Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Contemporary Idola Mentis
|Dedicated to Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic|
|who proposed the idea of the Contemporary Natural Philosophy Project|
2. Contemporary Natural Philosophy
2.1. Motivations for Contemporary Natural Philosophy
2.2. Philosophical Framework of Contemporary Natural Philosophy
The traditional sciences have always had trouble with ambiguity. To overcome this barrier, ‘science’ has imposed ‘enabling constraints’—hidden assumptions which are given the status of ceteris paribus. Such assumptions allow ambiguity to be bracketed away at the expense of transparency. These enabling constraints take the form of uncritically examined presuppositions, which we refer to throughout the article as ‘uceps.’ […] Second order science reveals hidden issues, problems and assumptions which all too often escape the attention of the practicing scientist (but which can also get in the way of the acceptance of a scientific claim) .
The tenets of realist liberal naturalism are: (i) A liberalized ontological tenet, according to which some real and non-supernatural entities exist that are irreducible to the entities that are part of the coverage domain of a natural science-based ontology; (ii) A liberalized epistemological tenet, according to which some legitimate forms of understanding (say, a priori reasoning or introspection) are neither reducible to scientific understanding nor incompatible with it; (iii) A liberalized semantic tenet, according to which there are linguistic terms that refer to real non-supernatural entities that do not form part of the coverage domain of natural science and are not reducible to those entities which do; (iv) A liberalized metaphilosophical tenet, according to which there are issues in dealing with which philosophy is not continuous with science as to its content, method and purpose .
3. From Baconian Idola Mentis to Contemporary Idola Mentis
I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction .
4. The Idols of the Number
4.1. What Do We Know When We Know the Number?
Modern mathematics is the formal study of structures that can be defined in a purely abstract way. Think of mathematical symbols as mere labels without intrinsic meaning. It doesn’t matter whether you write ‘two plus two equals four’, ‘2 + 2 = 4′ or ‘dos mas dos igual a cuatro’. The notation used to denote the entities and the relations is irrelevant; the only properties of integers are those embodied by the relations between them. That is, we don’t invent mathematical structures—we discover them, and invent only the notation for describing them. So here is the crux of my argument. If you believe in an external reality independent of humans, then you must also believe in what I call the mathematical universe hypothesis: that our physical reality is a mathematical structure. In other words, we all live in a gigantic mathematical object […] ,
4.2. Numbers and Their Structures
- (no name as it is the universal condition for operation) ∀a,b∈S∃c∈S: ab = c
- associativity can be written simply ∀a,b∈S∃c∈S: ab = c ∀a,b,c∈S: (ab)c = a(bc).
4.3. Unreasonable Misunderstandings of Mathematics
5. Idols of the Common Sense
5.1. Beware of What Escapes Awareness
5.2. Definition of the Definition
6. The Idols of the Elephant
Conflicts of Interest
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Schroeder, M.J. Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Contemporary Idola Mentis. Philosophies 2020, 5, 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030019
Schroeder MJ. Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Contemporary Idola Mentis. Philosophies. 2020; 5(3):19. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030019Chicago/Turabian Style
Schroeder, Marcin J. 2020. "Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Contemporary Idola Mentis" Philosophies 5, no. 3: 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030019