Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized
By James Ladyman and Don Ross.
This book looks interesting. From the description and reviews on the Amazon site:
science metaphysically seriously, Ladyman and Ross argue, means that
metaphysicians must abandon the picture of the world as composed of
self-subsistent individual objects, and the paradigm of causation as the
collision of such objects."
"According to this view, our best
physical theories tell us only about structure - not entities - because
there are no entities. In other words, at the fundamental level, there
are no things (hence the title)."
"Perhaps the most important
role for philosophy of any sort is questioning the fundamental
assumptions that underlie our thinking. This book exemplifies this
virtue by asking, "Is the world really made up of smaller and smaller
things? Or is this merely a prejudice carried over from our experience
with the world of everyday experience?" "
"The surprising upshot
of all of this is that physicalist reductionism -- the idea that all the
special sciences and their objects of study will eventually reduce to
physics and its objects of study -- is out of the question. And it is
out of the question because of a metaphysics (ontic structural realism)
that is based on the best physics available! [...] This has all sorts of
implication for those increasingly popular (and, I think, annoying)
statements about determinism and reductionism that we keep hearing.
Turns out that they are based on bad physics and worse metaphysics.
There is no fundamental determinism for the simple reason that there is
no fundamental causality, and that "cause" is a conceptual tool deployed
by the special sciences that has no counterpart in fundamental physics,
and so it cannot be reduced to or eliminated by the latter."