Tag Archives: philosophy

“…the Last Person You Want in the Room Is a Philosopher.”

I recently attended a great lecture sponsored by IU Bloomington’s Center for the Theoretical Inquiry in the Humanities.  The lecture was given by a very intelligent and insightful scholar, Laurence Hemming, who has a book coming out, called Heidegger and Marx: A Productive Dialogue over the Language of Humanism.  Unfortunately, this scholar induced a facepalm of the likes the world may not see for quite some time.  Okay, “facepalm” indicates a hell of a lot less insult than was my actual disposition, but I have gotten over the immediately induced state of having been insulted.  The state was induced by his comment, which, maybe, he wanted to take it back as soon as he said it (I paraphrase slightly): “When the powers-that-be get together to discuss “rethinking money,” the last person you want in the room is a philosopher.”  Continue reading

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October 22, 2012 · 12:52 am

The Impossibility of Precisely Measuring Positions of Particles in Quantum Physics

I am not going to go too hard on him, James S. Trefil, because he is such a fine author and I enjoy his work; but I must address an error that this physicist makes in one of his books, From Atoms to Quarks: An Introduction to the Strange World of Particle Physics (1980).  (See my review of the book by clicking on this sentence.)  I have chosen Trefil’s error for discussion, because he is a fine physicist, which makes for a good mark in proving a point, namely, that physics needs philosophy of physics to mind a number of problems that are not central to advancement of the science.  These problems include the kind of conceptual one that will be mentioned —one that I hope other physicists do not err on— and conceptual problems in foundations, metaphysics, and so forth. Continue reading

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Filed under Philosophy, Philosophy of Physics, Physics, Popular Science