The epistemic value of metaphysics

Synthese 200 (4):337 (2022)
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It is sometimes argued that, given its detachment from our current most successful science, analytic metaphysics has no epistemic value because it contributes nothing to our knowledge of reality. Relatedly, it is also argued that metaphysics properly constrained by science can avoid that problem. In this paper we argue, however, that given the current understanding of the relation between science and metaphysics, metaphysics allegedly constrained by science suffers the same fate as its unconstrained sister; that is, what is currently thought of as scientifically respectful metaphysics may end up also being without epistemic value. The core of our claim is that although much emphasis is put on the supposed difference between unconstrained analytic metaphysics, in opposition to scientifically constrained metaphysics, it is largely forgotten that no clear constraining relation of metaphysics by science is yet available.



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Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo
University of Campinas