Philosophy of science

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Lots of scientists see things in different ways, but that doesn’t undermine its authority. Dan Tentler/Flickr

Why should we place our faith in science?

Deep disagreements within science might seem to undermine its authority, but they only underscore how science really works.
Philosophy can often be obscure. But is that because it’s complex, or made so? Bernard Laguerre/Flickr

Philosophy versus science versus politics

We might hope that good arguments will eventually drive out bad arguments – in what Timothy Williamson calls “a reverse analogue of Gresham’s Law” – and we might want (almost?) complete freedom for ideas…
Scientist Laurence Krauss has said the philosophy of science is hard to justify. World Economic Forum/Flickr

Philosophy under attack: Lawrence Krauss and the new denialism

I really shouldn’t let myself watch Q&A. Don’t get me wrong, the ABC’s flagship weekly panel show is usually compelling viewing. But after just a few minutes I end up with the systolic blood pressure…
Why is it that we no longer teach the big story of how everything came to be? Universe image from

Big History: why we need to teach the modern origin story

All human societies construct and teach creation myths or origin stories. These are large, extraordinarily powerful, but often ramshackle narratives that try and tell the story of how everything came to…
Leave “wicked” to the witches and let’s get on with the job of policy research. Witches image from

Too many ‘wicked problems’: how science, policy and politics can work together

Wicked problems, so we are told, are everywhere. Climate change, conflict, an ageing population, obesity… the list goes on. The debate over asylum seekers, difficult and important and politically charged…
Kuhn’s most controversial ideas relate to how paradigms change. Mikael Hvidtfeldt Christensen

Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50 years on

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original publication of Thomas Kuhn’s famous book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn, who taught at Berkeley, Princeton and MIT following studies…
Our actions may be fully caused and determined by events that precede our very existence, but not all causes are alike. Josef Grunig/Flickr

Search for free will pits scientists against philosophers

For most of the last couple of centuries, philosophers have had the question of free will largely to themselves (prior to that date, the distinction between philosophy and the natural sciences was less…
Given our neo-Platonic visions of universal ecologies, when it comes to restoring waterways we’re up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Flickr/Annadriel

Science’s stagnant thinking: our rivers need a revolution

I’ve been away in the UK for a few years – and what do I find when I come back? In the Murray Darling we are still arguing over inputs (the amount of water to be returned to the river) instead of focusing…

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