Where the fuck do I start with the philosophy of science, /lit/? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I realized that while I sometimes name drop Popper of Kuhn because I have read a few passages or summaries of their ideas, I don't actually know jack shit about the actual fundamentals, history, or current discourse surrounding the philosophy of science. Do I have to actually start with the greeks on this one? I really want to actually understand the construction of axiomatic systems, and know what the fuck philosophers are talking about regarding scientific realism and anti-realism.
>>16841861Can't speak for the list entirely but it's pretty good of what I've read but I had to just jump into logic so I'm finishing it later https://fuckyeahlogical.tumblr.com/post/128964910533/analytic-philosophy-reading-list-for-the-self
>>16841861If you don't have a metaphysics it's like picking from a buffet. I would start w the greeks if you haven't
>>16841871Thank you for this, I think this'll at the very least be a good reference for what order to take in material.>>16841877What do you mean by having a metaphysics in this context? My problem though is it feels hard to get a grasp of what direction to tackle the philosophy of science from, who to start with, what the prerequisite thinkers that are referred to by contemporaries, etc.
>>16841861Check out "Theory of Categorical Closure" by Gustavo Bueno.
>>16841903Thanks, anon. Not OP, but I'm pretty much in the same boat as him. Best to you.
>>16841902Np and if you don't understand the metaphysics behind Aristotle's ontological and epistemological claims you won't see the value of a science rooted in it. Popper is a falsificationist I believe so the science his metaphysics develops has its limits and unique developments as well. If you tackle phos without a backdrop to choose which one is good then it's just exploring different systems (for instance by denying falsity/truth and having just an existence-preserving mechanism done in the vein of an analytic non-constructive parmenidean science). You have a metaphysics already and it's good to go to the roots so you aren't biased by consequentualist actions. Whatever the developments have been, you can see which are better realistically. Kantians and existentialists have a math and science interpretation.
>>16841861the trascendental analytic section of CPR
>>16841861Start with Kant
If you want to start with the Greeks (not a bad idea): https://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Science-Historical-Timothy-McGrewIf you just want a reasonable, standard overview, go for https://www.amazon.com/Theory-Reality-Introduction-Philosophy-FoundationsAnd there's also like a zillion relevant SEP pages on this stuff which are mostly good, even if sometimes more detailed than you might want.
Ideally the Greeks, but if you want to fast track it, you can jump straight to the HOOMER
>>16841861Not to be a smartass, but you start with science. You can't do honest metaphysics without developing a solid intuition for what you're philosophizing about. Literally get a degree in physics. Or at least go through appropriate textbooks (doing the problems until you get it), and reproduce the experiments you can without extremely specialized equipment. That will better than anything else inform you about both the subject itself and introduce you to relevant thinkers who know whereof they speak.
>>16841861These videos are a good introductionhttps://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXKKIUdnOESGJ2Gjea3vAlsYwNNzXJwP9Other than that any textbook titled ‘introduction to philosophy of science’ will be good. After popper and Kuhn, here are some of the other important names you should be able to drop on people. Lakatos is notable for attempting to bridge the gap between Kuhn and Popper with his concept of ‘research programmes’. A research programme divides a paradigm into its core hypotheses and layers of auxiliary hypotheses, where individual auxiliary hypotheses can be falsified without necessarily jeopardizing the core theory, while falsifying a core hypothesis kills the research programme. Feyerabend is notable for arguing that science has no claim to any unique methodology that distinguishes it from non-scientific methods of knowing. His major work is Against Method. Van Fraassen is the major voice behind scientific anti-realism, which is the position that we shouldn’t commit ourselves to the real existence of entities within scientific theories that we can’t directly observe. Instead we should understand that things like electrons are just ‘constructs’ of our theories. His major work is The Scientific Image. Ian Hacking is a major voice who defends a type of scientific realism called ‘entity realism’, which says that we should be realists about the specific objects that our theories posit but not necessarily about more abstract things. Something like ‘natural selection’ is a construct that approximates a real process, while a molecule is an entity that we should believe exists.
