Philosophy in Science:
Can Philosophers of Science Contribute to Science?
Below are the presentations from our remote session on “Philosophy in Science”on November 13, 2021 at the Philosophy of Science Association meeting. We are having an extended discussion on Monday November, 22 at 3pm Eastern Standard Time. If you wish to take part, write to me of your interest by email (error) with the subject “PinS” or use comments below. (Include name, affiliation and email).
Session Abstract: Although the question of what philosophy can bring to science is an old topic, the vast majority of current philosophy of science is a meta-discourse on science, taking science as its object of study, rather than an attempt to intervene on science itself. In this symposium, we discuss a particular interventionist approach, which we call “philosophy in science (PinS)”, i.e., an attempt at using philosophical tools to make a significant scientific contribution. This approach remains rare, but has been very successful in a number of cases, especially in philosophy of biology, medicine, physics, statistics, and the social sciences. Our goal is to provide a description of PinS through both a bibliometric approach and the examination of specific case studies. We also aim to explain how PinS differs from mainstream philosophy of science and partly similar approaches such as “philosophy of science in practice”.
Here are the members and the titles of their talks. (Link to session/abstracts):
- Thomas Pradeu (CNRS & University Of Bordeaux) & Maël Lemoine (University Of Bordeaux): Philosophy in Science: Definition and Boundaries
- Deborah Mayo (Virginia Tech): My Philosophical Interventions in Statistics
- Elliott Sober (University Of Wisconsin – Madison): Philosophical Interventions in Science – a Strategy and a Case Study (Parsimony)
- Randolph Nesse (Arizona State University) & Paul Griffiths (University of Sydney): How Evolutionary Science and Philosophy Can Collaborate to Redefine Disease
T. Pradeu & M. Lemoine slides: “Philosophy in Science: Definition and Boundaries”:
D. Mayo slides: “Philosophical Interventions in the Statistics Wars”:
E. Sober: “Philosophical Interventions in Science – A Strategy and a Case Study (Parsimony)”
R. Nesse & P. Griffiths: How Evolutionary Science and Philosophy Can Collaborate to Redefine Disease”:
I would love to take part in the extended discussion.
Ze-No Centre for Logic and Metaphysics, Indonesia
I think you (plural) have a really good idea in this approach/idea. There is absolutely no question in my mind that:
a. the critical thinking skills of Philosophy/Philosophers have a valuable role to play in the Sciences;
b. based on my own experience in business (infra) those competences lead to real-world results.
I return to Philosophy after a 37-year career in business; I can say from personal experience that the analytic methods I learnt in Philosophy enabled me to solve I would guess most if not all, the most difficult problems I came across in the World of Commerce.
Those methods certainly enabled me to write twelve (12) patents. Eight (8) of those issued, three (3) of the remainder were filed nationally this past June. The first Patent had no prior art; analytic with writing skills are two key abilities for authoring Patents.
More Philosophers and more Philosophy are needed in Science and Technology.
My 2 cents worth.