Thursday, September 29, 2005

On Science as A Philosophy

Okay, so I'm in the mood to be a little more introspective, today.

I read Dan Darling's statement that Intelligent Design is more philosophy than science, and I got to wondering, precisely, when did science break away from Natural Philosophy in the grand scheme of studies? I mean, Dad has a Ph.D. Isn't "Philosophy" the first part of that? During the Age of Enlightenment, for example, when Benjamin Franklin was trying to reason out the ocean's currents and electrical currents, he was seen not as a scientist, but an inventor and gifted philosopher. Where and when did the division actually take place?

I realize that, when one studies the known universe, one may assume that it in only knowable to one mind (strictly faith), one may take the approach that not everything is wholly knowable to us (as in Abbot's Flatland), or one may follow fairly strict paths of discovery (scientific inquiry), in expectation of someday knowing; but are not all less about knowing than about how one learns?

1 comment:

D Schulte-Frohlinde said...

I liked your humor and your question when science separated from philosophy. When I started my carrier as a chemist I was still in the philosophical department. It was only 1956 that chemistry became its own department. You see the separation was a very slow process and different on different levels. I liked also your statement of is science a philosophy? D Schulte-Frohlinde