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Scientific Ontology Integrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist   Epistemology,9780190651459

Scientific Ontology Integrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist Epistemology

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 7/31/2017
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
Availability: This title is currently not available.

Author Biography

Anjan Chakravartty is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he works on topics in the philosophy of science, metaphysics, and epistemology. He is the Director of the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, the Editor in Chief of the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, and has taught previously at the Universities of Toronto and Cambridge.

Table of Contents


Part I: Naturalized Metaphysics

Chapter 1: Ontology: scientific and meta-scientific
1.1 Scientific and philosophical conceptions of ontology
1.2 Deflationary ontology: historicism; sociology; pragmatics
1.3 Ontological limits: empiricism; scientific realism; metaphysics
1.4 Do case studies of science settle ontological disputes?
1.5 Examples of the robustness of ontology under cases

Chapter 2: Science and metaphysics, then and now
2.1 Ontology and the nature of metaphysical inference
2.2 Is modern science inherently metaphysical?
2.3 Epistemic stances regarding scientific ontology
2.4 Metaphysical inferences: lowercase 'm' versus capital 'M'
2.5 The (possible) autonomy of (some) metaphysics from science

Chapter 3: Naturalism and the grounding metaphor
3.1 In hopes of a demarcation of scientific ontology
3.2 On conflating the a priori with that which is prior
3.3 How not to naturalize metaphysical inferences
3.4 Unpacking the metaphors: "grounding" and "distance"
3.5 On the distinction between theorizing and speculating

Part II: Illustrations and Morals

Chapter 4: Dispositions: science as a basis for scientific ontology
4.1 How dispositions manifest in the philosophy of science
4.2 Explanatory power I: unifying aspects of scientific realism
4.3 Explanatory power II: giving scientific explanations
4.4 Explanatory power III: consolidating scientific knowledge
4.5 Property identity and the actual power of explanatory power

Chapter 5: Structures: science as a constraint on scientific ontology
5.1 Thinking about ontology in the domain of fundamental physics
5.2 Situating an ontological inquiry into subatomic "particles"
5.3 Structuralist interpretations of the metaphysics of particles
5.4 Reasoning about ontological bedrock: an unavoidable dilemma
5.5 Dissolving the dilemma: the variability of belief and suspension

Part III: Voluntarist Epistemology

Chapter 6: Knowledge under ontological uncertainty
6.1 Inconsistent ontologies and incompatible beliefs
6.2 Belief and ontological pluralism: perspectival knowledge?
6.3 A trilemma for perspectivism: irrelevant; unstable; incoherent
6.4 Two kinds of context-transcendent pluralism about ontology
6.5 Ontological explanation and contrastive what-questions

Chapter 7: The nature and provenance of epistemic stances
7.1 An indefeasible persistence of ontological disagreement
7.2 Stances revisited: deflationary; empiricist; metaphysical
7.3 A voluntarist primer on choosing stances and beliefs
7.4 Epistemic stances in conflict: rationality and robustness
7.5 In defense of permissive norms of rationality for stances

Chapter 8: Coda: voluntarism with lessons from Pyrrho and Sextus
8.1 Getting to the bottom of it all, while awake
8.2 Skeptical arguments: some Modes of Agrippa
8.3 A Pyrrhonian analogy: isostheneia and aphasia
8.4 Extending the analogy a bit further: ataraxia
8.5 A transformative epistemology of scientific ontology


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