Yes, your reading Feyerabend, suggests that the philosopher unintentionally 
echos Heisenberg and the uncertainty principle, Schrodinger, and such. I think 
that philosophers can help with the process of learning or teaching physical 
principles, leaving the bench scientists., free to pursue science.

In the other side, as Feyerabend said, there is no such thing as pure 
experimental data. To gather data you need a theory in the first place. there 
are no data devoid of any preconceived theory. That is not a marxist, nor 
relativist interpretantion of science but something simple to understand. That 
is easily verifiable if you think that to construct a  method of measure, you 
often must make use of the very theory that you have to test.  Galileo had the 
experimental data against him, because, nobody detected that earth was moving.




-----Original Message-----
From: Alberto G. Corona <agocor...@gmail.com>
To: everything-list <everything-list@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Sat, Sep 7, 2013 9:58 am
Subject: Re: What gives philosophers a bad name?


But falsability is not a complete criterion for a scientific theory. It is not 
a "demarcation" that separate science from not science and forces an artificial 
reductionism.


First, the experimentation can not be done ever in every science. Not only 
cosmology and meteorology but also in human sciences it is almost impossible to 
perform a controlled experiments. Some economy laws, not to tell in other old 
discipliones like moral sciences and so on, many laws have a time span for 
verification that may range from years to generations, and apply to a great 
number of individuals. Others, like in the case of philosophy, study the world 
of the mind, not the phenomena. Logical positivist would say , and in fact say, 
that they are not sciences. The result is the unlearning of the empirical laws 
learned trough this greatest experiment of all, that is life across 
generations. This vital knowledge configure the common sense, bot innately in 
the form of instinctive intuitions as well as culturally, in the form of 
learned traditions, sometimes a mix of the two. Positivism and its last 
incarnation falsacionism presupposes an unlearning of anything still not 
tested. The consecuences are disastrous policies and ruined individual lifes. 
It is no surprise that this narrow criteria of truth is a sure path for social 
engineering and totalitarianism.


In the other side, as Feyerabend said, there is no such thing as pure 
experimental data. To gather data you need a theory in the first place. there 
are no data devoid of any preconceived theory. That is not a marxist, nor 
relativist interpretantion of science but something simple to understand. That 
is easily verifiable if you think that to construct a  method of measure, you 
often must make use of the very theory that you have to test.  Galileo had the 
experimental data against him, because, nobody detected that earth was moving.  
He had to reinterpret the experimental data, in complicated ways to make it 
credible, while the geocentrism was locally a simpler theory of the terrestrial 
facts, the ones for which me most abundant data were available.




2013/9/7  <spudboy...@aol.com>

Popper deserves street cred, for being a good observer, I will say. Also, 
consider that physicists who write for non-physicists, tend to know Popper, 
well enough to use hos name or quote him. I was thinking that John Baez, did 
use Popper's name, a time or two, when defending his conformist views of 
physics (Though I bet he'd call himself a no-shit guy), I'd just chuck him (for 
my own nefarious, purposes, in the A-hole pile). Most often, physicists, don't 
have to be nasty (tho' they feel they do!!!), and that's what makes ballgames, 
as we say in the States. There are philosopher guys, like the Austrian, Rudiger 
Vaas, and Canadian philosopher, John Leslie, who studied physics, and wanted 
their knowledge to inform their philosophy. I think they succeeded. 

Then there is the Austrian experimentalist, Anton Zeilinger, who a year ago was 
looking for a philosopher, to better. explain, the results of his experients to 
the world, and perhaps, other, scientists?  I don't know if he's got a book, 
coming forth of not? Explaining, what you do, and what it means are two 
different things (agreed?) and explaining theory and experiementation to the 
unwashed public seems infuriating to many bench scientists. An example of this 
is the quantum. Nobody gets more pissed off (not pissed-drunk in the English 
verbage) as physicists, explaining why, for example, quantum computation is 
impossible unless we invoke very cold temperatures. I say to myself: "Wait! 
This can't be right. Because the quantum is usually comprised of the actions of 
photons and electrons, and they are subatomic, which by definition is quantum. 
Sticks, bird poop, rocks, have the flow of electrons, right? So, thus quantum 
computing must be happening. No! idiot! Then, in forums such as this they sulk 
away, probably feeling sullied by the experience of dealing with ignorant 
riff-raff, such as me. What I didn't understand and didn't discover till this 
year, is the difference between quantum computation, and quantum effects. Ah! 
Ok! 
 
>From my experiences, philosophers make decent observers, and try to take human 
>meaning out from the science. Many scientists would say, if they are Not 
>looking for grants, is that: There is no meaning, you idiot!. Which, sadly, 
>sometimes, seems the truth. Yet, I would hope that occasionally, perhaps 
>foolishly, we, the unwashed, can derrive some meaning from the grand pursuit.
 
Mitch



-----Original Message-----
From: John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com>
To: everything-list <everything-list@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Sat, Sep 7, 2013 12:06 am
Subject: Re: What gives philosophers a bad name?




On Fri, Sep 6, 2013  <spudboy...@aol.com> wrote:



> Falsifying was a term invented by a philosopher. I forget his name. 


Understandable, philosophers are not very memorable. And no philosopher 
invented falsifiability, some just made a big deal about something rather 
obvious that had already been in use by scientists for centuries; although way 
back then they were called Natural Philosophers, a term I wish we still used.


> Kark Popper! That's it! 



There is not a scientist alive that learned to do science by reading Karl 
Popper. Popper was just a reporter, he observed how scientists work and 
described what he saw. And I don't think Popper was exactly a fount of wisdom.

In chapter 37 of his 1976 (1976!!) book "Unended Quest: An Intellectual 
Autobiography" Popper says:

 "Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research 
program". 

Those are Popper's own words not mine, and this is not something to make Popper 
fans or fans of philosophers of science in general proud.  Finally, two years 
later in 1978 at the age of 76 and 119 years after the publication of "The 
Origin Of Species", perhaps the greatest scientific book ever written, Popper 
belatedly said:

 “I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory 
of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a 
recantation”.

Better late than never I guess, he came to the conclusion that this Darwin 
whippersnapper might be on to something after all in his 1978 (1978!!) lecture 
"Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind".


> On free will, I simply say that free will is knowing what you love or hate. 



In a previous post I said "a particular set of likes and dislikes that in the 
English language is called "will". "Will" is not the problem, it's "free will" 
that's gibberish".


> Free will doesn't seem to mean, in control of events.


Free will doesn't seem to mean anything, not one damn thing; but a little thing 
like not knowing what the hell "free will" is supposed to be never prevents 
philosophers passionately arguing if humans have it or not. Apparently the 
philosophers on this list have decided to first determine if humans have free 
will or not and only when that question has been entirely settled will they go 
on and try to figure out what on earth they were talking about.    


  John K Clark 

 





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