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An Invitation to a Dialogue

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#1 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:39 AM

As you know, one of Galileo’s important writings was his The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.  Dialogue is central to what we do here on this CN thread.  Dialogue helps us discover and display scientific truth.  Dialogue provides us the opportunity to use scientific knowledge and technological application in ways which are beneficial to human beings, to all living things on Earth, and to the health of our planet.

 

In this dialogical vein, I invite you to a dialogue regarding the contents of The Elements of Philosophy… by William A. Wallace, O.P.  I am conducting a paragraph by paragraph review and discussion of this book.  It can be found at  https://opiechowski.wordpress.com  .

 

Why might The Elements of Philosophy… be relevant to our Science!  Astronomy & Space Exploration, and Others thread here at Cloudy Nights and why might one want to read the contents of this review and choose to engage in a discussion of the same?  Well, the answer has to do with the author.

 

The author, Father William A. Wallace, O.P. in addition to his eight earned degrees and four honorary doctorates in engineering, physics, philosophy, and theology; Wallace had research appointments at Consolidated Edison, Harvard University in the area of the history of science, the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, and the Naval Ordnance Laboratory.  His work at this Laboratory coincided with his appointment to the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations during WW2; work for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

 

In addition to his 370 periodical articles, his twenty published books include The Scientific Methodology of Theoderic of Freiburg, Causality and Scientific Explanation, Galileo’s Early Notebooks, Prelude to Galileo: Essays on Medieval and Sixteenth-Century Sources of Galileo's Thought, Galileo and His Sources, Galileo’s Logic of Discovery and Proof, Galileo’s Logical Treatises, and The Modeling of Nature.

 

I am drawn to the work of Father Wallace because his combination of expertise in science and philosophy, with a special focus on Galileo, appealed to me as an amateur stargazer/scopist who subsequently entered into philosophical studies.  Further, I was a student in two of his graduate level philosophy of science courses.  On a personal level, Wallace was an operations officer in the Pacific Ocean Area at the same time my father was a Chief Petty Officer/Boatswain Mate on an LCI in the Philippines campaign.  Finally, I share a Kentucky tie with Wallace who entered the Dominican order in Springfield, Kentucky which is an hour drive form my home.

 

The Elements of Philosophy includes the chapters "Philosophy of Mathematics", "Philosophy of the Natural Sciences",  and "Philosophy of the Behavioral Sciences".  Specific persons and topics of scientific interest covered in this book are Grosseteste, Ockham, Ockhamism, Mechanical Philosophy and Empiricism, Bacon, Galileo, Newton, Descartes, Wolff, Whitehead, logical positvism, Leibniz, applied mathematics, symbolic logic, physical sciences, quantum theory, laws of thermodynamics, relativity, matter, universe and cosmology, biology, evolution, technology, et alia.

 

Please consider reading the sequential quotes from his The Elements of Philosophy with appended commentary at  https://opiechowski.wordpress.com  and posting your own comments.  At the bottom of each subsequent article there is a link which says “Leave a comment."

 

With gratitude,

 

Otto


Edited by Otto Piechowski, 24 August 2019 - 11:55 AM.

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#2 llanitedave

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 11:27 PM

I don't know how others will respond to this, Otto, but it sounds like something I would be extremely tempted to go into.  Unfortunately, it's been a while since I've had the time to do "light reading", and I've been neglecting those types of pleasures.  When things slow down, perhaps...



#3 Mister T

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 06:45 AM

As I understand it...

Philosophy is really the study of how we as emotional beings interpret the vast world/universe and our interactions with it.

There is no Philosophy of math or science or physics. 

There is philosophy about humans and our comprehension of the sciences.

Any Individual's, or group's philosophies about what science tells them really does not affect the true science.

the sun is still going to revolve around the earth wink.gif no matter what kind of rational you cloak it in.

unless....

Quarks and leptons etc have feelings and can act on them instead of just doing what "the (wo)Man"(mother nature) says they should do??thinking1.gif  


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#4 llanitedave

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 12:22 PM

There definitely IS a philosophy of science, and it's actually an important thing.


