So, this is where I keep links to my toughts on thinking about the world …
Contingency of Knowledge – I’m an atheist who is an atheist as a consequence of where science leads me – my atheism is a working conclusion rather than a presupposition, and certainly not a faith. I’m occasionally asked how I get to that point, so this is where it starts.
Human Fallibility – I’ve arrived at the point where my working model is that we think with our minds and we have senses to sense the natural world. But on closer examination, by our minds, these senses appear to be fallible.
Confirmation Bias – Given the above contingency of knowledge, and the human fallibility that we all suffer from, scientists, being human, and yet wanting to improve on our natural capacity to acquire reliable knowledge, have to be particularly aware of the pitfalls. Confirmation bias is such a tricky one that it requires persistent vigilance. This post looks at one example.
Stating the Obvious – If the answers to our questions at the edges of our understanding were obvious, we wouldn’t be debating them. So it’s particularly frustrating to see philosophers making statements about what is ‘obvious’.
Appreciating Empiricism in Science – Stephen Law debates chemist Peter Atkins, and Stephen naturally is trying to make a case for philosophy in the face of claims by scientists that philosophy has less to offer than philosophers often make out. Stephen seems to lose sight of what science is. I think Peter can teach Stephen some philosophy with regard to empiricism.
The Depth of Empiricism – Philosophers don’t get that empiricism rules – OK.
Thought v Experience – Putting thought (reason) and experience into perspective and challenging the primacy of thought as a way of acquiring knowledge. I told you, empiricism rules – OK?
Ways of Knowing – There’s Only One, That We Know Of – Both the religious and the anti-Science pseudo-philosophers declare there are ‘other ways of knowing’ – something they say when the want to put science in its place. There’s only one way of knowing, and we’re all subject to it.
Ontological Determinism, Epistemological Indeterminism, Laplace’s Demon – Some thoughts on how these fit together as a simple model of the universe, and why we have to get over our fear of determinism, whether it pertains or not.
Re-running The Universe: Determinism, Indeterminism, Quantum Stuff – Comparing re-runs of the universe.
A View of Science: Lawrence Krauss on Cosmic Connections – How to think about science.
Plantinga, Law, Coyne: Theology, Philosophy, Science – More on the comparison between these different ‘ways of thinking’ (as opposed to ‘ways of knowing’, of which we only have one, the brain-body system).
Ideas, Concepts, Thoughts – Physical Instantiation In Brains – What are concepts made of?
The Primacy of Thought – Why do we think that thinking is superior to experience in knowledge acquisition?