6/07/2012

In the current AJP: "Overcoming Metaphysics through the Logical Analysis of Language" for the 21st C

"[T]he isolation of non-naturalistic metaphysics from other disciplines as well as from empirical refutation has made it moribund. We claim that a defining feature of non-naturalistic metaphysics is that it can have no observable consequences."
James Maclaurin and Heather Dyke, "What is Analytic Metaphysics For?", Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 90(2), 2012.  (freely available reprint here)

Of course, the paper does not  reprise Carnap's "Overcoming Metaphysics through the Logical Analysis of Language" exactly; Maclaurin and Dyke's central claim is that the criteria for theory-choice in non-naturalistic metaphysics are not truth-conducive.  The Carnap "Overcoming Metaphysics..." concludes instead that (non-naturalistic) metaphysics is cognitively meaningless.

So the precise problem with metaphysics is different for Carnap and for Maclaurin &, but a central premise used to reach their contra-metaphysics conclusions -- namely, (non-naturalistic) metaphysical claims make no difference to observation and are (inferentially) isolated from claims of the sciences -- is basically the same in both cases. 

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