Don Ross, James Ladyman, Harold Kincaid
OUP Oxford, Jan 17, 2013 - Science - 256 pages
Scientific Metaphysics collects original essays by some of the world's leading philosophers of science on the question of whether metaphysics can and should be naturalized—that is, conducted as a part of natural science. Some people will think that the idea of naturalized metaphysics is a contradiction in terms, on the grounds that metaphysics is by definition about matters that transcend the domain of empirical inquiry. Most of the authors here disagree, and hold that if metaphysics is to hold out any prospect of identifying objective truths, it must be continuous with and inspired by science. Many go further, and argue that it should be conducted in such a way as to be of some positive use to science. But beyond this each contributor differs with one another on numerous points of detail and emphasis. The essays presented here offer various points of view on the relationship between naturalized metaphysics, more traditional forms of metaphysics, and the wider history of philosophy. The discussions are rich in examples drawn from across the sciences: physics, biology, economics, psychology and others. Several chapters explore new ideas about the complex relationships between metaphysics, physics, and mathematics. At stake, in the end, is the question of whether metaphysics should give way to science and disappear from contemporary inquiry, or continue as an activity that unifies the particular sciences into a single naturalistic worldview.
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