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The Relationship Between Philosophy and Science

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Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, identifies the relationship between “is” and “ought” — that what is, determines what one ought to do. Because people think that science identifies the “is” and philosophy says what we “ought” to do, that science (the “is”) determines philosophy (the “ought”). This is an error because science can only identify what “is” in terms defined by philosophy, and for reasons defined by philosophy. Science is a tool for man to accomplish goals, and is preceeded by philosophic conclusions. Philosophy defines the concept “is” through the axiom of existence. The law of existence states that “existence exists”, or that “what is, is”. Without this philosophic premise, science cannot begin to ask the question, “What is there in the universe?” The physical sciences, such as physics, can and must use mathematics as the means of inducing new discoveries. But mathematics itself presupposes a littany of...

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