Metaphysics of science, a toolbox or a bestiary of contemporary scientific inquiry?


Bica Daian

Markus Schrenk, “Metaphysics of science. A Systematic and Historical Introduction”, ed. Routledge Press, 2016

            Quine used to say the boundaries between various natural sciences and metaphysics are more likely useful labels for librarians. Contemporary working philosophers and scientists are sharing, according to him, a sprawling system of knowledge (Quine 1966, p.56). The questions concerning these slippery boundaries are puzzling the philosophical enterprise since at least the 19th century, due to the work of scientific philosophers as Duhem, Mach or Boltzmann. Duhem pioneered in his seminal treaties “The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory” the idea that metaphysical reasoning is parasitical upon scientific account, thus science should abandon the metaphysical kind of explanation (Duhem 1991, pp.3-5).

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