I wanted to highlight two responses to my last post.
bmichael gets to more or less the same conclusion as I in a much more succinct manner:
I mean, it’s like the number “3” is the answer to what? Nothing. It’s not the answer, description, or solution to anything without a context, and where there’s context there’s philosophy.
And pyrrhosrepublic says:
Wouldn’t epistemology and philosophy of science still exist even with a radically positivist (=everything should be explained by science) worldview? Perhaps Hawking should take a note from Ayer and the logical positivists who themselves retreated from their zealous (Ayer’s word) initial view.
However, I disagree that scientists and philosophers should stick to their own disciplines. Ideally, to me, both of them would be fairly well-educated in the other’s field.
I should clarify: I think everyone can benefit from an understanding of philosophy and science, and I think philosophers and scientists can certainly benefit greatly from learning where their disciplines interact. That being said, it’s getting increasingly tiresome to listen to scientists presume they know more about philosophy than academic philosophers (Hawking) and vice versa (Fodor). I’m of the view that any intellectual pursuit should be approached with a surplus of intellectual humility, and that’s doubly true for pursuits in which you’re an amateur.