The issue of Popper’s falsifiability has been rendered equivocal by the overly elaborated version of a simple idea, one that is roughly on the ball: science works with evidence and experiment. The onset of string theory is either a wild goose chase, or an omen of something like post-science. Or else an idling period on the way to something really revolutionary. The question of philosophy, as Pigliucci notes, won’t go away and the curious arrogance of scientists here is a part of the reason science is stalled.
But what is philosophy? The crown jewels of philosophy, Kantian transcendental idealism, has been lost to modern philosophy. And that area of the subject has two clunkers that just might be a part of the problem in physics: the question of the categories and consciousness, more specifically, the question as to the component of humans subjectivity in space-time. That’s a black hole for current physics. The second issue is the ‘phenomenal/noumenal’ distinction/boundary which just might be behind the curiously stalled realm of physics. String theory often looks like a subject bumping up against the noumenal and not getting anywhere because the door is slammed shut. Kant is thus a figure to be reckoned with.