From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics

Scientific metaphysics is based on the idea that metaphysics — the study of what the world is ultimately like — should be informed by the remarkable success of science. Opponents argue that the continuous rejection of fundamental scientific claims through history undermines the assumption that science can provide a reliable basis for drawing metaphysical conclusions. From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics is a three-year initiative involving a collaboration between the University of Calgary, University of Geneva, and University of Minnesota that advances a new approach for scientific metaphysics. The project analyzes successful scientific practices that depend on modest theoretical claims but nevertheless undergird advances across sciences that deal with complexity, especially in biology. This approach probes the metaphysical implications of stable forms of successful practice in situations where local, partial theories of complex phenomena do not yield integrated, comprehensive outlooks across different levels of organization.