Philosophy of science

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Frauny Von Smiley
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Philosophy of science

Post by Frauny Von Smiley »

How would you classify scientific philosophy (Thomas Kuhn, Karl Popper etc...). While I personally think its totally valid to put them into the 'other science' category, I also think that open up an entire can of worm with more 'philosophy philosophers' for lack of a better word. For instance, Decartes' philosophy was significantly important to the development of scientific philosophy, even though it didn't directly deal with science per se.

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Cheynem
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by Cheynem »

I think I'd put them in the philosophy section, although I tend to take extremely liberal views towards "Other Science."
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Lemma »

I personally would not have a problem with them in the Other Science section but I'm not well versed in the QB demarcation issue. Perhaps this has been discussed at length in the past but I'm not sure.

Popper, Lakatos, Feyerabend, the Problem of Induction, falsification, Kuhn, tacking problem, and specific works could easily be included in a science distribution because the philosophy of science is indeed important to understanding the process of science.

Do we also make a demarcation between "history" and "philosophy" of science? Where is that line? We could treat Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems as regular philosophy, philosophy of science, or history of science....depending on the context of the question. Are we asking a general question about the overturning of geocentric theory? In this case, we could consider it a part of the science distribution. Are we specifically looking for that work? In the latter case, I would be more apt to place it in the philosophy distribution as most of Galileo's proofs were thought experiments and not empirically based. Maybe this isn't a great criteria though...
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by Captain Sinico »

I'd say those are squarely in philosophy in general. Philosophy of science is no more science than history of science, for example, whereas science questions ought to be on the practice of science per se in the view of most. It's possible that questions using mostly some of their more scientific works might validly comprise what most people would call "Other Science" questions.

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marnold
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by marnold »

The particular examples you mention strike me as clearly philosophy. I can imagine some topic areas that you could make a more convincing case for. Some aspects of reductionism; the philosophy of emergence; arguments about information, function and teleology in biology - Real Scientists (tm) seem to actually care about these issues and I could imagine an Other Science question drawing on them. But 99% of the time this won't matter: none of those things are in the canon (nor should they be) and I doubt people will care if Gaddis VII has an Other Science question that maybe should be philosophy.
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by SnookerUSF »

I think by and large they ought to be regulated to the Philosophy section, possibly a "science history" section if such a category were to develop. However, there are some scientists who have written important works in these categories, like Pierre Duhem (safely within the science canon, I presume) whose works such as The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory is certainly influential on figures like Popper.

So if "philosophy of science" clues were used to get to a real scientist or phenomenon (only occasionally and with restraint), would that be amenable to *Real Science* players?
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Wall of Ham
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by Wall of Ham »

In no way does Philosophy of Science belong in the science distribution. Beyond a basic discussion of the scientific method, and science ethics, science classes do not teach it, science textbooks do not have it, and scientists do not need to know it. I'm talking about specific quizbowl-askable answer choices in Science Philosophy, like Popper or even Occam's razor.

History of science is actually important and often taught in science classes. Science is learned through re-deriving equations long solved, or learning about methods and ideas from a viewpoint that didn't know any more advanced methods, such that a modern student with his own ignorance can follow them along the path to enlightenment.

Okay, I'm getting pretentious, but basically philosophy of science's quizbowl canon is simply not taught nor required nor important to science/scientists in general, at least beyond basic ideas that would not make a good question.

Philosophy of Science goes in philosophy.

There may be many some overlap, as some philosophers have theories based on science or did some science/math. But if a question on Pascal contains mostly clues about fluid dynamics or a binomial theorem, it goes in science, and if mostly contains clues about a wager or Pensees, it goes in philosophy.
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

The stuff that's clearly borderline is mathematical logic; we have courses in logic with the same curriculum and the same book taught by two different professors in two different departments. I'd be happy to see that come up in other science (counting against math, most likely) or philosophy.
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Philosophy. Imre Lakatos is great, but I can't let him stand between me and 10 points for "kettle lakes".

If you feel uncomfortable putting them in philosophy you're also free to put them in "Your Choice". I don't know what they're calling the category that is replacing Trash at this year's ACF Nationals, but Philosophy of Science also seems like a perfect candidate for that category.
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:The stuff that's clearly borderline is mathematical logic; we have courses in logic with the same curriculum and the same book taught by two different professors in two different departments. I'd be happy to see that come up in other science (counting against math, most likely) or philosophy.
I strongly considered including a tossup on a mathematician (perhaps Tarski) in RMPFest 2, but the guy who was going to write it ended up being busy. Would this have been controversial?
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by The Toad to Wigan Pier »

I agree that this should be in the philosophy distribution but I disagree that "philosophy of science's quizbowl canon is simply not taught nor required nor important to science/scientists in general." It's important that scientists understand concepts like falsifiability. In fact I'm taking a class on the history and philosophy of biology(despite its name, it is on science as a whole) taught by the biology department.
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Re: Philosophy of science

Post by grapesmoker »

A philosophy tossup on Tarski would certainly have not been controversial at all. To answer the OP, these things have always gone in the philosophy section and I don't see any reason not to continue doing so.
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