Hat tip to Sabine Hossenfelder for this link to SciAm article by Victor Stenger, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian. Their title is “Physicists Are Philosophers Too” misled me slightly. Misled me into the “Yes, but often not very good ones, if they prejudice their philosophy with their physics” response. What was it Max Born said? “When we are doing theoretical physics, we are doing actual metaphysics.”
In fact it’s a plea for Physicists to recognise rather than deny philosophy, whether they consider themselves to be philosophers or not. Doubly interesting to me since the arch-denier cited is again Larry Krauss, US humanist of the year – again – with whom Stenger has had much debate on the topic in 2012 before his death last year, and because one of the contributors is Peter Boghossian, darling of many an atheists fighting irrational religious dragons. The latter is someone I need to bone up on.
Also interesting, because although I’ve done Krauss position on denial to death before, it includes a link to his debate with Julian Baggini in the Grauniad back in 2012 when Krauss was making his ignorant claims, and when I was too ignorant of Baggini.
Anyway both good reads. The SciAm article in fact analyses much of the content of the Baggini piece before going on to a pretty thorough summary of the changing relationship between philosophy and the field of knowledge now generally known as science. Good stuff.