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Topic: [math-learn] Physicist Steven Weinberg's Essay "AGAINST PHILOSOPHY" (was
"References for Hermeneutics of Physics")

Replies: 1   Last Post: Feb 21, 2012 1:55 PM

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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,251
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
[math-learn] Physicist Steven Weinberg's Essay "AGAINST PHILOSOPHY" (was
"References for Hermeneutics of Physics")

Posted: Feb 21, 2012 10:55 AM
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Some subscribers to Math-Learn might be interested in a recent post
"Physicist Steven Weinberg's Essay 'AGAINST PHILOSOPHY' (was
'References for Hermeneutics of Physics') " [Hake (2012)]. The
abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Faye Pasamonte of the PhysLrnR list requested references on
the "hermeneutics of physics." [An online dictionary tells me that
hermeneutics is "the branch of knowledge that deals with
interpretation, esp. of the Bible or literary texts."] My relay of
her request - along with a dismissal of hermeneutics by philosopher
Denis Phillips - to the HOPOS-L list (History of Philosophy of
Science) initiated a 20-post thread replete with references and a mix
of opinions on the value of hermeneutics. Philosopher George Gale, a
hermeneutics skeptic, wrote (paraphrasing) "Steven Weinberg in
Chapter 7 'AGAINST PHILOSOPHY' of his book 'Dreams of a Final
Theory' holds his own pretty damn well against the despised

Weinberg wrote: ". . . we should not expect it [philosophy] to
provide today's scientists with any useful guidance about how to go
about their work or about what they are likely to find. . . . After
surveying three decades of professional writings in the philosophy of
science, the philosopher George Gale. . . . .[[in "Science and the
Philosophers" (Gale, 1984)]]. . . . . concludes that 'THESE ALMOST
.[[my CAPS]]. . . . Wittgenstein (1980) wrote that 'nothing seems to
me less likely than that a scientist or mathematician who reads me
should be seriously influenced in the way he works.' "

To access the complete 15 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References
which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
Links to Articles: <>
Links to SDI Labs: <>
Blog: <>
Academia: <>
Twitter <!/rrhake>

REFERENCES [URL's shortened by <> and accessed on 20 Feb 2012.]

Hake, R.R. 2012. "Physicist Steven Weinberg's Essay 'AGAINST
PHILOSOPHY' (was 'References for Hermeneutics of Physics'), " online
on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <>. Post of 20
Feb 2012 16:48:24-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link
to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion
lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at
<> with a provision for comments.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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