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    Scientists vs. Philosophers 
    #1
    Bluelighter akautonomics's Avatar
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    Scientists love knowledge, and philosophers love wisdom.

    Scientists build things, philosophers build ideas

    Scientists answer the question "How?", and philosophers answer "Why?"
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    #2
    Bluelighter rangrz's Avatar
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    My dear,
    Scientists answer "why".
    Engineers answer "How"

    Philosophers talk about how reality is subjective and how it's unethical to paint your door green.

    Scientists and engineers can't hear them cause the philosopher is sitting in his armchair, the scientist and the engineer are 100,000s of kilometers away saying "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind"
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    #3
    Bluelighter akautonomics's Avatar
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    How, scientist, do scientists answer why? I believe it is with an answer suited more to the question "How"

    For example, How am I alive: physiology, evolution, genetics, physics, chemistry all explain this
    Why am I alive: Some sort of end purpose (to be determined as one lives) according to Plato. To carry out our duty according to Kant (only, one, Love, according to Camus). Only one answers "How".Cogito ergo sum. But Descartes was a scientist anyway.
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    #4
    Bluelighter rangrz's Avatar
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    No, a scientist answers why putting some Plutonium in a tube and rapidly compressing it causes it to go superprompt critical and incinerate a city in a Japan.

    An engineer figures out how to make the ball of plutonium, the tube and how to compress it, working in the constraints the scientist gives.

    Philosophers debate the morality of doing it, safe and comfortable in their overstuffed armchairs.
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    #5
    Bluelighter akautonomics's Avatar
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    You're missing one important point. In order for Why to really be answered, it will follow back through a chain of causation. Why does plutonium have those properties? Why are electrons attracted to nuclei? Why does the electroweak force affect the universe? And eventually leads back to a question only attempted to be answered by philosophers.

    The how question is answered both by scientists (How do electrons interact with nuclei, How is oxygen carried to cells, how fast does light travel) and engineers, who use the answers to fabricate physical objects, they are scientific craftsmen. And a superior breed of people.

    And regarding morality, it's only a subsection of philosophy, which isn't really very popular to debate anymore
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    #6
    Bluelighter rangrz's Avatar
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    Scientists and engineers stay grounded in reality, and consider that ultimate question to be not even in principle answerable or testable, and therefore meaningless, with any discourse on it being patent nonsense and not even wrong.

    And yes, we are a superior breed of human.
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    #7
    Bluelighter akautonomics's Avatar
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    I disagree
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    #8
    Bluelighter rangrz's Avatar
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    Well then, why don't you grab your pipe, a snifter of brandy,sit in your armchair and dictate to us the meaningfulness of answering a question that can not in principle ever be empiricalally confirmed?
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    #9
    Bluelighter akautonomics's Avatar
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    Oh, I'm no philosopher. I'm a scientist. But I respect philosophers because they explore the depths of their minds and encourage that in their students. And debating ideas (including "not even wrong" ones) is more fun to me than debating who's got the fastest space ship or the shiniest laptop or the biggest cyborg-enhanced dick. lol!
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    #10
    Bluelighter rangrz's Avatar
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    But all lines of inquiry debate ideas. We can debate electroweak symmetry breaking if you want. Or the approach to building a gas cooled fast breeder reactor.

    But then at least we'd be able to go confirm our ideas after.
    NSFW:

    (Indeed, did the class not debate which molecules would have chiral centers today in your class?)


    But most philosophic questions don't have positively verifiable answers, and are thus reduced to meaningless nonsense in my view.
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    #11
    Bluelighter panic in paradise's Avatar
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    i see them as the polar opposites that need each other.

    as shown here:
    NSFW:


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    #12
    Bluelighter RobotRipping's Avatar
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    i guess rangrz would agree with Wittgenstein in his Tractatus lol i don't think that solved all of the philosophical problems though. After reading his Philosophical Investigations i don't think Wiitgenstein was satisfied with it either.
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    #13
    Bluelighter Droppersneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akautonomics View Post
    Scientists love knowledge, and philosophers love wisdom.

    Scientists build things, philosophers build ideas

    Scientists answer the question "How?", and philosophers answer "Why?"
    What about the scientists that just whine about things and dont actually build anything?
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    #14
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    “philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.”

    - A famous philosopher :P

    I think I agree with PiP. Scientists can be philosophers and vice versa, but they are very different areas of interest. Philosophers ponder the subjective, moral implications of life while scientists seek to understand it's objective mechanics. Philosophers debate ethics and attitudes towards living, scientists debate calculable data that objectively explains the world around us.

    Apples and oranges.
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    #15
    Bluelighter MrGrunge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangrz View Post
    But most philosophic questions don't have positively verifiable answers, and are thus reduced to meaningless nonsense in my view.
    Philosophic questions don't have any inherent meaning, but the answers to those questions do, as they tend to dictate our day-to-day life choices. Certainly there are some futile philosophical aims (like "What is Evil?", "Does God Exist?", etc etc) but since the entire goal of philosophy is to inspire 'thought' (something lacking in the world), even those have their value. I would never study philosophy academically, but to say that philosophy itself is meaningless is dismissive.
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    #16
    Bluelighter panic in paradise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardeaux View Post
    “philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.”

