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Shut up and Contemplate. A symposium on the philosophical foundations of our knowledge of Nature


  Österreichische Zentralbibliothek für Physik


Shut up and Contemplate. A symposium on the philosophical foundations of our knowledge of Nature

Mitschnitt einer Veranstaltung am Freitag, dem 3. März 2017 im Lise Meitner-Hörsaal der Fakultät für Physik der Universität Wien

- Teil 1: Welcome and introductory remarks
- Teil 2: Elisabeth Nemeth: What is the role science can (and ought to) play in democratic decision-making? Re-considering Otto Neurath’s early views on science and society
- Teil 3: Christian Damböck: Science and Democracy. The non-cognitivist conceptions of Kelsen, Carnap, and Reichenbach
- Teil 4: Karl Milford: On the importance of the problems of induction and demarcation
- Teil 5: Angelo Baracca: The path of science towards increasing formalization and abstraction, and the roots of the „revolution“ in physics of the early twentieth century
- Teil 6: Maximilian Fochler: Why don’t we shut up and contemplate more? How social and organizational changes in science restrict researchers’ space and capacity to reflect
- Teil 7: Reinhold Bertlmann: A nonlocal quantum engineer
- Teil 8: Caslav Brukner: The Rashomon effect - when interpretations of quantum theory disagree

Abstract: Science is nowadays largely accepted as the highest form of objective, neutral and trustable knowledge. This is not only a popular belief, but also a conviction of the vast majority of scientists, who consider Science as an essence existing independently of their work. Indeed, the same properties of the Nature itself, namely a pre-existing reality, are attributed to the study of Nature, regardless of the scientific praxis. Yet our knowledge about Nature is in fact strongly conditioned by the choices that have been taken, over time, by the men and women who developed it. Such choices are deeply intertwined with fundamental philosophical problems, like the different methodological positions, as well as with the circumstantial human conditions. These human conditions are all the historical, social, political, economical and even personal factors that are interposed, as a filter, between Nature and the accepted Science that we can find in the books. Obviously, to shed light on these different aspects of Science, genuine inspection of its contents, its interpretations and its methodology is required. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a critical analysis of current Science to gain an awareness of it as the product of an enormously complex set of choices, which led to a present scientific paradigm that is just one of the many possible alternatives. Moreover, most of university degree programs in scientific disciplines do not offer any courses concerning either philosophical foundations or social-historical contextualisation of science. Such kind of interests are, in the scientific community, generally discouraged and considered futile, almost a hobby. The aim of the symposium “Shut up and Contemplate!” is to provide a small contribution towards a reconciliation between the modern scientific praxis and the role of fundamental, philosophical and historical questions within Science, hoping that this could help to pave the way to a deeper and interdisciplinary comprehension, employing a more critical approach to the study of Nature.

(c) Österreichische Zentralbibliothek für Physik

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ÖFOS 2002, Interdisciplinary natural sciences