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Science and Philosophy: A Love-Hate Relationship

De Haro, Sebastian (2020) Science and Philosophy: A Love-Hate Relationship. Foundations of Science, 25. pp. 297-314. ISSN 1233-1821

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Abstract

In this paper I review the problematic relationship between science and philosophy; in particular, I will address the question of whether science needs philosophy, and I will offer some positive perspectives that should be helpful in developing a synergetic relationship between the two. I will review three lines of reasoning often employed in arguing that philosophy is useless for science: a) philosophy’s death diagnosis (‘philosophy is dead’); b) the historic-agnostic argument/challenge “show me examples where philosophy has been useful for science, for I don’t know of any”; c) the division of property argument (or: philosophy and science have different subject matters, therefore philosophy is useless for science).

These arguments will be countered with three contentions to the effect that the natural sciences need philosophy. I will: a) point to the fallacy of anti-philosophicalism (or: ‘in order to deny the need for philosophy, one must do philosophy’) and examine the role of paradigms and presuppositions (or: why science can’t live without philosophy); b) point out why the historical argument fails (in an example from quantum mechanics, alive and kicking); c) briefly sketch some domains of intersection of science and philosophy and how the two can have mutual synergy. I will conclude with some implications of this synergetic relationship between science and philosophy for the liberal arts and sciences.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
De Haro, Sebastiansd696@cam.ac.uk0000-0002-3000-5967
Keywords: philosophy of science, science and philosophy, heuristics, liberal arts and sciences
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Science Education
Depositing User: Dr Sebastian De Haro
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 02:22
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2020 02:22
Item ID: 17271
Journal or Publication Title: Foundations of Science
Publisher: Springer
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10699-0...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10699-019-09619-2
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Science Education
Date: 2 June 2020
Page Range: pp. 297-314
Volume: 25
ISSN: 1233-1821
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17271

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