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Go to: UPDATE: Fashionable Nonsense?

fading away's Avatar Jump to comment 135 by fading away

If I may offer a reading recommendation ladies and gentleman. The late philosopher David Stove was perhaps the wittiest de-bunker of 'fashionable nonsense' of various kinds and although he is not as widely known as he should be (in my opinion), some of his common sense based essays are available on line.

Type in the words "David Stove What Is Wrong With Our Thoughts" in to a search engine and read the essay that becomes available. It discusses the kind of language used by postmodernists and is quite amusing.

Tue, 14 Jun 2011 15:55:27 UTC | #638452

Go to: Science and Philosophy

fading away's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by fading away

I have studied both mathematics and philosophy for over 10 years now (I have a degree in the former)and have great respect for both fields and feel privileged to live in a time when resources for both are very easy to obtain. Philosophy isn't dead and I don't expect to see it die within my lifetime.

One of the lessons that both philosophy and mathematics have taught me is the importance of attention to detail when it comes to argument and forming conclusions. In that spirit:

RE: Comment 5 by KingCarlos

"Science (quantum mechanics in particular) has even showed quite a few times that our reasoning falls apart when applied to the world thats beyond our senses".

I am not sure what you mean by the above statement. Could you perhaps elaborate?

. "I can't think of a good instance where pure philosophy actually got to an answer, and not just asked questions"

I am also unsure as to what you mean by "good" instance and "pure" philosophy.

RE: Comment 3 by AtheistEgbert

"Scientific thinking is what happens when you grow out of philosophy".

Again, given my own understanding of philosophy, mathematics and science I cannot fathom what the basis for this kind of comment is. I can only assume the meaning of the words is different to what the common understanding of them is. However if that is the case how are we supposed to interpret them?


Sun, 15 May 2011 15:03:14 UTC | #627053

Go to: My flatmate's book

fading away's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by fading away

Hello juliette123 and welcome to

"Not for me, either, the personal god of so many people, or the idiocy of some things done in the name of religion. I'm unsure if the here-and-now splendour of the natural world and the awesome laws of physics are enough for me personally",

I understand. I am a mathematician rather than a scientist and I often entertain the idea that the Platonic World actually exists.

I suspect you might enjoy the branch of philosophy known as metaphysics. There are two good books on the subject that I would recommend; 'The Possibility of Metaphysics: Substance, Identity and Time', and 'A Survey of Metaphysics' , both of which are by the philosopher E.J.Lowe.


Sun, 08 May 2011 20:28:55 UTC | #624690

Go to: How do computers work? Book recommendations please

fading away's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by fading away

I am not quite sure if this suggestion is exactly what you are after, but you might like it; you may wish to consider a book titled "THE FABRIC OF REALITY" by David Deutch, one of the founders of the theory of quantum computation.

In the book Deutch defends an explanation based view of science (as opposed to a prediction and modelling view) and seeks to show that there are four basic strands of thought that are essential for understanding the universe:

1) Quantum Physics 2) Evolution 3) Epistemology 4) Computation

Deutch describes and defends his view of these four strands and the idea that they are intimately connected. The book is intended for a lay audience, but attempts to keep the dumbing down to a minimum.

Mon, 03 Jan 2011 18:01:30 UTC | #572786

Go to: Those happy few: unsung heroes of reason, science and math

fading away's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by fading away

Unsung hero of reason

David Stove, philosopher of science who gave strong and sustained criticisms of Karl Popper's philosophy of science, which Stove viewed as a negative dogmatism. Instead Stove defended inductive reasoning and attempted to demonstrate its rational use via the logical interpretation of probability.

Unsung hero of science

Thomas Reid, 18th century philosopher of psychology. Reid anticipated the idea of non-euclidean geometry independently of mainstream mathematicians and anticipated (though only crudely it must be admitted) the idea that the human mind is modular.

Reid made his discoveries through disciplined introspection, combined with an adherence to the Newtonian method of doing science. Reid went on to use these discoveries to criticise (and in my opinion successfully refuted) the dogmatic theories of human psychology that were the mainstream philosophical views of his day (Bishop Berkley, David Hume etc )and previous generations (John Locke, Rene Descartes etc).

Unsung hero of math

Norman Wildberger. Canadian mathematician, currently residing in Australia. Wildberger discovered a new way to approach trigonometry that replaces the concepts of length and angle with notions that do not require non-rational numbers (rational numbers = fractions) in order to measure properties of triangles. He has named his new approach "Rational Trigonometry".

This allows one to do away with sine, cosine and tangent and replace them with completely algebraic ideas instead, which Wildberger calls "Quadrance" and "Spread". Moreover Wildberger's alternative measures are in many ways more natural and are far simpler to calculate. His achievement deserves to be more widely known.

Sun, 02 Jan 2011 20:26:45 UTC | #572430

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