Philosophy and Physics : A Reconciliation

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Oddan, Jessica
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Philosophy
Historically, philosophy and physics have been highly integrated disciplines. After the Quantum Revolution, physics distanced itself from the philosophical method, leading to a dramatic change in methodology and philosophy of science. As scientific style has shifted and philosophy fallen out of favour, the distancing of philosophy and physics has made its way into the public arena, with highly regarded physicists denigrating philosophy and philosophers arguing for the value of their discipline. This thesis discusses different conceptions in philosophy of science, the role of scientism in the public discussion of the integration of philosophy and physics, and how string theory provides a unique and fitting example of how science can be affected by unrecognized changes in underlying philosophies. I determine that as evidenced by my discussion of string theory, philosophical intervention is necessary for solving fundamental problems in physics and that collaboration between the two disciplines must continue to increase.
critical analysis , interdisciplinary cooperation , paradigm shifts , philosophical method , philosophy , physics