What is the ideal relationship between philosophy and science in 21st century kinesiology?

Science and philosophy are like set of twins with intense personalities. They are obviously related to one another and work extremely well when one is not too overpowering. Like any healthy relationship, each twin needs to apply their strengths where one might be lacking, to be an efficient and useful team. It is not possible for one to stand without the other. Things would just not be there same. Some people would feel that science would need to take the lead role in most things, and I would agree. I do not believe it is any more important that philosophy though. I look at science more as a base– an example for philosophy to work with to achieve the knowledge that we have today. Kretchmar forces us in his readings to make a choice to either emphasize Philosophy or Science, in the history of activity, and points out that people would choose Science over Philosophy, because they feel it is more “liable” or “important.” But is it really? I feel that science is the base that philosophy needs to stand on to go higher and to dig and explore what we already “know” in the world. We once were CONVINCED that the world was flat, until people questioned that truth; just like we once thought the earth was the center of the universe. There is always an older twin, and in my experience, that older sibling tends to be the solid grounded figure of the two.


The word “science” originates from the Latin root-word, sientia, which means “knowledge” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science). Science is used to obtain knowledge by systematic research and defined by empirical data. Science is cold cut and to the point. Facts define facts, and that is how you know something is real within science. Philosophy is the twin that questions everything his brother is doing. He listens, hears, sees, and loves what his brother, science, knows; then rebels against his “facts”, his “solidarity”, and questions his validity. He digs a little deeper into science and his knowledge; just like every little twin brother, he lovingly questions for the sake of deduction so he can either help and confirm, or throw in a wrench and confuse. He sees what his brother is doing, respects it, and wants to take it to another level. So, fittingly, philosophy is directly translated from Greek as, “a lover of wisdom” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy)


The nature if philosophy is not to disprove, but to assign meaning to what we know. We can use science to provide insight on the creation of our world. There are many differing views floating around that give insight to how people think the world was made; but scientifically there are also ways to physically measure the decay rates of certain organic materials and conclude that a rock is thousands or millions of years old. What is the point in all of this? A philosopher would say, “Exactly.” …Jokes aside, it is their duty as a “lover of knowledge” to abstractly think of and infinite amount of ways to approach either conclusion of the world being “young” or “old.” He would be the one injecting reasoning and skillful deduction as to why things are the way they are. Each situation would each be given a set value and each would be weighed by the mind and stretched far beyond any “belief system” that some simple number-cruncher could conjure. A philosopher’s goal is to distort your simple way of thinking, in essence, “thinking outside the proverbial box,” and stretching your mind’s capacity for reason– for seeing beyond the cold hard facts and actually applying a useful “what-if” situation to your answers. Asking yourself, “what-if,” and questioning the things around you is an effective way to learn. Melissa Karnaze tells us in her online blog that its always healthy to know and hear both sides of a story because, “The most immediate outcome of hearing both sides of any story is that you get a bigger picture of the issue” (http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/07/14/10-reasons-to-listen-to-both-sides-of-any-story/). Which brings me to why I feel that they should be respected and used as equally important to gaining knowledge in any field of life.


So how does all of this scientific and philosophical nonsense tie into 21st century kinesiology? The scientific study of human movement could not be what it is today if people did not challenge their beliefs long ago. Science as we know it would not be the same if philosophers like Socrates did not question the authoritative rule of the establishment’s “truths” concluded from science. It’s not that people should discredit the answers they are physically given, but question them. Question the possibilities of them. Question the meanings of them. Question what that truth means– inside and out, because without those questions, we do not have any of the answers that we have today. Without sailors questioning the “flattness” of the earth, without medieval medicine men questioning healing tactics, without SOMEONE pushing and striving for something than we already have now, there will be no growth in knowledge. “Philosophy tries to say something where empiricism can’t, and it is an integral part in the expansion of scientific explanation” (http://www.browndailyherald.com/2013/09/16/powers-15-philosophical-scientific-explanation/). Kinesiology needs Philosophy JUST as much as Philosophy needs Kinesiology, because without each other, those brothers do not grow.



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