[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] electric sheep

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2007 11:32:15 -0500
Message-id: <4731E88F.40300@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ingvar,    (01)

I mostly agree with the following:    (02)

> (1) The fact that completely new sciences now and then emerge wholly or 
> partly from philosophy. The first professors in psychology and sociology 
> were philosophers; and the same goes for some of the professors of the 
> rather recently created discipline cognitive science. I think this will 
> continue to happen even in the future.
> (2) The fact that many scientific theories so to speak in and of 
> themselves force scientists to start to philosophize. Witness only the 
> debates around relativity theory and quantum mechanics. From an 
> historical perspective, it is by no means odd that the information 
> sciences suffer from a nominalism vs. realism debate.
> (3) The fact that, give the contemporary divsion of labor within the 
> sciences, it befalls on pure philosophers to see whether what is said in 
> all the different empirical disciplines make up a coherent picture. And, 
> if not, propose solutions - and this philosophical-ontological task 
> cannot be called conceptual analysis.    (03)

The only point of disagreement is with the final sentence.  I would
call that "philosophical-ontological task" conceptual analysis.    (04)

The solutions that philosophers propose are a better set of concepts,
which can serve as the building blocks for constructing scientific
theories and for interpreting the data that can test those theories.    (05)

Scientists such as Einstein and Bohr did a lot of conceptual analysis
in formulating their Gedanken experiments, which led to ontologies
about the existence and nature of photons, atoms, electron orbits.
They won Nobel prizes for formulating new sets of concepts and using
them to reinterpret data that other scientists had gathered.    (06)

This view by no means trivializes philosophy.  People like Einstein
and Bohr won their prizes in physics, and the AI pioneer Herb Simon
won it in economics.  But their work was primarily philosophical
-- i.e., conceptual analysis.    (07)

John    (08)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (09)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>