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Science and philosophy not in competition

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Says Janet Cameron here:

Science owes a great deal to philosophy from its very beginning, and continues to do so to this day. As Cools continues:

“At every step of the way, from the application of the rules of logic, to the justification of why we should value or emphasize one set of facts over another in any specific application, the formulation of scientific theories relies heavily on philosophy. In fact, science was originally a branch of philosophy – natural philosophy – until that branch of inquiry became so large it specialized and branched off, then branched again into physics, biology, chemistry and so forth: we could say that science was grafted out of philosophy.”

Philosophy is the love of wisdom, the love of knowledge, and seeks answers to challenging questions. While science is engaged in gathering essential data and facts, philosophers are anxious to figure out how we can use them to their best advantage. Philosophers want to figure out whether there are any elements of the theory that may not work to humanity’s advantage, as happened in the distressing aftermath of the discovery of eugenics. More.

The article is a bit confused, due to far too much emphasis on what natural selection supposedly did (individual selection vs. group selection looms large), but still worth reading. For example,

Cools does not dismiss the importance of the group, since we need society for promoting education, disseminating food, clothing, equipment and medicine. We would not get far in life by ourselves.

Yes, that is known in some places as civilization.

See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (human evolution) and The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (the human mind)

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