Scientistic Philosophy, No; Scientific Philosophy, Yes

Journal of Philosophical Investigations 15 (36):4-35 (2021)
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If successful scientific inquiry is to be possible, there must be a world that is independent of how we believe it to be, and in which there are kinds and laws; and we must have the sensory apparatus to perceive particular things and events, and the capacity to represent them, to form generalized explanatory conjectures, and check how these conjectures stand up to further experience. Whether these preconditions are met is not a question the sciences can answer; it is specifically philosophical. This is why the myriad forms of scientistic philosophy in vogue today (neurophilosophy, experimental philosophy, naturalized metaphysics, evangelical-atheist reductionism, etc), are all hollow at the core. Does this mean we must return to the old, a priori analytic model? No! What is needed instead is scientific philosophy in the sense Peirce articulated more than a century ago: philosophy motivated by a genuine desire to discover the truth, and relying not solely on reason but also on experience—only not the special, recherché experience required by the sciences, but close attention to aspects of everyday experience so familiar we hardly notice them.


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