Metaphysics and epistemology relationship questions

The Relationship Between Metaphysics and Epistemology | Dialogues with the Mirror

metaphysics and epistemology relationship questions

When the folklore is cleared away, the relationship among determinism, predictability A number of metaphysical and epistemological issues are raised by the. Ontology: The branch of metaphysics (philosophy concerning the overall nature of When we ask deep questions about "what is the nature of the universe?. branch of philosophy that deals with questions such: a.) What is that a step further and ask ourselves does causation exist, what is the relationship between.

The conceptual issues in these various fields are challenging and require technical mastery as well as philosophical skill. Among the more prominent topics are: Is spacetime absolute, that is, a thing in its own right?

Or is it a system of relations among physical bodies, so that if there were no bodies and no events, there would be no spacetime? Does the realm of quantum theory exist independently from ourselves and our measurements?

Or do we somehow create the very things that we measure, rather than discover what is already there? These questions are as difficult as they are interesting.

A large number of Canadians have made significant contributions to further answering these questions: A number of Canadian physicists have contributed significantly to philosophical aspects of physics: In recent years there has been much fruitful interaction between physicists and philosophers.

To some extent this is because issues that were dismissed by physicists as "metaphysical" have turned out to have experimental consequences. The moral to draw from this is that the boundary between science and philosophy is rather fuzzy. Philosophers and physicists may emphasize different things, but they are engaged in a common pursuit. Cognitive Science Increasingly, philosophers have engaged with cognitive science -- the study of mental operations in their cognitive rather than purely behavioural or neurological aspects.

At one time, such interaction was confined to the question of determinism. John Thorp and Ted Honderich were important contributors. More recently, philosophers have not only analysed and conceptually explored cognitive psychology and its methodologies, but also contributed key ideas to psychology. Zenon Pylyshyn, Ausonio Marras, and Paul Thagard studied the conceptual apparatus of cognitive science. A wide range of significant contributions have come from Ronnie de Sousa emotionsMohan Matthen perceptionJim McGilvray Chomsky and linguisticsWilliam Seager consciousnessRobert Wilson externalist theories of mindEvan Thompson enactive theories of mindRob Stainton language and mindand Andrew Brooke cognition.

Intensive and well-known studies of more circumscribed concepts have been undertaken by Donald Dedrick and Kathleen Akins colour and colour visionIan Gold cognitive deficitsLuc Faucher and Tim Schroeder emotionDiana Raffman music perceptionand Daniel Kahneman reasoning heuristics, Nobel Prize in Economics. Notable recent arrivals to Canada include Murat Aydede consciousness, pain and Eric Margolis concepts. Mathematics The philosophy of mathematics is concerned with metaphysical questions concerning the nature of mathematical objects and with epistemic questions concerning how we acquire knowledge of them.

Since we do not see or otherwise make contact with mathematical entities numbers, sets, functionsas we do with physical objects rocks, planets, electronsthese turn out to be highly puzzling questions. How, after all, do we come to know anything about numbers? The spectrum of views is very wide, from thinking mathematical objects are objectively real and independent from us Platonism to thinking they are somehow a human creation.

It is commonly thought that the one and only source of evidence in mathematics is proof, understood to be a logical derivation from axioms or first principles. But what about evidence from physics or from diagrams? And what about very long and complex computer proofs, which we can't, strictly speaking, follow, because of their enormous length? Canadian philosophers of mathematics and mathematicians who work on these philosophical issues include: Medicine Although ethical issues arising from clinical practice in medicine have captured the most philosophical attention, crucial and important epistemological and methodological issues are of fundamental and crucial importance to clinical and scientific medicine.

metaphysics and epistemology relationship questions

Medicine is a broad and varied enterprise. Areas such as physiology, haematology the study of bloodimmunology the study of the immune system and immune responsesendocrinology the study of hormone systems and medical genetics share similar methodologies and epistemological features with non-medical biological sciences.

metaphysics and epistemology relationship questions

On the other hand, clinical practice areas such as family medicine are quite dissimilar to non-medical biological sciences and medical sciences themselves, such as those mentioned above. As a result, different philosophical issues arise in clinical medicine and medical sciences. For example, clinical medicine relies heavily on randomised controlled trials RCTs to determine the efficacy of pharmaceutical and lifestyle interventions.

Philosophers of science have recently questioned the logical, mathematical probabilistic and statistical and epistemological assumptions used to justify reliance on RCTs. Medical sciences rely much less on RCTs and employ models and theories to understand and explain the nature, function and malfunction of the various organs, cells, fluids, proteins and systems e. Philosophers of science have contributed significantly to the understanding of the nature of such models and theories and the powerful role they play in explaining and predicting aspects of health, disease and therapy.

Canadian philosophers have made seminal and important contributions to all of these issues: Susan Sherwin and Francoise Baylis have done extensive work on bioethics, often tying it to issues of medical methodology.

The Relationship Between Metaphysics and Epistemology

Paul Thagard and Charles Weijer have both contributed to a wide variety of methodological issues in medicine. Social Science The social sciences including: Humans are self-interpreting and our beliefs about ourselves can have an effect on ourselves. By contrast, our beliefs about electrons presumably have no effect on how electrons behave.

metaphysics and epistemology relationship questions

The opposing view takes the social sciences to be like the natural sciences, subject to the same general methods. In either case, questions of objectivity are central to philosophical concern with the social sciences. In addition, the individual social sciences have their own particular issues.

Thus, is game theory a useful tool for economics, or does it miss too much of real human concern? Can different human cultures be understood from the outside, or must true understanding only come by "going native"?

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Canadian philosophers addressing these issues include: Science and Values Values can arise in the sciences in several different ways. Some of these are ethical, others aesthetic, some are more social and political, and yet others are epistemic. For instance, how should laboratory animals be treated, or should human subject give informed consent? However, values can also make it into the very content of a theory, as clearly happens when we consider notions of health and disease. What counts as a disease is an inextricable mix of biological fact and social norms about what is desirable.

Sexist and racist assumptions are clearly present in past theories, and possibly in present theories, as well.

Values of an epistemic variety can also arise in the methodology of science, as in the question: Should the simplicity of a theory count as evidence in its favour? The topic of science and values is one of the more controversial areas of philosophy of science.

Some maintain that good science must be "value-free," while others claim that values are inevitable, even necessary, but they should be the right values. Much work on this has been done by Kathleen Okruhlik and Alison Wylie feminist critiquesLisa Gannett concept of raceMichael Ruse science and religion, sociobiology and politicsJames Robert Brown commercialization of medical researchand Yiftach Fehige science and religion, sexuality. History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science Many philosophers, as well as historians and sociologists of science, see an intimate relation among history, philosophy, and sociology of science, saying they can best be understood by looking at the whole, interlocking structure.

There remains a great deal of debate among them, however, as to the relative importance of the components. Everyone, for instance, acknowledges that social factors are always in the background, but do they play a significant role in determining scientific belief? And what about philosophical beliefs, say in determinism, that seem to guide theory construction in physics? Are such beliefs legitimate in the scientific enterprise, or do they merely impede it? Canadians have been active contributors in this venture, and they include Richard Arthur LeibnizRobert E.

Andre Kukla, James Robert Brown, and Sergio Seismondo have written extensively on the role of social factors in science. Institutions Most contributions to the philosophy of science stem from philosophers located in various university departments of philosophy in Canada and throughout the world.

Two Canadian departments stand out in the field of philosophy of science, The University of Western Ontario and The University of Toronto, and are among the best philosophy of science groups in the world. There are also some specialized departments or programmes with a number of excellent philosophers of science, including the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Toronto; Science and Technology Studies, York University; and the History of Science and Technology Programme, University of King's College, Halifax.

metaphysics and epistemology relationship questions

There are important developments outside philosophy units, as well. The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario devotes some of its resources to philosophical issues. The founding Director, Howard Burton trained in both philosophy and physicssuccessfully promoted this direction of research, which has been very fruitful.

Logic, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science

Several members of the permanent staff Lee Smolin, Lucien Hardy, Christopher Fuchs, Rob Spekkens and numerous visitors pursue philosophical and foundational issues. Some of the best recent work in the philosophy and foundations of physics has stemmed from this institute. Two important institutions have recently coming into being. When it has a permanent home, it will be a major centre for history, philosophy, and social studies of science. Much of its funding will be directed toward sponsorship of summer workshops, conferences, and postdoctoral fellowships.

The second new institution is the The Rotman Institute for Science and Values, which is located within the Department of Philosophy at The University of Western Ontario but solicits membership nominations from around the world. Its purpose is to examine both those values that are constitutive of science and those that inform the larger culture within which science is pursued, including ethical, socio-political, economic, legal, and aesthetic values.

The Institute's mandate includes the hosting of visiting scholars and postdocs, conferences, and speakers series. On the surface epistemology seems to have solved the question but the fact is metaphysically speaking it has not been solved at all because the question was about the nature of reality itself, and whether or not the reality of the tree falling would even exist if there was no one to experience it.

Would the universe simply withdraw the portion itself that was not being experienced by anyone? This question cannot be answered by either branch, but possibly by a combination of the two. With regards to epistemology, the world actually exists as a series of images, ideas and concrete forms that can be interacted with.

Yet despite the objective references that are this world, it still cannot be explained or even researched in an epistemic way without first encountering some profound questions which in turn lead to further dilemmas.

The question as to how one reasons is one such dilemma, yet this question and the myriad possibilities that arise from it falls partially in the domain of metaphysics. Epistemology, in order to function as it is supposed to, must accept that knowledge can be communicated and that reality is a quantity that can be known, at least to some extent.

Because there must be an underlying similarity between individuals in order be able to communicate this knowledge, so there must be at some level a similarity between human minds and that means that the concepts tied up in metaphysics must be linked to epistemology.

Logic, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science | The Canadian Encyclopedia

This strange dualism does not detract from either concept; indeed it actually enhances each one. By giving up dependence on the concept of uninterrupted reality, something outside science, epistemology does not relinquish objective truth; instead it grabs holds of it even more tightly and wraps itself up in the dualism created by its symbiosis with metaphysics. The core concepts espoused by both of these branches of philosophy are not at heart incompatible, in fact we see that the opposite is quite true.