Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bas van Fraassen on Materialism

Found linked at Vic Reppert's blog was this piece by Bas van Fraassen on Materialism and Naturalism, saying what I've been saying for years now, but doing so better.

One great quote: To identify what naturalism is, apart from something praiseworthy, I have found nigh-impossible.


Allen said...

Have you seen this one?

I take this as further evidence in support of instrumentalism and my position in general.

He's not complaining about the utility of our theories, but about their conceptual foundations. But conceptual foundations only matter if you are interpreting the theories as "metaphysical evidence". It's only a problem if you assume that the theories give us some view into what is real. It's only a problem if you want take the mathematical metaphors of science as literal truth.

But things are much stranger than that...,y.2011,no.3,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx

Crude said...

I actually take a midway view.

I think science is its own thing, and interpretations of science is another thing altogether. In other words, the question of scientific realism versus anti-realism, etc, is not itself a scientific question - and you're not "more scientific" if you're a scientific realist.

The metaphysics is where the real action is.