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Pre-Socratic philosophers are often thought of as ‘proto’ or ‘pre’- scientists.

by | Aug 30, 2022 | Philosophy | 0 comments

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Pre-Socratic philosophers are often thought of as ‘proto’ or ‘pre’- scientists. They’re known for their efforts to propose non-mythological explanantions of worldly phenomena. That is, instead of immediately appealing to the pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses of their day in order to explain things like illnesses, rainbows, eclipses, comets, motion, change, etc., pre-Socratic philosophers worked to construct theories grounded in the idea that all things might actually be reducible to the arraignments and interactions of certain physical/natural “elements” like, e.g., water, fire, air, earth, “atoms”, etc. Essentially, their project was one of moving away from explaining ‘natural’ phenomena in terms of the ‘supernatural’ to instead attempting to explain ‘natural’ phenomena in terms of other sorts of supposedly ‘natural’ phenomena. One can see this same sort of project manifested in theories proposed by contemporary theoretical physicists (e.g., Kaku, Greene, Hawkings, etc.), biologists, etc., and in the works of certain contemporary groups of philosophers of science, ethics, etc.
This week’s question: Does it seem likely that a ‘naturalistic’/’scientific’ “theory of everything” will ever be able to adequately account for and explain all things? Why/why not?
Potentially helpful comments:
One might rephrase this week’s question as: Do you think that so-called ‘naturalistic’, etc., “theories of everything” will ever be able to account for and explain everything in terms of, e.g., fancy math equations, particle movements, physical forces, strings, etc.? Or might there always be more to the universe than can be explained by scientists, perhaps some ‘supernatural’, ‘transcendent’, or ‘spiritual’ sorts of things, forces, entities, etc.? Your reasoning?

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