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Single Idea 21582

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 4. Metaphysics as Science]

Full Idea

Physicists, ignorant and contemptuous of philosophy, have been content to assume their particles, points and instants in practice, while contending, with ironical politeness, that their concepts laid no claim to metaphysical validity.

Gist of Idea

Physicists accept particles, points and instants, while pretending they don't do metaphysics


Bertrand Russell (Our Knowledge of the External World [1914], 4)

A Reaction

Presumably physicists are allowed to wave their hands and utter the word 'instrumentalism', and then get on with the job. They just have to ensure they never speculate about what is being measured.

Book Reference

Russell,Bertrand: 'Our Knowledge of the External World' [Routledge 1993], p.131