Isaac Newton, Prof. Martin, and a very scientific Philosophers’ Café

The next Philosophers’ Café features UW-Green Bay professor and Philosophy program chair Christopher Martin leading what is sure to be an eclectic and electric discussion of the merits and demerits of “Anti-Realism in Science,” which posits that science has no business attempting to actually explain the world. The gathering takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. this Wednesday (March 4) in the upstairs back room at Titletown Brewing, 200 Dousman Street. Martin offers the following explanation of his talk:

“When Isaac Newton discovered the mathematical equations that define gravity he admitted, upfront, that while the numbers worked, he was at a complete loss to explain what gravity itself was. The wild success of his predictions courted what Einstein would later call “spooky action at a distance,” the possibility for spatially discontinuous entities to affect one-another instantaneously. Does the predictive success of Newton’s theory qualify it as good science, or ought it also to explain why the world acts this way? Is the aim of science only to predict future events, or do we expect it to additionally explain the machinery of the world? Does the phenomenal success of quantum physics justify believing that unobserved electrons are actual entities, or should we regard unobservables only as useful fictions of successful theories?”

As always, Philosophers Café gatherings are free and open to all. Please note: The previously scheduled David Helpap Café on “Regulation” has been postponed.

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