Is science supported by metaphysical concepts?

Is science supported by metaphysical concepts?

My friend and I have been discussing this for days for this project we’ve been working on. She believes them to be complete opposites, considering their opposite qualities (fallibility, testability, empiric experiment, etc.) I consider them to, in certain ways, complement each other since they are both based upon reality and our own existence in the universe. So that makes them somehow “related”. But is science really supported by metaphysical concepts?

  1. It's That GuyApr 23, 2010

    No. They might coincide occasionally just by coincidence. But science, by definition, completely ignores the metaphysical.

    Science is completely tuned to the physical world, to ideas that can be proven, repeated, demonstrated. If a metaphysical concept can be proven, repeated, or demonstrated, then it is not metaphysical at all, it is physical!

  2. sbrApr 23, 2010

    There are certain things for which science does not have a credible answer, and here comes the metaphysics. After all our existence cannot be explained through science. Very little is the knowledge of human being on all aspects of this world.
    If we accept the fact that seeing is believing, then many a things we have to deny; for example God.
    So, at the end science accepts metaphysics as the answer at the last resort.

  3. DudeApr 23, 2010

    there are 2 kinds of metaphysics.

    Philosophers use it to mean studies that encompass more than one science.
    Modern “new-agers” use it to mean the exact opposite of science: horoscopes, witchcraft, crystals, psychics, etc…

    My guess i that you mean the 2nd one. So my answer is no, metaphysics is the exact opposite of science. Where experimentation shows metaphyics to be be total bunk, it’s practitioners just make up new explanations of why the tests failed.

  4. SowcrateesApr 23, 2010

    Wait a second. Science would be lost without some validity to statements that cannot be empirically verified. The Positivists tried to define metaphysics out of existence with a definition.
    “The meaning of a statement consists entirely in the predictions it makes about possible experience.”
    But if you judge the meaning of this statement itself by it’s own standards, it is meaningless. Metaphysics must still be used to define the measure of coherence; how truth is defined; cause and effect, etc. Just because we have, barely, escaped from religious irrationalism doesn’t mean the baby goes out with the bath water.

  5. RyanApr 23, 2010

    I’d say so. Both deal with the nature of reality. The only difference is that you can test a scientific theory.

  6. Dale MApr 23, 2010

    Science makes numerous assumptions which cannot be proven, and admits that it does so. Such assumptions could be considered metaphysical support. For example, it assumes that an objective observer is possible, even though it knows this is just a highly questionable assumption. It also assumes that past actions and behaviors can be used to make predictions about the future, even if the prediction can never by made with 100% probability.

    Science does want to act as though its metaphysical assumptions are merely pragmatic hypotheses rather than eternal truths. This is in itself another assumption, but it differs from other metaphysical systems which want their basic assumptions to jump quickly to the eternal truth category.

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