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Brit Garner presents a compilation of videos from Nature League's "Nature+" series, in which she explores nature in the context of other disciplines like diplomacy, engineering, and the performing arts. Get your Nature League pin here!

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Nature League is a Complexly production

Nature League is a weekly edutainment channel that explores life on Earth and asks questions that inspire us to marvel at all things wild. Join host Brit Garner each week to learn about, connect to, and love the amazing living systems on Earth and the mechanics that drive them.

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Welcome Back to Nature League. Instead of a regular video this week, I wanted to share with you a compilation of the Nature Plus segments we've done here on Nature League. Nature Plus is a format in which we explore nature topics within the context of other disciplines, like diplomacy, engineering, and the Performing Arts.

In this first video, two friends join me to discuss how philosophy can help us understand nature.

 Nature + Philosophy (0:25)

Brit: We're going to explore nature plus philosophy. Basically, discovering how philosophy can help us explore, learn about, and love life on Earth. So, I am lucky to have some friends here to help me out with the topic, and I'm so excited to introduce them to you now. So, first I will have Caitlin.

Caitlin: Hello! I'm Caitlin. I produce SciShow, all the SciShow channels, and so that's how I met Brit. I was a philosophy major in undergrad, and so, when you were talking about doing this, we started talking about the Wilderness Act of 1964. That's why I get to be here.

B: Yay! We are super lucky to have Dr. Soazig Le Bihan here today, and she will introduce herself.

Soazig: My name is Soazig Le Bihan, I am a professor of philosophy at the University of Montana. I work in philosophy of science. Most-- more precisely, I've worked for a long time on philosophy of physics, and recently I've changed gears to work on philosophy of ecology.

B: So, I last semester, I don't know why I did this

S: I don't know.

B: I'm glad that I did, but I decided to go on a new adventure, and I pirated my way over to the philosophy department, because I saw that there is a course being offered that was philosophy of ecology. Now, I know ecology in book form and in text and in all this. And, it actually started because Soazig came to my wildlife department, and gave a brief introduction to philosophy of science.

S: I don't know why I did that.

B: I'm glad that we both did these things. And, I'm sitting here in the back, probably, definitely doing other homework, and then looked up and was like, wait, what, there's something called philosophy of science.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

I thought philosophy was that group of stoners that didn't want to major in something harder. 

C: Philosophy is so hard.

B: It is!

S: It is one of the harder studies.

B: Well, it is and so again, and I learned so much. And, that's one of those things, like I love it when things prove me wrong. Like, when people prove me wrong or other things, I'm like awesome, because that reminds me to keep my mind totally open to things. So, what's cool is that all three of us work with science in one way or another, right. So, how does philosophy kind of tie into what you do, either on SciShow or the way that you think about the pieces of science that you do?

C: Yeah. I'm not a scientist, but I play one on the internet.

B: It's true.

C: So, I was doing some reading this weekend to kind of prepare for this, and just like thinking through philosophy reading and putting myself back in that brain, I think everyone should be a philosophy major. No offense, but I do.

B: No, I agree now. I think it should be required that all the wildlife and ecology and science PhD students go into a philosophy class. And then, this thing happened where I remembered that PhD stands for doctorate in philosophy. So there's, yeah.

C: But, yes, so I was thinking about it and figuring out what someone is communicating through the written word and then through conversation. It's like, I deal with that every single day.

B: With science communication, right.

C: With science communication, and even just like having employees and making sure that they understand what's happening. Like, trying to interpret what I think my boss wants me to do. Like, that, like brain work that I learned from trying to work through philosophy readings I use constantly.

B: And then, you have a metaphor that I love about how philosophy and science go together.

S: Right so, that's not the only way philosophy can deal with science, right. But, what we call philosophy of science, which is a discipline; there's philosophy of physics, philosophy of biology, philosophy of ecology, philosophy of economic, philosophy of whatever you want, right? But, the way philosophy of science as a discipline deals with science is basically to ask how it works. So, for us, our data, our scientist.

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