“It has become sadly common for science popularizers to dismiss philosophy as an empty, altogether useless discipline consisting of circular abstractions. Even scientist Stephen Hawking went as far as to declare philosophy dead. I believe this public dismissal of philosophy, rather than reaffirm science, brings harm to its integrity.”

“When science popularizers dismiss philosophy, they are making one or more of several mistakes, amongst which:

(a) being unaware and uncritical of the intrinsic boundaries of their preferred method of knowledge acquisition;

(b) taking one particular ontology—usually, mainstream physicalism—for the self-evidence truth, thereby projecting an unexamined belief system onto nature;

(c) extending the scope of science beyond what is justifiable by its method, thereby putting the integrity of science itself at risk.”

#philosophy #bernardokastrup


  1. Diss this. Our spirits are fire, wind and water as the sacred and eternal tabernacles by which we pass. Our spirits are fire inasmuch as the electromagnetic flux, photon particles and non particle energy waves, without mass, thus void, dematerialise our brains (particles) in mind (non particle and without mass) through void. Our spirits are wind as we don’t know where they come from or where they go, capricious and mobile. Our spirits are water as they float in a stabilised mass. I am unfit to undo the shoe laces of a woman’s shoe.I’ve come before and after the last messenger.

  2. Without Philosophy, our reasoning goes unchecked and without the debate that makes Philosophy the discipline it is, we are not purged of our pretenses. Without such discipline, we do not discern between junk science and science upon which we may rely.

  3. All fields of knowledge whatsoever, including the Science’s , are built on metaphysical foundations making Philosopy the Mother of Knowledge itself. Only an idiot would deny his own Mother.

  4. Philosophies are fundamental tools in my formation of a hypothesis. I know there is a broad spectrum of understanding the value and utility of philosophy, however, mine is the framework used to extrapolate beyond what is currently known or can be speculated on based on current data. Without philosophy, I would have no means by which to exercise prescient vision. For me, philosophies are integral to scientific exploration.

  5. Clint Flournoy

    Science began when the first hominid evolved to the level of a two year old and deliberately thought why?

    Philosophy came when they invented the first thought experiment vis-a-vis deliberative reasoning.

    Better answers, require better questions.

    A generation or more has been schooled in the idea that there are no bad questions. To a child that sounds like all questions are equal.

    From all questions are equally valid you get all answers, all opinions are equally valid which is the harbinger to “The Age of Alternative Facts”, “My Truth”, and Feelings now conflated to be the same as Facts, with logic and evidence now, at least culturally rendered meaningless.

    Into this vacuum we’ve elevated Perception Management to the default basis for interpersonal relationships at every level of society.

    At the same time that conservatively speaking over 60% of the American public denies psychology is even a legitimate science, while the corporations spend billions a month using it to profitably manipulate them with impunity.

    Christians often will say the Devil’s greatest trick is making people believe he doesn’t exist.

    I have no opinion on that in this forum, but what I am certain of is that the greatest trick of the corporations and so the most affluent of society, is to foster a culture that denies the existence of human neuropsychology, social psychology, environmental psychology.

  6. Philosophy without a foundation of scientific evidence exists to be certain, it’s called Religion. I have no problem with that in essence because artistic yearning and expression in all it’s intangible, ephemeral beauty is as necessary for the mind, the spirit if you like, as food is for the body.

    Oh and by the way, using ALL CAPS doesn’t make a point any more valid than yelling in real life. Your “I don’t see” in the form of question marks, exclamation points likewise, does not add value to the discourse, better to of researched that contribution to science by philosophy known as logic, in their stead.

  7. Religion has nothing to do with science. Religion is believing, science is fact. In science, chemistry or phisics, the results of the tests are repreducable in different enviroments. That’s why religion is opnion formed, groups think the same way and believe the same way, but that has nothing to do with science. That’s the difference between Intelligent Design and Origin of species (Darwin). Philosophy is using your brain and throwing away the nonsense, and digging deeper. It follows the principles of thought. Hypothesis, theory, research and fact, rule. I apologize for my English, it’s not my native language.

  8. Ed Gilbert There is a large body of scientific study of religion and belief systems and your statement suggests you may benefit from at least a nodding acquaintance with that knowledge. From social psychology to neuroscience, pretty much nothing you just said agrees with the scientific evidence of how beliefs form. My education is in Environmental Psychology with a current focus in applied organization science. One of the things that constantly fasinates me is the number of scientists who outside of a narrow discipline view life through a lens of magical thought and when questioned about whether the make an effort to test for the Implicit biases such magical think has to cause they not surprisingly have a negative reaction.

  9. There is nothing scientific about religion and psychology. Both are very useful and needed to understand the human mind. It can be used to get knowledge about groups and individuels. However it’s not exact like math, chemistry and physics.

