Acta Analytica

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 131–148 | Cite as

A Physics-Based Metaphysics is a Metaphysics-Based Metaphysics

  • Chris Fields


The common practice of advancing arguments based on current physics in support of metaphysical conclusions has been criticized on the grounds that current physics may well be wrong. A further criticism is leveled here: current physics itself depends on metaphysical assumptions, so arguing from current physics is in fact arguing from yet more metaphysics. It is shown that the metaphysical assumptions underlying current physics are often deeply embedded in the formalism in which theories are presented, and hence impossible to dismiss as mere motivational or interpretative speculation. It is then shown that such assumptions, when made explicit, can wreck havoc on otherwise-sensible philosophical arguments. It is argued in conclusion that this situation is both unlikely to be reparable just by being more careful, and unlikely to go away as further, presumably more subtle physical theories are developed.


Monism Pluralism Substantivalism Mereology Quantum entanglement Quantum field theory 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SonomaUSA

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