The Role of Philosophy in a Naturalized World

European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (1):60-76 (2012)
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Abstract

This paper discusses the late Michael Dummett’s characterization of the estrangement between physics and philosophy. It argues against those physicists who hold that modern physics, rather than philosophy, can answer traditional metaphysical questions such as why there is something rather than nothing. The claim is that physics cannot solve metaphysical problems since metaphysical issues are in principle empirically underdetermined. The paper closes with a critical discussion of the assumption of some cosmologists that the Universe was created out of nothing: In contrast to this misleading assumption, it is proposed that the Universe has a necessary existence and that the present epoch after the Big Bang is a contingent realization of the Universe.

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Jan Faye
University of Copenhagen

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