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How is a philosophy of science possible?

Summary:
How is a philosophy of science possible? What is the relation between science and philosophy? Do they compete with one another or speak of different worlds? Neither position is acceptable … Philosophy is distinguished by the kinds of considerations and arguments it employs. It does not consider a world apart from that of the various sciences. Rather it considers just that world, but from the standpoint of what can be established about it by a priori argument … Philosophy, like science, produces knowledge. But it is knowledge of the necessary conditions for the production of knowledge — second-order knowledge, if you like. If philosophy is, as I believe it can be, a conceptual science, then like any science it ought to be able to tell us something we did

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How is a philosophy of science possible?

How is a philosophy of science possible?What is the relation between science and philosophy? Do they compete with one another or speak of different worlds? Neither position is acceptable …

Philosophy is distinguished by the kinds of considerations and arguments it employs. It does not consider a world apart from that of the various sciences. Rather it considers just that world, but from the standpoint of what can be established about it by a priori argument …

Philosophy, like science, produces knowledge. But it is knowledge of the necessary conditions for the production of knowledge — second-order knowledge, if you like. If philosophy is, as I believe it can be, a conceptual science, then like any science it ought to be able to tell us something we did not already know: it ought to be able to surprise us. For, as Marx astutely observed, ‘all science would be superfluous if the outward appearances and essences of things directly coincided.’

Lars Pålsson Syll
Professor at Malmö University. Primary research interest - the philosophy, history and methodology of economics.

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