[ExI] Why Physics Needs Philosophy

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Wed Mar 30 15:30:48 UTC 2016

It is not uncommon to find quantum mechanics or general relativity left 
on the whiteboards in the Oxford philosophy department. But we have a 
very active philosophy of physics community.

(Around our own whiteboards at FHI it is way more probability theory, 
economics and logic, with a scattering of cosmology.)

Physics and other empirical sciences keep philosophers honest. 
Philosophers are good at handling domains where we do not yet know what 
we are doing.

(Want to design a good neuroimaging experiment for some "higher" 
function like consciousness, moral behavior or suffering? Get a 
philosopher into the experiment design team - neuroscientists often tend 
to have too simplistic models of what an experiment can tell about the 

On 2016-03-30 15:35, Dan TheBookMan wrote:
> On Mar 30, 2016, at 1:09 AM, Giulio Prisco <giulio at gmail.com 
> <mailto:giulio at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> And philosophy needs physics.
> Maudlin says that near the opening:
> "Many questions about the nature of reality cannot be properly pursued 
> without contemporary physics. Inquiry into the fundamental structure 
> of space, time and matter must take account of the theory of 
> relativity and quantum theory. Philosophers accept this. In fact, 
> several leading philosophers of physics hold doctorates in physics." 
> -- 
> http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/physics/2015/04/physics-needs-philosophy/
> No talk of ignoring physics there.
> Regards,
> Dan
>   Sample my Kindle books via:
> http://author.to/DanUst
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Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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