On physics, metaphysics, and metametaphysics

Metaphilosophy 52 (2):175-199 (2021)
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Nonrelativistic quantum mechanics (QM) works perfectly well for all practical purposes. Once one admits, however, that a successful scientific theory is supposed not only to make predictions but also to tell us a story about the world in which we live, a philosophical problem emerges: in the specific case of QM, it is not possible to associate with the theory a unique scientific image of the world; there are several images. The fact that the theory may be compatible with distinct ontologies, and that those ontologies may themselves be associated with a plurality of metaphysical approaches, gives rise to the problem of metaphysical underdetermination. This paper concludes that the available metametaphysical criteria fail to deliver objectivity in theory choice, and it puts forward its own criterion based on a tension between two methods of metaphysical inquiry: one that is closely related to science and another that is not.



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Author Profiles

Jonas R. B. Arenhart
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Raoni Arroyo
University of Campinas

References found in this work

The philosophy of quantum mechanics.Max Jammer - 1974 - New York,: Wiley. Edited by Max Jammer.
Representation and Invariance of Scientific Structures.Patrick Suppes - 2002 - CSLI Publications (distributed by Chicago University Press).

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