Philosophy vs. Science: why there is a tussle of titans?
Philosophy it seems has become irrelevant to science and scientists aren’t anymore engaged in philosophical discourse.
An unfortunate paradox…
Many of us feel philosophy is a camouflaged way of wasting time. The engagement is fluid. Nothing solidifies and nothing concrete that emerges. We keep thinking. We keep talking. What is that we get at the end of such philosophical engagement. It is a futile mental exercise leading no where but putting us in deep quagmire. This discourse with philosophy is a deceptively vicious cycle that deeply surrounds us. Though the cycle of questions and answers are such a natural part of the circle of life that we are innately curious but we are quintessentially confounded by the confinement of philosophical thoughts. We get trapped in the philosophical discourse. We keep doing things much like a merry-go-round as we programme ourselves to wear the profound hat of a philosopher. There is a strong bias that philosophers are unable to make any concrete contribution to the advancement of science…scientists are doing their job by themselves.
Philosophical thoughts are subjectively rooted in the body of abstraction. Philosophy deals with abstract matter and there is no fact in the subject and any factual truth that can be established. In the final analysis it is an exercise that is laced with futility…most of the time it leads to a paralysis of thoughts.
No concrete evidence. No corroborative patterns. No tangible outcome. Then where is the question of extending the contours of philosophical deliberation in our society. The thoughts in society has radically transformed. Time has changed. People’s expectations have changed. It is the thing that we can see and feel matter than the thought that looses its hold unless it is put to adequate action. This very action has to prove a proposed hypothesis and then it should be able to establish a proven norm that can be practiced. Otherwise philosophy is a pure play fiction and the fictional stories satiate our innate psychological need.
The story of philosophy ends there…
Science on the other hand deals with hard facts and there are equations and experiments establishing the logic behind the magical patterns. Our life and the way we live are so much governed by these patterns of nature. The way sun rises and sets. The way gravity holds onto the surface of earth. The way season changes color and creates new cover. The way human engages in the reproductive cycle. The way plants programme their process of photosynthesis. These are facts and these patterns play their vital part in making our existence a reality. The more we unravel the facts of reality the better is our life. It is in the business of discovering the truth and differentiating the fact from fiction.
There is an argument that scientists can read and understand the language of philosophy but that is not the case with philosophers who cannot understand the complex equations of physics, chemical formulas and algebraic mathematical deduction to scientific methods.
This scientific process needs acquisition of hard knowledge and rigorous working to get the complex models to digest. We need to spend hours and hours of time inside a scientific lab and conduct rigorous experiments, create volumes of data, collate those colossal amount of data and critically analyze the compilations and arrive at proper correlation that can connect new patterns or otherwise conform to an existing pattern.
Philosophy has got subordinated to the body of science and that was not the case few centuries back when science had yet to gets it own voice to speak.
Philosophy itself was science and everything was looked and analyzed through the wide lens of philosophy. It was the philosophy of science. Physics was part of natural philosophy. Philosophy is intangible and science is tangible.
Science is what we can feel and we can see. This scientific analysis makes a huge difference to the way we perceive things. The world of reality is so much embedded in our power of perception. We face real problem. We need solutions. We need new methods and tools to resolve those issues confronting us daily. Our day today work matters much more than what gets cooked in our mind over a period of time. The food that we need to eat. Our eating habits have changed. The food we produce have changed. The climate that affects us. The sudden rise and fall of temperature. The extreme weather conditions. One part of the world in USA the temperature was in the minus 40s and the other part of the world in Australia the temperature was in plus 50s. The diseases that inflicts us. The pollution that affects us. The fresh air that we need to breathe. New Delhi to Beijing is covered with a thick blanket of pollution and people are desperately gasping to get a fresh bout of air to breathe. There is no refresh button. Everything outside is badly choked and sadly the atmosphere is so confining. The work that we need to do to survive. The natural calamities that threats us. The fresh water that we need to drink. Fresh water is drying up, there is a clear present danger. It is the modern and vibrate country of South Africa is literally down to situation where is no water to drink.
Millions of people go hungry everyday on this planet. Millions of people die due to disease and lack of proper treatment. Millions of people facing the acute problem of fresh water and clean air.
