A Friendly Open Letter to Bill Nye (about Philosophy)

David Kyle Johnson in Psychology Today:

ScreenHunter_1724 Feb. 28 16.18Dear Bill Nye

Recently, in a “Big Think” segment(link is external), you were asked about your opinion of philosophy. Your response was less than generous. This isn't the first time I've heard similar opinions from well-respected scientists and science communicators. But as a philosophy professor, it pains me awfully when I see and hear such things—and this time I felt obligated to respond.

Now let me be clear. I have nothing but respect for your work bringing scientific knowledge to the general population. In fact, I celebrate it! (I hope one day my two year old falls in love with your work.) Indeed, I love science and am well versed in it. I teach a course on scientific reasoning for our physics department, and on how to recognize medical pseudoscience for our sports medicine department. I emphasize heavily the scientific method in my logic and critical thinking classes. I have lectures on General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics in “Exploring Metaphysics” (one of my courses for The Great Courses). In my academic work, I bring scientific reasoning to bear on as many philosophical questions as I can. I couldn’t be a more dedicated advocate of science.

In other words Bill, I’m on your side. Ergo, we are on the same side. So, why aren't we working together?

More here.

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