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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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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: 24 September 2021

What Can Contemporary Philosophy Learn from our ‘Scientific Philosophy’ Heritage?

What Can Contemporary Philosophy Learn from our ‘Scientific Philosophy’ Heritage?

(p.151) 7 What Can Contemporary Philosophy Learn from our ‘Scientific Philosophy’ Heritage?
Scientific Metaphysics

Mark Wilson

Oxford University Press

The great nineteenth-century founders of ‘scientific philosophy’ were suspicious of traditionalist views of ‘conceptual content’, believing that worthy notions in science needed to be judged according to their computational successes, rather than their psychological appeal. In the twentieth century, these conceptual predilections became recast in terms of ‘implicit definability within an axiomatic frame’. But the inflexibility inherent in the latter scheme cannot render science’s continually shifting appraisals of ‘sound reasoning’ justice. It is suggested that we return to the founders’ original focus upon algorithmic predilections and the manner in which their ‘correctness’ is continually reassessed within applied mathematical practice.

Keywords:   scientific philosophy, concepts, algorithm, theory, Friedman, Carnap, Helmholtz

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