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Philosophy and the 'Dazzling Ideal' of Science

by Graham McFee

Philosophy and the 'Dazzling Ideal' of Science Synopsis

Recent decades have seen attacks on philosophy as an irrelevant field of inquiry when compared with science. In this book, Graham McFee defends the claims of philosophy against attempts to minimize either philosophy's possibility or its importance by deploying a contrast with what Wittgenstein characterized as the dazzling ideal of science. This 'dazzling ideal' incorporates both the imagined completeness of scientific explanation-whereby completing its project would leave nothing unexplained-and the exceptionless character of the associated conception of causality. On such a scientistic world-view, what need is there for philosophy? In his defense of philosophy (and its truth-claims), McFee shows that rejecting such scientism is not automatically anti-scientific, and that it permits granting to natural science (properly understood) its own truth-generating power. Further, McFee argues for contextualism in the project of philosophy, and sets aside the pervasive (and pernicious) requirement for exceptionless generalizations while relating his account to interconnections between the concepts of person, substance, agency, and causation.

Book Information

ISBN: 9783030216771
Publication date: 6th September 2020
Author: Graham McFee
Publisher: Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 338 pages
Categories: Philosophy, Philosophy of science,

About Graham McFee

Graham McFee is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Brighton, UK, and a member of the Philosophy Department at California State University Fullerton. He has lectured and published nationally and internationally on, especially, the philosophy of Wittgenstein and the aesthetics of dance.

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