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is philosophy a branch of science?

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Science can tell you all sorts of things about any specific subject.  Philosophy is the science of putting it all together and figuring out what to do with that information; what it all really MEANS.

Science can tell you the chemical composition of a book or of a bullet; philosophy can tell you which one to use.

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Sorry, I know my original question was very brief but I am looking for something more detailed in a response.

 

The scientific method is defined as: 

"a method of research in which a problem is identified, relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested."
(dictionary.com)
 
It's the last two words of that definition which is the source of my confusion on this matter. Science requires empirical testing. How does one conduct scientific experiments while philosophizing?
 

 

Philosophy is a science, but not a branch, since it is the fundamental science.  Since in daily use the word 'science' refers only to what Ayn Rand referred to as "the special sciences" that may further confuse things.  Helpful quotes:  

 

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/philosophy.html

 

I'm pretty sure that philosophy has been referred to as a science throughout history. It's only recently that the distinction is being made between science and philosophy. My question is whether this distinction is correct.
 

Isn't science just another word for knowledge?  :stuart:

 

No, science is a specific way of acquiring knowledge.
 
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No, science is a specific way of acquiring knowledge.
 

 

I thought that was epistemology, and that only being the explanation on how we do, not a range of options.

Isn't it so that if something isn't acquired a certain way you can't even say its knowledge?

 

It's the last two words of that definition which is the source of my confusion on this matter. Science requires empirical testing. How does one conduct scientific experiments while philosophizing?

 

I've just finished listening to a lecture series where that question came up.

 

https://estore.aynrand.org/p/119/induction-in-physics-and-philosophy-mp3-download

 

Here's a hint though, you've set up a standard for knowledge, an epistemological standard, before establishing epistemology, and you completely skipped metaphysics.

Philosophy is about why would you even need standards at all. The idea of any scientific method isn't self evident or accepted arbitrarily.

Edited by FrolicsomeQuipster
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See the link Notes on "Induction in Physics and Philosophy", especially the posts covering the later lectures.

 

In particular the introduction to lecture 7 is as follows:


 

Lecture 7 The Science of Philosophy


So far in this course we have established
  • what induction is and how it is done
  • induction is the same in physics and philosophy
  • mathematics is essential in physics
  • mathematics is inapplicable to philosophy

The conflicting role of mathematics in physics and philosophy is the "real problem of induction". How is this reconciled?

 

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Reason_Being--you're using a very modern and narrow definition which begs the question.  So the question becomes--is the modern idea of what science is correct?  I think the entries here provide a more helpful range to start with when seeking to understand what the concept 'science' most sensibly refers to.

 

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/science

 

You may find Leonard Peikoff's comments in OPAR helpful.  (pp 35 --so says Kindle anyway):
 

"The materialist equation of physics with science is equally groundless.  Science is systematic knowledge gained by the use of reason based on observation.  In using reason, however, one must study each specific subject matter by the methods and techniques suited to its nature."

 

...and that last sentence ties into Grames' post.

Edited by Fawkes
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Sorry, I know my original question was very brief but I am looking for something more detailed in a response. . .

Science requires empirical testing. How does one conduct scientific experiments while philosophizing?

By checking your conclusions' resemblance to reality.

 

In science you form a hypothesis and then conduct an experiment in order to verify it; the experiment is a method of comparing your ideas with reality.

The experiment shows how your hypothesis fits into the real world; unless they match you start over and try a new hypothesis.

 

Philosophy is the same way; the only difference is that, rather than observing the behavior of subatomic particles or distant galaxies (hence the "special sciences"; special as in specialization) you observe how your philosophy compares to the entire sum of your knowledge.

If some aspect of your philosophy declares human beings to be blind, impotent weaklings, there's an empirical test to verify your accuracy- by examining the actual human beings around you, as well as yourself.

If your philosophy declares something that doesn't match reality then you discard it and start over.

 

For instance, Karl Marx (if we were to actually consider him a philosopher) said that technological progress and innovation is a weapon of the wealthy class; a weapon which they use to transform the entire world whenever the have-nots come too close to overthrowing them. . . Essentially, that technology is advanced periodically, by official edict, in order to keep everyone enslaved.

How would this correspond to actual inventions, in the real world?

 

If anything, I suppose the empirical experimentation in philosophy would occur over the course of your entire life; it encompasses every experience you've ever had and everything you've ever learned.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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"In science you form a hypothesis and then conduct an experiment in order to verify it; the experiment is a method of comparing your ideas with reality.

The experiment shows how your hypothesis fits into the real world; unless they match you start over and try a new hypothesis."

For examples of why this is wrong see The Logical Leap.

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