Does science have all the answers? Can it even deal with abstract reasoning which reaches beyond the world experienced by us? How can we be so sure that the physical world is sufficiently ordered to be intelligible to humans? How is it that mathematics, a product of human minds, can unlock the secrets of the physical universe? Are all such questions to be ruled out as inadmissible if science cannot settle them?
Metaphysics has traditionally been understood as reasoning
beyond the reach of science, sometimes even claiming realities that are beyond its grasp. Because of this, metaphysics has often been contemptuously dismissed by scientists and philosophers who wish to remain within the bounds of what can be scientifically proven. Yet scientists at the frontiers of physics unwittingly engage in metaphysics, as they are now happy to contemplate whole universes that are, in principle, beyond human reach.
Roger Trigg challenges those who deny that science needs philosophical assumptions. In fact, Trigg claims that the foundations of science themselves have to lie beyond science. It takes reasoning apart from what can be experienced to discover what is not yet known, and this metaphysical reasoning to imagine realities beyond what can be accessed.
“In Beyond Matter, Roger Trigg advances a powerful, persuasive, fair-minded argument that the sciences require a philosophical, metaphysical foundation. This is a brilliant book for new-comers to philosophy of science and experts alike.” —Charles Taliaferro, professor of philosophy, St. Olaf College