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What is the differences between philosophy and science?

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: What is the differences between philosophy and science?

Post by Pattern-chaser » October 5th, 2019, 7:41 am

LuckyR wrote: ↑
December 27th, 2017, 3:45 am
growthhormone wrote: ↑
December 27th, 2017, 1:59 am
What is the differences between philosophy and science?
Initially, not much. Over time, science blossomed beyond philosophy.
Some interesting responses here. Surprisingly balanced. πŸ‘ On some fora of my experience, most contributors would now be frothing at the mouth! :wink:

But this particular response requires ... balance, IMO. πŸ™‚

Science is a tool that grew out of certain philosophical disciplines, analytic philosophy, and the like. That's the history. It's now so long since science grew up and left home that it's emerged in its own right. The difference between science and its parent is that science is a tool, honed to deliver maximum performance with very specific problems. In context, the easiest problems. The ones for which there is sufficient evidence for a properly scientific treatment, and such like. If you have such a problem, science is the tool of preference. For other problems, philosophy is your only choice. Science is a stilletto, and philosophy is a Swiss Army knife. If you need to stab someone, you will not find a better tool than science, however hard you search. But if your problem is more general, science probably won't do. I think this is the difference between them? πŸ€”

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Re: What is the differences between philosophy and science?

Post by LuckyR » October 5th, 2019, 4:16 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
October 5th, 2019, 7:41 am
LuckyR wrote: ↑
December 27th, 2017, 3:45 am


Initially, not much. Over time, science blossomed beyond philosophy.
Some interesting responses here. Surprisingly balanced. πŸ‘ On some fora of my experience, most contributors would now be frothing at the mouth! :wink:

But this particular response requires ... balance, IMO. πŸ™‚

Science is a tool that grew out of certain philosophical disciplines, analytic philosophy, and the like. That's the history. It's now so long since science grew up and left home that it's emerged in its own right. The difference between science and its parent is that science is a tool, honed to deliver maximum performance with very specific problems. In context, the easiest problems. The ones for which there is sufficient evidence for a properly scientific treatment, and such like. If you have such a problem, science is the tool of preference. For other problems, philosophy is your only choice. Science is a stilletto, and philosophy is a Swiss Army knife. If you need to stab someone, you will not find a better tool than science, however hard you search. But if your problem is more general, science probably won't do. I think this is the difference between them? πŸ€”
Not a bad expounding of my one-liner. To go into even further detail, science as many have mentioned, excels in the hard (sciences: physics, chemistry and biology) and lags a bit in the soft (or social sciences: psychology, economics, sociology etc) and is practically useless in the metaphysical.

Historically, if you go back far enough, all of these disciplines were metaphysical and therefore philosophical (and thus not scientific).

Thus my original use of the word "beyond", referred to breadth, not depth.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is the differences between philosophy and science?

Post by Pattern-chaser » October 6th, 2019, 7:30 am

LuckyR wrote: ↑
October 5th, 2019, 4:16 pm
Thus my original use of the word "beyond", referred to breadth, not depth.
As before, I find most of what you say agreeable and not contentious. But science is exceeded by philosophy in both breadth and depth. Science excels in the areas for which it is optimised. We are not looking at the shortcomings of science (or philosophy) here, but only at their differences.

Returning to my previous analogy, science is a stilletto. It is highly optimised for stabbing, and this is why it is less good at other tasks. We can't have it both ways. Philosophy could address all the problems that science does, but these are stabbing problems, and science does them better and more efficiently. It's the optimisation of science that restricts its area of useful applicability. Getting better at stabbing means it gets worse at non-stabbing problems.

Science and philosophy are amazing tools, and both have proved their worth over many centuries. I use whichever of them best fits the job in hand.


LuckyR wrote: ↑
October 5th, 2019, 4:16 pm
...science as many have mentioned, excels in the hard (sciences: physics, chemistry and biology) and lags a bit in the soft (or social sciences: psychology, economics, sociology etc) and is practically useless in the metaphysical.
Outside of metaphysics, which science cannot address at all, the area it most has problems with is human culture. I mean "culture" in the broadest sense you can imagine. πŸ‘ Human art, politics and almost everything to do with the monstrosity that is human culture, seem to be beyond science. For optimisation reasons (as discussed above), science is only comfortable with humans when they deny their humanity, and seek to become (even temporarily) impartial observers. When humans (in the sense and context of human culture) are the subject, life gets harder, as logic and rationality play an ever-smaller role. It doesn't count when 'soft' scientists observe and draw conclusions from humans en masse. Statistics cannot give us much understanding of why individual humans think and act as they do.

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Re: What is the differences between philosophy and science?

Post by LuckyR » October 6th, 2019, 4:22 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
October 6th, 2019, 7:30 am
LuckyR wrote: ↑
October 5th, 2019, 4:16 pm
Thus my original use of the word "beyond", referred to breadth, not depth.
As before, I find most of what you say agreeable and not contentious. But science is exceeded by philosophy in both breadth and depth. Science excels in the areas for which it is optimised. We are not looking at the shortcomings of science (or philosophy) here, but only at their differences.

Returning to my previous analogy, science is a stilletto. It is highly optimised for stabbing, and this is why it is less good at other tasks. We can't have it both ways. Philosophy could address all the problems that science does, but these are stabbing problems, and science does them better and more efficiently. It's the optimisation of science that restricts its area of useful applicability. Getting better at stabbing means it gets worse at non-stabbing problems.

