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Scientific Metaphysics$
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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

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Can Metaphysics Be Naturalized? And If So, How?

Can Metaphysics Be Naturalized? And If So, How?

(p.79) 4 Can Metaphysics Be Naturalized? And If So, How?
Scientific Metaphysics

Andrew Melnyk

Oxford University Press

An exercise in metaphilosophy, this chapter addresses one aspect of the relationship between science and philosophy. Non-naturalized, analytic metaphysics has not yielded results at all comparable with those achieved by mathematics and logic. Metaphysics needs to be naturalized, but how can scientific findings be made relevant to metaphysics—as evidence, as sources of new problems, or in other ways? Must some traditional metaphysical problems be abandoned as intractable? What sort of problems might take their place? Answers to these questions arise from detailed criticism of the answers given in Ladyman, Ross, et al., Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Naturalized metaphysics requires outstanding questions that we want answered but that don’t fall within the province of the sciences; there look to be such questions, including that of how to unify science; but whether we can answer them is best determined by trying to do so.

Keywords:   Metaphysics, analytic metaphysics, naturalized metaphysics, metaphilosophy, science and philosophy

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