Change, progress, and philosophy in science

Completely agree with Artem’s post. Philosophy of science does not usually serve scientists directly in a measurable way. But having the right intellectual infrastructure is key if we are going to do proper science… otherwise we will keep doing the scientific equivalent of stamp collecting (badly paraphrasing Lord Kelvin).

Theory, Evolution, and Games Group

Bertrand_Russell “Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds” is a quote usually attributed to Feynman that embodies a sentiment that seems all too common among scientists. If I wish to be as free as a bird to go about my daily rituals of crafting science in the cage that I build for myself during my scientific apprenticeship then I agee that philosophy is of little use to me. Much like a politician can hold office without a knowledge of history, a scientist can practice his craft without philosophy. However, like an ignorance of history, an ignorance of philosophy tends to make one myopic. For theorists, especially, such a restricted view of intellectual tradition can be very stifling and make scientific work seem like a trade instead of an art. So, to keep my work a joy instead of chore, I tend to structure myself…

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