In this episode I’m back, talking to William Bindley – a student of, and tutor for, philosophy and mathematics.
This is part two of our conversation on Philosophy of Science. In part one we talked about how science should be done. Now we’re looking at the question, what is science for?
I naively assumed that we’d be discussing the tension between science for the sake of understanding reality and understanding reality for the sake of change. In the words of Karl Marx, that “the point is not merely to understand the world, but to change it.” And I couldn’t have been more wrong in my assumption.
The philosophical question, “what is science for?” deals with something much more fundamental. What aspects of reality can science study? The answer to this question splits into three main camps: scientific realism, anti realism and structural realism – which are the main focus of our discussion.
Now, before I shut up and get on with the show, let me make a couple of disclaimers.
First, this conversation was intellectually exhausting. Seriously. When we finished, I had a nap and went to bed early. But it was fascinating. If, like me, you’re new to the subject, take your time. Don’t be afraid to take a break and come back to it.
Second, our conversation got cut off part-way through by a blackout. We continued the next day, but there will be a moment in the audio where things stop, we re-acquire our bearings and continue the conversation.
If you want to see more from William, check out his YouTube channel, which has a range of videos about philosophy and mathematics: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe1vgni-i2C6r3XlM9E05fA
~ The Critical Coach
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