Philosophical Problems in Science (Zagadnienia Filozoficzne w Nauce) <p><em>Philosophical Problems in Science</em> (Polish: <em>Zagadnienia Filozoficzne w Nauce</em>, abbrev. ZFN) is the oldest Polish journal dedicated to the philosophy in science.</p> <p>ZFN covers a wide range of topics of general interest to those working on philosophical problems involved in and intertwined with modern science (see <a title="Focus and Scope" href="/index.php/zfn/about#focusAndScope" rel="noopener">Focus and Scope</a>).</p> <p>ZFN has originated from a long tradition of Krakow philosophy of nature dating back to the second half of the nineteenth century (see <a title="Journal History" href="/index.php/zfn/about#history" rel="noopener">Journal History</a>). The journal policy is to continue the tradition of mutual discussion between philosophers and scientists.</p> en-US (Secretary of Editorial) (Piotr Urbańczyk) Mon, 31 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 OJS 60 What does it mean ‘to exist’ in physics? <p>Physical theories give us the best available information about what there exists. Although physics is not ontology, it can be ontologically interpreted. In the present study, I propose to interpret physical theories <em>à la</em> Quine, i.e. not to speculate about what really exists, but rather to identify what a given physical theory presupposes that exists. I briefly suggest how Quine’s program should by adapted to this goal. To put the idea to the test, I apply it to the famous Hartle–Hawking model of the quantum creation of the universe from nothing, and try to discover what kind of nothingness the model presupposes. I also make some remarks concerning ontological commitments of the method of physics itself.</p> Michał Heller ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:15:17 +0100 On the observability of the early universe <p>In the framework of contemporary cosmology, the age-old aspiration to inquire the outer limits of the universe translates into our effort to observe the initial stages of cosmic history. Thanks to a fortunate combination of astronomical circumstances, and pushing mm-wave technology to its limits, today we are able to image the early universe in great detail, back at a time (t ∼ 380,000 yr) when cosmic age was only 0.0027% of its present value. The state of the art in the field has been set by the ESA Planck mission, launched in 2009, dedicated to precision measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Planck observed the full sky for 4 years in a wide frequency range, reaching μK sensitivity both in temperature and polarization. The latest results, published by the Planck Collaboration in 2018, are in exquisite agreement with the simplest 6-parameter ΛCDM model and constrain the main cosmological parameters with percent-level accuracy. Furthermore, the Planck data yield insight on the very early universe (t ∼ 10<sup>-35</sup>s), opening the way to a new generation of experiments searching for the possible signatures of primordial gravitational waves in the CMB polarization pattern.</p> Marco Bersanelli ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:04:53 +0100 Black holes: do they exist? <p>Black holes entered scientific literature as early as at the end of eighteenth century. They had been known at that time as dark stars, but their concept did not find its way to physics or astronomy, and had been abandoned for more than one hundred years. I shall sketch historical developments and discuss present mathematical and observational status of black holes<em>.</em></p> Edward Malec ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:19:02 +0100 On the adequacy of qualifying Roger Penrose as a complex Pythagorean <p>The aim of the presented article is to provide an in-depth analysis of the adequacy of designating Penrose as a complex Pythagorean in view of his much more common designation as a Platonist. Firstly, the original doctrine of the Pythagoreans will be briefly surveyed with the special emphasis on the relation between the doctrine of this school and the teachings of the late Platonic School as well as its further modifications. These modifications serve as the prototype of the contemporary claims of the mathematicity of the Universe. Secondly, two lines of Penrose’s arguments in support of his unique position on the ontology of the mathematical structures will be presented: (1) their existence independent of the physical world in the atemporal Platonic realm of pure mathematics and (2) the mathematical structures as the patterns governing the workings of the physical Universe. In the third step, a separate line of arguments will be surveyed that Penrose advances in support of the thesis that the complex numbers seem to suit these patterns with exceptional adequacy. Finally, the appropriateness of designation Penrose as a complex Pythagorean will be assessed with the special emphasis on the suddle threshold between his unique position and that of the adherents of the mathematicity of the Universe.</p> Wojciech P. Grygiel ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:23:38 +0100 Negation in the language of theology – some issues <p>The paper consists of two parts. In the first one I present some general remarks regarding the history of negation and attempt to answer the philosophical question concerning the essence of negation. In the second part I resume the theological teaching on the degrees of certainty (<em>notae theologice</em>) and point to five forms of negation – known from other areas of research -- as applied in the framework of theological investigations.</p> Adam Olszewski ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 21:07:23 +0100 Can we prove the existence of completely random events? <p>I show how classical and quantum physics approach the problem of randomness and probability. Contrary to popular opinions, neither we can prove that classical mechanics is a deterministic theory, nor that quantum mechanics is a nondeterministic one. In other words it is not possible to show that&nbsp; randomness in classical mechanics has a purely epistemic character and that of quantum mechanics&nbsp; an ontic one.