A Physicist on Physicists’ Criticisms of Philosophy

“Philosophers care too much about deep-sounding meta-questions, instead of sticking to what can be observed and calculated.”
Finally, the deeply depressing critique. Here we see the unfortunate consequence of a lifetime spent in an academic/educational system that is focused on taking ambitious dreams and crushing them into easily-quantified units of productive work. The idea is apparently that developing a new technique for calculating a certain wave function is an honorable enterprise worthy of support, while trying to understand what wave functions actually are and how they capture reality is a boring waste of time.

Physicist Sean Carroll comments on three “lazy critiques” physicists tend to have of philosophy.

UPDATE: Chemist Ashutosh Jogalekar comments on Carroll’s critique at Scientific American.

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9 years ago

Please hire me! I will normalize wavefunctions for food and I will try my best to understand what wavefunctions actually are and how they work. However, perhaps nobody else cares about wavefunctions. In a just world research would be well supported, but we should remember the just-world fallacy. I do not have a lot of money but I just wanted to let whoever cares about wavefunctions know that I would support you financially if I could. The best I can do is comment on your blog.