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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: 1,246
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
philosophers."

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
ARCANE DISCUSSIONS, VERGING ON THE SCHOLASTIC, COULD HAVE INTERESTED
ONLY THE SMALLEST NUMBER OF PRACTICING SCIENTISTS.'. . . . . . . .
.[[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 <http://bit.ly/xupPFH>.

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)
<rrhake@earthlink.net>
Links to Articles: <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0>
Links to SDI Labs: <http://bit.ly/9nGd3M>
Blog: <http://bit.ly/9yGsXh>
Academia: <http://iub.academia.edu/RichardHake>
Twitter <https://twitter.com/#!/rrhake>

REFERENCES [URL's shortened by <http://bit.ly/> 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 <http://bit.ly/xupPFH>. 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
<http://bit.ly/zWfVlX> with a provision for comments.



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