Saturday, March 16, 2013


The Physicist Laurence Krauss said:

"Philosophers are threatened by science because “science progresses and philosophy doesn’t."

I imagine Philosophy is like an annoying five year old, constantly bombarding an adult (Science) with deceivingly simple but in essence deeper questions.

According to late Physicist Richard Feynman ‘doubt’ constitutes the central tenet of Science.

“Now, we scientists … take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure — that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes that this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle. Permit us to question — to doubt, that’s all — not to be sure. And I think it is important that we do not forget the importance of this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained. Here lies a responsibility to society.”

Hence “doubt” it seems an area of agreement between Science and Philosophy.  Both use doubt as a key in their quest to understand the nature of reality.

Note Feynman also stated:

“We can't define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers… one saying to the other: "you don't know what you are talking about!". The second one says: "what do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? What do you mean by know?"”

Indeed Science and Philosophy have conflict of interest, a point of friction. Science is most notably progressive. It marks whatever in its checklist, and after removing shadows of doubts moves on with new doubts. Whereas Philosophy it seems is stuck with questions and doubts with little intent to seek answers. One strongly favours seeking answers; the other one favours seeking questions.

Having said that progressive nature of science should not mean ‘anything goes’. It should not be “blind progression” regardless of moral questions or despite humanity. Scientists should have and do have moral responsibilities. 

I do think classical education and understanding Philosophy of Science are crucial tools for scientists to understand their role and responsibilities in the society, in answering questions like where they come from, how Science progressed, and what are moral and social challenges they are confronted with.

But I also think there may be a simpler reason for Krauss’ and others’ strong reaction against Philosophy, in essence it may indeed be a reaction against “Science Denialism”. They may be seeing Philosophy as a breeding ground for that. This would of course be a bold generalisation; nevertheless I believe has been a factor.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A day of awakening

If I need to pick up just one day, among others; mother's day, father's day, valentine's day and so on, it would be the women's day.

Women’s day calls for action, a reminder for humankind, as it points to a shame we all share.

Hundreds of millions of women are oppressed around the world, deprived of freedom to shape their life. They are physically and mentally abused.

Everything we achieved on our planet so far in the name of “civilisation” will be meaningless, unless the other half of our species is treated equally.

Therefore this is not a day to celebrate. Not yet. It must be a day of awakening.