5 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2020
  2. Jun 2019
    1. So many people today – and even professional scientists – seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering.

      a nice way to put it

  3. Apr 2016
    1. one of the roles of philosophy over the past two and half millennia has been to prepare the ground for the birth and eventual intellectual independence of a number of scientific disciplines. But contra what you seem to think, this hasn’t stopped with the Scientific Revolution, or with the advent of quantum mechanics. Physics became independent with Galileo and Newton (so much so that the latter actually inspired David Hume and Immanuel Kant to do something akin to natural philosophizing in ethics and metaphysics); biology awaited Darwin (whose mentor, William Whewell, was a prominent philosopher, and the guy who coined the term “scientist,” in analogy to artist, of all things); psychology spun out of its philosophical cocoon thanks to William James, as recently (by the standards of the history of philosophy) as the late 19th century. Linguistics followed through a few decades later (ask Chomsky); and cognitive science is still deeply entwined with philosophy of mind (see any book by Daniel Dennett). Do you see a pattern of, ahem, progress there? And the story doesn’t end with the newly gained independence of a given field of empirical research. As soon as physics, biology, psychology, linguistics and cognitive science came into their own, philosophers turned to the analysis (and sometimes even criticism) of those same fields seen from the outside: hence the astounding growth during the last century of so called “philosophies of”: of physics (and, more specifically, even of quantum physics), of biology (particularly of evolutionary biology), of psychology, of language, and of mind.

      Massimo Pigliucci skewering Neil deGrasse Tyson for outright dismissal of philosophy.

    1. . I consider that my job, as a philosopher, is to activate the possible, and not to describe the probable, that is, to think situations with and through their unknowns when I can feel them

      The job of a philosopher is to "activate the possible, not describe the probable."