Combining Science and Metaphysics: Contemporary Physics, by Matteo Morganti

By Matteo Morganti

Technology and philosophy either convey, and try to quench, the distinctively human thirst for wisdom. at the present time, their mutual dating has turn into one in all clash or indifference instead of cooperation. whilst, scientists and philosophers alike have moved clear of a minimum of a few of our usual ideals. yet what can medical and philosophical theories let us know in regards to the international, in isolation from one another? And to what volume does a cosmopolitan research into the character of items strength us to query common sense ideals? This ebook defends a kind of naturalism which preserves the autonomy of metaphysics – the a part of philosophy that goals to discover the basic positive aspects of fact - whereas additionally protecting technological know-how centre level. The proposed methodological point of view permits one to hunt definitely the right equilibrium among technological know-how, metaphysics and customary experience. this is often illustrated through 3 case stories, which supply a transparent dialogue of key philosophical concerns.

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Extra info for Combining Science and Metaphysics: Contemporary Physics, Conceptual Revision and Common Sense (New Directions in the Philosophy of Science)

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11 Clearly, on this construal, it becomes possible for the constructive naturalist to accept the dependence (via conceivability) of metaphysical modality on physical modality. 12 It thus seems that naturalistic metaphysicians have at least two ways – one more ‘modest’, the other more ‘ambitious’ – to circumvent problems having to do with the supposed parasitic nature of metaphysical possibility and necessity claims on physical possibility and necessity claims. 14 Before closing this sub-section, another important point related to the status of metaphysical modality needs to be discussed: the role played by the notion of essence in the definition and determination of metaphysical possibility and necessity.

A theory is committed to those and only those entities to which the bound variables of the theory must be capable of referring in order that the affirmations made in the theory be true” [1951; 12–14]. 25. Things are not so simple, for it can plausibly be argued that Quine ‘only’ added to Carnap’s entirely pragmatic stance towards the choice of the linguistic framework to be used in relation to a certain domain (i) the label ‘ontology’ and (ii) the preference for a physicalist framework when it comes to inquiring into the deep structure of reality together with (iii) a rejection of a sharp distinction between science and philosophy via his critique of the analytic/synthetic distinction (leading to the demotion of scientific claims to the level of non-scientific ones).

But we also claimed that such a conception is not compelling, and in fact deceptive. Following Schaffer [2009], we agreed with the claim that metaphysics is best intended as a study of grounding relations, that is, of relations of dependence and priority between (categories of) things – relations that are not of a causal nature and, consequently, cannot be reduced to anything studied by the natural sciences. 17 And that these are neither (at least not always) reducible to scientific questions, nor to be eliminated as remote from the empirical evidence in Van Fraassen’s sense discussed in the previous chapter.

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