Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Scientific Metaphysics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Don Ross, James Ladyman, and Harold Kincaid

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696499

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696499.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 October 2021

Scientific Ontology and Speculative Ontology

Scientific Ontology and Speculative Ontology

(p.51) 3 Scientific Ontology and Speculative Ontology
Scientific Metaphysics

Paul Humphreys

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides six arguments in favor of scientifically based ontology and against speculative ontology, a branch of analytic metaphysics. Parts of contemporary speculative ontology are untenable because they are factually false; intuitions are not domain-invariant; conceptual analysis is too closely tied to everyday experience; what counts as an acceptable philosophical idealization is left unarticulated; the world is not scale-invariant; and anthropocentric epistemology does not always minimize epistemic risk. Nevertheless, specifically philosophical arguments are necessary when making ontological claims and complete deference to scientific consensus is unreasonable. The overall strategy is to recognize that different domains of reality require different methods of discovery and justification, and that a significant part of contemporary metaphysics is employing methods that are inappropriate to its goals.

Keywords:   Intuition, scientific ontology, speculative ontology, conceptual analysis, idealizations, analytic metaphysics, epistemic risk

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .