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Science as a Subset of Philosophy

Science is empirical and agnostic — agnostic about matters beyond the world known through the senses. These are philosophical positions.

Scientists believe in measurement. They measure objects, energy fields, heat, a lot of stuff to which humanity has access through their senses. They also deduce, with math. And they do what is called abductive reasoning, in other words hypothetical explanation: this morning the grass outside is very wet, therefore it must have rained last night.

Scientists adhere to a variety of ideas that are outside of science. A male scientist may declare his wife's beauty. He may believe in a being is supreme (the Creator). He may be accept reality as both spiritual and material. And there are scientists who describe themselves as adhering to the "philosophy of science," a sub-field of philosophy concerned with the foundations and methods of acquiring knowledge.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy includes an article on "Science and Pseudo-Science." In an article titled "Why Physics Needs Philosophy," Tim Maudlin writes:

Philosophers strive for conceptual clarity. Their training instills certain habits of thought—sensitivity to ambiguity, precision of expression, attention to theoretical detail—that are essential for understanding what a mathematical formalism might suggest about the actual world.


CONTINUE READING: What to Believe?

Copyright © 2017 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.