Theoretical virtues and the methodological analogy between science and metaphysics

Synthese 201 (2):1-19 (2023)
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Metaphysicians often claim that some metaphysical theory should (or shouldn’t) be believed because it exhibits (or fails to exhibit) theoretical virtues such as simplicity. Metaphysicians also sometimes claim that the legitimacy of these sorts of appeals to theoretical virtues are vindicated by the similar appeals to theoretical virtues which scientists make in scientific theory choice. One objection to this methodological move is to claim that the metaphysician misdescribes the role that theoretical virtues play within science. In this paper I defend the metaphysician’s use of theoretical virtues against this objection.

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Andrew Brenner
Hong Kong Baptist University

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References found in this work

The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Every thing must go: metaphysics naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Don Ross, David Spurrett & John G. Collier.
Ontology Made Easy.Amie Lynn Thomasson - 2014 - New York: Oup Usa.
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