Metaphysics and science have a long but troubled relationship. In the twentieth century the Logical Positivists argued metaphysics was irrelevant and that philosophy should be guided by science. However, metaphysics and science attempt to answer many of the same, fundamental questions: What are laws of nature? What is causation? What are natural kinds?
In this book, Markus Schrenk examines and explains the central questions and problems in the metaphysics of science. He reviews the development of the field from the early modern period through to the latest research, systematically assessing key topics including:
laws of nature
With the addition of chapter summaries and annotated further reading, Metaphysics of Science is a much-needed, clear and informative survey of this exciting area of philosophical research. It is essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy of science and metaphysics.
Markus Schrenk is Professor for Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Dusseldorf, Germany. He is the author of The Metaphysics of Ceteris Paribus Laws (2007), co-author of Einfuhrung in die Sprachphilosophie (2nd edition 2014), and editor of Handbuch Metaphysik (2016).
Preface 1 Prologue: A History of Metaphysics 2 Dispositions 3 Counterfactuals 4 Laws of Nature 5 Causation 6 Dispositional Essentialism 7 Epilogue: Meta-Metaphysics Afterword