>>16841861I can't help you from personal experience, but i can give you my general process for making personal reading lists.Firstly, look for a contemporary introduction text for the topic. From experience i've found that Routledge Contemporary Introductions are generally good for analytic philosophy. But do some digging to see what reviews are saying. Next, look for university reading lists. This can vary in usefulness from subject to subject, but generally speaking there will be a few key texts that should be constant over all lists. Most work in contemporary subjects is done in articles, not books, you can get them on scihub. For articles, you should look for 'contemporary readings' or 'a reader' type books. Things like the 'oxford readings in philosophy' series or the 'routledge contemporary readings in philosophy' series or 'blackwell philosophy anthologies'. Then, along with the university reading lists, you should be able to cross reference to see what articles are repeated over the respective lists. It is also useful to enter the papers into Google Scholar to see citation counts The method applied:Introductions:>Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction - Rosenberg & McIntyre>What Is This Thing Called Science? - ChalmersBooks:>The Logic of Scientific Discovery - Popper>The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Kuhn>The Structure of Science - Nagel>Fact, Fiction, and Forecast - Goodman>The Scientific Image - Fraassen>Inference to the best explanation - Lipton>How the Laws of Physics Lie - Cartwright>Representing and Intervening - Hacking>Against Method - Feyerabend>Scientific Realism - Psillos Articles:>'Two Dogmas of Empiricism' - Quine>'Rationality and Objectivity in Science' - Salmon>'Structural realism: The best of both worlds?' - Worrall>'Empirical Equivalence and Underdetermination' - Laudan & Leplin>'The concept of observation in science and philosophy' - Shapere>'Laws of nature' - Dretske>'Ceteris paribus laws' - Schiffer>'A confutation of convergent realism' - Laudan>'Making sense of emergence' - Kim>'Why I am not a Bayesian' - Glymour>'Realism, Approximate Truth, and Philosophical Method' - Boyd>'Special Sciences' - Fodor>'Galilean Idealization' - McMullin>'Unity of Science as a Working Hypothesis' - Oppenheim & Putnam>'Aspects of Scientific Explanation' - Hempel>'Explanation and Scientific Understanding' - Friedman>'Studies in the Logic of Confirmation' - Hempel>'Probability and Confirmation' - Putnam>'Demystifying Underdetermination' - Laudan>'is the best good enough?' - Lipton>'What is Structural Realism?' - Ladyman>'The Paradox of Confirmation' - MackieRemember, i've read none of these. I would guess that it is overly extensive and lopsided, missing some key articles, highlighting undeserving ones, and lacking appropriate context. I generally don't recommend books i haven't read, but i just wanted to give a good method for making your own. Teach and man to fish and all that.
>>16842462>using modern science techniques and math's assumptions to interpret modern science and mathGarbage
>>16843035Not bad but if you haven't started w the greeks you're just reading other's ideas
>>16841861>Popper>Kuhntrashjust read Aristotle and ignore all the rest
>>16843048Dumbfuck, you're just talking out of your ass if you haven't tried USING modern science's techniques and math's assumptions before you start criticizing them.
>>16842362Pretty much this. Fast forward to hume.
>>16841861Science and the Modern World by Alfred North Whitehead
>>16843035How are you STILL not banned, you retarded avatarfag?
>>16842462OP here, unfortunately that's actually why I'm asking. I recently got my BSc in molecular biology, and I found the actual education to lack a lot of the philosophical underpinnings and meta questions about why the fuck we're doing any of what we're doing in the first place. From what little I got, I have a general idea about things like paradigm shifts, theories, axiomatic systems, how new fields are developed etc., but I'm very interested in broader questions about science's relationship to a shared reality (or lack of) and the kinds of patterns that emerge in the development of science.>>16843035That seems like an excellent method. I've just been kind of browsing various articles and wikipedia pages, kind of lost and wishing that I had the structure of a uni course to help sort of get a basic path, but this seems to just replicate that using the reading lists (most times in some courses, if you just read the material and engaged with others in discussion you didn't even have to go to lectures so I can see where this method is just as good)
>>16843602>I recently got my BSc in molecular biologyCongratulations. Shame it wasn't in a HARD science, har har har.>why the fuck we're doing any of what we're doing in the first placeIt's interesting, for physics, this was pretty clear by the end. One side desperately wants to be a maximally rigorous metaphysics and grasp the fundamental nature of reality for its own sake. The other just wants to figure out how to make really cool shit to solve material problems. I assume something similar for biology, except with "life's meaning/our place in the universe/what is a good life" taking the place of ontology. But it sounds like what you're REALLY looking for is more of a history of science and scientific methods than philosophy of science, which as I understand it is more concerned with the validity and limits of science as a means of learning about the world. My strategy would be to look for a very broad and brief history of science in general and use that to generate more specific questions to read deeper into. But I haven't really done that in this case, so take it for what it's worth.
