Saturday, June 23, 2007

Magee, Science, and Metaphysics

Here is another quote from Magee. I plan for there to be many more yet. This is a nicely put observation on the relationship between science and metaphysics. Enjoy:

“To may working scientists, science seems very obviously to suggest an ultimate explanation, namely, a materialist one; but a materialist view of total reality is a metaphysics, not a scientific theory. There is no possibility whatsoever of scientifically proving, or disproving, it. The fact that it is held by many scientists no more makes it a scientific theory than it can be said to be an economic theory because it is held (no doubt) by many economists. Science is compatible with metaphysical outlooks of widely differing and mutually incompatible kinds. Some of the most path-breaking of twentieth-century scientists, including Einstein himself, have believed in God. The founder of quantum mechanics, Schroedinger, was attracted by Buddhism. For the individual there is not, and never has been, a conflict between fully accepting the claims of science and holding non-materialist beliefs. The realization that this is so seems to be spreading at last, though the number of people who assume the contrary is still large.” Bryan Magee, The Confessions of a Philosopher p.218

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