Chapter

What Can Contemporary Philosophy Learn from our ‘Scientific Philosophy’ Heritage?

Mark Wilson

in Scientific Metaphysics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199696499
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744983 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696499.003.0007
What Can Contemporary Philosophy Learn from our ‘Scientific Philosophy’ Heritage?

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The great nineteenth-century founders of ‘scientific philosophy’ were suspicious of traditionalist views of ‘conceptual content’, believing that worthy notions in science needed to be judged according to their computational successes, rather than their psychological appeal. In the twentieth century, these conceptual predilections became recast in terms of ‘implicit definability within an axiomatic frame’. But the inflexibility inherent in the latter scheme cannot render science’s continually shifting appraisals of ‘sound reasoning’ justice. It is suggested that we return to the founders’ original focus upon algorithmic predilections and the manner in which their ‘correctness’ is continually reassessed within applied mathematical practice.

Keywords: scientific philosophy; concepts; algorithm; theory; Friedman; Carnap; Helmholtz

Chapter.  12347 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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