What does science tell us about ontology? That's the driving question of Anjan Chakravartty's new book Scientific Ontology. Chakravartty answers the driving question by combining a naturalistic approach in metaphysics with a voluntarist approach in epistemology. Naturalized metaphysics refers to the idea that scientific ontology—conclusions about the ontological consequences of the sciences—should be informed by and continuous with the empirical content of the sciences. Voluntarist epistemology refers to the idea that views about the ontological consequences of the sciences always depend on a background epistemology that agents can freely choose. Put together, the two theses yield a broad and bold vision. This book is recommended for anyone working on philosophical methodology, the metaphysics of science, or metaontology. In what follows, I review Chakravartty's principal claims and conclusions (sec. 1), and then raise some concerns about his master argument for the underdetermination of ontology...
Book Review| January 01 2020
Oxford: Oxford University Press,
The Philosophical Review (2020) 129 (1): 144–149.
Vera Flocke; Scientific Ontology. The Philosophical Review 1 January 2020; 129 (1): 144–149. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-7890533
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