  10. science explores ‘How’ and can explain “how’ of many phenomenon. Philosophy is the exploration of ‘WHY’ . Why I am? and why am I going through this experience. Science is objective whereas philosophy is subjective exploration of the very drama of awareness of the event of being-ness. Some scientists, including Stephen Hawking, believe that science will ultimately give us all answers but all answers are the demand of our philosophical exploration of our being-ness and its relation to the cosmic event. It will take some time for us to evolve to a state where we get free from existentialist angst and our subjective and objective existence will merge in single whole.

  11. philosophy being the speculation of human nature. has no possible way to challenge the integrety of factual science There can be no formula to the reaction of humans to particular situations because each person ‘s experience and evaluation is different. It can only be said chances are this will be the way a person reacts ,like saying odds are this will happen. Them odds are based on the study of human populas . Just guessing first thought

  12. This is stupid. It’s not going anywhere, anything thought provoking is philosophy. That debate on morals and ethics or religion, philosophy.

    That mother and child arguing about gay rights or human nature, philosophy. A punk concert with lyrics against authority, that lawyer passionately explaining a case, the Expressionist poet, the scientists decididing on a decision

    Anything , everything, philosophy of some kind in its own right. The bread in the shit sandwich of life is philosophy.

    I don’t care if you don’t agree, we can debate upon it with perspective because we have brains and mouths and assholes

    Way up there are opinions and people who are uncomphortable shit them out because they are full of it.

    Those who learn listen and or question everything. Watch, Mark my words, dry those tears. This is hot button click bait to wrile you up and we all fell for it. Brush yourselves off and quit acting like you’ve made an impact on something.

    Oof. Before ya go off on me, remember I don’t give a shit. If you want to talk about it or debate, come on up. I’m not special, just a stray who is itched about notifications and I’m done.

    Merry Christmas consumer’s

  13. This has gone completely off the rails. When you state absolutes that are demonstrably untrue by a preponderance of evidence by widely agreed reputable sources, followed by another person who irrationally says they don’t care what anyone thinks, which if true would logically suggest would say nothing at all, well I’m done.

  14. There aren’t universities where you can study religion as a science, no Nobelprize for religion as a science and i don’t know the widely agreed reputable sources. It can be a blindside of my knowledge, but you can give the names of scientific institutes. Philosophy isn’t particular positive or negative, so negative philosophy is possible too.

  15. Ed Gilbert No they don’t, however social scientists and even neuropsychologists just to name two disciplines, study belief systems like religion, how they evolve, why they evolve. Part of that is the almost pathological avoidance by “Believers” of their implicit biases. The majority of people think assumption testing is asking other people questions. While that can be useful, without an appreciation of one’s own biases you can be utterly convinced the facts say you are right while being objectively wrong.

  16. Of course you have studies of the mind, psychological and very useful. But it’s not science and it will never be. The results are individual or maybe in groups, but never reproducable as in chemistry, physics and math. You can study as much as you want, but it wil never be scientific. Very useful and very helpfull too. There are no psychological laws, which apply to anyone. Experience colors the result and education. Living make the results differ during a lifetime. It can be used positivly and negativly.

  17. to Ed Gilbert…missing the wole point pal! first of all psychology and religion is not philosophie.(that’s what were talking about right?) Pylosophie is the science of analizing,positing,& generally thinking about all aspects of all things,arriving at inevedable paradoxes in the chosen method,or ideology of a specific topic.philosophy of science,political philosophy,ethics,biology,religion,education,ect…applying a different outlooks upon the said topic that have been suggested by different philosophers throughout all of human history.pytogorianisim,platonisim,stoisim,nilisim,existentionisim,comunisim,anarcisim,racisim,pacifisim,scolastisim,maceavelienisim,niechisim,comertiallisim,millitarisim,pragmatisim,and countless other “isims” developed over millenia by the great philosophers,and kings througout the ages.Kant one of the great German thinkers around the time of the friench revolution ushered in a sort of golden age of late enlightenment european philosophie when he attemted a philosophie of knowlage developing epistemologie(though not completed…ever)as the documentation,and classification of all knowlage.generally speaking the philosophie of a given dissipline attempts to outline the material,idiologie,practical applications of said dissipline.admitedly this is not demanded in order to execute any specific application of a disipline upon the uniniverse at large.The necessity of thinking,and talking the large issues,and contradictions that apply to every single school of thought,religion,and science on the whole spectrum of human though;in order to effectively apply these said dissiplines in the applied sciences and varyous feilds of engienering of our world is self evident

  18. that’s right.yes actually had just seen the comment you had made above.I had never been in here before,and i am admitedlly a neophite as to participating in discutions online.thanks for the inspiration to comment sir

  19. Geraldine Paul

    Thanks for the respond, sometimes religion tries to answer the why question too, just like psychology. But neither of them is science, and philosophy is.

