As a research scientist myself nothing gets under my skin so deeply as hearing fellow scientists disparaging philosophy. Many times one hears it from the so called “popularizers” of science who spend their days not on the bench, or in the lab or the field actually practicing science, but rather on the couch or in front of a screen dispensing their wisdom upon the unwashed masses. These are the same “scientists” who praise the virtue of the technologists (who also despise philosophy for some reason(s) that make(s) no sense), and think science and technology are one and the same discipline, brothers in arms against the dark forces of religion and mysticism that threaten to overwhelm the land. In addition to their disgust with philosophy the other thing these pop-sci paragons share with the techno-elites is an ego that must constantly be fed a steady diet of adulation, praise, and recognition.
Within the sciences themselves, among actual practicing scientists, these people have about as much street cred as Joey Fatone. To think that they could have anything useful to say about a topic as deep, rich, and diverse as philosophy is the height of hubris. They barely have anything useful to say about their supposed topics of specialty in science. Most scientists are lovers of philosophy because most/all scientists are critical thinkers. You cannot practice critical thinking without practicing philosophy. Research scientists spend their days doing philosophy. In a sense they are the practical application of philosophy that these dead-enders are always railing philosophy for not having. It is ironic that those who protest the most about the uselessness of philosophy are those that have benefited the most from it’s actual application.
I suspect that the technologists despise philosophy because it provides no easy answers. After all that is the core of their business model. Making life easier for everyone is what they set out to do every day. Too hard to walk down the street to pick up a doughnut, here’s an app that will do it for you with the tap of a button. Can’t be bothered to remember your anniversary, here’s a calendar that takes care of all that painful keeping track of things for you. Truly this is the end goal of the never ending (and never successful) quest for artificial intelligence. Why bother with thinking at all when we have a computer that can do it for you? Why indeed.