What does History Matter to Philosophy of Physics?
Naturalized metaphysics remains the default presupposition of much contemporary philosophy of physics. As metaphysics is supposed to concern the general structure of reality, so scientific naturalism draws upon our best physical theories to attempt to answer the foundational question “par excellence ” viz., “how could the world possibly be the way this theory says it is?” A particular case study, Hilbert's attempt to analyze and explain a seeming “pre-established harmony” between mind and nature, is offered as a salutary reminder that naturalism's ready inference from physical theory to ontology may be too quick.
contemporary, metaphysics, philosophy, history, physics, attention to historical details of physical theories provides prophylactic to the "sentiment of rationality" in naturalized metaphysics
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Downstream publication: Ryckman, Thomas. (2015) "Why history matters to philosophy of physics." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, Special Issue 50 Integrated History and Philosophy of Science in Practice, 4-12.