I get questions regularly about the bizarre nature of contemporary physics. I am sure practicing physicists with PhDs get these more regularly than I, yet I occupy an interesting and rare position in the academic disciplinary landscape: I’ve studied science, particularly physics, into the graduate level, and I am actively developing my expertise in the history and philosophy of science, particularly physics, as well as being a lifelong student of more traditional philosophy (e.g., analytic, contemporary, and Eastern). The question most regularly asked of late has been: What are physicists talking about with all of this “non-verifiable” theory; it sounds like philosophy? By this, they mean the fact that there is this apparent post-empirical turn, and the lack of requirement of empirical data to substantiate proposed theory. I’d like to spend some length explaining my thoughts on this, including a suggestion to all practicing scientists, regardless of discipline.
Monthly Archives: January 2015
January 30, 2015 · 4:22 pm
Distinguishing between Types of Science: Unmixing Metaphysics and Pragmatic Science
Filed under Cosmology, Epistemology, History and Philosophy of Science, History of Physics, History of Science, Natural Philosophy, Philosophy, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science, Physics, Popular Science, Science
Tagged as Duhem, George Ellis, history of physics, history of science, Joe Silk, metaphysics, Peirce, philosophy of physics, physics, Pierre Duhem, pragmatism, science, science versus philosophy, William James