Metaphysics vs Science: Proof vs Disproof

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.

Destruction. Construction.

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…

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3 Responses to “Metaphysics vs Science: Proof vs Disproof”

  1. oluwatoyin vincent adepoju Says:

    Interesting but based on a fundamental misconception of metaphysics

    • colah Says:

      Hm. Well, I haven’t really given this any thought in over two years, and younger-past-me is often silly. Additionally, my background in philosophy is pretty limited. That said, on a quick read through, most of what I wrote seems fairly reasonable.

      The term “there are an infinite number of utilitarianally equivalent theories” is strange and I’d now prefer “there are an infinite number of isomorphic theories”, and I’d be more hesitant with the implicit claim that a theory can be true or false relative to an isomorphic one. My discussion of metaphysics also ignores some things I’v read that seem nonsensical to me (where people make metaphysical claims, but provide no real reason to believe them true)…

      Do you mean that I misunderstand metaphysics because I present it as a much more narrow area than it actually is? Or could you otherwise elaborate?

  2. toyin Says:

    just seeing this. thanks for your response. will be back

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