Part Two, 30 April 2018

What Is the Difference between Philosophical and Scientific Questioning?

Kyle Gleadell, PhD Candidate



“Man will know the incalculable – that is, safeguard it in its truth – only in creative questioning and forming from out of the power of genuine reflection. Reflection transports the man of the future into that “in-between” in which he belongs to being and yet, amidst beings, remains a stranger.”

Heidegger, Martin. “The Age of the World Picture.” In Off the Beaten Track. Ed. and Trans. Julian Young and Kenneth Haynes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 72

Today, our world is increasingly shaped by modern scientific knowledge. It seems that every aspect of our lives can be better predicted and managed via scientific reasoning and method. But can we only know the world through mathematics, statistics and algorithms? Is our lived experience best captured by experimentation, falsification, and verification? Or are there ways to understand things differently? In this lecture, through tracing the historical origins of modern science, I will look into the difference between philosophical and scientific questioning, what the two kinds of questioning presuppose, and how these two lines of questioning shape our modern understanding of the world.