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Summarizethe Film


Thefilm is an interview conducted by Bryan Maggie who engages HilaryPutnam on discussions regarding the philosophy of science. In thefilm, Putnam discusses what the philosophy of science entails andgives crucial information regarding this phenomenon. Putnam answersquestions pertaining the aspects of science and philosophy, whichtend to confuse people. The film also incorporates a discussion ofHilbert’s sixth problem and how it relates to philosophicaljudgments and explanations. The film also describes Putnam’s viewof mathematics. From the interview, the quasi-empirical view ofPutnam on mathematics is evident and has been discussed in greatdetail. The film also discusses the relationship between mathematics,physics, and skepticism. Putnam’s discussion also entails theopinion that Putnam has regarding the issue of ethics and science(Flame0430 par. 3).

Thefilm also discusses the critique of logical positivism, as well ashis interest on the issue of rational normativity and realism. Putnamalso highlights the issue of philosophical notions and the impactsthey have on discussions in philosophy. The relationship betweenhumanistic tradition and scientific worldview has also been discussedin the film. The main arguments in the film revolve around thescientific nature of philosophy. Based on the interview with Putnam,it is evident that philosophy, just like physics, mathematics, andphysics, can be categorized as science. The factual nature ofphilosophy is what makes it a science. In addition, philosophy dealswith evaluation of a situation to decide the verdict and argumentmade.

Differencesbetween scientists and non-scientists

Fromthe arguments raised by Putnam, it is evident that the thinking ofscientists tends to differ from that of non-scientists. According toPutnam, the differences between scientists and non-scientistsemanates from the fact that they have differing views of whatconstitutes knowledge, as well as the meaning of reliability andvalidity of scientific information. While many philosophers are insupport of scientific facts, it seems that non-scientists do notsupport the notion of factual evidence in science. This brings outthe difference in arguments that presents itself between scientistsand non-scientists. Putnam claims that while scientists believe inthe validity and reliability of scientific data collected, there is atendency for non-scientists to disregard such information. Mostnon-scientists do not believe that the collection of factual evidenceis a reality in science. Rather, they posit that the evidencepresented in such sciences as philosophy does not follow acceptablestandards of research.

Scientistsand non-scientists differ significantly to the extent that they failto communicate with one another and exchange crucial information.Putnam argues that the presence of complex scientific terms inscience brings out a striking difference between scientists andnon-scientists. While science is based on the assessment anddescription of scientific concepts that can be regarded as complex,non-scientists express confusion with the terms used to explainphilosophical ideologies in science. As a result, they are unable tounderstand the arguments made in science and this hinders theirability to embrace scientific arguments. Differences betweenscientists and non-scientists also emanates from the fact thatscience is somehow fragmented. This fragmentation contributes todiverse fields in science, which require a lot of attention in orderto be understood by non-scientists. Since non-scientists do not havethe full knowledge to pay attention to these details, they are unableto grasp the crucial concepts discussed in scientific arguments.


Flame0430.HilaryPutnam on the Philosophy of Science,2008. Web. 4. Dec. 2014.