Theoretical virtues and the methodological analogy between science and metaphysics

Andrew Brenner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Metaphysicians often claim that some metaphysical theory should (or shouldn’t) be believed because it exhibits (or fails to exhibit) theoretical virtues such as simplicity. Metaphysicians also sometimes claim that the legitimacy of these sorts of appeals to theoretical virtues are vindicated by the similar appeals to theoretical virtues which scientists make in scientific theory choice. One objection to this methodological move is to claim that the metaphysician misdescribes the role that theoretical virtues play within science. In this paper I defend the metaphysician’s use of theoretical virtues against this objection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Inference to the best explanation
  • Metametaphysics
  • Simplicity
  • Theoretical virtues
  • Theory choice


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