Saturday, December 05, 2015

Carlo Rovelli on Physics and Philosophy

In this Philosophy Bites interview, Carlo Rovelli argues that physicists benefit from studying philosophy both in terms of (1) increasing their sense of what is possible in conceptual space and (2) increasing their methodological awareness. Rovelli argues that these two factors were crucial in both Newton's and Einstein's ability to revolutionize in the physics of their day. Speaking of scientific revolutions, Rovelli also criticizes the excessive influence of Thomas Kuhn's philosophy of science among theoretical physicists, because Kuhn does not give sufficient emphasis to the fact that science is a cumulative endeavor, such that even revolutionary advances build upon and encompass previous discoveries.
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