Stephen Hawking says Philosophy is Dead!

I tend to agree with him..

Stephen Hawking tells Google ‘philosophy is dead’

Physicist Stephen Hawking has told Google's Zeitgeist conference that philosophers have not kept up with science and their art is dead

Professor Stephen Hawking
Professor Stephen Hawking Photo: DISCOVERY CHANNEL

Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist, has declared that “Philosophy is dead”.

Speaking to Google’s Zeitgeist Conference in Hertfordshire, the author of 'A Brief History of Time' said that fundamental questions about the nature of the universe could not be resolved without hard data such as that currently being derived from the Large Hadron Collider and space research. “Most of us don't worry about these questions most of the time. But almost all of us must sometimes wonder: Why are we here? Where do we come from? Traditionally, these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead,” he said. “Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics.”

Prof Hawking went on to claim that “Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” He said new theories “lead us to a new and very different picture of the universe and our place in it”.

In a 40-minute speech, Prof Hawking said that the new “M Theory” of the universe was the “unified theory Einstein was hoping to find”. He compared the idea to the computer programme Google Earth, saying it was a “map” of theories, but added that a new, bigger Hadron Collider the size of the Milky Way was needed to collect more data to prove it.

“This technology is some way off,” he said, “and I don't think even Google could afford to build it.”

Views: 873

Comment by IEatDinosaurMeat on May 19, 2011 at 3:20am
Yeah... so like... He needs to be specific here. I find statements like that to be entirely ignorant of what philosophy actually is and what scientists, NOT PHILOSOPHERS, claim it to be. He should also be more specific in that what he seems to be saying is that Metaphysics is now no longer in the realm of philosophy and now belongs to science as there are now ways to scientifically answer questions in metaphysics....
All robins are birds, but not all birds are robins.
Not all of philosophy is attempting to answer those questions, here are a few branches of philosophy;
Aesthetics: the study of art, beauty, both in its creation and appreciation
Epistemology: an attempt to answer the question "what is knowledge" - interesting, and important.
Ethics: the study of right and wrong, vice and virtue, justice and injustice... That is if there are such things. This seems to be beginning to become obsolete as genetics and understanding of genetics is changing but it still belongs to philosophers and may still for a long time yet because genetics is only one of a vast number of ways of answering the question that still are rational and relevant with our current understanding of what is around us.
Logic: Yep, it's a type of philosophy bitches.....
Metaphysics: I relent Mr. Hawking, it's dead... but the rest are pretty important still and I think metaphysics has been dead since Nietzsche.
Social philosophy: study of social interaction, the procurement of meaning and things like that.
Political philosophy: Mostly dealing with law, freedom, justice, authority and the like.

I disagree with Hawking, and I have to say be weary of appeal to authority here. I think most scientists who say this are simply ignorant of what philosophy actually is and what it does. I'm pretty ignorant of science but I don't slam it, in fact I'm trying to learn more about it cause it's interesting.
Comment by IEatDinosaurMeat on May 19, 2011 at 3:24am
Here, I got a little bit of help with my definitions here and forgot to post it, and it will help if you decide to inform yourself.
Comment by Akshay Bist on May 19, 2011 at 3:39am

I don't think that he meant all branches of philosophy, just the one that deals with questions like - 

Why are we here? Where do we come from?

I think its existentialism he was talking about.

Comment by IEatDinosaurMeat on May 19, 2011 at 4:40am

I covered that, it's metaphysics. However, judging from what contact I've had from scientists I see them not making that distinction. I see mostly package deal fallacies. With the same exact logic I could say "scientists say philosophy is dead, but it's not because there are still branches that are very much alive and kicking, so science is wrong."

Comment by Sassan K. on May 19, 2011 at 5:19am
I have to say that philosophy was simply for the time we lacked knowledge through experimental research and experimentation. I too believe philosophy is pretty much dead.
Comment by IEatDinosaurMeat on May 19, 2011 at 5:29am
Do you even know the criterion for knowledge? Learn what philosophy is before making such a judgment.
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 19, 2011 at 5:49am
Yeah, I gotta go with IEDM on this one. To say that philosophy is dead is akin to saying debate is dead. Not everything can be settled by presentation of an empirically collected dataset. There is a lot more meaning to 'humanity' than how humans came to be here. Who are we now and what is to become of us? That is an incredibly important question to which science cannot provide answers. In point of fact, how we intend to use our scientific knowledge is likely the greatest philosophical question of our day, and any scientist uninterested in that question is more of a technician than a scientist, in my mind.
Comment by Sassan K. on May 19, 2011 at 7:36am
That can all be answered through scientific research and data. Philosophy is just pondering of the mind; it contributes nothing to the real world. One can ponder things and use scientific research and experimentation to answer those pondering thoughts. Philosophy is by itself dead and again, was for a time before science had taken over.
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 19, 2011 at 7:46am
Should we implement our knowledge of genetics into a Eugenics program at this time? Please indicate the scientific research and data that answers this question to my satisfaction.
Comment by Sassan K. on May 19, 2011 at 8:04am
I am comfortable in knowing I am in Stephen Hawking's camp on this issue rather than yours.


You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

© 2018   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service