These are like the tentacles of the octopus that are frantically grabbing us and forcefully pulling us down. We need support. We need anchor. We need the curator. We need the painkillers. There is no time to think on such thoughts. It is the job of philosophers. It is science that is doing the invention to relieve us from such pain and assuage us from such problems.
Science is the panacea…
Science solves real problem, it changes our reality that we face.
If we are suffering from fever, it is science of medicine that rescues us. If we are facing the heat we have the science of air conditioning that changes our condition. If we have to connect with our near and dear ones staying far and wide, it is science of telecommunication that bridges that gap.
Philosophy merely becomes the audience in the gallery that can make comments, form opinions and share views but cannot change the hard reality. Philosophers are not on the ground and though they are very much in the background and it is the philosophical question that gives the scientists the answer to start their scientific process of discovery.
Is our existence a reality or is this merely our perception.
What governs our perception of our existence?
Philosophy strives to discover the answers for these questions.
Science has built hypothesis and established theorems to prove these equations connects with reality.
Nothing on this universe is in a static state. Everything is in a dynamic state. Just that we cannot see the movement of atoms and feel the vibration. Every object from the tiny atom to the huge mountain is in a state of vibration and oscillating. The universe is constantly in motion. Every thing is vibrating with a certain frequency. The moment the frequency of objects matches, the joint objects forms a system that is in sync and that results in establishing a subtle harmony in the ecosystem of our thoughts and actions.
It is our senses that make us conscious and we perceive the world through our senses and we become self-conscious.
It is way we receive the information from the outside world.
We see through our eyes the same object but the way you see that object is different from the way the other see. We feel the emotions in a situation, we are sad and feel bad but the way you feel differs from the way other feel. We smell the same fragrance but the way you react to the same perfume is different from the way other do. The way you feel the touch of someone is different from the way other feel the same touch. The way you listen to music is quite different from the way other may love a different music. The senses are same but the way we process that experience is what makes up our perceptive power. It is our state of consciousness that makes us who we are and how we are perceived by the world around us. This is heightened perceptive power. This power more evolved in us as human being.
Scientists will not agree when philosophers state that even an inanimate object has a state of consciousness.
It is vibration, the oscillation and the frequency that makes up the object to be perceptive by us as human being. When we are alive and unconscious, we have all our senses in hibernation. The cells are functioning but not the senses. How does billions of cells keep functioning and doing their daily tasks? Science is merely able to provide the logic of how energy gets generated and the organs keep getting the fuel to function. How this single cell did came into existence? How from few sperm cells that we have such a huge human body comes into existence. Is this phenomenon of life on this planet is merely a coincidence and rest other millions of galaxies are lifeless.
Science has no proper answer and scientists don’t want to accept the reality and allow the philosophers to propose their proposition. Is nature god itself. How is mind and body talk to each other? The brain processes the decision that we make by firing billions of neurons. It is the neuroscience that is in action. It is based on solid observations, the sufficient experience, and the sumptuous exchange of our inner self with the world outside through our senses. There are so many things that science has yet to give a satisfying answer. We are at awe and wondering how these are possible and who drives the change and where is the control button. Or is there something as a master control?
It is the philosophers who come to the rescue of this scientific fraternity.
It is just that scientist don’t acknowledge the philosophers.
There are forces that are in action on everything in our nature. There are these electromagnetic forces that are in action in transmitting the light wave. There are these gravitational forces that are in action in holding us onto the ground. These are reality. These are supported by science. Nothing that philosophy can do in managing these forces.
This gives the credence to science and how science is practically changing the way we live our life. It is simplifying life. It is augmenting our level of living a comfortable life. It is extending the longevity of our life. It is making us instantly connect with people in the other part of world. It is making us travel far off places in no time. We have medicines that are curing diseases. We have food that is making us healthy. We have digital currency and we don’t have to carry hard cash.
We are living a better life with the power of science.
The philosophers may profoundly disagree…but who is listening.
It is quite natural to appear that everything around us is due to the mercy of science.
Philosophy is no where in picture…
Nihar R Pradhan