Metaphysics and Science
Organisé en collaboration avec Max KISTLER, président de la Société de philosophie analytique (SOPHA) et professeur à l’Université Paris-1
According to an important approach in contemporary metaphysics, science should, if not dictate, at least guide us in our description and explanation of the fundamental nature of reality and of its properties. However, metaphysicians who accept such a strategy disagree widely on several crucial issues. Does making sense of scientific theories require the postulate of laws of nature in a sense distinct from regularities, or do mere regularities suffice? Does metaphysics imply some commitment to scientific realism? Or are there other options? Does the analysis of contemporary science justify the idea that nature is structured according to a unique taxonomy, or is taxonomic pluralism the adequate doctrine? More generally, should our best method in metaphysical inquiry involve the analysis of the ontological commitments of our best scientific theories? Can the analysis of scientific theories really justify metaphysical theses on the existence of such things as laws, dispositions and powers, and natural kinds? To what extent must metaphysicians remain "humble"? In what ways are they possibly justified in being "bold"? And in case they are justified in being so, what kind of genuine metaphysical "knowledge" can they provide? Such are some of the debates that will be pursued during the workshop on metaphysics and science.