Neil deGrasse Tyson is wrong to dismiss all of philosophy, but he may have a point on some of it


Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NA...

So, I reblogged Massimo Pigliucci’s post responding to Tyson’s remarks about philosophy, which appears to have generated some heated discussion.  After reading some of it, I realized that I have a few thoughts on this.

First, I suspect Tyson’s blanket dismissal of philosophy is simply the result of insularity.  I’ve noticed that philosophy’s critics tend to be those who’ve never read any of it, or only read a limited amount.  I don’t know for sure if that applies to Tyson specifically, but I’ve noticed a lot of it from his field, physics, and most intensely from theoretical physicists.  (Although certainly not all of them.  Sean Carroll comes to mind as a prominent exception.)

Ironically, this is in a field where the practitioners arguably cross over into philosophy regularly.  What’s more ironic, as I’ve discovered a few times in various internet forums, pointing that out to them is received as a major insult.  Indeed…

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