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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Philosophy of Science's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, October 14th, 2010
4:03 pm
Bayesian Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics: Everything New Is Actually Well-Forgotten Old …
Some 80-90 years ago, an unknown Californian guy named George A. Linhart, unlike A. Einstein, P. Debye, M. Planck and W. Nernst, has managed to derive a very simple, but ultimately general mathematical formula for heat capacity vs. temperature from the fundamental thermodynamical principles, using what we would nowadays dub a “Bayesian approach to probability”. Moreover, he has successfully applied his result to fit the experimental data for diverse substances in their solid state in a rather broad temperature range. Nevertheless, Linhart’s work was undeservedly forgotten, although it does represent a valid and fresh standpoint on thermodynamics and statistical physics, which may have a significant implication for academic and applied science.

Interested ? The details are here:

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
1:23 am
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
Today's post on differenceblog explores some of the documented differences in the sizes of various portions of men's and women's brains. In the commentary section, I talk about how unsafe I feel discussing something that doesn't fit my political views, and the appropriateness of revealing how we really are, as opposed to how we think we should be. Other opinions are always welcome.

differenceblog is a daily feature about the study of gender differences, with commentary from a life in two genders.
Sunday, March 26th, 2006
11:26 am
My website thisQuantumWorld.com has undergone a major overhaul.

Go to THE RULES and proceed to a discussion of two key experiments and their ontological implications (SCATTERING,TWO SLITS).

Or click on STABILITY and learn why the mathematical formalism of the fundamental theoretical framework of physics is a tool for assigning probabilities to measurement outcomes.

Find a SPACE for the quantum world.

Click on FORM to learn about the shapes of things.

Discover the TOP-DOWN structure of the quantum world.

Inform yourself about the measurement CONTROVERSY.

Know the meaning of objective PROBABILITY.

Recognize the PSEUDOPROBLEMS that make it so hard to beat sense into quantum mechanics.

Or be perplexed by BELL's theorem.

And come back soon for more...
Tuesday, February 28th, 2006
7:00 pm
a koantum challenge
Want to be challenged? Check this out!
9:34 am
This Quantum World
Hey, take a look at ThisQuantumWorld.com. (I know it needs updating, but...)
Friday, February 17th, 2006
3:39 am
Induction, Logic and more babbling about attacks on science
Let's liven up this journal! A friend, who is also a self-proclaimed mathematician and logician, questioned the logical foundations of science with the following experience:

"...if you ask a student of physics or any sort of person who believes in the validity of science the question, "Will the laws of gravity continue to hold tomorrow?" you will receive one of two possible answers: "Yes, certainly." or "It seems very probable that they will." I will show that the first statement doesn't follow necessarily from assumptions and that the second statement makes no sense at all."

This later, italicized assertion is one that baffles me because I have never (to date) been a skeptic of probability. Are there substantial reasons for questioning chance? regardless of context? What I mean is that I would like an abstraction of probability without toying with temporal contexts (can one avoid the textbook example that varies time? ie. 'there is a chance A will occur so probability is a meaningful experience'). I think a reduction of probability to magic or deceptive anomalies would expose the argument as illogical or lead to determinism.

Next, my friend defines induction and disagrees with its conclusions:

"The foundational axiom of inductive reasoning--and all of science--is that if X(n) holds for n < p, then X(p) holds also. If it has always worked before, then it will work again. I don't accept this. ... It works--and it works through science--because we modern humans believe in science."

First, I have never seen induction defined symbolically. Does anyone have a good source for an induction theorem?

Second, I applaud my friend's defense of, despite mathematics and logic, my very own epistemology in belief systems! But, I feel that belief systems are used here to undermine science's vitality. Is there a better defense of science than a dogmatic, "I believe in it" speech. Isn't my use of a deductive theorem also dependent upon my belief in deduction? and mathematics?
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005
11:17 am
The Meaning of Life
I invite you all to punch holes in this if you can.

Sunday, May 29th, 2005
12:16 pm
Singularity Studies Reader -
This post is fulfilling a promise to pablobastard, but it should prove beneficial to others as well.

That should keep folks busy.

I am not inclined to refer books that I haven't read, but I haven't read all these. I've probably read about 90% of them, and the others I've either got on my wish list or have been considering.

This list is obviously still in development. If readers have additional texts to recommend, I'll include it in edits, with the appropriate disclaimer. Thus far I've only included non-fiction works.

"Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population." - Albert Einstein

cross-posted: forward_looking, futuretech, phil_of_science, singularity_now, tessier_ashpool, the_quickening, the_robots, transhumanist.

Current Mood: awake
Tuesday, May 24th, 2005
10:48 pm
does anybody know of any good 'philosophy of chemistry' type of books?
Saturday, May 21st, 2005
3:01 pm
Intro Post

I stumbled across this community today, and I'm really glad I did. My name is Ross. I'm a Senior in high school and I'm going to MIT next year. Right now they have me listed as a Physics/Philosophy major (although that could definitely change), so this comm should be a good fit for me.
12:58 pm
Quick Question
Please define exactly where "correlation" becomes "causation" in terms of a scientific theory.

