Saturday, October 22, 2011


“Those who regard philosophy as a ‘soft’ and unscientific discipline, in contrast to the ‘hard’ and scientific fields of mathematics and physics, have accepted a Big Lie. The ideas of mathematicians and physicists can be no more objective or certain than the philosophic ideas on which they depend. Philosophy is the discipline that tells us how to be objective and how to achieve certainty. Without a theory of knowledge, how would mathematicians or physicists know the relationship of their concepts and generalizations to reality? It is the inductive science of philosophy that teaches the ‘hard’ scientist how to be scientific. ~ Leonard Peikoff in The Logical Leap by David Harriman

Death of physics

Regrettably, the inductive principle of natural philosophy has been dismissed in the ‘mob rule’ culture of science today. And modern philosophy may be the culprit. The corruption in philosophy seems to have spread from Immanuel Kant’s 18th century philosophy that led to ‘positivism,’ which limited the goal of science to merely describing regularities in the behaviour of appearances. Peikoff writes:
“When, thanks to Kant, the most advanced science departs from the proper method—for example, when physicists renounce causality in the subatomic realm and revert to the menial job of ‘saving appearances,’ or when they entirely detach theory from reality and wander around in an eleven-dimensional geometry of spacetime—the cultural consequences are devastating. People hear about such views and conclude: If this is rationality, who need it? There must be something better.”
Stephen Hawking (correctly for once) declares in his latest book, “Philosophy is dead.” But so is modern physics, and for the same reason, although the corpse refuses to lie down. Kant’s influence has morphed into the oxymoronic “thought experiment.” Science has become surreal and illogical with the sainted Einstein as its exemplar and holy relic. A return to classical natural philosophy is urgently needed to restore sanity. 

Profundity.  The statements found in these paragraphs are rocking my world.  I'm rarely sure about anything, however, the article espouses a fantastic and interesting view of science and philosophy! It makes a lot of "common sense".

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