It's often said that we cannot predict which scientific discoveries will turn out to have practical value, and so we should encourage scientific curiosity and investigation even in cases where the subject matter seems frivolous or esoteric. To take one famous example, G.H. Hardy thought that number theory was perfectly useless, but it is now indispensable to cryptography.
Could the same be said of philosophy? Are there philosophical theories that have had unforeseen benefits? Or is it safe to conclude that at least some philosophical pursuits really are just "useless"?
Why do scientists seem to dislike philosophy so much? (For example Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss). Even Dawkins seems to have joined the club (which is odd given he now seems to spend most of his time making what seem to me to be fairly clearly philosophical arguments).
Is it simply that they are using different definitions of the word than philosophy professors?
Are they generally attacking just bad philosophy and taking that unrepresentative sample?
Do they mean philosophy as in "that thing taught in philosophy departments" or some more abstract notion about the relations of ideas?
I really don't understand what their problem is with philosophy (and why they don't define their terms)...
I need some constructive advice about my dissertation topic. I am literally just starting out my research. Though I won't be starting for another year or so, it's an extensive topic and I could use some advice to make sure the basic idea and outline is sound. Thing is, the few professors in my department who work in this area don't want to be bothered, so I'm stuck. I'd like to email about, but I'm not sure if that's allowed on this site?
I'm particularly concerned with this question and response:
I'm not necessarily interested in the theological ramifications, but in terms of Richard Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene and Lawrence Krauss's cosmology in The Universe from Nothing, it feels like these are very real issues that have not been addressed by philosophers. Is there serious philosophy that has kept up to date on science? Or are these thinkers simply interested in claiming that Lawrence Krauss' "nothing" is different than the philosophical conception of nothing? Are there philosophers at all that deal with science post-Newton?
Is there any general concern among academic philosophers that Richard Dawkins' amateurish treatment of philosophy in 'The God Delusion' might be giving the false impression to the general public that complex debates in the philosophy of religion can be knocked down in a few pages of popular writing? Surely this is highly misleading, and obscures deep debates in academic philosophy.