Towards a New Account of Progress in Metaphysics: The Tool Building Approach


How does scientifically informed metaphysics make progress? One response is that scientifically informed metaphysics makes progress off the back of science. Some argue that there is a problem with this line of reasoning. Kerry McKenzie claims that metaphysics cannot make progress off the back of science because metaphysical theories cannot approximate the truth like science can. She concludes that metaphysics based on science cannot make progress, even in principle. In this paper, I use McKenzie’s argument as a jumping-off point from which to make two claims. First, I claim that metaphysics is capable of making progress on a known account of scientific progress, the truthlikeness account. Second, I present the groundwork for a new account of metaphysical progress, which I call the ‘Tool Building Approach’.



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Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
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.
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The Tools of Metaphysics and the Metaphysics of Science.Theodore Sider - 2020 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.

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