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Is it time for philosophy to do away with metaphysics?

I love philosophy but one of the main issues that I hear about it is that its impractical and serves no suitable purpose to the world. Although I believe this claim to be somewhat false I understand the point that is being made from those who criticize it.

Philosophy is capable of being pragmatic but the reason why it appears as though its not is because it deals too much with the abstract and concerns itself with metaphysics. If you want a real brain teaser metaphysical talk is the way to go but metaphysics really serves no purpose to the world. For a family who constantly have to work to feed their children and provide an education, contemplating the nature of reality or postulating weather or not consciousness exists outside the brain is probably not going to help the situation. One of my professors say that if we sit in meditation, we’ll understand the true harmonious nature and interconnectedness of the universe. We will understand how to act in each moment (similar to what Taoist believe). He may be right but we often forget that its a privilege to be able to do so. Nor are these concerns on everyone’s mind.

The philosophy department at my school is great but it is too indulged in metaphysics. From an epistomological standpoint this is problematic because most of the claims that are made is either in conflict with the way the natural world really is (scientific discoveries) and they are essentially not able to be proved which means we should not waste our time with such claims. When it comes to epistemology, I think this is where philosophy could utilize the methodology of science.

I"m a philosopher at heart but it concerns me that philosophy would lose it value if it cannot indulge in more empiricism and naturalism when making claims about the way the world is.

are we so concerned with value to the point that we'll negate truth? is science capable of establishing values?

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alex55s avatar Philosophy
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1) I do not see how you can argue epistemology is any "more" empirical than is ontology without petitio principii. [Not that I would argue non-empirical knowledge is possible but rather that empirical knowledge itself in also impossible.] Because the point of epistemology is to "prove" non-empirically that empirical knowledge exists.
2) I wonder what role cosmology played in allowing physicist to even consider some of the prediction of (for example) string theory and multiuniversality. I fear without the metaphysical framework developed over time (literally millenia), some of the more bizarre consequences of quantum mechanics would have been dismissed out of hand.

So even if metaphysics gives philosophy a "bad name" it is still important. I wrote a paper once delineating the influence of Zeno on the advent of calculus some 1500 years after his death. These "brain teasers" are essential to setting minds thinking about the possibility that absurdities can actually be realities.

VicZincs avatar VicZinc Disagree 0Reply
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