Page:Lawhead columbia 0054D 12326.pdf/22

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

might take. I intend to take up at least some of this research myself in the future (particularly work in the foundations of complexity theory and information theory as they relate to climate science and the scientific project as a whole), but I am equipped with neither the time nor the ability to take all of it up; climate change is a pressing issue that demands our immediate attention, and we'll need to work together if we're to solve this problem. If nothing else, this dissertation is a sustained argument for precisely this point.

Finally, it is worth highlighting that this dissertation is motivated by an explicitly pragmatic approach to philosophy and science. I think that Butterworth is precisely correct when he says that "science is a form of systematized pragmatism," and I suspect that most scientists (insofar as they think about these things at all) would, given the chance, assent to that statement. The largest consequence of this is that I wish, whenever possible, to remain totally neutral as to how what I'm saying makes contact with more traditionally philosophical questions—particularly those in mainstream metaphysics. Chapter One places a great deal of weight on facts about patternhood, and there is a temptation to attempt to read what I'm saying as making a claim about the metaphysical status of patterns—a claim relating to the emerging metaphysical position that some[1] have termed "ontic structural realism." I will say a bit more about this in Chapter One when the issue comes up directly, but this is worth mentioning here by way of one last methodological preliminary: while I do indeed have a position on these issues, I think the point I am making here is independent of that position. I'm inclined to agree with something like the structural realist position the James Ladyman and Don Ross have pioneered—that is, I'm inclined to agree that, if we're to take science seriously as a metaphysical guide, we ought to take

  1. See, canonically, Dennett (1991) and Ladyman et. al., (2007)