&nbsp; Nevertheless, recent developments of quantum theory and increasing experimental possibilities to check its predictions call for returning to the problem of comparing possibilities given by classical and quantum physics to accommodate and prove the existence of a `genuine randomness'.&nbsp; Recent results&nbsp; concerning `amplification of randomness' show that, in certain sense,&nbsp; quantum physics is in fact&nbsp; ‘more random’ that classical and outperforms it in producing a `truly random process'.</p> Marek Kuś ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:42:12 +0100 Human evolution as a series of positive feedbacks <p>Perhaps in last few centuries not any big theory has resulted in so much opposition as Darwinian theory of evolution. Within this theory, claim that <em>Homo sapiens </em>evolved from animal ancestors, namely apes, is undoubtedly the most controversial issue. Long tradition of teaching by Church that a pair of first people was created in short time in Eden Garden is in contradiction to discoveries of biology, including paleontology. If God exists, which is not the research subject of science, he created human beings by a long process of biological Darwinian evolution followed by shorter process of non-Darwinian cultural evolution. Biologist must treat <em>Homo sapiens </em>as just one more species with long phylogeny, albeit special species characterized by brains of enormous size, with well-developed neocortex and very special mental traits being the consequence of such brain. The paper considers selection forces toward increase of this extremely expensive organ, draining at least 20% of energy. The main idea is that a series of positive feedbacks were responsible for the development of brain, correlated increase of intelligence and development of culture. Although no great breakthrough is required for such mode of evolution, energetic constrain limiting brain size was present through large part of our evolution, which was first broken by using primitive tools for cutting meat and grinding down seeds, then by thermal processing of food. The new constrain on skull size, and correlated brain size, that is the danger of death of both mother and child during childbirth, has been partly relieved by shifting large part of brain development to postnatal period. Resulting very long childhood was a prerequisite to cultural development of our species.</p> Jan Kozłowski ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:34:06 +0100 Contemporary problems in medicine – technique or ethics? <p>Technical and pharmacological revolution in contemporary medicine has not resolved the ethical problems that seem to be more relevant today than ever before. Most of the papers that concern medical ethics focus on `great' problems, such as human genome sequencing, organizms cloning and quantitative or qualitative interference with life creation. This article, however, describes practical ethical problems that the doctors face in every-day practice. First of all, the problem of how thestandards of prophilaxis and treatment should be established when the costs exceed financial possibilities of a health system. Secondly, how to face the problem of rare diseases when the cost of a single patient treatment may be equal to the whole medical department budget. Thirdly, how to procede with elderly patients with multiple diseases qualified for invasive procedures. All of these examples share the common base: in these cases the technical equipment is at our disposal, yet we cannot or we do not want to use it.</p> Wojciech Płazak ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:30:09 +0100 Postnaturalism in the narratives of two cultures, or why the crisis of the civilization is inevitable <p>Recenzja książki:&nbsp;Ewa Bińczyk, <em>Epoka człowieka. Retoryka i marazm antropocenu</em>, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa, 2018, ss. 325.</p> January Weiner ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:47:53 +0100 Biology is not a hand-waving <p>Recenzja książki:&nbsp;J. Fodor, M. Piattelli-Palmarini, <em>Błąd Darwina</em>,&nbsp; Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN 2018</p> Szymon Drobniak ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 21:01:30 +0100 The otherness of animal intelligence <p>Book review:&nbsp;Recenzja książki:&nbsp;Frans de Waal, <em>Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, </em>W. W. Norton &amp; Company, Inc., New York, 2016, ss. 473</p> Anna Sarosiek ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 21:04:09 +0100 Amazing tales from the world of ravens <p>Book review:&nbsp;Bernd Heinrich<em>, Umysł kruka. Badania i&nbsp;przygody w&nbsp;świecie wilczych ptaków</em>, tł. Michał Szczubiałka, Wydawnictwo Czarne, Wołowiec, 2018, ss. 504.</p> Anna Sarosiek ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 21:05:53 +0100 A philosophically provoking category theory <p>Recenzja książki:&nbsp;Elaine Landry (red.), <em>Categories for the Working Philosopher</em>, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017, ss. xiv+471.</p> Michał Heller ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:52:50 +0100 Followers of Plato <p>Recenzja książki:&nbsp;Bogdan Dembiński, <em>Stara Akademia Platona. W początkach epoki hellenistycznej (ostatni okres)</em>, Wydawnictwo Marek Derewiecki, Kęty 2018, s. 183.</p> Michał Heller, Janusz Mączka ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:56:17 +0100 To be or not to be Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus <p>Book review:&nbsp;Homo Deus. A Brief History of Tomorrow. Yuval Noah Harari. Vintage, UK. 2017. p. 512.</p> Roman Krzanowski ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 31 Dec 2018 20:50:12 +0100