Monday, 10 September 2012


  • Philosophy v science: which can answer the big questions of life?

    "Only science can build a car. But it can't tell you where you should drive it."
    Where one SHOULD drive depends on a priori assumptions. Given a definitive list and weighting of those assumptions, neither philosophy nor science has a difficulty with this question. Philosophy is a discussion (or argument) about the assumptions and their ordering, science (in this case) is an analysis of the results of those assumptions in the physical world.


  • Junk food banned in maintained schools is being sold in academies

    That is the problem when parents run a school: they can make choices rather than do whatever they are told by state bureaucrats. Not all of these choices will be good ones. That is, they will not always be those that you and I agree with. What are we to do? I know, let's make everything that is not compulsory forbidden.
    Or, we could just expose those choices and see if they rethink them when warned of the consequences. If not, THEN we can move in with totalitarian diktat.
  • Philosophy v science: which can answer the big questions of life?

    Interesting conversation  debate. I like the distinguishing of "why" and "how" questions, but I would make it: "why" and "under what circumstances." (Causality is a slippery concept; most scientific laws are statements that haven't been violated to date.) So the agreed something-or-nothing question is really: under what circumstances do universes arise containing something.
    As mentioned by the interlocutor, "why" questions are inherently unanswerable without reference to a reason (or a purpose, if you are a religious/intelligent design believer). Thus, they, are not really the province of science, absent empirical demonstration of a purpose.
    Yet 'why" questions are the most important when considering society, because society IS purposeful - created for "reasons" however right, wrong or misguided. Scientific method can assist in the analysis but it cannot resolve intent without assuming a fixed-fate universe, enlivened only by random fluctuation and chaotic functions.

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