Three Philosophical/Scientific Matters

I’m spending most of today’s blog hour doing some housekeeping on the blog itself. For today’s post, just one item, sorta deep, sorta light.

Big Think, Scotty Hendricks, 18 Jul 2023: 3 advances in philosophy that made science better, subtitled “Philosophy is often seen as little more than armchair speculation. This is a shame, as philosophy often has helped science reach new heights.”

Key Takeaways
• Philosophy is often ridiculed by scientists as being little more than armchair speculation. This is unfortunate because the scientific method itself is a product of philosophy. • Here, we discuss three major philosophical insights that directly led to advances in how science is performed. • These insights came from Francis Bacon, Alan Turing, Alonzo Church, and Noam Chomsky.

And I’ll just list the three ideas (with my glosses).

  • Francis Bacon demands experimental data (the idea that science requires evidence is itself a philosophical thesis)
  • The Church-Turing thesis made computers possible (philosophy helps identify what mathematical problems could be solved)
  • Noam Chomsky starts the cognitive revolution (he overthrew the behaviorist model of the mind and brain)


I’ve updated the Nonfiction reviews page to move the recent reviews down into the alphabetical sequence. There are still some major books read over the past decade that I haven’t yet blogged about, and there are stubs for those. There are also books read in the past 6 months or so not yet included.

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