Kingsbury, J., & Dare, T. (2017). The philosophical use and misuse of science. Metaphilosophy, 48(4), 449–466. https://doi.org/10.1111/meta.12256
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11422
Science is our best way of finding out about the natural world, and philosophers who write about that world ought to be sensitive to the claims of our best science. There are obstacles, however, to outsiders using science well. We think philosophers are prone to misuse science: to give undue weight to results that are untested; to highlight favorable and ignore unfavorable data; to give illegitimate weight to the authority of science; to leap from scientific premises to philosophical conclusions without spelling out their relevance; to treat mere resonance between a scientific theory and a philosophical view as empirical evidence for the philosophical view. This article identifies and illustrates some of the ways in which philosophers misuse science, explains why these pitfalls are easy to fall into, and concludes with suggestions for avoiding them.
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Metaphilosophy. © 2017 Wiley.