I understand we deal with mainstream physics here but as physics has been developed from philosophy only why are questions based on speculations and those which are related to looking for possibilities discouraged?

Addendum: this is more what i see philosophy as: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Philosophy

In the context of academic degrees, the term "philosophy" does not refer solely to the field of philosophy, but is used in a broader sense in accordance with its original Greek meaning, which is "love of wisdom"

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    $\begingroup$ More on Philosophy: meta.physics.stackexchange.com/q/80/2451 and meta.physics.stackexchange.com/q/821/2451 $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Oct 26 '13 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ -1 if you are proposing philosophy questions to be on topic. $\endgroup$ – jinawee Oct 26 '13 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ Am most certainly not, most probably because I interpret philosophy not as mere wandering of why and why why but checking the working of systems, I see it as whys and hows to check the theories or to develop new $\endgroup$ – Rijul Gupta Oct 26 '13 at 19:19
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    $\begingroup$ If you consider philosophy = "love of wisdom", almost every SE site is about philosophy. If philosophy = Can we be sure if the Earth exists? Why does the Universe obey mathematical rules?,etc. You should go to Philosophy.SE. If philosophy = physics speculations, it does not fit the Q/A format. $\endgroup$ – jinawee Oct 26 '13 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ Again like the other question where we were discussing speculations, this was also an attempt to encourage formulation of hypothesis/speculations/theories rather than the nonsense you correctly point philosophy is more associsted with now a day $\endgroup$ – Rijul Gupta Oct 26 '13 at 20:43

There is not always a clear distinction between physics and philosophy.

Interpretations of quantum mechanics are not empirically testable, so they could be considered philosophy, and yet the people who work on this kind of things are typically physicists who publish in physics journals.

There are people who work on the philosophy of science. For example, Norton's dome was originally brought up in a philosophical critique of the notion of causality,[Norton] but a lot of the literature that came after Norton's original paper smells more like physics or mathematics [Laraudogoitia 2012],[Korolev 2006].

People's opinions on what constitutes physics are themselves philosophical stances. For example, many physicists have attitudes that could generally be described as operationalist, and these attitudes influence what they would define as a valid physics question as opposed to a philosophy question. But operationalism is itself a philosophical idea.

For these reasons, I don't think it's practical to prohibit philosophy questions on the site, if they're also physics questions. If there is very little scientific content and it's mainly philosophy, then we could certainly suggest they move their question to philosophy.SE. There are certain topics that are basically FAQs where people imagine that something has a conclusive physics answer, but in fact it doesn't. Examples are the block universe and interpretations of quantum mechanics. This can be handled simply by writing good answers that say exactly that. For example, if someone is under the illusion that physicists actually study whether the block universe concept is valid or correct, it's only a physicist who can authoritatively tell them that this isn't what we study.

Korolev, "Indeterminism, asymptotic reasoning, and time irreversibility in classical physics," 2006, http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/3003/

Norton, "Causation as Folk Science," http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/1214/

Jon Pérez Laraudogoitia, "On Norton’s dome," Synthese, 2012 http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11229-012-0105-z

  • $\begingroup$ Related Phys.SE post about Norton's dome: physics.stackexchange.com/q/39632/2451. Fun fact: The three references, Norton, Laraudogoitia, Korolev mention the important Lipschitz condition 0 times, 4 times (in footnote 2), 41 times (all over the place), respectively. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Oct 11 '14 at 16:50

as physics has been developed from philosophy

Well, physics may have been called philosophy in the early past.

The methods of physics are radically different from philosophy, and most physicists attempt to stay well within the realm of "physics" without straying into philosophy.

Metaphysical questions usually lead to opinionated debate and are thus not constructive for the site. Besides, such speculation many a time falls in the realm of non mainstream physics as people start theorizing outside the established framework.

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    $\begingroup$ And are not these hypothesis how we develop theories ? And no we did not call physics philosophy in past, it is philosophy from where this greatest subject derives its root. As far as methods of physics go, many a times people are called to have been bold in putting down laws, but when they were observed they were well accepted, this boldness had been mere speculatiob or philosophical thought only. $\endgroup$ – Rijul Gupta Oct 26 '13 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ @rijulgupta Sure, we develop theory from hypotheses. So? That's different from philosophical thinking. New laws have always come from a search for a more mathematically beautiful model OR to make an older model work with newer data. That's physics. Philosophy is wondering why the model exists in the first place. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Oct 26 '13 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ I do not agree with that, philosophy would be wondering why the model was there in the first place only as long as there is no reasonable argument to prove the existence of the model. According to your claim when we ask questions of why some phenomenon happens then that is philosophy and not physics, that is just wrong. Those questions are roots of physics ask newton and his apple (although I know it is a myth) $\endgroup$ – Rijul Gupta Oct 26 '13 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ "The methods of physics are radically different from philosophy[.]" But then have a look at the description here, aiming to provide at least one sort-of counterexample to that claim of yours. $\endgroup$ – Řídící Oct 27 '13 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ @aufkag Well, they seem to be trying to reconcile the two by finding a way of discussing metaphysics under a more physics-y framework. I don't call that philosophy myself, but that's just semantics. The question isn't really about philosophy, it's about the posts we label as philosophy and declare off topic; this reconcilation you link to probably would be allowed. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Oct 27 '13 at 19:17

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