Combining Science and Metaphysics: Contemporary Physics, by Matteo Morganti

By Matteo Morganti

Technological know-how and philosophy either exhibit, and try and quench, the distinctively human thirst for wisdom. this present day, their mutual dating has turn into one in all clash or indifference instead of cooperation. whilst, scientists and philosophers alike have moved clear of not less than a few of our usual ideals. yet what can medical and philosophical theories let us know in regards to the global, in isolation from one another? And to what quantity does a cosmopolitan research into the character of items strength us to question 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 gains of truth - whereas additionally maintaining technology centre degree. The proposed methodological standpoint permits one to hunt the appropriate equilibrium among technological know-how, metaphysics and customary feel. this can be illustrated through 3 case experiences, which supply a transparent dialogue of key philosophical matters.

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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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2 Existence and grounding Let us now consider the second key element in the proposed conception of naturalised metaphysics: that is, the idea that metaphysics should be regarded as (primarily) a study of grounding relations. Previously, we have argued that the Quinean conception of ontology and metaphysics is indeed, at least to some extent, problematic as detractors of metaphysics suggest. 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.

This, we want to claim here, can Naturalism 39 be generalised:18 although perhaps not all metaphysical questions that can be fruitfully asked while putting them in connection with current science need to be about priority and dependence, these sorts of questions are nevertheless fundamental for a proper characterisation and assessment of metaphysics from a scientifically-informed perspective. ). At this point, a possible difficulty must be taken into account. Several authors objected to the very notion of ground is confused and/or incoherent or of no real use (see, for instance, the discussions in Hofweber [2009] or Fine [2010]).

Indeed, such a conception directly leads one to take seriously the specific questions considered by PVF and, more generally, a whole lot of questions that may legitimately be regarded as empty, or at least lacking an objective answer, from a scientific point of view: for instance, the infamous question of whether there is only a table there, or just a set of particles arranged table-wise, or both. However, it is perfectly possible, and in fact advisable, for metaphysicians to reject the Quinean definition of metaphysics.

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