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#5 goodricke1

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 03:13 PM

As I understand it...

Philosophy is really the study of how we as emotional beings interpret the vast world/universe and our interactions with it.

There is no Philosophy of math or science or physics. 

There is philosophy about humans and our comprehension of the sciences.

Any Individual's, or group's philosophies about what science tells them really does not affect the true science.

the sun is still going to revolve around the earth wink.gif no matter what kind of rational you cloak it in.

unless....

Quarks and leptons etc have feelings and can act on them instead of just doing what "the (wo)Man"(mother nature) says they should do??thinking1.gif  

 

Hmmm I don't think philosophy has anything to with emotion. Science is a description of the Universe but philosophy seeks an explanation, and is therefore more profound. Science tells us that an object revolves around another object, but philosophy grapples with why those objects exist in the first place. That is a bigger question imo.


Edited by goodricke1, 25 August 2019 - 03:26 PM.

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#6 ColoHank

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 05:12 PM

Hmmm I don't think philosophy has anything to with emotion. Science is a description of the Universe but philosophy seeks an explanation, and is therefore more profound. Science tells us that an object revolves around another object, but philosophy grapples with why those objects exist in the first place. That is a bigger question imo.

One that has no answer.  Plenty of opinions, though. 



#7 BillP

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:10 PM

Hmmm I don't think philosophy has anything to with emotion. Science is a description of the Universe ...

 

Hmmm.  What "objective" automaton made that "description" you speak of?  I hope it was one that was devoid of emotion or bias.  Lord knows we would not want any human being making that description since they can in no way divorce themselves from their observation, so all their observations contain emotion and bias!  Just no way around that, and the scientific method cannot get around it either since it is bound to a group of people who emotionally and subjectively interact with each other, the observations, and the data! 

 

Or as  Janet D. Stemwedel, Ph. D., Professor and Chair Department of Philosophy, San Jose State University put it:

 

Here's the thing: we find out the difference between objective facts and subjective impressions of the world by actually sharing a world with other people whose subjective impressions about the world differ from our own. (Given the opacity of what's in our minds, there also needs to be some kind of communication between us and these people with whom we're sharing the world.) We discover that some things don't seem the same to all of us: Not everyone likes Friday Night Lights. Not everyone finds knock-knock jokes hilarious. Not everyone hates the flavor of asparagus. Not everyone finds a '66 Mustang beautiful.

 

But, if you had the world all to yourself, how would you be able to tell which parts of your experience of the world were objective and which were subjective? How, in other words, would you be able to distinguish the parts of your experience that were more reflective of actual features of the world you were experiencing from the parts of your experience that were more reflective of you as the experiencer?

 

https://blogs.scient...s-a-team-sport/


Edited by BillP, 25 August 2019 - 09:14 PM.


#8 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 02:10 PM

Please, join in the discussion about the contents of Wallace's The Elements of Philosophy..."  If you wish to do so, the links are contained in the post which opens this thread.

 

The last article entered is the introductory beginning to Part 1: Systematic Philosophy, The Basic Disciplines.

 

With gratitude,

 

Otto



#9 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 11:00 AM

Please, join in the discussion about the contents of Wallace's The Elements of Philosophy...".  If you wish, to do so, the links are contained in the post which opens this thread.

 

The last article entered addresses Formal Logic/Judgment.

 

With gratitude,

 

Otto



#10 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 09:55 AM

Please, join in the discussion about the contents of Wallace's The Elements of Philosophy...".  If you wish, to do so, the links are contained in the post which opens this thread.

The current article/discussion involves the topic of Reasoning.

With gratitude,

Otto



#11 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 09:15 AM

Please, join in the discussion about the contents of Wallace's The Elements of Philosophy...".  If you wish, to do so, the links are contained in the post which opens this thread.

 

The current article/discussion involves the topic of Material Logic.

 

With gratitude,

 

Otto


Edited by Otto Piechowski, 30 September 2019 - 09:16 AM.



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