1 The difference between master of science and master of philosophy
It’s been such confusing that sometimes schools offer degree of m.phil. some offer m.s.
so what’s the difference?
In order to have a further knowledge of it, we may begin with defining philosophy and science.
Blow are short but quite precise definitions from Yahoo answers which I am pretty agree:
“philosophy is the art of studying and knowing questions, and other things of hypothetical nature. science is the art of studying and knowing how things work and having the ability to answer most of the philosophical questions.”
We understand a phenomenon by first knowing its static appearance and the pattern of its motion. Then we begin with making hypothesis from our long-term observation. To test its justification, experiments are taken by using a series of controls and comparisons and under repeated trials. In such a way that we provide with the solid foundation for further pursuing of physical law behind this.
These specific processes are under the rules of science deduction. And this way of finding things out may be referred to as Science.
When it comes to philosophy, things become more artistic, more aesthetic, with higher level of insightful understanding and more general idea of how to understand nature.
Science and philosophy are like a scientist and a artist respectively, but they are more integrated with each other. And philosophy is not pure art but more precisely it is the art of science. So in this way, philosophy is more like a Bo Le (A chinese character who is specialized in discovering talented horse among thousands of horses, which extended its meaning to be as a good judge of genius), while the science is a man of talent. Bo Le knows how to make science look more attractive in front of others by exposing science’s flashes and beauty.
So in all likelihood, m.phil. is literally one step further than m.s. (maybe)… However people usually begin to work on ph.D after obtaining its m.s.
2 The value of science? Why we need science? Why science is so important? Why still rely on science when it harms us in some way (by applying it)?
Here is what Richard Feynman answered from The Meaning Of It All.
Once in Hawaii I was taken to see a Buddhist temple. In the temple a man said, “I am
going to tell you something that you will never forget.” And then he said, “To every man
is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.”
And so it is with science. In a way it is a key to the gates of heaven, and the same key
opens the gates of hell, and we do not have any instructions as to which is which gate.
Shall we throw away the key and never have a way to enter the gates of heaven? Or shall
we struggle with the problem of which is the best way to use the key? That is, of course,
a very serious question, but I think that we cannot deny the value of the key to the gates
All the major problems of the relations between society and science lie in this same area.
When the scientist is told that he must be more responsible for his effects on society, it is
the applications of science that are referred to. If you work to develop nuclear energy you
must realize also that it can be used harmfully. Therefore, you would expect that, in a
discussion of this kind by a scientist, this would be the most important topic. But I will
not talk about it further. I think that to say these are scientific problems is an
exaggeration. They are far more humanitarian problems. The fact that how to work the
power is clear, but how to control it is not, is something not so scientific and is not
something that the scientist knows so much about.
20 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT+8