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On Progress in Metaphysics

Salimkhani, Kian and Rolffs, Matthias (2022) On Progress in Metaphysics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In a recent paper, Kerry McKenzie identifies theory change in science as a source for doubts about the value of engaging in metaphysics of science before a final theory is at hand. According to McKenzie, the basic problem is that naturalized metaphysics lacks a concept of progress. More specifically, naturalized metaphysics lacks a concept of progress as approximation that can easily be taken to correspond to the scientific sources of naturalized metaphysical inquiry. In this paper, we criticise the proposed concept of progress as approximation as too narrow a concept, notably, even in science, and propose an alternative notion of scientific progress that metaphysical investigations can and do latch on to, namely progress understood as exploring and constraining theory space. First, we motivate this notion of progress via an examination of progress in particle physics and propose that it can be applied to metaphysics as well. Second, we argue that this notion of progress leads to a convincing reply to McKenzie's argument. Third, we discuss how this notion of progress relates to the program of naturalized metaphysics and argue that it speaks in favor of a more lenient version of naturalistically-inclined metaphysics, namely inductive metaphysics.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Salimkhani, Kiank.salimkhani@uni-koeln.de0000-0003-3453-402X
Rolffs, Matthiasmatthias.rolffs@philo.unibe.ch
Keywords: metaphysical progress, naturalized metaphysics, scientific progress, theory change, physics, inductive metaphysics
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Mr. Kian Salimkhani
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2022 17:57
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2022 17:57
Item ID: 21178
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21178

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