Start with textbooks and then read further into what interests you
>>16841861mario ferreira dos santos
>>16843303I can make up crap too. Modern science is pretty formalist anyways so they de care if you learn it
>>16843855You dk wtf you're talking about stfu
Descartes, Bacon, Hume, and Kant are absolutely essential for the foundations of epistemology that would later become science. If you understand their key ideas well enough, you will be able to BTFO any dogmatic pro or anti science retard alike.
>>16841861Bill Bryson wrote a while pop-sci book on the topic, look it up.
>>16842362Popper was heavily influenced by Hume's views on causation
>>16843602philosophers of science do not practice science at alland all science today, especially biology, is just statistical and there is no truth in statistics.
Why are so many people recommending the Greeks and Aristotle?
Bachelard, The New Scientific Spirit
>>16841861Philosophy of science is just narrow epistemology
>>16843143AgreedFuck maths and Newton, read Aristotle
>>16843855Yeah the sort of prescriptive/descriptive bent became clear towards the end of my program, where there are the more descriptive-focused biologists who simply want to tease out patterns and fill out systems, and the more prescriptive-focused bioengineer types who have material concerns. I chose to do molecular biology because I was interested in biology as an application of physics- that you could have these beautiful molecular pathways that create logic circuits arise completely out of physical properties just fucking floored me and in that sense I got everything I wanted out of my degree. In the age of statistics and informatics, however, there's a kind of narrower focus on creating tight systems and deriving the rules for these systems, and the creation of these axiomatic systems and how they relate to one another and how we can even begin to differentiate one system from another that twists my brain around in a good way. The actual practical history of science is obviously fascinating and I think probably relevant to its philosophy, but what I really want is to bite into the meat of how to create systems where logic is applicable, or how they're organically created, or whether they're just a natural manifestation of reality reflected in science. A lot of anons here have given me a great place to start.
>>16843035Oh, someone actually provided a useful answer
Cringe: Philosophy of scienceBased: Philosophy of mathematics
>>16847655My mathmo friend has this whacky reply to Eugene Wigner which uses modal logic. >Why does math work?>We find ourselves in a possible world that instantiates a particular set of mathematical facts.>Those facts are the underpinnings of our physical theories>in a different possible world, we would have a different set of mathematical facts and thus different physcial theories
>>16847655What's the difference, anon?
>>16847763But generally mathematical truths are thought to be a necessary truths. True in all possible worlds
>>16843390Don't jump to Hume, his metaphysical beliefs fly under the radar so you don't know he is making metaphysical claims. It's better to understand metaphysics first so you know what the other side says.
>>16848468What do you mean by his metaphysical beliefs flying under the radar?
>>16847866I don't know, I was hoping people would just give me (You)s and call me based
Is philosophy of science actually useful?
>>16844943Biology is not statistics. Applied biology/medical research is statistics. The fact that the two are so often confused, even among scientists, shows how disatrous the "molecular biology revolution" has been for the field. Real biology - Monod, Turing, Luria, Woese, etc proceeds through similar methods as physics - solid theoretical developments and simple, but elegant, experiments.
>>16847326Read Robert Rosen
>>16841861https://www.nature.com/articles/426389a"[...] now and then scientists are hampered by believing one of the over-simplified models of science that have been proposed by philosophers from Francis Bacon to Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper. The best antidote to the philosophy of science is a knowledge of the history of science."Go to university, learn some science and its history. Much better idea, OP
>>16843035 >What Is This Thing Called Science? - ChalmersFor what it's worth, I'm reading this right now for an intro class to phi of sci
>>16841861Good recs itt, but don't forget to give phenomenologist and associates a try, especially since several of them were trained scientists. Try Bachelard, who was a physicist and chemist among other things, and whose presentation of paradigmatic shift is less schematic than Khun's (while in some parts predating it).There are also philosophy books written by importants mathematicians, like Hadamard's The psychology of invention in the mathematical field, Poincaré's philosophical work especially Science and Hypothesis, or Thom's theory of catastrophe.Don't forget to check out Bruno Latour and some sociology of science, for an analysis of how scientists do things in practice (and why).And, I know, this post is extremely French, but it comes from years of personal appreciation for higher mathematics.
