Martin Rees: What I said at the time is that I know Stephen Hawking well enough to know that he has read little philosophy and less theology, so I don't think his views should be taken with any special weight.
Interviewer: You have read on those subjects. What's your view?
Rees: What's my view? Well, I'm not prepared to pronounce on these things. I think it's rather foolish when scientists do so.
Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding wrote:When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance, let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
AmbivalentOne wrote:I would be curious to see where Hawking draws the line between science and philosophy. Maybe, if you come up with a theory, you are a dead philosopher - if you test it, you are a living scientist. You gotta die first, then you can be born.
xcthulhu wrote:So let's turn to Hawking himself for a second: can anyone say some observational evidence for Hawking radiation?
whynot wrote:And if humans survive long enough to effectively conquer the majestic heights of knowledge acquisition scientifically, what's to become of all the theoretical scientists and mathematical modelers? Soon enough the engineers will be calling the shots and making the same claims about scientists. We're all working ourselves out of a job.
Marshall wrote:whynot wrote:And if humans survive long enough to effectively conquer the majestic heights of knowledge acquisition scientifically, what's to become of all the theoretical scientists and mathematical modelers? Soon enough the engineers will be calling the shots and making the same claims about scientists. We're all working ourselves out of a job.
We see things differently, which is fine.
I see things differently from you.
I picture the heights of knowledge as having no top.
I picture the process of discovering ever deeper explanations as an infinite regress.
Every human explanation (of how things come to be the way they are, in nature) involves laws, rules, a rational setup, initial conditions, assumptions, concepts like space time or some other concepts to take their place. So then you can go deeper and ask how did that set up come to be the way it is.
If an explanation works it is both a source of intense delight, adding to the beauty one sees in the world, and also it is something new to explain.
I do not fear Engineers supplanting scientists. Faraday was a lab tech and he gave us the idea of a Field (as opposed to Newton's particles).
Eugene Wigner was trained as a Chemical Engineer and he discovered that quantum field theory was based on symmetry groups----the most, or one of the most, beautiful and deep discoveries of 20th century theoretical physics.
He was a Chemical Engineer but he had the curiosity to become one of the greatest theoretical physicists of the past 100 years.
The human mind will tend to follow its bliss and there is no end to this road. My 2 cents.
We can forget about Hawking. His productivity was 20 or more years back. He just writes controversial pops to make money and enjoy fame. Xcthulhu and Lomax already said what needs to be said.
Neri wrote:The matter may be stated simply. Science concerns itself with what seems to be real. Philosophy concerns itself with what is real. Many of the theoretical underpinnings of so-called natural laws would be laughable were it not for their predictive power. The widely held view that phenomena are equivalent to reality is rooted in this predictability. This does not kill philosophy but only reduces it to naive realism.
wuliheron wrote:Hawking is one of the great physicists of the century, but among the worst philosophers I can think of. Statements like this garner him unwarranted attention and help sell his books. I wouldn't read too much more into it.
My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
BadgerJelly wrote:wuliheron wrote:Hawking is one of the great physicists of the century, but among the worst philosophers I can think of. Statements like this garner him unwarranted attention and help sell his books. I wouldn't read too much more into it.
Greatest of the century? Well as the century is only 12 years old he certainly appears to be more than he is!
BadgerJelly wrote:He is probably the most over hyped Physicist of ALL time for that I give him and the media credit and he has opened up Physics to the public a little just because of his disease. As for his ability? It goes hand in hand with his disease and he has come up with some astounding ideas.
Bad at philosophy? He made one VERY nice statement :My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
That is the true philosophy of mankind its just most of us are not aware of it IMO
Neri wrote:I apologize, BadgerJelly. My response was intended for Wuliheron. While you are at it, change "roll of philosophy" to "role of philosophy.”
BadBoyofCosmology wrote:Nice. I didn't get the utility statement at the end.
It seems that common people fit into these patterns. What would you consider yourself as, philosophically?
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