Tuesday, March 08, 2016

In case you wondered …

… Why are so many smart people such idiots about philosophy? - Quartz.

Nye’s confidence that what we sense and feel is “authentic” is particularly strange coming from a scientist, given that several advanced scientific discoveries do in fact contradict information we receive from our senses. Einstein discovered that there’s no such thing as absolute simultaneity, for example, while quantum physics shows that an object can be in two places at the same time. Several philosophers have long argued that our senses are not a reliable means of evaluating reality, and such scientific discoveries support the idea that we should treat sensory information with a little skepticism.
Well, to begin with, Nye really isn't much of a science guy. His degree is in mechanical engineering. Even if he were a real scientist, expertise in one area does not confer expertise in any other. Richard Dawkins is a wonderful example of someone who opines on philosophical matters without bothering to study any of them. Someone should send both Nye and Dawkins a copy of Werner Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy. Heisenberg was a scientist who not only understood philosophy, but understood as well that the practice of science can have philosophical implications.

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