Science and philosophy are amazing tools, and both have proved their worth over many centuries. I use whichever of them best fits the job in hand.


LuckyR wrote: ↑
October 5th, 2019, 4:16 pm
...science as many have mentioned, excels in the hard (sciences: physics, chemistry and biology) and lags a bit in the soft (or social sciences: psychology, economics, sociology etc) and is practically useless in the metaphysical.
Outside of metaphysics, which science cannot address at all, the area it most has problems with is human culture. I mean "culture" in the broadest sense you can imagine. πŸ‘ Human art, politics and almost everything to do with the monstrosity that is human culture, seem to be beyond science. For optimisation reasons (as discussed above), science is only comfortable with humans when they deny their humanity, and seek to become (even temporarily) impartial observers. When humans (in the sense and context of human culture) are the subject, life gets harder, as logic and rationality play an ever-smaller role. It doesn't count when 'soft' scientists observe and draw conclusions from humans en masse. Statistics cannot give us much understanding of why individual humans think and act as they do.
As I stipulated, it is common understanding that science lags in describing the human condition, when compared to the behavior of billiard balls. However it is an error to brush off the scientific understanding of sociology and psychology by noting that the statistical prediction of human behavior is currently best reproducible for groups.

Human decision making is a very complex system, not unlike the weather. But while everyone knows that weather prediction is imperfect, no one feels that philosophy provides a better understanding of the weather than meteorology. Similarly, science has identified many if not most of the influencers of behavior, but some restrict the use of the descriptor "understanding" if there is not one to one predictive power on human behavior, which, of course doesn't currently exist and in my opinion (like the weather) will never exist. Though it will incrementally improve.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is the differences between philosophy and science?

Post by Pattern-chaser » October 7th, 2019, 11:57 am

LuckyR wrote: ↑
October 6th, 2019, 4:22 pm
As I stipulated, it is common understanding that science lags in describing the human condition, when compared to the behavior of billiard balls. However it is an error to brush off the scientific understanding of sociology and psychology by noting that the statistical prediction of human behavior is currently best reproducible for groups.
Applying statistics to a sample of size = 1 is not advisable. Statistics texts say as much. It doesn't work. It's true that the movement of crowds can be calculated using the maths for fluid-flow, but it tells us nothing about the people who make up the crowd.

LuckyR wrote: ↑
October 6th, 2019, 4:22 pm
Human decision making is a very complex system, not unlike the weather. But while everyone knows that weather prediction is imperfect, no one feels that philosophy provides a better understanding of the weather than meteorology. Similarly, science has identified many if not most of the influencers of behavior, but some restrict the use of the descriptor "understanding" if there is not one to one predictive power on human behavior, which, of course doesn't currently exist and in my opinion (like the weather) will never exist. Though it will incrementally improve.
To address humans as something more than just biological machines is outside of science. Science deliberately reduces humans to impartial observers for good reason. It isn't a random constraint thought up by crazy subjectivists. It's part of the process that honed science into such a devastatingly successful tool. Once humans become partial participants, instead of remote and removed impartial observers, the techniques of science are compromised; undone. Although human decision making can involve logic and rationality, often it does not. And therefore science cannot deal with it. There are no rules, in the sense that science would understand rules. πŸ€”

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Re: What is the differences between philosophy and science?

Post by NickGaspar » October 10th, 2019, 7:42 am

We need to distinguish the Normative and the Descriptive nature of both fields.

First the Normative description based on the work of Aristotle.
Both Academia should have a common goal, the production of knowledge.
Science offers this knowledge either to our philosophical inquiries, or uses it to produce puzzle solving Technical Applications.
Philosophy applies this knowledge to our scientific fields as theories (Physics, Cosmology, biology etc)but also on different aspects of life(aesthetics, morality, politics) through the form of wise propositions. So they share a common ground but different applications.
Science in essence, is a fundamental step of the Philosophical method and Philosophy is an essential tool for all our theoretical work in Science.
The final product should be the same for both fields. Knowledge or metaphysical hypotheses BASED on our current epistemology and on credible philosophical principles (Methodological Naturalism) should be the share work of both.

The Descriptive Nature of Philosophy
Unfortunately the Academia of Philosophy doesn't use the same standards and principles with those of Science to monitor its field, allowing Pseudo Philosophical concepts(unfounded presumptions) to sneak in our theories and hypotheses(Free Inquiry). This was the reason why Natural Philosophy(modern science) was forced to split from the rest of the philosophical fields and establish a new field on its own.

Scientists reject Philosophy but in reality they only reject any Philosophy that isn't based on the Principles of Methodological Naturalism and that is for a really good reason.....actually 2!
First of all Non Methodological principles always allowed pseudo concepts to sneak in our epistemology (eg. Phlogiston, Luminiferus Aether,Theism,Idealism) and slow down our advances and secondly, for more than 2000 years, non methodological principles have never offered us a concept with any epistemic value so we can act upon and produce further knowledge.

In short.
Science is the best philosophy we can practice when data are available.
Philosophy without science but based on its standards and principles means that we are probably limited doing Metaphysics(with some great exceptions in logic!)
Philosophy without science, and an unhealthy disrespect to science's principles , standards and our current epistemology, means Pseudo Philosophy.
Unfortunately all three practices can be found side by side in many philosophical publications.

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