Why Philosophy Is Still Relevant In Our Scientific World
Start writing a post
Student Life

Why Philosophy Is Still Relevant In Our Scientific World

Rationality will never be irrelevant.

Why Philosophy Is Still Relevant In Our Scientific World

I have always had a love affair with philosophy.

There is something about it that captivates me. I do not refer just to the pre-Socratics, but also to the field as a whole. So it saddens me to see that there is a certain disdain for philosophy among science majors and pre-med undergraduates. If you bring up philosophy in a conversation, it's not unlikely that you will encounter at least a handful of students who scoff at the idea that, yes, philosophy is still relevant.

I understand the increased drive to reach unadulterated empiricism. It is a reaction to the rampant anti-intellectualism that grips many Americans, such as those who still deny the science supporting climate change.

Science, I am sorry to say, does not have all the answers. Just like every other field, it has its limits. We cannot derive everything from experience, and philosophy is not dead.

For example, science cannot determine human values. Empiricism cannot determine why we ought to act morally, nor why we ought to value human happiness over human misery. We cannot create an experiment that tests the nature of Truth or the obtainability of knowledge.

Moreover, there is a utilitarian benefit to answering those "unanswerable" questions for which philosophy is infamously known. While it is very true that we may never reach a consensus about what the meaning of life is (if there is any), such questions give us the tools we can use to critically think about other problems that have more immediate pragmatic effects. These questions also reveal a lot about the way human beings think. If we never posed these questions, we would be missing out on a critical part of human nature as it can be explored through philosophy alone.

And finally, we have the ever-necessary field of ethics. As we perpetually encroach the field of biomedical enhancements, we find a range of ethical problems associated with their implementation. More immediately we find that doctors and scientists need to act ethically, or determine why they ought to act ethically. These are questions in the realm of philosophy and not in that of science.

Philosophy will never become irrelevant. It is about asking questions, exploring the universe and ourselves, and looking closely at Reason that, somehow, so binds the universe together.

How could we not value that? This search is at the heart of every good scientist.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments