Is Science Really What Naturalism Says it is?

  • 1 Department of Human Sciences, University of Milan-Bicocca


In spite of the relevance of a scientific representation of the world for naturalism, it is surprising that philosophy of science is less involved in the debate on naturalism than expected. Had the viewpoint of philosophy of science been duly considered, naturalism could not have overlooked the established lesson, according to which there is no well-defined recipe for what science must or must not be. In the present paper I address some implications of this lesson for (some forms of) naturalism, arguing that a radically naturalistic outlook fails to pay sufficient attention to some of the main lessons that philosophy of science has taught us concerning the nature of scientific theories. One of these lessons is that real scientific theories are far more normative than ordinary scientific naturalism is ready to accept, a circumstance that at a minimum is bound to force most naturalization strategies to re-define their significance.

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