Are there any normative guidelines? Absolute guidelines?

Quote that betrays my thoughts on the matter behind cut--from Niels Bohr.Collapse )
Thursday, May 19th, 2005
12:09 pm
A Robust Theory of Epistemological Relativism and How It Does Not Imply One Can't Be Wrong
Read more...Collapse )
(Needless to say, x-posting everywhere.)
Wednesday, May 18th, 2005
4:18 pm
True or False: In science, there are no binary distinctions (green vs. not-green, existant vs. non-existent, etc.) but only matters of degree.

Defend your answer with examples.
Thursday, May 5th, 2005
3:20 am
Who should teach evolution? creation?
I am an undergraduate studying physics and pedagogy in preparation for teaching the sciences to high school students. The battle between creationism and evolution, I fear, is going to erupt in the middle of class. In preparation for that day, I would like to know who should teach these theories?

I wrote a letter to the college newspaper -- that they published -- to rebuke the dogma of several science professors who attacked the editor for printing a pro-creation article. Here was my conclusion:

Mr. Boulmay's opinion is, in essence, calling-out our faith. He asks whether our nation should expose children to seemingly opposing belief systems. To teach conflicting stories of life's origin may worry children and needlessly fester anxiety. I suggest a scientific resolution to the question: conduct an experiment! One experimental group of children would be exposed to only scientific theories, and the hypothesis would predict this group develops adults of the "enlightened minority", a numinous entity that the professors appear to have exclusive membership.

I tend to agree with Plato's remark on who should determine the kind of education to provide our future citizens. He concluded, "We shall persuade mothers and nurses to tell our chosen stories to their children, and by means of them to mould their minds." (The Republic) If citizens decide that children should be taught creationism, like a story told by parents, then teachers, being agents of the state, must follow the democratic voice. This nation's devotion to majority rule, as compelled on teachers, presents an overlooked quandary to Mr. Boulmay's opinion.

As a future science teacher, I answer the professors' question, "Can hundreds of thousands of scientists [...] be wrong?" with a firm “Yes”, that the possibility exists for scientists to err inasmuch as it does fundamentalists.
Tuesday, April 19th, 2005
10:09 pm
123 years ago today, the father of evolution died. His revolutionary theories impacted every branch of human knowledge, and continue to challenge our conception of ourselves and the world around us.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

RIP Charlie.
Monday, April 18th, 2005
3:05 am
Underdetermination Demonstration
Hi. I've just joined. I'm a philosophy major at Cal State Polytechnic University Pomona and am currently in a philosophy of science class.

I've really been stretching my brain out to come up with some ideas for an experiment that would be given to high school students demonstrating Underdetermination in science. You don't need to offer up an exact experiment but if anyone could possibly help me out and point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated.

Thankyou :)

Current Mood: exhausted
Wednesday, April 6th, 2005
12:13 am
Hello guys!

I'm currently in my honours year. One part of the thesis module needs me to write up an essay choosing a concept of philosophy of science or a philosopher of science to defend my thesis topic.

Since, my thesis topic is somewhat trying to explain a phenomenon in different ways, I would say I'm picking Hempel's, and specifically his covering laws model (the inductive-statistical model).

I'm going to be faced with problems like how induction is a problem itself, and will have to defend that as well.

Anyway, my point is:

- Are there good websites on covering laws model, those sort that gives an overview?
- any books you would recommend on the use of this model as well as to counteract the arguments against it? since I'll have to defend the philosopher of science in question with regards to my thesis topic.
- Currently, I'm flipping through: swinburne's justification of induction, hempel's aspects of scientific explanation, the methodology of economics, reflection without rules by D. Wade hands.
- Just like to know if I'm missing out on any books that should be read on this topic?



x-posted to several other communities! (sorry for the repeats!)
Thursday, March 31st, 2005
7:53 am
'Reductionism' is an ambiguous term that has many meanings. Give a definition of the term and then tell me if you think this form of reductionism can be carried out.
Tuesday, March 29th, 2005
12:48 am
Hello all,

I hope this is the right place to post for this favour I've to ask. If it is not, feel free to remove this post.

I'll be starting on a somewhat philosophy of science related essay soon, where I've to choose a philosophy of science concept or a philosopher of science that's related to my thesis topic and discuss.

I'm currently doing my economics honours and have not touched philosophy at all before until now. So, I'll love to know are there any websites you would recommend that will give a comprehensive guide to philosophers in science etc?

I'm currently reading 'philosophy of science : a very short introduction' by samir okasha which I think is fantastic for an introduction.


Sunday, March 27th, 2005
11:43 am
I'm verkempt...discuss amongst yourselves...
Purdue publication in Nature rocks web overnight.

Current Mood: all the time
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