Recently, I’ve been wondering about the differences between science and metaphysics. They’re very similar in many ways. They both, ultimately, explore the nature of reality. They share many questions…
And yet they’re fundamentally different.
I think the difference fundamentally arises from their approaches:
Science comes up with theories and then seeks to disprove them.
Metaphysics looks at the facts and accepts what it can prove.
It’s interesting to note that metaphysics shares this strategy with mathematics. This may explain the bizarre relationship the two fields share: in my experience practitioners are often interested in the other field, but highly critical of its practitioners.
It’s also interesting to look at their respective strengths. Metaphysics has made comparatively little progress in comparison to science which has made grand strides forward. But science, while it evolves towards a theory that perfectly mimics reality, will only stumble upon truth by mere chance because there are an infinite number of utilitarianally equivalent theories.
It would be nice if metaphysics could get to a point where it has the kind of practical applications science does, but I am concerned there may be fundemental limitations on its approach in that we may not be able to derive enough from the few certanties we have to work with…