Are Metaphysical Claims Testable?

Philosophia 49 (2):801-818 (2020)
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To consider metaphysical claims a priori and devoid of empirical content, is a rather commonplace received opinion. This paper attempts an exploration of a contemporary philosophical heresy: it is possible to test metaphysical claims if they play an indispensable role in producing empirical success, i.e. novel predictions. To do so one, firstly, needs to express the metaphysical claims employed in the logico-mathematical language of a scientific theory, i.e. to explicate them. Secondly, one should have an understanding of what it is to test and to verify or to falsify a metaphysical claim. Finally, one also need to consider the philosophical practice of testing a metaphysical claim. These three aspects are introduced in this paper and they are illustrated by means of the metaphysical concept of common cause and the principle of the common cause.



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Chrysovalantis Stergiou
The American College of Greece: Deree

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Logical foundations of probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago]: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
Language, truth and logic.Alfred Jules Ayer - 1936 - London,: V. Gollancz.
The direction of time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Maria Reichenbach.

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