's theory" or so, and constructs ether theories for the EM field instead of the standard model of particle physics. In some sense, what is necessary is something comparable with the basic education of a professional scientist. But that this is hard to achieve does not make it impossible.
     
  13. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.users.drew.edu/~jlenz/br-lay-philosophy.html
    I am sometimes unsure your understand many of your own quotes. It seems obvious you misuse them!
     
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  14. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Grok'd!
     
  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Have you ever looked in the mirror?

    My impression is that you have no formal education in the subject of philosophy. You have an obvious disdain for the subject that probably motivates you away from studying it. Yet you opine incessantly on philosophical topics like "Scientific Method", the value of science and the science/pseudoscience distinction. You're often quite abusive towards those who disagree with you.

    That kind of puts you in the same position as the pseudoscientists that you oppose, individuals without formal education in physics or biology who burst onto Sciforums, proclaiming that they know better than all the scientists while insisting that relativity or evolutionary biology or whatever it is are full of crap.
     
  16. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Grok'd!
     
  17. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Ignoring your usual rantings, I fully support what happens at "Cosmoquest" and obviously your rant against such legitimate actions is evidence you have fallen foul of their methods.
    They certainly do not suffer anti establishment stuff gladly.
     
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Sure I do. Perhaps its more a case of you misunderstanding.
    Let me state it again at the risk of drawing the ire of our Philosophy brigade.

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    Philosophy is what we don't know.
     
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Correct.
    Incorrect. I do though treat with disdain some of the obvious attempts at Philosophy by a few blowhards such as, wellwisher...Not Philosophy itself.
     
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    "Philosophy has had from its earliest days two different objects which were believed to be closely interrelated. On the one hand, it aimed at a theoretical understanding of the structure of the world; on the other hand, it tried to discover and inculcate the best possible way of life. From Heraclitus to Hegel, or even to Marx, it consistently kept both ends in view; it was neither purely theoretical nor purely practical, but sought a theory of the universe upon which to base a practical ethic.

    Philosophy has thus been closely related to science on the one hand, and to religion on the other. Let us consider first the relation to science. Until the eighteenth century science was included in what was commonly called 'philosophy', but since that time the word 'philosophy' has been confined, on its theoretical side, to what is more speculative and general in the topics with which science deals. It is often said that philosophy is unprogressive, but this is largely a verbal matter: as soon as a way is found of arriving at definite knowledge on some ancient question, the new knowledge is counted as belonging to 'science', and 'philosophy' is deprived of the credit. In Greek times, and down to the time of Newton, planetary theory belonged to 'philosophy', because it was uncertain and speculative, but Newton took the subject out of the realm of the free play of hypothesis, and made it one requiring a different type of skill from that which it had required when it was still open to fundamental doubts. Anaximander, in the sixth century BC, had a theory of evolution, and maintained that men are descended from fishes. This was philosophy because it was a speculation unsupported by detailed evidence, but Darwin's theory of evolution was science, because it was based on the succession of forms of life as found in fossils, and upon the distribution of animals and plants in many parts of the world. A man might say, with enough truth to justify a joke: 'Science is what we know, and philosophy is what we don't know'. But it should be added that philosophical speculation as to what we do not yet know has shown itself a valuable preliminary to exact scientific knowledge. The guesses of the Pythagoreans in astronomy, of Anaximander and Empedocles in biological evolution, and of Democritus as to the atomic constitution of matter, provided the men of science in later times with hypotheses which, but for the philosophers, might never have entered their heads. We may say that, on its theoretical side, philosophy consists, at least in part, in the framing of large general hypotheses which science is not yet in a position to test; but when it becomes possible to test the hypotheses they become, if verified, a part of science, and cease to count as 'philosophy'."===http://www.users.drew.edu/~jlenz/br-lay-philosophy.html
     
  21. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    Read the whole of the essay that your quote comes from. A link was provided in the post you quoted.

    Context says a great deal about the author's intent.
     
  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Actually quite true MR.
    I see it this way. Philosophy is the musings of general ideas about the why, how, when and what of the mind boggling awesome Universe we inhabit.
    That may or may not include a religious flavour.
    Or to put that another way as WIKI describes....
    [1] the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
    [2]a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.

    Science is the gathering of knowledge, conducting experiments, making observations, to arrive at the best model that describes our observations and the experimental results.

    Or as another great scientist once was reported to have said.....
    Scientists are explorers. Philosophers are tourists.
    Richard Feynman
     
  23. Anew Life isn't a question. Banned

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    like a paralegal and a lawyer. Richard Feynman may giggle.

    science without being somewhat conscious of the basic reason and matter answer before choosing to do project, is often meticulous waste.

    ehy, the weather nice enough today, and I amn't writing atop a pencil.
     

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