Sunday, March 17, 2019
Philosophy and Contemporary Science :: Philosophical Essays
Philosophy and Contemporary ScienceABSTRACT This paper is implicated with some of the differences between philosophy and contemporary science, and with the significance of these differences for the question of the record of philosophy. Differences of particular interest here atomic number 18 ones that tend to be secret and ignored through the influence of the professionalist attitudes of contemporary science, an influence that manifests itself in the ordinary normative attitude to the vocabularies and linguistic practices of professional philosophy. It is argued that this normative attitude is refutable in the light of a feature that we take to be inwrought to philosophy always being open to the question of its own reputation and task. A traditional, and still common, view of the difference between philosophy and the special sciences is found upon the dichotomies universal/particular or superior general/special. It is say that philosophy deals with the general issues conce rning some subject matter while the special sciences take lot of the more specific issues. Chemistry concerns itself with properties of various chemical compounds and physical science with forces and the campaign of bodies, while philosophy deals with the general nature of matter, general questions of causality, determinism, etc. linguistics deals with special, empirical questions about the nature of language, while philosophy is supposed to break away the general principles that govern all language.The ontological question about what on that point is in the world, is, in Quines words, a shared concern of philosophy and about other non-fiction genres. (1) It is the use of more general or broader categories, such as, for instance, somatogenetic objects or classes, that distinguishes the ontological philosophers interest in what there is from the scientists. This synoptical view of philosophy, as Moritz Schlick called it, normally also involves the view of philosophy as a scie nce. (2) As physics studies the specific structure of matter, so philosophy studies its general nature. Quine says, for instance, that Philosophy ... as an effort to get clearer on things, is not to be distinguished in essential points of purpose and method from good or bad science. (3) bid the special sciences, philosophy is also a science, only one of a more general character. But Quines philosophy represents only one, naturalistic, version of this synoptic view of the nature of philosophy. There are others, both within and out-of-door the analytic tradition. And there is a great deal to be said about the difference between these philosophies, for instance, that the ones in the Kantian tradition are more oriented towards discovering the general conditions of human knowledge and experience, and have little to say about the general nature of reality.