>>16848378There are many non-necessary elements in contemporary physics theories. The value of plenty of parameters must be derived by experience.Also what's true in mathematics depends on your axioms, models and accepted mode of reasoning. Plenty of theorems fails as soon as you start taking an intuitionist stance.
>>16841861Popper then Kuhn then bossnigger Feyerabend>Evolution is not a scientific theory but a metaphisical research programme (K. Popper)
>>16849231You can find some really stupid shit in letters to the editor, the "Nature" label doesn't mean much when it comes to them. This guy doesn't seem to know what philosophy of science is, at least not from primary sources, which rely heavily on history.
>>16849248Have you read Cavaillès (if so, thoughts)?
>>16849194I'm actually really interested in the molecular biology revolution/the -omics revolution. I think the shoring up of systems into tightly operating models with discrete parts is fascinating. I don't think it's the be-all-end-all of course for scientific exploration, but the fact that the more comprehensively you characterize a molecular system such as a cell, the more easily you can make predictions about the characters of other components of the molecular system, is fucking cool. The way I've seen it is that technology is rapidly increasing the speed at which we can construct models, fill them out, and induce knowledge. If you have any insight as to what utility is lost there, or where it sort of perverts the field as a science, I'd love to get your thoughts because while it does excite and fascinate me, this is just kind of what has been fed to me as the natural progression of the field. Given that, I could see where it's just something I'm accepting as natural, and not really seeing the drawbacks of.>>16849231Maybe for a career this is a better idea. Like I said to another person ITT, I got my degree in molecular biology, and have at least a cursory education in the history of biology as a field, but it's sort of left me with more philosophical questions than answers. >>16849248Is philosophy of mathematics accessible to someone who hasn't ever really dealt with higher maths? Not that I'm disinterested, but it's always struck me as rather arcane, but probably worth the effort in the long run.
>>16849101What do you mean by useful?
>>16850099There is a view, that philosophy of science doesn't really contribute much to actual science.The basis of the scientific method is pretty simple: you observe something, you create a hypothesis, you test the hypothesis in the lab and you either have a working theory or you start over.It looks to me like not many scientists actually bother with the philosophy of science and yet they still produce results.
>>16850517You can produce a plethora of results with any method, the question is whether the results you are generating are correct.
>>16850661For example if I produce a vaccine that is 99.99% effective that seems very straightforward to test, not much deep philosophy involved.
>>16843035>>16844144>>16849233>>16849341Consensus on what is this thing called science?
>>16850912That's true, but I can imagine cases where it'd be practical to engage with the philosophy- though I wouldn't argue that philosophy has to be practical.We can look at the process of scientific development as an evolutionary body, where theories and models that are presented have a greater or lesser chance of being replicated and passed into canon by the merit of their ability to predict phenomenon. Obviously, there's more too it than that, like clout, funding sources, public opinion etc., but one might imagine scientific progress as being iteration upon iteration of theories within a greater population of theories. If we decide that the goal of science is to describe reality, and the metric we use to determine a scientific theory's fitness to this goal is predictive capacity, then the expanding and contracting rates at which scientific discoveries are made become an area of interest. What the fuck is a scientific revolution, and why are there periods with which models rapidly change and a new meta becomes more fit? There are plenty of questions I think that are important to the structure of science that would, at some point, lead to some prescriptive and real use.
yeah stick to history of science and read biographies of scientists
>>16849194>Real biology - Monod, Turing, Luria, Woese, etc proceeds through similar methods as physics - solid theoretical developments and simple, but elegant, experiments.Yeah but it's a mix between chemistry and stats, like phylogeny and physics and chemistry are mostly stats too.
