Physics needs philosophy

Tim Maudlin explains why physics needs philosophy: “What philosophy offers to science, then, is not mystical ideas but meticulous method. Philosophical skepticism focuses attention on the conceptual weak points in theories and in arguments. It encourages exploration of alternative explanations and new theoretical approaches.”

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2 thoughts on “Physics needs philosophy

  1. Ok, I get what’s being said. The question then is why has it not done so? To make your point or thought relevant you need only publish something which everyone involved thinks is important or relevant. There is nothing stopping philosophers from contributing to the effort.

    “Philosophers strive for conceptual clarity” — this is the one thing they have failed to do, except among philosophers.

    There is no doubt that science does not have all the answers nor does it always explain them well. What your post begs us ask is when will philosophers start filing in the gaps or better explain what science finds?

  2. I feel like they need each other, like we need (at least) two feet to walk. I’ve always found the question: “which is first, experimentation or theory?” To be bizarre in that you need the opposite to perform either.

    Good article though.

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