  20. The shame and embarrassment of this is the calibre of those scientists who clearly suffer from such dire ignorance of both the history of science and the mechanics of modern philosophy. They literally are discrediting themselves attacking philosophy, and the foundations of their own methodology and approach to acquiring information. To think there is even one single physical philosophical lens of making sense of something is unscientific, let alone considering the reasons behind why theories are collected.

    The further shame is the poor example they set to others who call themselves ‘scientists’ without understanding the first thing about the history of their discipline as natural philosophers. It’s just lazy thinking or downright stupidity that leads to the viewpoint that science is somehow independent and replacive of philosophy. Science without philosophy is action without motive, the creation of data without hope of information let alone insight, the mere doing of things without a human context or meaning. And above all else this sad viewpoint is the confession of its proponent that they don’t understand what philosophy is. It’s like saying ‘I value science but not human thought’. Meaningless. Absurd. Embarrassing! Unless it’s a computer saying so perhaps, and the ai as yet hasn’t learned to consider the value of its origins.

  21. James Wiliams

    You can lecture the whole bible, but that doesn’t mean it has any substantial philosophical meaning. When you have no doubt about the subject, you look through a tunnel and you are allways right. It leads to things like : the Nashville declaration. Rambling idiots with their infinite truth.

  22. To discuss religion in this context seems marginal if not perhaps completely tangential. However, if these areas – religion and science – do intersect upon a single topic of interest within a relationship to the study of philosophy(ies), the best overlap within the context of the post might arguably fall upon the relationship between Christianity and science amongst the natural philosophers. Christianity might make a similar parental claim over science as philosophy – to a perhaps surprisingly credible degree. Aside from some much studied and highly noteable exceptions, the relationship seems for quite a time to be a harmonious – even productive one. Some could perhaps develop a similar argument of partial origination from or strong influence by the church in regards to the enlightenment in the West. A monk’s role in the early study of what would become genetics, or perhaps, even Darwin’s views on religion might form some quick off-cuff examples of origination if not full compatibility.

    But the acquisition of knowledge or testing of truth shouldn’t be seen as something foreign to Christian thinking either – nor to those proclaiming Christianity. Meditating on scripture: insert the Jesuit faith. Further back, a study of the debates between Abelade and Bernard of Clairvaux will reveal the relationship of reason and xtianity further, but even a cursory consideration of Matthew and the gospels themselves will obviate this also. JC could readily by interpreted in his explanation to Matt as to why he spoke in parables, that he was encouraging if not requiring critical thinking! JC did not want mindless conformance to a simple dogmatic rules-based system. Challenging as this may be for some to accept, the source evidence seems unequivocal to my reading, and the information is as accessible or moreso on the web as this post.

    So to my mind this demonstration can all tie back in with just how untenable the position of a scientist not valuing philosophy is. The questions of philosophy drive science, and give science, as a practice, a meaningful human context.

    And even in the tangent towards any argument involving religion – at least Christianity – we still can’t adecate our responsibility of using our understanding and our reason in interpreting the teachings of JC (albeit to be believed as being assisted by supernatural powers according to the constraints of doctorine, and yes, it being a God given faculty in the first place). Regardless, in either science or (even) Christianity, from what i have read, wisdom is valued, and the pursuit of critical thinking is encouraged, else, indispensable.

    Someone identifying as a scientist – or even as a person of Christian faith – makes a grave blunder in not valuing the study of (even some) philosophy, and further more their own capacity for reason and understanding.

  23. James Wiliams

    When somebody says :Yes, but. He usually means no. Why do I have to believe the bible as infinate truth, when the same bible according to some people say, homosexuality is a sin. On the other hand the bible talks of a man walking on water, a talking snake, an apple who can curse human kind, and a virgin being pregnant an delivering a baby. It has nothing to do with philosophy, it’s belief.

  24. James Wiliams

    You only recite biblical text, repetition is not using your own mind, jit’s just repeating lecture what other people have said. Philosophy is in principle using your own mind and discussing the why and how of this world. Philosophy is not obtaining the absolute truth, but the accepting of doubt in using your mind.

  25. James Wiliams

    Beware of biblical know it all people who waver with fire and brimstone. People who preach to be part of an organisation who have the infinite truth and if you want to be part of it, you need to have the same tube vision. Obtaining knowledge and understanding needs an open vision and wonder. Doubt and needing to learn and understanding other visions and brain thought are a must. Science needs proof and testing and getting the same results, so hypothesis can become theory and scientific law. Religion is belief, the moment it becomes carved in stone, it’s not belief anymore and religion becomes a tyrant, where using the mind is forbidden. The leaders will tell you what you think, and do. It’s allways the imaginations of people and is not about philosophy but about power

  26. James Wiliams

    You are on the wrong forum. Please join the religion fanatics and leave us alone. We talk about philosophy, not about the infallible bible or God. We don’t need salavation or religious education. Stop posting texts, ifI am interested i will look it up myself.

