Models, Metaphysics and the Vagaries of Empiricism
In what sense, in using a model, does one make or avoid metaphysical commitments? That is, in what sense does one commit oneself to claims concerning the existence of the entities, (relations, processes, events) which the model proposes? The pervasive use of models in both the didactic and theoretical aspects of science prompts this reconsideration of what is a classical problem in philosophy, concerning the nature of reality- or existence-claims, and inevitably then, of their warrant. More specifically, the question concerns scientific hypotheses, and whether, and in what sense such hypotheses make cognitive claims concerning what there is.
KeywordsReduction Base Naive Realism Existential Claim Metaphysical Commitment Inference Machine
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- 1.Marx W. Wartofsky, ‘Metaphysics as Heuristic for Science’, this volume, pp. 40–89.Google Scholar