Monday, January 23, 2012

Philosophy is dead, dead, dead

So said Stephen Hawking. Uh... what? It irked me then and does so now. Luckily Stephen has been wrong about big things in the past and is not a little off base on this one as well. There is a write-up in the Atlantic


offering a rebuttal.

Here is the best part (from my perspective),
Newton would call what he was doing natural philosophy, that's actually the name of his book: "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy." Philosophy, traditionally, is what everybody thought they were doing. It's what Aristotle thought he was doing when he wrote his book called Physics. So it's not as if there's this big gap between physical inquiry and philosophical inquiry. They're both interested in the world on a very general scale, and people who work in the foundations of physics, that is, the group that works on the foundations of physics, is about equally divided between people who live in philosophy departments, people who live in physics departments, and people who live in mathematics departments.
Hawking is a philosopher. He just killed himself.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

My math degree came through humanities division of my alma mater.

--Jeff

kajukenbo said...

Hawking wrote. "Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics."

Therefore "Philosophy" is at least dying, if not already dead. I am pretty grateful for that.

The idea that there are "multiple paths to truth" would only be the case if multiple paths came to the same accurate conclusions.
Philosophy has not done so and that is why physics and philosophy are no longer the same thing.

Back in the days when the religion influenced almost everything in daily life, philosophy was as close as you got to being a scientist.
Things have changed - even if some camps want to bring back the new Dark Ages.