For more than a century, a war of ideas has been taking place. One side regards science as the arbiter of all knowledge. Among their ranks many analytic philosophers including Bertrand Russell, "whatever science cannot discover, mankind cannot know". The other side, including continental philosophies such as existentialism and postmodernism, more commonly see philosophy as the ultimate arbiter. 'Science is the new religion' argued Heidegger. 'Science ... is largely useless for philosophical purposes' argued Rorty.
Might philosophy and science be two sides of the same coin and would we be better to see scientists as a type of philosopher, once called natural philosophers, and philosophers a type of scientist, engaged with reality, consciousness, language and society? Or is the divide fundamental, and science, its method and its goals, of no relevance to philosophy and vice versa? Then again, should we give no special status to either, and place them alongside the many other ways of making sense of the world?
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