My Philosophy of Science

My Philosophy of Science

Since long, I’ve been feeling it my vocation to analyze (top-down) and reconstruct (bottom-up) the fundamental rules governing everything in our universe. Although I am well-apprised of the possibilities that those platonic guiding principles, existing as self-derived and self-dependent entities might not, at all, be perceptible to any generation of man-made sensors. 

For a person of science, the first thing one has to mentally equip himself before getting his hands on any kind of authentic investigation on our mysterious Nature is the acknowledgement of a simple fact that the (Western) Science is not an exact and correct set of methodologies that can guarantee our ways towards the universal “truth”; It is just a delicate machinery comprising self-perfecting approximations which hopefully drive us there most efficiently compared to other forms of human endeavors, e.g. philosophy and metaphysics. I always believe that the Science that people worship is nothing more than just the outlook of a particularly self-conceit species living on a particular planet inside of the solar system, which is just a particular group of spheres amongst a considerably large amount of other systems, and then amongst galaxies, and so forth. This sense of self-effacement which renders our livings and our deeds trivial, is essential for the mankind to obtain any forms of better understanding to what we have been doing in physics, biology, and many others of the physical sciences. 

As Laozi put it 2,000 years ago, the Tao (my tentative translation of ‘Tao’: an essential set of rules that govern everything) can be told is not the universal Tao (道可道, 非常道) [1]. On a personal level, this exposition stands on the highest mount of humans’ depiction on our studies on nature (wissenschaft, as in German) [2]. According to this understanding, the Nature is just “The Nature”, and that’s it. In fact, it seems even our calling it “Nature” is the result of some unilateral willingness. Since the universe might not even necessarily possess a “name” or a description or anything alike. Instead, it just stands out as a thing-in-itself (ding an sich, in Immanuel Kant’s term) in such a perfect and self-consistent manner which makes it majestic enough to be appreciated, yet at the same time, unfortunately, extremely difficult for humans to conduct any research on. 

Therefore, I feel obliged to warn the readers here that it is considerably perilous for any human to believe that he can know it all, that the potential of the humanity is infinite, and that with all these advanced technologies and fancy theories we are becoming the ‘Gods’. Those are the beliefs that were implanted deeply in the humanity ever since Renaissance and the Enlightenment; those are the result of 500 years of conscious human achievements; those are lovely catalysts that have helped us in developing the entire modern civilization. However, as a non-believer, I shall remind you the story of the Babel [3]. O my fellow humans, don’t be afraid to be self-proclaimed idiots, since those who dare to admit their foolishness are the ones who embrace more than anyone else [4]. Acknowledging our limitations and ignorance is a necessary and crucial step for us to become more intelligible beings. We know nothing(!), as we should utter to the Nature loudly and proudly.

However, this is not the start of a tirade of the futility of the Science, a graceful craft which I have been and will be putting all my efforts in. The discourse above is merely the rudimentary preparation of one’s mindset: We can’t know it all. Physicists study the universe not because we are assured that we will get an answer of what is exactly going on at the furthest corners of the Universe. Our research is motivated simply by one inherent property of humanity: Curiosity; The alluring part of scientific research is not the so-called truth, but the moment when we kind of feel like we are about to unveil something great, like what Professor Richard Phillips Feynman humorously said, “Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical result, but that’s not why we do it.” So next time if you meet a (real) scientist, do not teasing that person as a boring nerd who keeps flirting with something completely useless, but please pay your homage to his/her humble personal engagement in satisfying the curiosity of our entire human race.

We, as humans, as thinking beings, as people of science and conscience, should be proud of what we have done in the course of history, and looking forward to further achievements. 

Let’s see!

May, 2012


[1] Laozi, Daodejing, Chap. 1  (ca. 600 BCE).

[2] “Wissenschaft incorporates science, learning, knowledge, scholarship and implies that knowledge is a dynamic process discoverable for oneself, rather than something that is handed down. It did not necessarily imply empirical research. Wissenschaft was the official ideology of German Universities during the 19th century. It emphasised the unity of teaching and individual research or discovery for the student. It suggests that education is a process of growing and becoming.”

cf. Laurence R Veysay, The Emergency of the American University (1965, University of Chicago Press).

[3] Unknown, The Bible, Genesis 11:4-9 (ca. 600 BCE).

[4] Socrates: “I am wiser than this man; it is likely that neither of us knows anything worthwhile, but he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think I know; so I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know what I do not know.”

cf. Plato, Apology, 21d (ca. 390 BCE).

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