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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 01 Jul '14 17:59
    I was listening to a lecture by a Russian Grandmaster Eduard Gufeld in which he stated that chess was purely scientific and I am not entirely sure I agree with him. So being a philosopher and not a scientist I thought I would ask my scientist friends what they thought.
  2. 01 Jul '14 18:28
    In what sense could chess possibly be considered "scientific"?
  3. Standard member forkedknight
    Defend the Universe
    01 Jul '14 18:33
    Chess is deterministic.

    Chess is a game of perfect information.

    There are lots of other statements you could make about chess, but saying it is "scientific" doesn't make sense to me.
  4. 01 Jul '14 18:35
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I was listening to a lecture by a Russian Grandmaster Eduard Gufeld in which he stated that chess was purely scientific and I am not entirely sure I agree with him. So being a philosopher and not a scientist I thought I would ask my scientist friends what they thought.
    You could study chess scientifically, ie you could use mathematics to investigate various patterns, or strategies, you could use computer science to develop chess programs etc. But chess itself is not scientific any more than a stone (which can be studied by science) is scientific and chess players are not by the mere act of playing chess scientists or carrying out science.
  5. 01 Jul '14 18:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by forkedknight
    Chess is deterministic.

    Chess is a game of perfect information.

    There are lots of other statements you could make about chess, but saying it is "scientific" doesn't make sense to me.
    Is the theory of relativity scientific? Yes! why? because it is expressed in scientific terms. Is chess scientific ? surely is not such a cumbersome question so as to present difficulty. Originally I had conceived of the idea of asking, is chess purely scientific, but that is to introduce degrees of scientificness (here i needed to make up my own word), so i thought in the interests of simplicity, simply to ask, is chess scientific?
  6. 01 Jul '14 18:47
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    In what sense could chess possibly be considered "scientific"?
    Like whitey mentioned above, if it is expressed in scientific terms, like mathematically, just by way of example. Is this not exactly how computers play chess?
  7. 01 Jul '14 18:50 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You could study chess scientifically, ie you could use mathematics to investigate various patterns, or strategies, you could use computer science to develop chess programs etc. But chess itself is not scientific any more than a stone (which can be studied by science) is scientific and chess players are not by the mere act of playing chess scientists or carrying out science.
    The Russian Grandmaster stated that the way we study chess is exactly the same way as we study other sciences, here is his lecture here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3npyI2_XZk8

    I happen to disagree with him because we do not study chess the same was as we study mathematics, in fact I think thats its demonstrable that much chess learning is subliminal and I don't think that mathematics are learned in the same way.
  8. 01 Jul '14 18:52
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    The Russian Grandmaster stated that the way we study chess is exactly the same way as we study other sciences, here is his lecture here.
    As I said, we can study chess scientifically, but chess itself, is not scientific. And most people who play chess, do not study it scientifically.
  9. 01 Jul '14 18:54 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    As I said, we can study chess scientifically, but chess itself, is not scientific. And most people who play chess, do not study it scientifically.
    Why do you say that its not scientific? If it can be expressed purely mathematically as chess engines of necessity must do by employing algorithms, then why is this any less scientific than other sciences? We could even invent a name for the study, chessology.
  10. 01 Jul '14 19:23
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Why do you say that its not scientific? If it can be expressed purely mathematically as chess engines of necessity must do by employing algorithms, then why is this any less scientific than other sciences? We could even invent a name for the study, chessology.
    The way molecules in a stone interact can be expressed mathematically. That doesn't make a stone 'scientific'.
    The theory of relativity, is a theory of space time. Spacetime itself is not scientific. Science is about how we go about studying something, not the thing itself.
    Also science is about discovering patterns, not the patterns themselves, so one could even argue that E=mc^2 is not inherently scientific. Similarly, although science was used to develop cell phones, a cell phone itself is not really scientific - depending on in what sense you are using the word.
    When it comes to mathematics, it is typically not considered a science in the same sense as Biology or Physics. There are no experiments in mathematics.
    So, I am saying that whether or not to use the word scientific when developing a chess engine is debateable. However, using scientific to describe the way the vast majority of chess players study chess is simply out of the question.
  11. 01 Jul '14 21:28
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The way molecules in a stone interact can be expressed mathematically. That doesn't make a stone 'scientific'.
    The theory of relativity, is a theory of space time. Spacetime itself is not scientific. Science is about how we go about studying something, not the thing itself.
    Also science is about discovering patterns, not the patterns themselves, so one ...[text shortened]... o describe the way the vast majority of chess players study chess is simply out of the question.
    Ok, this is the question, is the study of chess, scientific?
  12. 02 Jul '14 06:48
    For something to be called scientific, it either has to be a rationally obtained theory or a rationally obtained method or something correctly defined as a field of scientific study.
    Chess is none of these thus is not scientific.
    You can have a scientific theory about chess or have a scientifically obtained method to win a game of chess or even have the field of the scientific study of chess ( chessology? ) but not chess itself being scientific because chess itself is just a game.
  13. 02 Jul '14 06:54
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Ok, this is the question, is the study of chess, scientific?
    It may or may not be depending on how you go about it.
    If you do the study of it somehow in an irrational manner; making totally baseless assumptions, false inferences etc, then, no. If you do the study in a rational manner; be very careful about your assumptions and conclusions, base conclusions on evidence/reason, no false inferences etc. then that study of chess is rational and can be part of real science.
  14. 02 Jul '14 06:55
    Originally posted by humy
    For something to be called scientific, it either has to be a rationally obtained theory or a rationally obtained method or something correctly defined as a field of scientific study.
    Chess is none of these thus is not scientific.
    You can have a scientific theory about chess or have a scientifically obtained method to win a game of chess or even ...[text shortened]... chess ( chessology? ) but not chess itself being scientific because chess itself is just a game.
    Are you saying that chess opening theory is not rationally obtained? that pawn structures, concepts of the center and piece mobility, endgame principles are not scientifically obtained? In every respect of the above chess follows scientific principles and what is more is entirely rational and logical. Furthermore it is constantly and continually being subject to falsification as variations that were once deemed playable are busted and new ones that were thought to be dubious are dusted down and given a new lease of life. I don't see how its any less scientific than computer science. Yes I understand the objection to chess being termed scientific that is why I have amended my question to, is the study of chess scientific.
  15. 02 Jul '14 06:59
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Ok, this is the question, is the study of chess, scientific?
    The study of chess may be scientific if you study it scientifically. It may also be unscientific if you study it unscientifically. If you study it using tarot cards, then I would say you are probably being unscientific. If you develop a computer AI to play chess using computer science, then you could be said to be studying it scientifically - or possibly only using it for scientific study (as it may be the AI that is your real focus of study).
    But most serious study of Chess would fall under the label 'mathematics' or 'logic', and I would be more comfortable calling the study of chess 'an exercise in logic' than 'scientific'.