  27. Perhaps something like Google’s Zeitgeist forum inspired a bit of sensationalism. And SH wasn’t immune to partaking. The telegraph quotes him as saying,  “Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics.” Which makes me wonder which modern philosopher’s he’s read to have tarred all with the same brush. It begs the converse question of what philosophical questions modern physics has actually definitively answered. Philosophy isn’t only about hypothesis and answer but interpretation and purpose. Meaning. It just sounds like Hawking fundamentally misunderstands philosophy, and is reducing it all to the pre-enlightenment Catholic-church-dogmatized subset of Aristotal.

    Philosophy can and still does ask questions science can’t answer – yet helps direct enquiry. From reading him, Hawking struck me as someone who also took scientific theory too often as fact. Maybe science is mandatory in much philosophical enquiry. But Hawking seems a prime example of a scientist who needed to be much more of a philosopher.

    Final quick note: scientists should reflect on both Boltzmann and Hume, and remember that science still occupies the space of an unaccountable discipline that just happens to seem practical, just happens to work, but rests on numerous tenuous assertions which may never be fully validated. The repeatability of the simplest experiment – let alone faith in our ability to meaningfully interpret it- rests on immeasurable assumptions.

  28. There’s irony in that Hawking was a chiefly a theorist, yes. I’ve read quiet a few opinions from applied scientists about him that sound much like his expressed opinion of philosophy. You’d think Hawking would have a more intelligent, informed position.

  29. The takeaway for me has been that it’s easy – even for great, learned people – to misconstrue concepts and meanings without first honest meditation upon the intention of what is written and said – questioning or searching. I could be as guilty of the same, and so in mentioning Hawking as an example, I have therefore purposely suggested a reason for his interpretation being perhaps narrow, if not entirely without foundation (potentially the Church’s embrace of Aristotle).

    And of course, this is a topic of discussion for those who are interested, open-hearted on the subject, and of course I personally am willing to entertain the position that my suspicions are wrong. We all seek to understand. The searching and the understanding comes from humility – the humility to consider other side of discussion or at least listen to them and think on them before replying. Understanding is only genuine from humility. If we have only strongly preconceived notions of philosophy, God, religion, science, of course will will only ever seek to find validation for what we already believe. There is no understanding in the parroting of dogma; no real faith where there is never any doubt, only arrogance and conceit. This isn’t the path to understanding. It’s certainly not the path to salvation either.

    Many failing to recognise this indeed claim to be followers of religions in the hope their dogmatic adherence to things they often do not understand will save them. It surely will not. It’s ever the log in the preacher’s eye that is most blinding. So, not to be guilty of the same, I only ask that those who are able: think. Seek to understand. Even if that, for some, means only reading your Bible more closely and paying more heed to it.

    Sadly, those who use their God-given reason as intended will all-to-easily recognise those who do not among many who would declare themselves modern Christians. It’s sadly well-trodden ground for those familiar with modern Christianity – an abundance of righteousness and a lack of wisdom from those who would preach, as there seems an endless number willing to “educate others” on what they themselves do not yet understand, or to offer advice in presumption of others without knowing them at all. For this reason I only offer this advice to those who find themselves at odds with their own self-declared positions.

    For those “Christians” who would feel the need to push their own interpretations of views without consideration for what they do not know, or overly narrow their interpretations of one idea to try to constrain those of another in presumption of knowing better than someone else – ask yourself if that is done in no more than the hope of winning over them some sort of battle of the ego. I say to these people: if you believe the literal word and no more, then obey the literal word as is written where it’s clearest. If you have nothing to contribute to the discussions of the wise, then don’t contribute at all. Stay on the path you believe, and keep at peace with what you have the humility to try to understand – unless you’re willing to grow your understanding. And just in case in pride should you feel tempted to admonish anyone in the belief they are wrong or foolish when they say the same as I have said, don’t consider my words – consider your own covenant of literalism with what you claim to understand to be God.

    Titus 3:9-10

    “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him.”

    For in continuing to voice your views to people in dissent, you must either concede they are not part of a foolish controversy in continuing discussions with them, else – if they are in disagreement and are stirring up division as you must otherwise concede – you condemn yourself to hypocrisy and disobedience to keep talking with them.

    So to those people who recognise themselves as wanting or needing to adhere to these words, consider them. Consider these words you claim to follow but have in your pride and hypocricy forgotten! Also, where you find yourself stirring up division with those around you, recognise yourself in that role, and stop yourself!

    I personally am happy to follow such wisdom in complete agreement and humility, and after reasonable warning, thus given, have no-more-to-do with such a person or such people. Such people have only their own selves to save, should they chose to, before being of any help to others.

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