Philosophy of Science Guidelines

Discussions on the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences.

Philosophy of Science Guidelines

Postby Marshall on June 24th, 2009, 1:49 pm 

Philosophy of Science is an academic specialty within Philosophy departments. The core guideline for this forum is to stay within the bounds of the subject as normally understood. I'll give some examples of Philosophy of Science questions and topics later.

Please direct discussions of the impact of modern science on Morality, on Religion, Warfare, Politics, Race, Gender, relations to the Environment and Non-human Species, and so on to other more appropriate forums such as Ethics, Religion, Social Science, and Philosophy Anything. These discussions are unquestionably fascinating and valuable-----and I personally urge members to engage in such discussions, elsewhere.

The reason for a small dedicated forum focused on PoS is that controversy about the basic scientific concepts/criteria has broken out--controversy about the distinction between science and non-science, the tug-of-war among competing desiderata of explanatory power, prediction, testability, simplicity. There is a growing realization that PoS is crucial to the the health of the scientific community and the success of its pursuits.

We appear to be in one of those chaotic interludes that happen periodically, when the foundations of science need critical examination and basic concepts need analytic scrutiny and revision. Struggles are going on, and it is exciting to watch.

New guideline (added 2 August 2009):

Please raise questions about "supernatural" in some other PCF forum. It's not clear that the word itself means anything in a science, or philosophy of science, context. Or that it can, if it has some meaning, be sufficiently well defined for PoS purposes.

Of particular relevance here is point b) of the Forum Guidelines specific to the Philosophy section (PCF). I quote:

"b.) Furthermore, scholarship should be up to date. While it may be interesting to consider what Galileo or Locke thought about a problem in either physics or theory of mind, these perspectives are now rightly understood to be historical. If one is discussing some subject matter with which they profess expertise, they must be acquainted with some of the contemporary research into these subjects. It is a moot point that there are many new ideas and problems unimagined by the historical thinkers, and these are now commonplace in mainstream academia."

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