Article/Publication Details

Methods of Metaphysics and Natural Sciences: On their Similarities and Differences

(Original title: Metódy metafyziky a prírodných vied − o ich podobnostiach a odlišnostiach)
Filozofia, 2018, vol. 73, No 5, pp. 345-355.
Language: Slovak
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Abstract

Contemporary metametaphysics studies foundations and methodology of metaphysics. There are two basic positions when it comes to comparing methods of metaphysics and natural sciences. Some authors want to naturalize metaphysics because they see it as a continuation of natural sciences. On the other hand, there are authors who argue that metaphysics is something specific. Both in metaphysics and natural sciences there is a place for the a priori and a posteriori methods. The exclusive use of the a priori methods is problematic with respect to their justification. The a posteriori methods start from experience and can reveal similarities and dissimilarities between metaphysics and natural sciences. Hence, some philosophers combine the a priori and a posteriori methods in metaphysics (e.g. Lowe, Tahko). The relation between the a priori and a posteriori methods is analyzed within the framework of Aristotelian essentialism. The paper will also examine the advantages of Aristotelian essentialism comparing it with the bundle theory and the theory of bare particulars. Naturalization of metaphysics can lead to the dissolution of metaphysics in natural sciences. Therefore, my thesis is that the methods of metaphysics differ from those of natural sciences. Although metaphysics and natural sciences share the same object, namely the explanation of the world, with regard to methods their overlap is only a partial one. They both use models, idealization, and abstraction, but they differ when it comes to the forms of confirmation they use.

Keywords

A posteriori, A priori, Metametaphysics, Methodology of metaphysics, Relationship between metaphysics and science

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