>>16850517>It looks to me like not many scientists actually bother with the philosophy of science and yet they still produce results.But that doesn't mean that philosophy of science has no valuehttps://plato.stanford.edu/entries/einstein-philscience/
Nietzsche: - the birth of tragedy - on truth and lying in a nonmoral sense-the gay science
>>16843035the 1 good anime fag
>>16851754>read biographies of scientistsStick to Reddit. Science is not the outcome of a few epic Scientists that the onions man pop consumer can wank off to.
>>16852664imagine not wanting to read the biography of Boltzmann
>anti-realismI'm a brainlet, someone hold my hand. Is it positing that electrons don't exist or just that we can't observe them? Is it more "it's not real until we observe it" or "it's not real regardless of whether we can observe it?" The way it's being described sounds more like some hipstery "ways of knowing" reality denial.
>>16849552Not yet, but I plan to. I think Jankélévitch and Canguilhem are also worth trying, but they are not as focused on science as Bachelard for instance.>>16849707>Is philosophy of mathematics accessibleHadamard's essay is very accessible and written with the average reader in mind. Haven't read Poincaré yet but a friend of mine who has enjoyed it, and he's by his own admission a philosophical philistine. I also remember reading an "Introduction to the philosophy of mathematics" (from the analytic point of view) by Marco Panza and Andrea Sereni, it was pretty clear and relatively non-technical.
>>16850517If you look at the current practices in science you'll realize things are much more complicated, and have to be. Sometimes you don't have a clear hypothesis in mind. Sometimes it's not clear what hypothesis the results validate or invalidate. Often the strength of the results themselves is subject to statistical suspicion. Not to mention a lot of advanced science is less about trying to explain what was observed than forcing the observation of theoretical entities that appear in the models. Bachelard mentions this, in modern particle physics the particle often appear as mathematical entity (as a byproduct of mathematical requirements on existing theories) and only them do scientists construct specific equipement to observe those particle. Except they never see them, those particle merely appear as a modification of stastical distribution of some observed physical parameters, like energy or charge distribution or interference pattern.Thus, in particle physics at least, the observed objects have become very speculative and even a bit "fantomatic". Some theories can't even be invalidated by available technology, if a predicted particle doesn't appear in an experiment, physicists can just say it must appear at a higher level of energy, which requires the construction of more powerful equipment, etc.
>>16850912How do you define effectiveness here? Percentage of people cured versus a placebo? This works in lab test but 1. you need a large sample size 2. you need a diverse enough sample size 3. you need proper attribution procedure (double-blind if possible) 4. there's no telling how the vaccine will behave when given to the general population 5. in real situations (with a vaccine given to dozen million people across the entire world) it's hard to tell apart the various possible causes of epidemic reduction, it's not often so straightforward that a vaccine has worked on large scaleAnd vaccine effects are comparatively easier to assess.
>>16841861> philosophy of sciencenot science and not philosophy. mocked by the scientists and despised by the the philosophers. it's not even literature, since who the fuck *enjoys* reading popper and such garbage? only cultural studies is worse than philosophy of science.
>>16852925Of course anti-realism doesn't deny that electrons exist or that we must observe them for them to exist. It's about the meaning of quantum probability formulas, particularly the wave function, that describe the state of electrons or other particles. The problem with quantum experiments is that you really are dealing with a system at the very limits of what it even means for something to be a system that can be tested in a controlled experiment. So any act of measurement or detection that would tell us something concrete about the state of the system would irreversibly alter that very system. The "anti-realist" view is saying that these statistical formulas are just a description of our total knowledge of the system, like probabilities of where electrons might be found in space and with what properties. The realist view would be that these statistical formulas are themselves some existing physical thing that really does behave in a fundamentally probabilistic way, so there must be some mechanism that would describe its behavior. I think I have this right but it's kind of a mind-bending topic to even think about. I recently read some of Niels Bohr's writing (Quantum Physics and Philosophy) and I think it's really helpful in understanding the 'anti-realist' view.
>>16852925It's not about denying reality, it's about denying realism. I've read this stuff a long time ago, but what's done here is emphasizing that electrons are part of a model that wasn't directly observed and should be thought of as such.
