When we dig beneath the neatly composed surface we find a great buzzing, blooming confusion of ideas, and we have a lot to learn about how mathematics channels these wellsprings of creativity into rigorous scientific discourse. But that requires doing hard work and getting our hands dirty. (more…)
The Lakatos Award is given annually “for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science, widely interpreted, in the form of a book published in English during the current year or the previous five years.” This year two recipients were selected: (more…)
Mikkel Gerken, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Southern Denmark, has been awarded a DKK 4,259,520 (approximately $666,750) grant for his research project, “Scientific Testimony in a Diverse Society,” from Independent Research Fund Denmark (Dansmarks Frie Forskningsfond, or DFF). (more…)
“The trouble with physicists who denigrate philosophy is that they read the wrong philosophers, which sad to say is most philosophers.”
The replication crisis in psychology and other fields, in which researchers have found it difficult or impossible to replicate the results of many earlier experiments (see the Reproducibility Project) is now being addressed by those working in experimental philosophy (x-phi), a subfield of philosophy that borrows surveying and experimental methods from psychology, w..
The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) has awarded a number of prizes in response to its call for essays answering the question, “What is fundamental?”, and the top prize has gone to Emily Adlam, who studied physics and philosophy at Oxford and is now a PhD student in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge. (more…)
“Science communication is a profession in its own right with journals, higher degrees and careers paths,” notes philosopher Brendan Larvor (Hertfordshire). Yet there does not appear to be much of a “philosophy communication” analog. He notes, “so far as I know there is no research on public attitudes towards philosophy and philosophers.” (more…)
A team of scientists led by Nenad Sestan (Yale) have “restored circulation to the brains of decapitated pigs and kept the reanimated organs alive for as long as 36 hours,” reports MIT Technology Review. The method used to keep pigs’ brains alive outside the body will work on other animals, including primates, Sestan said. The following is a guest post* by Carolyn Di..
The CBC reports on recent work on thought-imaging technology, the use and development of which would raise various questions in ethics, and which would possibly be relevant to work in philosophy of mind, philosophy of perception, philosophy of science, philosophy of action, and other areas of philosophy. (more…)
This past year, nearly 60 high schools in Ireland began offering philosophy courses or introducing philosophy modules into existing courses, and the nation’s president, Michael Higgins, launched the Young Philosopher Awards for primary and secondary school students. (more…)
Are there relatively recent scientific developments or findings that should be getting more attention from philosophers (and not just philosophers of science)? What are some good examples of philosophers taking up relatively recent, but perhaps not widely known or appreciated, scientific developments or findings? (more…)
The Ann Johnson Institute for Science, Technology & Society (AJI) has been launched at the University of South Carolina. (more…)
Many of the young people who attend my classes think that philosophy is a fuzzy discipline that’s concerned only with matters of opinion, whereas science is in the business of discovering facts, delivering proofs, and disseminating objective truths. Furthermore, many of them believe that scientists can answer philosophical questions, but philosophers have no busines..
“My aim has been to remind philosophers that their subject, whether or not ‘handmaiden to the sciences’, ought to be handmaiden also to the humanities”
“One need no longer have recourse to magical means in order to master or implore the spirits, as did the savage, for whom such mysterious powers existed. Technical means and calculations perform the service. This above all is what intellectualization means.” (more…)
So, just as naturalism-as-opposed-to-apriorism succumbs to scientism when it falsely assumes that whatever isn’t a priori must be science, naturalism-as-opposed-to-supernaturalism succumbs to scientism when it falsely assumes that whatever isn’t religion must be science. Granted, theological “explanations” don’t really explain anything; but it doesn’t follow, and it..
The destruction recently wrought by Hurricane Harvey will take years to recover from. Now, weather forecasters are drawing attention to Hurricane Irma, currently in the Atlantic Ocean and heading west towards the islands of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and then possibly Cuba, Florida, and elsewhere along the eastern United States. (..
Bas van Fraassen (Princeton) is interviewed by Richard Marshall at 3:AM Magazine. The whole interview is chock full of interestingness. Here are three brief and possibly provocative passages from the interview. (more…)
The Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s learned society for the sciences, annually recognizes a scholar for “excellence in a subject relating to the history of science, philosophy of science or the social function of science” with its Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture. (more…)
Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, a new journal, has published the results of a survey of academics, sorted by discipline, regarding their views about genetic and environmental determinism and the explanatory power of science. (more…)
The journal formerly known as Philosophy & Theory in Biology has relaunched with a new name, Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology (PTPBio), and has just published its first articles under the new title. (more…)
Anyone who studies the contemporary phenomenon of global warming, or who fears the insidious impact that the smartphone is having on our lives, or who remembers that there are enough nuclear warheads on enough intercontinental ballistic missiles to destroy human civilization with some ease, understands that modern technology threatens, indeed is likely, to overwhelm..
“Since science took its modern form in the seventeenth century, it has been one long success story.” By contrast, we philosophers “don’t seem to have progressed much in the two and a half millennia since Plato wrote his dialogues.” That’s the conventional wisdom, as described by David Papineau (King’s College London) in The Times Literary Supplement. But if there’s ..
A persistent challenge to philosophy is whether it is rendered obsolete by science. Consider this exchange on the philosophy of mind:
Cognitive scientists are working to understand many issues raised by Kant—do you think the scientists are going to get conclusive answers to the question about consciousness and the mind—and other minds—and if they are, doesn..
Can science help us answer philosophical questions? Hanoch Ben-Yami, professor of philosophy at Central European University (CEU), in an interview at 3:AM Magazine, suggests that the question is too broad. The answers are different for different scientific inquiries. (more…)
What are the boundaries of philosophy? Why are they there and what is their nature? How do such boundaries structure the way philosophers approach understanding people, events, relationships, institutions, and so on? A few recent pieces around the Internet explore versions of these questions.
Justin E.H. Smith (Université Paris Diderot) argues at Berfrois that th..