Welcome to


Where philosophy fornicates with science and vice versa.

Kym Derriman


For our introduction

we call upon the erudite, Jason Stanley.

Is Philosophy a Science?

Amid all this talk about whether economics is a science, I began to wonder about philosophy. Not only do we have our own Nobel Prize, but most of us spend our days testing hypotheses, and even making (all too easily) falsifiable predictions (e.g. about what sort of intuitions rational beings will have under various counterfactual circumstances). There is furthermore a lot of circumstantial evidence that we’re scientists. Many of us spend our time hanging around semi-reputable folks like linguists and psychologists, and even topics that have no prima facie connections to anything reputable, upon closer investigation, are in fact linked in fairly obvious ways to the most respected disciplines of all. Indeed, over the course of my career, I’ve been surprised to see how the most abstractly metaphysical topics originally discussed by philosophers have come to impact a variety of clearly empirical disciplines outside philosophy. Work by philosophers on the metaphysics of modality (or the semantics for modal languages) resulted in a model that has useful applicability in a wide variety of topics (e.g. the study of probability, the study of natural language meaning). Philosophers nursed the notion of causation while it was hiding from anti-metaphysical forces, and now it is a respectable topic again in the human sciences (e.g. no discussion of practical reasoning can ignore it). Psychologists interested in concept formation appeal to work in metaphysics as abstract as David Wiggins and Michael Ayers on sortal concepts (to the great chagrin of some of my colleagues). Some of us are even quite explicit about the fact that we do experiments. It is not just in my Quinean moments that I wonder how to make a distinction between philosophy and ‘real’ science.

   -Jason Stanley

Willard Van Orman Quine (1908–2000) worked in theoretical philosophy and in logic. (In practical philosophy—ethics and political philosophy—his contributions are negligible.) He is perhaps best known for his arguments against Logical Empiricism (in particular, its use of the analytic-synthetic distinction). This argument, however, should be seen as part of a comprehensive world-view which makes no sharp distinction between philosophy and empirical science, and thus requires a wholesale reorientation of the subject.

      -Willard van Orman Quine First published Fri Apr 9, 2010; substantive revision Mon Dec 1, 2014


Contemporary Issues under Discussion:

Premise M: Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion may be applied internally with all living creatures (Thermodynamics 1st. Law).

Premise N: for Theists: Unforeseen interactions are called synchronicity or coincidence and are created by, but not result-mandated by, a Deity. It’s reasonable to progress the premise that if a Deity (God) is accepted as the Creator of humankind, such a God would seek interaction with those of His/Her creation, with free will as a fundamental component of the gift of life, otherwise humans would be mere instruments at God’s direction. It’s proposed that God influences abstract circumstances so that when a person confronts them, he/she can exercise free will within the alternatives available. Paths to optimum progression are available, though not always chosen. It is our life to modify as we desire, impediments notwithstanding. Prayer may yield opportunity for engagement with unforeseen circumstances.

Premise M: In this exercise, we investigate the premise as applied to homo sapiens. There appears to be no empirical method of accurately determining if the theory can be proven at this stage, or possibly ever, (objectively quantifying emotion) although Nature is abundant with examples supporting it. Human beings are objects in constant motion, even when sleeping.

Within terrestrial existence, Newton’s law has been proven empirically regarding motion occurring externally from human action (e.g. energy on hand from pushing a ball) but it has not been progressed to motion occurring internally from human action (e.g. energy of grief from acceptance of a child’s death).

If the probability can be accepted, it offers people in adversity, a path to proceed with greater clarity: the probability of positive potential energy waiting to be expended beyond that being expended naturally.

Is data available to contradict the application of the law to humans’ cerebral-emotive motion? No, because emotion cannot be accurately and objectively quantified in humans, so there may never be any universal agreement. Using the above example, a child dies from cancer = negative emotional force. A potential positive force can be observed with the application of life-long energy in some cases, where a parent devotes theirself to an activity to save other children from cancer. So why don’t all parents, whose child dies similarly, display positive forms of energy, particularly when some just appear to spend enormous time in ongoing grief? Where is that positive energy?

The energy being expended due to such grief is so intense, it consumes the vast majority of one’s awareness for a time.

 All actions experienced by human beings have internal forces, both positive and negative. The nature of how those forces are applied is both elective and non-elective by degree. It is the elective component with which we wish to address for this exercise.

The more a person /applies/ builds upon/ the positive force, the more the negative force is expended. Allowing the positive force to prevail is always an option, similarly with a negative force. Again, it is always a matter of degree.

When a positive event is experienced, one can actively utilise it, gradually expunging the negative force. When a negative event is experienced, one can actively utilise it, gradually expunging the positive force. It is a matter of choice, of focus, but be aware as a force cannot always be immediately identified, be it positive or negative, regardless the strength of the opposing force. At times one must search hard for the positive options to overcome negative effects.

A positive energy, in such cases, is potential energy and remains as such for an indefinite time, until it begins to be expended. Some is expended naturally, (the body seeking homeostasis: the end of the sadness). Nature does that for us. It’s a combination of cerebral energy and emotive energy, activating at different levels, at different times.

We can create a conscious cerebral energy force to accelerate overcoming sadness. The awareness of the existence of such counter-balance can offer hope, inspiration and too, the birth of creativity.

Kiram Rend.