Sunday, June 07, 2015

The Philosophy of the LHC

This is actually a nice article, and unlike other "confrontational" issues with regards to Physics and Philosophy, it addresses areas in which Philosophy can actually be of use in Physics, but not in the usual sense that have been tossed around.

There have been many tedious and futile discussions about the value of philosophy for modern science. I find it much more interesting and fruitful to ask if and in what way modern science can advance philosophy. The complexity, the new challenges and the new methods that arise in modern science in general - and at the LHC in particular - raise a number of questions that concern core issues of philosophy of science: what are the methods of acquiring knowledge, what is the role of models, and how does the intricate relationship between theory, computer simulations and experimental data work? The LHC has been built for fundamental physics, but it will also challenge and advance the philosophy, sociology and history of science!

We don't hear much about this aspect, mainly because it isn't "sexy". But this is a unique and useful convergence, and with physics opening up a myriad of discoveries that have changed our world view, there's nothing wrong with philosophy being guided by such discoveries.


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