What does History Matter to Philosophy of Physics?

Thomas Ryckman
Stanford University
Naturalized metaphysics remains a default presupposition of much contemporary philosophy of physics. As metaphysics is supposed to be about the general structure of reality, so a naturalized metaphysics draws upon our best physical theories: Assuming the truth of such a theory, it attempts to answer the “foundational question par excellence “, “how could the world possibly be the way this theory says it is?“ It is argued that attention to historical detail in the development and formulation of physical theories serves as an ever-relevant hygienic corrective to the “sentiment of rationality“ underlying the naturalistic impulse to read ontology off of physics
Keywords rationality   Everett   Maxwell   metaphysics   ontology   thermodynamics   quantum mechanics   history of science   naturalism   Einstein   Kuhn   physics   general relativity   realism   many-worlds
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/187226311X599925
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,373
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Taking Thermodynamics Too Seriously.Craig Callender - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):539-553.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Why History Matters to Philosophy of Physics.Thomas Ryckman - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:4-12.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

From Physics to Metaphysics.Michael Redhead - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
Modern Physics and Problems of Knowledge.Paul M. Clark (ed.) - 1981 - Open University Press.
The Analysis of Matter.Bertrand Russell - 1927 - London: Kegan Paul.
Holism in Cartesianism and in Today's Philosophy of Physics.Michael Esfeld - 1999 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 30 (1):17-36.


Added to PP index

Total views
81 ( #107,933 of 2,286,137 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #571,926 of 2,286,137 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature