Hawking vs. Einstein about Philosophy

How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves? How does the universe behave? What is the nature of  of reality? where did all this come from? Did the universe need a Creator? (…) Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. It has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly in physics. As a result scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge. (Stephen Hawking, Leornard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, Bantam Press, London, 2010, p. 5)

I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today, and even professional scientists, seem to me like someone who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of hi generation from which most scientists are suffering. This  independence created by philosophical insight is, in my opinion, the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth. ( A. Einstein to R. A. Thornton, unpublished letter dated 7 December 1944 (EA 6-574), Einstein Archive, Hebrew University, Jerusalem cited by Don Howard, “Albert Einstein as Philosopher of Science”, Physics Today, December 2005, p. 34.)

  3 comments for “Hawking vs. Einstein about Philosophy

  1. mexipex
    April 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    this is bullshit. kant was not an absolute idealist, he simply believed that objective reality could only be interpreted subjectively via the intellect and sense data.

    • mexipex
      April 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      unless by the “world we observe” you do in fact mean the picture of the world that our mind makes, then that is correct. But Einstein definitely did not kill physics, but rather he helped kickstart the second revolution along with Planck, Bohr, Rutherford, Chadwick and later Heisenberg, Schrodringer and still later Feynman, Weinberg, Higgs, Hawking and the list goes on forever. and we’re entering a whole new era again with theories that have the potential to supercede the standard models(ie quantum theory and relativity) of the past century.

  2. April 16, 2013 at 6:04 am

    It takes a philosophical reflection to argue “the philosophy is dead”. That’s why Hawking’s argument is a dead in its own premises.

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