Lauener Foundation for Analytical Philosophy
Wednesday 05 September - Thursday 06 September 2018
8th International Lauener Symposium on Analytical Philosophy
on Themes from Bas van Fraassen
Dr. Matthias Egg
Stances and Doctrines in Scientific Metaphysics
The insight that philosophical positions ought to be understood as stances rather than doctrines is one of the cornerstones of Bas van Fraassen’s critique of metaphysics. It has been argued, however, that not all kinds of metaphysics are equally vulnerable to this critique. In particular, James Ladyman and Don Ross have integrated van Fraassen’s emphasis on stances into the defense of what they call scientific metaphysics. This raises the question to what extent such a metaphysics can still claim (as scientific metaphysicians routinely do) to be concerned with objective truth, which is usually understood as pertaining to doctrines, not to stances. Reflecting on that question promises to shed new light on the interplay between our scientific and metaphysical theorizing and our general outlook on the world.