Science & Philosophy: The Divide
One of the main focuses here in The Diogenes Society is to look at things critically, and with a cynical eye. Most of you who keep up with science and philosophy would have heard the outcry from the philosophical community in response to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s dismissal of philosophy. Thats being said please take a look at the article below (Originally published on BigThink):
What’s the Latest?
Neil deGrasse Tyson recently joined the ranks of Stephen Hawking, Richard Feynman, and Lawrence Krauss when he called philosophy “distracting” and criticized it for not offering the kinds of tangible gains of science. In general, there are three main arguments that physicists have leveled at philosophers: “there’s the argument that philosophers don’t really gather data or do experiments, there’s the argument that practicing physicists don’t really use any philosophy in their work, and there’s the refrain that philosophers concern themselves too much with unobservables.”
What’s the Big Idea?
The distinctions that these questions posit between philosophy and science are ultimately untenable, says Ashutosh Jogalekar, a chemist and biotech worker at a startup in Cambridge, MA. Looking back on history, early scientists were often called “natural philosophers” because their thinking concerned the true state of nature. Even modern thinkers like Bohr and Heisenberg realized “that they simply could not talk about these far flung implications of physics without speaking philosophically.” Science is not a rote investigation that excludes the creativity and originality of philosophy, and philosophy often steps in to fill the gaps at the edges of scientific progress.
Read more at Scientific American
This idea that philosophy has somehow become obsolete is a purveying idea that floats around a large portion of the scientific community…but not all! (See Sean Carroll’s defence of philosophy) The most disturbing part of all this is that the idea is held by very popular scientists, who hold the sway over the minds of many. I know this because I also am a big fan of scientists like Feynman, Tyson, Krauss and Hawking.