[extropy-chat] what is probability?

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Thu Jan 11 18:41:53 UTC 2007

"Damien Broderick" <thespike at satx.rr.com>

> You suggested that no scientist was ever usefully influenced by philosophy
> of science

I don't believe I quite said that, in fact I think every scientist needs a
philosophy of science, it's just that it doesn't take a great genius to
develop one. I did say that I couldn't think of a great philosopher of
science that was also a great scientist, and somebody brought up Ernst Mach.
I admit he probably comes the closest; he was certainly a great philosopher
of science, but was he a great scientist? He wrote his most important
scientific paper in 1887, but the man lived till 1916. He spent nearly 30
years on philosophy, and in opposing the atomic theory of matter and
relativity. He opposed them for philosophic reasons I might add.

> ("Easiest way to prove me wrong is to provide a counter example");  I  and
> gts produced several counter examples of scientists who were so  guided.

My challenge was to "tell me one thing, just one thing, that philosophers of
science have discovered that is clear, precise, unexpected, and true". I 
believe anyone has done that yet.

John K Clark

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