Digging Deeper: Why Metaphysics is More Than a Toolbox
Steven French (J Gen Philos Sci, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10838-018-9401-8, 2018) proposes a vindication of “scientifically disinterested” metaphysics that leaves little room to its original ambitions. He claims that (1) as a discipline that looks to find out truths about the world, it is untenable; and that (2) rather, its vindication lies in its use as a “toolbox” of concepts for a philosophical discipline that does have a claim at getting us closer to truth—the philosophy of science, and more specifically of physics. I respond to both his main claims. The first claim, I argue, neglects what I call (with Ralf Busse) “archaeological” metaphysics, which tries to impose some order on phenomena by “digging deeper” from the less to the more fundamental, or from the less to the more abstract questions. The second claim imposes a hierarchical relation between metaphysics and philosophy of science which should, I argue, be replaced with a more egalitarian picture of philosophy.
KeywordsMetaphysics Philosophical methodology Fundamentality Philosophy of science
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