>>16849707I guess I'm not trying to disparage the molecular bio revolution itself - it has made the careful dissection and synthesis of biological systems much easier and the central figures in it were genius. It's consequences, however, have led to a scientific landsape that values large collaborations and medical (especially human) applications over basic research. The Elsevier publishing cartel is probably as powerful as it is today because of the consequences of the revolution. Those types of programmes would be better directed by a corporation with a monopoly, like what Bell Labs did for electronics and communication.I admire your interest in finding models, some would argue that this is the basis of science itself. Now i would recommend that you find a system that really interests you and read about the modelling work done so far. I guess my issue is that models (in the sense of contemporary physics) can describe mechanisms - organisms have thousands of internal mechanisms, but I'm not convinced that they can fully encapsulate the behavior of organisms or populations. I had a similar sort of idea as you describe in >>16847326. I started out studying biochemistry but then shifted more towards physics as in undergrad in search of something more fundamental. The Cybernetics of Norbert Weiner resonated a lot with me, and i think that control systems and cybernetics are only just being really applied to the study of Life at a molecular level. Are you familiar with the work of the Phillips lab at Cal Tech? They do very good, and interesting things that bridge that build models for the simplest genetic systems. Their approach uses a combination of statistical physics and molecular biology. Their work would be a good place to start if you are really interested in model building.
>>16853371Holy shit thank you for the Norbert Wiener recommendation. Just looked up Cybernetics and the concept of self-regulating mechanisms and I don't know why I haven't been exposed to this before, because it seems to so perfectly target a mechanism within biological systems that so far I have been aware of but not known the name for. I hadn't been aware of the Phillips lab, but looking at their research sort of makes me giddy. There are so many dogmatic myths about genes (particularly gene regulation) that make for really pretty, easy to understand models but that obviously don't match up with reality, and it seems that using a strictly physical analytical approach you might be able to avoid getting trapped within simplified models that might lead you astray. This seems particularly relevant to gene architecture which is poorly understood generally.
>>16853037I love reading philosophy of science!! :D
go hard on kuhnianism instead
first decide what you actually want to do. it's a very /lit/ thing to just read the primary sources and the big names for a subject and that's fine if it is those people's thoughts you are interested in, but that won't get you very far in phil of science if you want to understand the current state of the subject.now I know it's sounds boring, but your best bet is to just read an introductory text to the subject. they will surely give a rough historical overview of the classic positions and if you find them interesting you can always dive into them later on. Any somewhat recent introduction will do, but here some starting points. just pick the one of these two that sounds better to you:What Is This Thing Called Science? by ChalmersTheory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science by Godfrey-Smith(avoid the book by Rosenberg)Also no, you absolutely do not have to start with the greeks.
>>16855594What is this?
>>16847326>axiomatic systems [..] where logic is applicableWhat actually do you mean by this - how formal do you mean?>I was interested in biology as an application of physicsI'm a theoretical physicist with a PhD in chemical kinetics but work in a more mechanical field now. I'm interested to stirring a bit into plant related chemistry - do you got any recommendations for my background?
>>16856171Given that I've currently only had undergraduate education in it (though I'm looking to go back for grad school), I'm actually not sure how much literature explicitly demarcates molecular systems as formal axiomatic systems. It's kind of baked into how we talk about causation and inference in genetic/molecular systems, but I'm not sure how much of this has been formalized in the same way physical or chemical systems might. Then, I don't really know how those are either because I'm just a complete novice!As for plant related chemistry, I'm not very familiar with it. I love evo bio and co-evolution so things like nitrogen fixation via mutualistic bacteria are fascinating, but I'm not sure what pchem or pbio work is being done on plants specifically.
>>16857674mhm, k. I now just bought pic related on a whim and let's see how it goes.>but I'm not sure how much of this has been formalized in the same way physical or chemical systems mightI tend not to draw such a strong line between the field - as far as approximations to "molecular systems" go, you got the behaviour of molecules in a statistical ensamble and, to some extent, you have standard physical theories for them
>>16856152seconding this question, I've never heard of it
>>16858676Well, you should start with Structure - and probably also Merton, Fleck, and Bernal, to some degree - to understand the impulses and background. At its core, SSR seeks to examine the social influence on science, and propose punctuated, episodic bursts of change and 'progress' (and someone like Shapin considers whether or not there was in fact a scientific revolution in the 17th century).