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Publication Details

Philosophical Premises and Interpretation of Natural Science Theories

(Original title: Filozofické východiská a interpretácia prírodovedeckých teórií)
Filozofia, 21 (1966), 3, 241-255.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
An analysis of the relationships between philosophy and natural sciences muste clearly differentiate whether there is question of philosophical premisses, or of the interpretation, of natural sciences. The impact of different philosophical trends is not identical in the two cases. II must be admitted that even various idealistic trends may provide the natural scientist with a positive premisse or methodological orientation: nevertheless, this positivity has its limits. If the are overstepped, the influence of this philosophy will result in harmful consequences for scientific activity. The basis for serious polemics on the theoretical and methodolical efficacity of a given philosophical system as the premisse and support for scientific work consists in an examination of those limits. The fact that an incorrect philosophical system may exert a positive action on science may be accounted for by several reasons. A scientisttheoretician who usually turns to philosophy in a certain crisis situation only, is only that indifferent to the given philosophy as an entity, but needs certain leading ideas only that would help him solve his actual problem, which may be theoretically important indeed, yat from a philosophical point of view, remains nonteheless, a partial one (e. g. interpretation of determinism in the a scientific fact, definition of the subject’s part in measurement etc.). Various philosophies may give the same answer to this problem, although they may diverge over other questions and may basically differ in their very essence. In other woords, among the various philosophical systems there exist „common areas“. This must be respected even when judging dialectic materialism as a starting point of science and in evaluating philosophical ideas on whoch new theoretical areas of natural sciences lean. Negative elements of a certain idealist philosophical system need not become manifest in the natural scientist’s works, for the ideas which he draws from them may belong precisely to the „common area“ which the given system shares with scientific philosophy, and in addition, a strong corrective effect may here be induced by the scientific material itself. The case is, however, different in a philosophical interpretation of the theories of natural sciences. This interpretation always originates in definite philosophical internations and is based upon the given philosophical system as a whole. Hence, scientific philosophy alone can form the basis for a correct philosophical interpretation of natural sciences.
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