    - A famous philosopher :P

    I think I agree with PiP. Scientists can be philosophers and vice versa, but they are very different areas of interest. Philosophers ponder the subjective, moral implications of life while scientists seek to understand it's objective mechanics. Philosophers debate ethics and attitudes towards living, scientists debate calculable data that objectively explains the world around us.

    Apples and oranges.
    That wasn't my implication, but it is what just happened. I don't draw a distinction between "scientists" and "philosophers" as seperate entities, they are methods of our thinking or a process we utilize. I dont like the thought of a world without science and technology, both of which greatly pertain to our lives sustenance and means of communication. But the thought of life and communicating with others using no imagination is not one I like to entertain; it just keeps going round & round from there.
    :-)
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    #17
    Bluelighter rangrz's Avatar
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    I think philosophy is useful, particularly in a pedagogical manner to teach critical thinking, questioning, how to use formal and informal logic, etc. As you said, to stimulate thought. But I think the actual questions and answers are meaningless, in a way similar to how the questions in math and physics coursework tends to be meaningless. (Who in the hell cares what the area under some arbitrary curve is? It's irrelevant to anything.) But it teaches you how to do integration. (you can take that skill and use it for something later) Philosophy is useful and at the same time meaningless in that manner IMO.
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    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by panic in paradise View Post
    I don't draw a distinction between "scientists" and "philosophers" as seperate entities, they are methods of our thinking or a process we utilize.
    The "polar opposites" thing threw me off.

    Plus, like I said, it's not uncommon for scientists to dabble in philosophy or for philosophers to be men/women of science. I'm a science student and have used up a lot of my electives in philosophic fields. Ethics plays a major role in my major field of study and there will be even more (required) ethics courses ahead.
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    #19
    Philosophy without science is empty. Science without philosophy is blind.
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    #20
    Administrator Foreigner's Avatar
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    Science was originally called natural philosophy. Despite the vast array of precise calculations and technologies used, in the end they still end up making assertions about the nature of reality, many of them which IMO are correct. But nonetheless, these assertions make them philosophers.
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    #21
    Bluelighter RobotRipping's Avatar
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    Philosophy has several different focuses/aims.

    metaphysics can be seen as meaningless, which i think is what Wittgenstein was on about.
    I think the ethical models learned and taught in philosophy are useful; i've used them to guide my own decisions. Not to mention the critical thinking, analytical thinking and other skills philosophy teaches you. Very helpful in breaking things down and making things more efficient, especially when logic is involved.

    Kant wrote a great paper on Enlightenment and how reason/rationality revolutionized the way people think/were thinking. These things are very useful to know in science (ie. atomic bomb). Science and philosophy overlap all the time, same with linguistics, management, ethics and other things.
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    #22
    Bluelighter Lab-Test Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotRipping View Post
    Kant wrote a great paper on Enlightenment and how reason/rationality revolutionized the way people think/were thinking. These things are very useful to know in science (ie. atomic bomb). Science and philosophy overlap all the time, same with linguistics, management, ethics and other things.
    There is a lot of work by Kant easily available to me with just the internet, are there one or more papers (even other peoples summaries of Kant's work) that you would personally recommend as a starting point?

    EDIT:Thankyou pysduck, I become increasingly aware of how valuable time(as we know it) is and will endeavor to use my own before others in the future
    Last edited by Lab-Test Monkey; 10-01-2013 at 20:01.
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Lab-Test Monkey View Post
    There is a lot of work by Kant easily available to me with just the internet, are there one or more papers (even other peoples summaries of Kant's work) that you would personally recommend as a starting point?
    from easy to advanced
    - wikipedia critique of pure reason
    - http://www.iep.utm.edu/kantmeta/
    - http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant/
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    #24
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    Scientists and philosophers are one in the same. A more specific term for those many call scientists would be physical scientists while philosophers would be metaphysical scientists.
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    #25
    Bluelighter rangrz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by casualuser View Post
    Scientists and philosophers are one in the same. A more specific term for those many call scientists would be physical scientists while philosophers would be metaphysical scientists.
    No, Physical scientists refers specifically to: Physics (duh) Physical Cosmology, Astronomy&Astrophysics, Chemistry,Geology&Geophysics. Next is the Natural Sciences, although that still refers to specifically studying physical things in the sense of being touchable/material. Then there's stuff like computer science, economics, psychology, etc which deal with sort of conceptual abstractions/phenomena.

    Metaphysical science doesn't really hold, all of the sciences/part of the definition of science is empiricism and (at least in principle) testable hypothesis. Bickering over eithcs, morals, God and anything of that sort is neither empirical or testable.
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